I think I can speak for a great many adult collectors of toys when I say that we love dioramas. And we hardly ever get them.
The reasons are generally practical–kids who play with toys don’t need a backdrop to display them upon. Adults who do like them aren’t usually willing to pay the extra cost they take to make, and companies like NECA and McFarlane, which used to pack diorama bits in with figures, have either stopped or made the figures much smaller. If you want dioramas, you generally have to build them yourself now.
But back in the early days of the Star Wars toy relaunch in the ’90s, that line did something clever. Knowing they couldn’t possibly make a full-scale set of the Mos Eisley Cantina or Jabba’s palace for a reasonable price, Kenner made some elaborate cardboard pop-out playsets that were great for displaying figures. They ran about $10, required no plastic or metal tooling to make, and satisfied a need to not just have individual figures alone on the shelf. And now Nintendo of Japan has taken that idea and upgraded it.
These amiibo dioramas, in Kirby and Smash Bros. themes, do feature some plastic, but are fold-out in style just like those old Kenner sets, and right around the $10 price range too. And nobody says you HAVE to use them for amiibo–if you want a much wackier setting for your own Batman v Superman reenactment, put your little plastic Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill toys on them and go nuts.
So far these are only for the Japanese market, and go on sale there April 28. But if they do well, they look easy enough to import, as they fold up and can probably fit in certain envelopes. Now, Disney Infinity, it’s your move.
What amiibo diorama would you like to see next? Give the big N some ideas below, and check out the full gallery of images from their first two offerings.
images: Nintendo Japan
h/t: Rocket News 24