They act as a key to release parts of a game that were previously restricted to a player, while also recording game progress and unique character customisation. Initially, the idea was you would buy your favourite character and use them across many games in so doing you would raise their virtual levels and create a more formidable avatar. However, people haven’t been buying just one figure and nurturing it; they have been buying every figure Nintendo have released. Indeed, sales of the Amiibo figures has eclipsed sales of the games they can be used with proving that many are buying the toys just to have them on shelves rather than use them.
Many simply want to buy them all, so they can have the satisfaction of owning them all. They don’t want them for the game enhancements they offer and sometimes collectors readily admit they have bought a figure depicting a character they don’t know, or even don’t like. Many are buying these figures simply because they want to build a collection. They are buying them because they want to own everyone in the set. They are buying every release because they have them all so far and stopping would mean the collection became incomplete.