Third-party amiibo we still want to see

Nintendo has put out a few non-Nintendo amiibos in the past, so what's to stop these characters from joining the fun?

While amiibo mania isn't quite what it once was, Nintendo is still releasing figures in its toys-to-life line, and is even set to finally complete its Super Smash Bros. amiibo set in the coming months. So far, though, these amiibo releases have been almost exclusively Nintendo first-party characters. Third-party characters in Super Smash Bros. including Bayonetta and Sonic the Hedgehog got amiibo, American indie studio Yacht Club Games released a Shovel Knight amiibo, and there have been rumors flying of a Binding of Isaac amiibo. But besides that, it has pretty much been Nintendo leading the releases (which makes sense, since it’s Nintendo’s platform).

But Shovel Knight shows that other companies, including smaller Western studios, can get into the amiibo space under the right circumstances. And Nintendo needs all the third-party support it can get, so letting third parties get in on that amiibo action may be one way for the company to do just that.

But what third-party characters should be released as amiibo? Don't worry: we've got you covered with nine ideas, right here.

1) Rusty

SteamWorld Dig is quite an awesome game, with cowboy-hat-wearing, pick-axe slinging Rusty at its forefront. We already know that SteamWorld Dig 2 is coming to the Nintendo Switch later this year, and the game's developers have also been openly teasing an amiibo for Rusty, as well. I doubt that is just a red herring, and it seems likely Rusty may follow in Shovel Knight's footsteps and be one of the next indie amiibo we see.

2) Sora

Now, this one could be a bit tricky. For this to happen, it would probably have to mean that Kingdom Hearts 3 -- or another Kingdom Hearts game -- was heading to the Switch. I don't think that in and of itself is particularly likely, but then again, Square-Enix is porting those games left and right these days. And Kingdom Hearts does have a history of hitting Nintendo portables, even if none of its home consoles have seen a release.

Also, given Disney Infinity is no more, competing with Disney's own brand of toys-to-life figures is no longer an issue. Nintendo has also already worked with Square-Enix on the Cloud amiibo, so there's some underlying company-to-company infrastructure there that could lead to other things happening. And maybe Sora will be one of them.

3) Slime

Speaking of Square-Enix, there's another property that is getting a lot of love from Nintendo this year: Dragon Quest. Dragon Quest XI is getting its own special edition Slime themed 2DS unit, so Nintendo is already giving the release strong support, at least in Japan. (There's also the Dragon Quest Heroes 1 & II Switch release, as well).

But in terms of an amiibo ... even if we don't get XI or the Heroes games in the States, there's still a big slate of other DQ games that have made their way over here recently that the amiibo could somehow work with. And really, you could make a whole line of Slime amiibo. Give me all the slime. Golden Slime. Metal Slime. Give me, give me, give me.

4) Specter Knight

Sure, sure, Shovel Knight already has an amiibo, but I'm getting greedy. And given that Yacht Club Games has already made one amiibo -- and expressed interest in doing more -- the cloaked crusader seems like he at least has somewhat of a chance of making it into amiibo form, scythe and all.

While I'm begging, let's make it Specter's purple and green get-up, too. Even better.

5) Yooka and Laylee

On the topic of purple and green -- and indies -- there's another pair of characters that I'd quickly buy as an amiibo: Yooka and Laylee.

A Switch version of Yooka-Laylee is coming later this year, and images like this only fuel speculation that perhaps it isn't just the game that will be hitting the Switch, after all. Maybe an amiibo will ease Nintendo fan complaints after the initial Wii U version was cancelled.

And I mean, as far as amiibo go, Banjo and Kazooie are pretty much out of the question -- unless they showed up in Super Smash Bros., I suppose -- so we could at least get the duo that is following in their collect-a-thon footsteps.

6) Anything Monster Hunter

Yes, yes, yes. Technically Monster Hunter amiibo already exist, but you don't see them sitting on my amiibo shelf, do you? No, you do not. The reason is that so far they have only been released in Japan, for the 3DS's Monster Hunter Stories.

The good news? Stories is coming to the States later this fall. And while Nintendo hasn't said yet if the corresponding amiibo will release as well, the game coming out here would at least seem to improve the chance.

Announcing the amiibo at the same time as the game would have made sense, so I'm a bit worried. But there's still plenty of time before its fall release for Nintendo or Capcom to announce that the amiibo are coming, too. Us hunters can only hope.

Probably the premium preorder version. Probably the premium preorder version.

7) Steve

Minecraft is what all the kids are playing these days apparently, and blocky little Steve could be yet another way for Nintendo to tap into Minecraft's continued success and bring those players to the Switch.

We've already seen Nintendo-branded Minecraft content, so making some more of it and locking it behind a physical amiibo figure seems pretty in line what Nintendo's approach to the toys. Microsoft doesn't have any competing toys-to-life products, either, so that wouldn't be an issue. And it isn't like Minecraft is averse to merchandise.

8) Travis Touchdown

Suda51 is working on a new No More Heroes game for the Switch. We don't quite know much else about it, but it is at least coming to the system ... eventually.

Given that the franchise is coming back, series steward Travis Touchdown and his beam katana could be another third-party match for amiibo. And at least for this one, the game is coming to Switch, so we don't have to cross our fingers for the game and the figure. Who knows, Travis's amiibo could even take a page out of Disney Infinity's book and have his weapon light up, something no other amiibo can do.

9) And the really long shots...

I'm grouping these together because, well, as much as I'd like them to happen, they would first and foremost require the games themselves to make the jump to Switch, and that's something that I don't really see happening. But any of the South Park cast from South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Mr. Hankey, especially, would be hilarious), or even somebody from Middle-earth to support the upcoming Middle-earth: Shadow of War would be great, too. I'd buy up a One Ring amiibo in a heartbeat, but a Nazgul or Fell Beast would be right up my alley as well. Here's to hope.