It seems that Nintendo of America needs some help choosing items to offer as Platinum and Gold rewards for Elite level Club Nintendo members. After offering a Mario figurine in 2010, the program began to slide downward with soundtracks for aging games before landing with a dull thud in 2014 by offering a single download from a selection of lesser Virtual Console and eShop releases (exception: EarthBound, NES Remix, and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D were great choices for those who did not already own them, but still flies counter to the idea that Elite rewards should be exclusive items). Clearly Club Nintendo has run out of ideas on how to make its members happy, so I'm ready to step up and suggest a few items off my wish list of dream Club Nintendo prizes any one of which would be perfect for 2015's Elite offerings.
Nintendo is working to launch its Amiibo product line of game-compatible figurines later this year, and while it's certain that many people who usually qualify for Elite status will pick up at least one, it would be wonderful to see Club Nintendo offer an exclusive figurine. Now, I'm against exclusive figurines that lock people out of in-game content, but I like the idea of an exclusive displayable that activates content in-game that could be earned elsewhere. Give us a special Mario figurine in which everyone's favorite plumber is wearing a Super Mario World cape or sporting a trusty raccoon tail. Show me Toon Link in his Wind Waker street clothes. Let's see Pikachu in a party hat. It's all about rare variants, but let's not lock out any actual game material from everyone else. There's exclusivity and then there's just being completely unfair. Gold members get a desk calendar showcasing the Amiibo product line.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U / 3DS soundtrack album
Club Nintendo has offered a few game soundtracks as prize items before, and while the various Legend of Zelda games do feature great music, it's the Super Smash Bros. titles with their glorious remixed soundtracks that shine brightest of all in the world of Nintendo's musical selections. I want to see the program offer the complete soundtrack to the upcoming game. Send us an album with as many CDs as it takes to fit all of the music of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and for Nintendo 3DS. Give us all the remixes, rearrangements, and new compositions. Make this happen and those of us in America will forgive Club Nintendo for not offering the Kirby, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario 3D World albums available in other regions as standard catalog prizes.
This Yoshi plush is currently offered at Japan's Club Nintendo as a regular catalog item. I have no use for it, but it's adorable and I want it. I trust I'm not alone in that.
One of my favorite gaming collectibles is a Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia print signed by former series producer Koji Igarashi. I would absolutely love to have some similar autographed Nintendo memorabilia suitable for framing, so imagine if Club Nintendo offered up autographed prints of Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Metroid, and other famed franchise artwork signed (actually signed - no reproductions!) by key creative people such as Shigeru Miyamoto, Eiji Aonuma, Masahiro Sakurai, and Yoshio Sakamoto. Platinum members get to choose one from a list of four or so. Sure, the eBay aftermarket will go nuts with a glut of these, but for fans, these prints would be priceless. Gold members can choose an unsigned print.
Mother 3 in English
If Nintendo really wants to stick with digital rewards, then this would be the best possible exclusive offering. Despite the excellent English translation produced by EarthBound fans several years ago, playing Mother 3 in an official format without relying on emulators or flashcarts is still heavily requested by the gaming community. Why not reward the most loyal Nintendo fans with a free download of an English version of the game for play on the Wii U for Platinum members and, to twist the knife, a free download of EarthBound for Gold members.