Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ 2.0 update brought 16 new villagers to our island paradises, including both brand-new characters and old favourites returning from older games in the series. While each new character has their fans, there’s something about the mysteriously friendly Shino that gives her an edge over the rest of the herd, soundly outselling pretty boy Sasha the rabbit and starry-tailed squirrel Ione across several popular AC marketplaces.
It’s pretty clear from online evidence that Sasha, Ione, and Shino are the top of the crop when it comes to new AC villagers. Each of these cute newcomers bring something fresh to the table. Shino is quiet and mysterious until she is not. Sasha, the bunny everyone assumed was female at first, is a sweet boy. And Ione loves to talk about the stars…the ones in the sky, not her tail. All three characters are among the most popular characters sold and gifted through popular online Animal Crossing: New Horizons marketplace Nookazon, which provided Kotaku with its list of the top 10 most-traded new villagers.
Though I was personally rooting for robot Octopus Cephalobot, the more gimmicky character fell before the charm and grace of the big three. Shino, however, is number one by a pretty wide margin. The average price to add Shino to your island through trading is 30 million bells. Sasha, in second place, pulls in an average of only 9.5 million.
There are other ways to add Shino and friends to your island, of course. You could attempt to procure packs of the fifth series of Animal Crossing Amiibo cards, which could contain any one of the new characters along with several popular NPCs. Not in stores, where they’ve quickly sold out, but perhaps on eBay, where you can get an authentic single Shino card for around $US25 (A$34) (or take your chances on an unopened pack of six random cards, which starts around $US20 (A$27)). Or maybe on Etsy, where enterprising sellers have been drumming out bootleg Animal Crossing Amiibo cards and coins since the game launched last year.
I spoke to one prolific Etsy seller who’s been very busy since the update went live last week. Though they prefer to remain anonymous, they did offer me a glimpse at a screenshot showing which new characters sold the most over the weekend. During that period they sold 106 Ione tokens, 128 Sashas, and 138 Shinos. The next closest, with 73 units sold, was good old Raymond.
I opted to acquire Shino the old-fashioned way, by spending large amounts of Nook Miles tickets and hoping for the best. It took between 80 and 90 island visits, during which I passed on Faith the Koala, but I finally found the mysterious and chatty Shino.
I’ll let you folks know should she ever decide to move away, but I expect we’ll be deer friends for quite some time.