MARGIN MAKERS: Guide to Nintendo merchandise

Matthew Jarvis
MARGIN MAKERS: Guide to Nintendo merchandise

The Japanese gaming giant has seen some challenging times as of late, but continues to provide a wealth of products branded with iconic franchises for retail opportunities. MCV dives in

Mario. Zelda. Metroid. Donkey Kong. Name almost any of Nintendo’s many flagship franchises or iconic design aspects and you’ll see a wave of nostalgia and sentiment ripple through assembled gamers.

It’s unsurprising given the sheer scale of Nintendo’s audience. By the start of 2014, the firm had sold 153.98 million Nintendo DS consoles, accompanied by 942.32 million software titles – making it the best-selling games console to date. The DS’ sibling living room console, the Wii, was almost as fruitful, selling 100.9 million hardware units and 892.34 million games.

While the Wii U hasn’t seen the same explosion in sales, it is beginning to gain momentum after a sticky start. This is partly thanks to the release of new titles in big staple franchises, with Mario Kart 8’s launch in May seeing it drive UK Wii U sales up by 666 per cent.

Nintendo’s distinctive portfolio continues to enthuse consumers – and should inspire an equal amount of excitement in retailers. There are hundreds of products inspired by Nintendo’s past and current catalogue, with marketing opportunities including both nostalgia and the firm’s kid-friendly persona. Veteran gamers might clamour for a SNES T-shirt, while children may long for a Mario cap.

Nintendo itself has also caught onto the wave of sentiment for merch based on its brands, adding a new merchandise section to its UK online store back in May. It has also begun to tie future products back into its games, including the recently announced Amiibo range of NFC-equipped figures. The figures, which are set to bring Skylanders-like collectability to the company’s beloved brands, will have a “significant impact” on Wii U sales, according to Nintendo America chief Reggie Fils-Alme. Retailers would be complete Goombas to miss out.


Amiibo

Set to launch alongside Super Smash Bros on Wii U, these ‘toys-to-life’ figures will connect to the platforms using NFC. Characters set to launch later this year include Link, Kirby, Mario, Zelda, Pikachu, Yoshi, Samus Aran and Fox McCloud, with more set for release in 2015.

SRP: TBA

Distributor: Nintendo

Contact: 0345 60 50 247


Zelda Shield Backpack

Just like Link, Zelda fans can now carry the Hyrulian crest on their back – but unlike Link they can also carry their belongings around in the iconic shield. Protection against Octoroks not guaranteed.

SRP: £34.99

Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK

Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com


3DS Executive Case

Aimed at those who want to bring a touch of style to their 3DS handheld, this leather-like case can also store two game cards.

SRP: £5.99

Distributor: AntiGrav Media

Contact: 01932 454 929


Tekken Tag 2 Fightstick

The Wii U Tournament Edition S marks the arcade stick’s debut on a Nintendo platform, and is designed with competitive players in mind.

SRP: £139

Distributor: Mad Catz

Contact: 01633 928 072


Hori GamePad Face Cover

This cover for the Wii U GamePad can flip down to protect the controller’s screen, as well as doubling as a stand and comfort grip.

SRP: £15

Distributor: Hori

Contact: infoeu@hori.jp


Goomba Laplander Hat

Mario fans can keep their heads warm with this hat styled on the hopping plumber’s iconic enemies.

SRP: £9.99

Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK

Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com


1UP Mushroom Gym Bag

Branded with the distinctive powerup, this brightly-coloured green bag also features outlines of other iconic Mario characters.

SRP: £9.99

Distributor: Meroncourt

Contact: 01462 680 060


Extreme Lounging Mighty-B B-Bag

Where better to sit during a game of Mario Kart than in a big banana skin beanbag? It’s much more comfortable than Bowser’s shell.

SRP: £99.95

Distributor: Lime

Contact: 01622 845 160

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Tags: Nintendo , merchandise , guide , mario , Margin Makers

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