As Mario celebrates his 30th birthday and with Super Mario Maker now on shelves, MCV thought this would be a prime opportunity to look back at the classic franchise
Mario: it's a name that has defined the entire video games industry for decades, with no need for an introduction.
Nintendo's enduring franchise has long been the best-selling games brand ever created, with over half a billion units sold around the world. Birthed as a platformer, the IP has explored nearly every genre in existence – from the sports games like Mario Tennis and Gold, to RPGs such as Paper Mario.
Last year's Mario Kart 8 propelled UK sales of the Wii U by over 660 per cent, with the console bundled with the game accounting for four-fifths of the units sold. Further afield, the racing title shifted 1.2 million copies in four days, becoming the best-selling game on the platform. It has since gone on to sell more than 5.43 million units globally – meaning that the title's software attach rate is more than 50 per cent.
This year has already seen the launch of several Mario spin-offs, including puzzler Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker and platformer Yoshi's Woolly World. Multiplayer game Mario Party saw its tenth instalment, which brought the series' sales since its debut in 1999 to almost 40 million. Mario has even popped up in other franchises, such as Puzzle & Dragons.
Although much of Mario's strength lies in its various sequels and spin-offs this month sees the release of a unique Mario title. For the first time, Super Mario Maker will allow players to create their own levels in a variety of styles from the last 30 years.
With Super Mario Maker appealing to nostlagic Mario fans (and non-nostalgic fans, too, as New Super Mario Bros is also present), there's never been a better time to stock merchandise celebrating the gaming icon's industry-defining success.
Nintendo Super Mario Bros Retro Badge Pack
Mario die-hards can express their fondness for the Goomba-squishing Italian plumber with these four pin badges. Measuring 32mm, the badges all boast licensed high-resolution artwork and can be attached to clothes, bags or the collar of a pet Yoshi dinosaur, if they have one to hand.
Manufacturer: GB Posters
Distributor: GB Eye
Mario Skin and Filter Set for Wii U
Containing a skin for the Wii U Game Pad, as well as four smaller skins for Wii Remotes – this colourful pack will help gamers spruce up their controllers. Each Wii Remote skin features a different Mario character, while the Game Pad cover showcases Mario alongside Luigi, Yellow Toad and Blue Toad. Also included in the set is a screen filter for the Wii U Game Pad, which will safeguard against scratches.
K'Nex Luigi Standard Bike Building Set
Mario's green-clad brother gets into the driving seat – literally – with this buildable K'Nex model.
Distributor: Tomy UK
Contact: 01271 336 155
Super Mario Bros 2 NES Cover T-Shirt
Classic Mario fans can celebrate one of the character's more unusual outings with this throwback T-shirt.
Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK
Amiibo End Level ModularDisplay Stand
This customisable stand is designed so that Amiibo fans can showcase their entire Super Mario toy collection.
Distributor: ILT Distribution
Contact: 0845 519 7053
Super Mario Series ForEasy Piano
34 iconic piano arrangements from across the Mario franchise fill this book for lovers of video game music.
Super Mario Magikoopa Soft Toy
One of Super Mario's most notorious and tricky enemies, this plush Magikoopa stands seven inches high.
Distributor: Five Element Distribution
Super Mario Super Star Candies
They might be shaped like the Super Star, but these sweets don't grant invincibility. (We know, we tried).
Manufacturer: Boston America
Distributor: Boston America