Mario has acquired quite a few fans throughout his 35 years as the mascot of the best selling video game franchise ever. His unique cast of characters and weird and wonderful power-ups make for some very cool toys and novelty merchandise that, in turn, make great birthday or Christmas gifts for any Mario, Luigi or Yoshi fans in your life.
However, the mass appeal of Super Mario, Mario Bros and Mario Kart means that a single gift could appeal to one fan while disappointing another. By walking you through everything you need to consider, our guide will point you in the direction of the perfect personalised present. We've also included 9 fantastic gift ideas available to order online in the UK. Heere we gooo!
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Begin your search, and you'll soon be overwhelmed by the immense amount of irresistible Mario merchandise on offer. Luckily, the process of narrowing down your search is really quite simple. Read on for our buying guide, where we'll show you exactly what to look out for.
You'd think that, because Mario appeals to all ages, finding an age appropriate gift would be easy, but this is only partly the case. While you won't find many Mario gifts with age ratings higher than the standard 3+ for toys or 7+ for games, this means you're left with the majority being suitable for all ages!
If you're buying for a younger fan, it's up to you to go with your instincts and decide whether something is suitable. You may also want to avoid any references to older games, sticking instead with more recent ones – chances are they won't have played the 35-year old Super Mario, and they may not even recognise him in his 8-bit form!
The opposite problem occurs when treating older gamers, and you want to avoid inadvertently buying a gift intended for kids. The rules are a bit looser here, of course, and many adults will be happy to welcome Mario toys into their home. Don't be deterred by cute designs and bright colours, either – it was adults that voted Super Mario Odyssey game of the year!
The Mario series is well known for its colourful cast of characters, which has grown considerably over the years. People live and die by their favourite Mario Kart racer, and if you want to find a gift that, like a blue shell, is sure to hit the spot, you can do no better than discovering who their favourite character is.
It's certainly not all about the man in red – Peach tied with him in a recent poll for most popular Mario Kart character; Luigi has an army of devoted fans, and Yoshi has become something of a pop culture icon. Even lesser known characters like Boo have their own cult followings, and there's a sizeable subsection of fans desperate for Waluigi to star in his own game!
Of course, the more obscure a character is, the harder it gets to find associated merchandise, and in some cases, it may even mean ordering from Japan. Whatever the case, however, knowing their favourite character can be a useful means of narrowing down the search to find something they'll love.
Despite its vastness, the world of Mario gifts can nonetheless be sorted into just a few categories. Consider the other interests of your recipient, and if you can use this information to glean what sort of gift they might appreciate, you're on your way to finding the perfect present.
If you've noticed the recipient has a noticeable hole in their Mario game collection, why not hunt one down a copy? With review aggregate tool Metacritic at your disposal, you can even check if it's any good before you fork out (spoiler alert: most mainline Mario games are very good, it's the spin-offs and sports titles that are little ropey)
The downside is that certain games can be pricey. Usually, the older a game is, the higher the price, but Nintendo's recent decision to make Super Mario 3D All Stars a limited release also means some newer games rocket in price – if they're yet to play Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, or Super Mario Galaxy, you may want to get hold of a copy before this happens!
If they're not short on games, you may want to help out with gaming accessories. Mario-themed versions of everything from controllers to carry cases and consoles themselves can be found, and because Mario's bright, colourful aesthetic is so visually appealing, they often look pretty great too.
Mario's world is a happy place, so it makes sense that fans might enjoy bringing a little bit of this positivity into the real world. There's arguably no better way of doing this than allowing them to adorn their home with some Mario-themed decorations, whether they're spread around the home or confined to the 'man cave'!
These make take the form of more subtle items, like a classy framed poster, or perhaps something a little more on the nose, such as replicas of in-game items. Paladone, for example, produce a range of lights shaped like recognisable Mario objects, such as the power-up mushroom or fire flower, that any Mario fan is sure to love.
Just make sure you consider who you're buying for. Some people, no matter how passionately they feel about something, have no desire to have their interest displayed around their home, especially if their home utilises a décor that contrasts with that of the Mushroom Kingdom!
If you're buying for someone that likes to wear their passions on their sleeve, you could do worse than buying them some Mario clothing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there's far more Mario clothing for kids than adults out there, and you'll find everything from socks and shoes to jumpers, hoodies and pyjamas.
Clothing is an easy buy and pretty guaranteed to please a young Mario fan, but again, make sure you consider the tastes of who you're shopping for. While some might be quite happy to while the way away the hours playing Mario's latest adventure, they may feel less than enthusiastic about wearing a shirt with his face adorned upon it!
Both on the screen and off it, the Mario series has always been about play, and there are plenty of Mario toys that'll allow them to do just that when they're taking a break from gaming. Often, these are toys that offer 'real world' versions of some of Mario's most popular titles.
The Mario Kart remote control car, for example, will allow them to drift around corners and switch into zero-gravity mode, just as they would in the game. Then, there are the recently released LEGO sets. They can be costly, but these sets are highly collectable, fun to build, and, of course, they can be played with once completed!
Finally, there are plushies – soft, cuddly versions of the series' most popular characters. They're perfect for a Mario-themed kid's room, but don't rule them out if you're buying for a grown up. Just try and go for officially licensed products if you can, as the unofficial plushies can get a little bit rough around the edges.
Whether it's the residual joy of finally finding 120 stars all those years ago we're not sure, but there's something about gamers that means we just love collecting stuff. If you're buying for someone that loves unique showpieces and rare curiosities, you're in luck, as there are plenty of Mario collectables out there.
Most often these are limited run items, either made to mark a specific moment or in short supply because they're more luxurious and not intended for widespread sale. Definitely not designed for younger gamers, these items can reach very high prices (though there are some affordable options) and are intended solely for displaying.
The Nintendo-produced amiibo figures are always a safe bet, though their limited production means they too are often sold for considerably inflated prices.
Click to purchase
Super Mario Encyclopaedia Limited Edition: The Official Guide to the First 30 Years
A Beautifully Illustrated Guide to the Super Mario World
Super Mario Odyssey for Nintendo Switch
Treat a Switch Gamer to Mario's Latest Solo Platformer
Super Mario Adventures Starter Course Interactive Figure & Buildable Game
The Perfect Course to Kick-Start Their LEGO Mario Adventure
Luigi's Mansion 3: 9" PVC Painted Statue
An Incredible Statue Recreation of Mario's Ghost-Hunting Brother
Mario Kart 8 Anti-Gravity RC Racer
The Perfect Pick for Mario Kart Fans
Mario Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch
1-Up Their Switch With a Novelty Wireless Controller
A Cute Celebration of Brotherly Love for Young Fans
Super Mario Bros. (NES Cover) Mounted & Framed
A Classy Print to Celebrate Pop Culture's Favourite Plumber
Super Mario Bros Mushroom Light With Sound
Power-Up Their Bedroom With This Cute Nightlight
Don't let the fact that this encyclopaedia is now 3 years old deter you. It's only missing a handful of titles (many of which are only remakes anyway) and it's the latest edition, so it still provides an amazingly comprehensive guide to Mario and his universe.
Featuring page after page of details and colourful images, it's a nostalgic journey through the past, and for many young fans, a great introduction to parts of Mario history they've never experienced. It's all the joy and happiness of Mario's universe packed into one handsome volume, and that's why it's our number one pick.
Apart from his divisive GameCube outing, Mario's 3D platforming adventures have all been universally well received. Incredibly, Super Mario Odyssey manages to maintain (and in many people's eyes, exceed!) this high standard.
Sticking with the tried-and-tested 'collect-a-thon' style, Odyssey also introduces Cappy, a cap that allows Mario to 'embody' different enemies and objects. It's currently one of the only games to boast a 97% positive rating on Metacritic, meaning that whether your recipient is a Mario fan, a video gamer or just a human in general, this is a must-have.
The recent collaboration between Mario and LEGO saw many fans rejoice, but the immense number of sets and pieces available, as well as the hefty price that many of them come at, can be a little overwhelming. This starter course is a great place to begin, not least because it's one of the only sets to actually include Mario!
It's also noteworthy because it features a fully playable course without the need for any add-ons: obstacles, a pipe, and enemies all come included, so they can play straight out of the box, or at least once they've built everything up! If they feel the need to expand further there are plenty of add-on sets available too.
Among gamers with a little more money to spend, First4Figures are well known for their incredible statue recreations of famous video game characters. This lovingly hand-painted model celebrates Mario's lanky sidekick in his recent ghost-fighting outing, Luigi's Mansion 3, complete with a terrified expression etched on his face.
Originally just a 'green Mario', Luigi has very much developed his own distinct personality over the years, and he now holds a special place in many gamer's hearts. This amazing statue is a perfect piece of ornamentation for Luigi fans worldwide.
Mario Kart toys have been a thing for a while but – just as Mario Kart 8 has elevated the game series to impressive new heights – this latest model really takes things to the next level. Just as in the game, Mario can switch into anti-gravity mode and perform drifts and spins.
Another officially-licensed product, the level of detail on the kart and Mario himself are simply stunning. It's the next level in remote control cars, and kids and grown-ups alike are sure to find plenty of entertainment in creating their own courses and weaving Mario around their home.
Whether their Joy-Cons have fallen prone to the infamous 'drift' or they're simply looking for something more comfortable, there's never a bad time to update your Switch controller.
PowerA are industry leaders when it comes to gaming controllers, and this one is supremely comfortable and completely wireless with up to 30 hours play time between charges. An essential purchase, and that's before we even mention the beautiful and vibrant Mario design! Let's-a play!
Originally beloved by older video game enthusiasts, Mario's success has now blossomed to the point that he has a whole host of younger fans. Let's be honest, there's nothing sweeter than Mario and Luigi's brotherly love, and any young gamer is bound to love this jumper, with the famous duo mid-high-five.
The colourful print, and the jumper itself, are of the highest quality, and we particularly recommend it for twins or siblings that you want to encourage to get along, just like the Mario brothers themselves!
There aren't many game franchises that can boast 35 successful years. What better way to honour Nintendo's mascot than this framed print, which features that game that started it all and the brothers' first appearance on a home console, Super Mario Bros.
Simultaneously a celebration of the portly plumber, video games, and just pop culture in general, it'd look especially great in a Mario-themed room, but its 8-bit aesthetic and classy frame means it'd look fantastic pretty much anywhere.
Just as Mario has used mushrooms to power himself up since the early days, this cute mushroom nightlight can be used to power up your kid's bedroom. It's a faithful reproduction of the in-game item and it even makes the power-up sound when you switch it on!
It's a little on the small side, so it's not the best light. Treat it as ornament, however, and it's an essential purchase for any Mario fan. If your recipient has another preferred Mario motif, Paladone also offer lights shaped like other items and creatures from the series, such as the fire flower or Boo.
Mario and co. might dominate the market, but that doesn't mean there aren't other highly successful video game series. In the world of film, too, the battle for most popular franchise operates on a more level playing field. If you're searching for a gift for a pop culture aficionado, look no further than the lists below!
There are so many great Mario gifts out there that the problem isn't finding them, it's narrowing them down! Hopefully our guide will help you do just that – just don't say we didn't warn you when you end up buying a few things for yourself! All of which leaves us with only one more thing to say: thank you so much for-a reading our guide! See you next time!
Author: Ben Willimett
No. 1：Nintendo｜Super Mario Encyclopaedia Limited Edition: The Official Guide to the First 30 Years
No. 2：Nintendo｜Super Mario Odyssey for Nintendo Switch
No. 3：LEGO｜Super Mario Adventures Starter Course Interactive Figure & Buildable Game｜71360
No. 4：First4Figures｜Luigi's Mansion 3: 9" PVC Painted Statue
No. 5：Nintendo｜Mario Kart 8 Anti-Gravity RC Racer
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