Right now, Mario is one of the most iconic and recognisable video game characters of all time, and with the new Mario movie due to premiere next year, the little Italian plumber’s popularity is set to grow even more. The fact that he has starred in so many fantastic Mario games are accessible to all ages, meaning any gamer, young or old, can enjoy his whimsical adventures. His enormous popularity means that Super Mario toys can make excellent choices for gamer gifts this holiday season.
Of course, it’s not just Mario. He may be the mascot, but part of the appeal of the series is that the Mushroom Kingdom is populated with a huge cast of quirky characters, most of whom have had a chance to be playable in at least one of the spin-off games. The good news is that lots of these characters have been made into toys of the years.
To help make your holiday shopping just a little less stressful, we’ve gathered together eight of the best Super Mario toys and gifts. We’ve tried to incorporate as many different characters as possible, but keep in mind that we’re only listing eight products here, so don’t be mad that we couldn’t include Geno, Sonny, Stanley the Bugman or any of the other obscure, but beloved, figures from the series.
The best Super Mario gifts are:
The collaboration between Nintendo and LEGO that led to the LEGO Mario range is one that continues to please and delight fans. What sets this apart from other LEGO ranges is that they’ve tried to capture some of the gameplay mechanics from the Super Mario games in the physical LEGO sets themselves, making them much more interactive than classic brick builds. The LEGO Mario figure makes various sound effects and triggers certain actions with the different parts of the LEGO set.
There are two starter sets, one of which comes with LEGO Mario and the other with LEGO Luigi, and then there are tons of other sets which let you build new levels for the two mustachioed heroes to traverse. There’s even a companion app available for you to track their adventures.
Donkey Kong Mario Kart Figure
Not only is Donkey Kong a popular addition to the Mario cast, but he’s the star of his own series too. In fact, if you really get down to it, the Mario series is a spin-off of the Donkey Kong series. Naturally, there are tons of neat Donkey Kong toys and if we had to choose one, we recommend this Donkey Kong Mario Kart figure.
This Hallmark Keepsake depicts Donkey Kong riding in one of the karts from Mario Kart. Not only is it a great gift to represent the glorious gorilla, but it doubles as a Christmas tree ornament if you’re looking for a gaming-themed festive celebration.
Bowser’s Castle Playset
Bowser’s Castle is one of the most iconic locations in the Mushroom Kingdom. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that it’s one of the most iconic ‘final levels’ in all of video game history (even when it’s not actually the last level of the game). Sometimes it’s a stop along your adventures around the worlds of Mario;, sometimes it’s a race track; sometimes it’s a golf course.
This Bowser’s Castle playset is a pretty cool recreation of the famous World 8 estate and it even comes with the king of the Dark Lands himself: Lord Bowser Koopa. It’s full of lava, lifts, Fire Bars, traps and more. Anyone who loves Bowser is likely to have a lot of fun with this set.
Princess Peach Plush
Princess Peach is the most prolific female video game character. Though she may have been kidnapped an unfortunately large number of times, she’s been a playable character (and even hero) more times than any other female character in the entire history of gaming.
For fans of the Mushroom Kingdom monarch, this cute little Peach plush is likely to make an appealing gift. She stands at ten inches tall and comes, of course, with a lovely, shiny crown.
That thin, neatly trimmed moustache. The slender, swimmer’s build. Those long, long legs that never seem to stop. Those piercing, black, soulful eyes which betray hidden depths. Waluigi may never have taken the centre spotlight, but he is definitely one of the most popular characters among fans (and several dubious fanfics).
If you happen to know someone who’s got a soft spot for the upside-down-L man, then you might want to get them this Waluigi switch controller. Not only is it a good way to beat Switch drift, but it looks pretty darn great too. With its battery life of up to 30 hours and an ergonomic design to make it easy on your hands, it’s a great choice even if you’re planning on having a 50-turn game of Mario Party Superstars.
Everyone loves the Yoshisaur Munchakoopas. It’s hard not to be won over by these adorable dinosaurs. From their cute voices all the way through to the way that they march on the spot, there’s a lot to love about them. Not only have they had a huge presence in the Mario series itself, but their own series of games has its own dedicated fanbase.
I know what you’re thinking though: if I buy a Yoshi toy, how will I ever decide which colour to get? They’re all so cute, but there’s so many of them! Well, allow us to draw your attention towards the Yoshi 5-pack. Here you get green, blue, white, yellow and black Yoshis altogether, because all Yoshis are created equal.
The ‘bad Mario’ has always had quite a few fans of his own and, no doubt, since the release of WarioWare: Get It Together!, a number of newer players are starting to understand his appeal. Not only can he be a very weird character (in the very best of ways), but he also has a more distinct personality than Mario, for example, who is more of an everyman.
If you know somebody who’s taken a shine to this garlic-munching treasure-hunter/games-developer, then he’s no doubt their character of choice for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Perhaps they’ll enjoy this shirt, which proudly bears the slogan: “I don’t always win at Mario Kart, but when I do it’s cuz I’m Wario”.
Super Mario amiibo
From Animal Crossing to Zelda, Nintendo have an amiibo for almost every one of their main franchises and, of course, Super Mario is no exception. Most of the main Mario characters have been immortalised as an amiibo and they tend to offer some unique functionality, too. The great thing about amiibo is that they double up as collector’s figures and toys, as well as playable in-game characters.
Mario, Luigi, Rosalina, Daisy, Boo, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and many others are all part of the amiibo range. The likelihood is that if someone has a favourite Mario character, they’ll be available as an amiibo. If you’re buying for someone and you’re not sure who their favourite character is, we’ve got some top picks for you below.
We hope that this helps you to find the right Christmas present for any Switch gamers in your life. Of course, they’d also love a new game, so you might want to check out our guide to the best games on Switch to give you an idea of what they might enjoy.