Mario’s marvelous mug has appeared across many Nintendo consoles but some are so rare and strange many fans are surprised they even exist.
By Tristan Jurkovich
Published 4 hours ago
The Mario franchise, in its 35 years, has seen many console bundles. After all, that was one of the only ways to buy an NES for the longest time which was a bundle that came with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. As Nintendo’s star, it goes without saying then that they would want to feature him in various bundles over the years to incentivize people to buy their consoles.?
RELATED: Every Nintendo Console Ranked By Their Launch Prices
These bundles usually are plain and just come with a game though. It was very rare for Nintendo to release official console variations starring Mario characters in other words. Of the ones out there, most are pretty much exclusive to handhelds so let’s go through some of the bigger variations in Mario’s history.?
Wario often doesn’t get the love he deserves and this might be the only special console he has received. It was part of a contest in the UK, making it exclusive to that region. It’s a black first-gen version of the Game Boy with Wario’s face in the middle. From the contest, it appears that only about 25 units were made making this Game Boy incredibly rare.?
A.C. Fiorentina is a soccer team in Italy. At one point Nintendo became a sponsor for the team so in doing so, they also commissioned these custom Game Boy Color units for them. Each kit seems to have come with Soccer and Super Mario Land as well as the handheld itself. How many were made exactly is unknown but a good guess would be in the hundreds as each Game Boy Color has a number attached.?
This Game Boy color was made and distributed only in Japan. There’s not much to say about it. The only big difference between this model and a normal clear purple Game Boy Color are the two Marios on the screen. While it was sold only to that region, it did receive a mass shipment so compared to some of these other entries, it’s not that rare.?
First of all, Bathing Ape is a clothing brand in Japan. They teamed up with Nintendo to distribute two different versions of this DS model which were sold in their stores. There were only about 5000 made at max although it could have been as low as 1000.?
RELATED: 10 Crazy Stories About Super Mario Galaxy’s Development
There is a light?tan model with white Mario powers adored on the front likes Super Stars and Fire Flowers. The other DS is all white with these symbols colored in. The oddest thing about this partnership isn’t the handheld itself but the box art showing a somewhat creepy, dead-eyed Mario.?
This limited edition series appears to have been in Japan only. The handhelds, like this Donkey Kong version, show off the year 2005 and are the original bulky models and not the more sleek DS Lite units. Besides Donkey Kong, other Mario characters were highlighted including the man himself, Bowser, and Peach just to name a few. Apparently, only a hundred of these were made.?
Last year was Mario’s 35th anniversary which saw all kinds of celebratory releases. Five years earlier was no different as this 3DS model proves. It’s not just a celebration of Mario but Nintendo itself. Pixel versions of?Link, Wii Fit Trainer, Star Fox, and more can be seen on the handheld. This means it was probably tied into Super Mario Maker as one could get those characters through Amiibo input. This was widely released, but in Japan only.?
This model of the 3DS XL did receive a North American release in 2012. It coincided with the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2. That said, oddly enough Luigi is missing from the artwork on the handheld’s cover even though this game was marketed as a co-op platformer. It is nice artwork to be fair and it coming with the game was a good deal, but Luigi should have also been featured.?
Luigi did get a chance to shine in 2013 when Nintendo declared it the Year of Luigi. This event ran from 2013 to 2014, with Nintendo showcasing various Luigi-themed projects including this RPG. It too came with the game pre-installed but the best part about the bundle was the handheld. The front cover art on the 3DS is great and on the back is a seal marking it officially as part of the Year of Luigi.?
This model of the 3DS XL is extremely rare as only about four of them were made. They were distributed through a Puzzles and Dragons contest in Japan. This is odd considering this is a phone game.
RELATED: Nintendo: 5 Things Super Mario Does Better Than Zelda (& 5 That LOZ Does Better)
In the future, Nintendo would collaborate on a 3DS game crossing over both properties with?Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario Bros. Maybe this handheld then was the spark that got that project started.?
As previously mentioned, last year was Mario’s big 35th blowout. One of the last projects released was this Game & Watch handheld. The Game & Watch had not been released in any form in decades so bringing this handheld series back with this decked-out Mario version was a nice throwback. Unlike the NES or SNES mini consoles, Nintendo thankfully made quite a few of these.?
NEXT: The 10 Biggest Nintendo Games Turning 20 In 2021
Elder Scrolls Online: 10 Best Templar Builds, Ranked (For 2021)
About The Author
(365 Articles Published)
Tristan Jurkovich began his career as a journalist in 2011. His childhood love of video games and writing fuel his passion for archiving this great medium’s history. He dabbles in every genre, but he’s particularly fond of RPGs and portable consoles. Aside from writing, Tristan also produces a plethora of videos on his YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer. Check it out!
More From Tristan Jurkovich