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Playing With Power: A Nintendo Toy Review! (Episode One)

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to a new feature I intend to update whenever there’s absolutely nothing else to yap about! Nintendo is of course synonymous with game systems and software but any child of the 80’s will clearly remember staring at that red logo branded across just about every type of merchandise imaginable. Comic books, action figures, lunch boxes, breakfast cereal…you name it. And like any responsible adult, I’ve still got a pretty solid collection of this stuff lying around so from time to time I intend to pick one out and throw a few words at it. Today’s lucky customer is one that I can clearly remember taking home from a Toys R Us at the ripe old age of seven. Back when video games remained locked inside of your imagination until you took a little slip with the receipt stapled to it back to the bullet proof glass window behind the cash register. Typically there would be a small row featuring all kinds of “officially licensed” products next to the aisles that housed these magical pieces of paper but usually this stuff was kind of boring: Game cases and plush dolls, stuff like that. But every once in a while something incredibly cool would pop up which is of course how I came across this figure that I’ve managed to keep in (reasonably) decent shape for the past um…few years.

The Super Mario Bros. “3-Dimensional” Nintendo Trophy Figure:

SMBT

Well if it isn’t an early attempt at fusing Nintendo franchises with 3D *cough*technology*cough*! Now first off, let me please apologize for the quality of these photos…This is my first crack at a “real” photo blog so bear with me. I do plan on getting better at this as time goes on but then again I said the same thing after I lost my virginity so don’t place any bets. As you can see, this is a pretty cool little diorama that’s attempting to create a 3D-like presentation with a large Mario figure in the foreground while a castle is visible “off in the distance” behind him. Needless to say, despite the admittedly cool concept this thing absolutely fails to capture that effect in every possible way. It really just ends up looking like someone in the factory that produced these toys royally screwed up the dimensions and it was too late to do anything about it. Still, as a kid, owning any kind of Mario figure went a long way and these things were sold as “trophies” so obviously it was just begging to be proudly displayed. Y’know, next to the California Raisin figures that you’re not quite sure which cat chewed up but it was probably Klondike because he spends the most time outside. As you can see, there’s a little sticker on the bottom right corner that allowed kids to write in their name, the date and high score. Mine is as follows:

SMBT2

Name: Raymond G.
Date: 8/17/1988
High Score: 200,000

200,000!? I know what you’re thinking and I absolutely agree: 200,000 for a high score is a pretty conservative estimate. Especially considering the fact that I’m just about positive I was running through the original Super Mario Bros. without dying by that age. I had to double check to see how high the numbers go up in the actual game score and as expected, there’s some serious room for improvement here:

SMBSS

I have no idea what made me immortalize that specific number but I do know that that date is my Grandfather’s birthday so maybe he had something to do with it? By God, now I might have to pop this game in tonight just to make sure I can top it. Anyway, this guy has had a place of dust-collecting honor in every room I’ve lived in for the better part of my whole life despite the fact that looking back, there were far cooler trophies I could have chosen from. Aside from Mario, statues were released based on both The Legend of Zelda and Punch-Out!! games which regularly force me to replace bathroom mirrors if I think about them for too long. I’d post images of them for you but I really can’t bring myself to look them up through google images. Not again. In any case, this “Mario stomping on a bunch of sad-faced goombas” statue of mine has been through a lot with me and we share a common bond that only gets stronger with each passing year. It knows it and I know it. A secret that we will always share no matter how tough times may be.

I should have picked the one with Link fighting that Goddamned mummy.