If there are two characters from Japanese pop culture that just about anyone can recognise, they are Pikachu and Mario. Mario, that cheeky Italian plumber many of us have grown up with, celebrated his 35th anniversary last year! And for someone so important and for such a big event, well, the celebrations are still happening. You guessed it, we are talking about a collaboration event!
One of the biggest malls in Japan, PARCO, is doing a special event to celebrate Mario and his friend’s anniversary. It won’t just be happening at any PARCO, though; it will be available only at the Shibuya location. Shibuya PARCO is already known for being an otaku destination due to many of the stores that are there all the time, so it’s the perfect choice for a host.
What’s Going On Here?
Shibuya PARCO is already home to Japan’s only Nintendo Store, so Mario is no stranger to it at all. This time, though, he has expanded beyond the walls of just one shop! The Mario collaboration at PARCO features over 60 items from nearly every store in the mall. Almost every shop is releasing one special Mario-themed item, and some even have more than one. They range from subtle and simple to outrageous and in-your-face, and there’s something for just about every budget, too. It's not just clothes, either, there are also accessories, decorations, phone cases, and more! So even if you aren’t fashion-forward, there is still a Mario item for you.
It’s not uncommon for malls in Japan to do these sorts of themed collaborations with each store in the mall offering something in their own style that suits the theme. These items are often coveted as they are only available for a limited time, and the Mario item collaboration is no different. It just began on July 1st and will run until the items sell out, available online and in the store in Shibuya only. That makes these some rare, hot goods for Mario fans to add to their collection! When they’re gone, they’re gone, so if you are planning to buy something it’s better to get it fast.
Show Me the Goods!
With over 60 different Mario products to choose from, we don’t have time to talk about them all. But we did choose some of our favourites so let’s have a look at them now! It’s hard to not start with the dress from the famous Lolita fashion brand Angelic Pretty, made in the image of Princess Peach’s iconic outfit. The store is also releasing a wide range of accessories to go with the dress! If you’re not confident you can pull off an entire Lolita look, there are so many shirts to choose from. Our favourite is by Nubian, which has made a classy button-up top with a huge image of Mario on one side. FURFUR also released a handbag that looks like a Bullet Bill, which actually is quite a convenient shape for a bag. If you want something to wear to the office, look no further than a range of ties from giraffe. They aren’t too bold, so you can get away with them even in a formal setting. And if you want your love of Mario to be a bit more secret (and you want to wear it on any occasion), HIPSHOP made a huge line of boxers with many characters interestingly paired with various realistic foods.
If you’re not interested in fashion, don’t worry. Murasaki Sports, a skateboard and surfing chain, have made some really cool skate decks. Shimamura Music has also released some Mario-themed guitars! We especially love the one covered in gold coins. If your budget is a bit smaller, there are also quite a few keychains and phone cases available at many of the PARCO shops. We are willing to splurge on the phone case by Samantha Thavasa Petit Choice, though, because it has moving gold stars to compliment the coins and who can resist that it looks like a screenshot from the old games?!
There are even some truly Japanese items in the PARCO collaboration, just in time for the summer festival season. We absolutely love the yukata from Kimono by Nadeshiko, which is black with a design from the original Mario games along the bottom. The selling point is the “M” on both sides of the chest exactly where samurai crests would be found traditionally! There are also some great summer fans available from Discover Japan Lab that are budget-friendly. They’re fun and useful, so you don’t have to feel guilty about spending some money.
Be sure to check the official website to see the full range of items available here - https://parco.jp/supermario/item/
Mario and his friends have certainly left an impression in Shibuya this summer, and the PARCO item collaboration is worth seeing even if you don’t plan to buy anything. It’s really fun to see what each store has made to add to the event, each in the vein of that shop’s speciality and style. So how about it? Are you ready to drop some money on a truly unique Mario item? You’d better get them while they’re still available, or you’ll be disappointed forever!
Which of these items would you love to snag? What kind of Mario item would you like to see? What other series do you think would make a great item collaboration like this? Are you planning to buy something from this collection? Drop us your comments and questions below!