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January 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 1




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Toy Sleuth: Partying With Plumbers

It’s a Mario World Out There


Super Mario Brothers? Yup. That little animated plumber just keeps on chuggin’. Mario’s everywhere. So without further ado, TDmonthly Magazine’s January Toy Sleuth looks at the wide world of new Mario toys.



MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Category: Licensed Products



Who wouldn’t want a bedroom graced by the soft light of a mushroom that looks like it’s straight from a Mario Brothers video game? Eric Chang reports from distributor Brando Workshop in Hong Kong that these are “selling very good,” and adults seem to crave them more than kids do. The LED lamp clicks on and off by pushing down on the head of the ‘shroom, and comes in red, blue and green.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16428      (added 12/5/2007)
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MSRP: $7.61
Age Range: 8 and up
Category: Novelties



Available in blue and pink, these fresheners come two to a pack and feature a lemonish-pine scent. “They are selling well, and lots of adults who remember the older Nintendo games will order them,” said a sales representative at distributor DealExtreme. “I haven’t seen one yet, but I want one for my car.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16429      (added 12/5/2007)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Category: Novelties



Mix an old-style Nintendo/Famicom controller with two plumbers, throw in a low handicap and the back nine and you have this mini golf set. Standing 3” high, Mario and Luigi take turns hitting golf balls into the included hole. “I thought they’d be cheap at first, but they’re largely sturdy. They are difficult, and can be quite challenging,” said Dane Raleigh, a toy collector in London. “Me and the mates took it to the pub and played nine holes, set up along the bar. Loser paid for the round. It was great fun.” The game requires two AAA batteries. ThinkGeek is a distributor for this game.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16430      (added 12/5/2007)
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MSRP: $2.95
Age Range: 5 and up
Category: Novelties



These blocks put the sounds of the Mario Brothers video game at your fingertips, with each figure (roughly 3” tall) having one “signature” sound: Fire Mario shoots a fireball, Mario powers up, and Luigi gets an extra life. Press down on their heads and hear the power. Miss Tanaka of Strapya World finds them “...quite cute. I have Mario on my desk. He is very funny. I think they sell great. And a good price.”
— Super Mario Brothers figures rank as a best-selling item at Puzzle Zoo toy stores, Co-owner Jay Demircift told TDmonthly in early 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16431      (added 12/5/2007)
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MSRP: $7.95
Age Range: 6 and up
Category: Novelties
Collectibles



These collectible key chains make Super Mario sounds, such as the 1Up sound or Start effect, when pressed. Each of the five has a different character/item and is in a different color. Eiko Koga, a representative at the Bandai Hobby Center in Shizuoka, Japan, thought they were adorable. “I am a big fan of Mario, as are many people. Children and adults collect these and hope to get them all. Plus, they hold your keys. I like them very much.” As of December 2007, TDmonthly’s Toy Sleuth said these were not yet available in the United States.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16432      (added 12/5/2007)
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Writer's Bio: Mark Zaslove is an entertainment industry veteran in developing content (writing, directing and producing television and feature films) for the major studios, including Disney, Universal and Warner Bros. A two-time Emmy Award winner for writing and recipient of the Humanitas Prize (for writing uplifting human values in television and movies), Mark is also Head of Content Development for Nice Entertainment. Read more articles by this author

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