While out rummaging through the bargain bins at a local gaming store, I
happened upon something that immediately won my heart. Near the check-out counter they had these
adorable little replicas of the iconic Super Mario Mushrooms. The only way this could get better,
I thought, is if they were full of candy! Which they are.
You see, what these really are, are collectable tins released to promote the game New Super
Mario Bros. Wii for, well, the Wii. The tins also contain sour candies. There are more varieties than
just the mushrooms, though, as these tins come in three varieties - count 'em:
The store I was visting were only carrying the mushrooms, but I had seen the stars at another
store. I haven't seen the blocks in person, although they do intrigue me. The stars, really, seem
like the weakest of the lot. Not because they aren't cute and iconic, but simply because they are
the most conspicous. It's a bit difficult to explain, but the star is very obviously a tin, while
the mushroom looks like a mushroom, and the block is very much block-like. Well, let's put it this
way: looking at the mushrooms or the blocks, you might just think they are figurines or small toys,
but the star is very obviously a container. It just bothers me, but I'll be getting to why I like
the mushroom so much in just a bit.
The mushrooms come in three colors. Each color also represents a different flavor. The green are green
apple, the red are cherry, and the blue are... blue raspberry? Blueberry? Something blue, in any case. At the
store where I purchased this thing,
there were no blue ones, and only one green one left. That's the one I ended up getting. The three colors
actually match up to the three types of mushrooms seen in the game. Red = Super Mushroom.
Blue = Mini Mushroom. And green, of course, is the legendary 1up! This alone was as much a deciding
factor in which of the available ones I bought as much as the fact that there was only one of them left.
Really, if you had to choose, wouldn't you pick another chance at life after you die? Who would want
a mushroom that makes you bigger? On second thought, please don't answer that.
Looking at the tin head on from a distance, one might not even expect that this thing is any sort of
container. It's really a rather clever design. Looking closer, it's not hard to guess that the
cap pops off, exposing the candies inside.
The candies inside are also mushroom-shaped, which is a nice little touch. They're a rather
sickly green color, and their scent is a little odd, though. One could even call it a stench.
Tasting one, though, I was surprised that, hey, the candy isn't too bad! The sourness is potent, but
not overwhelming, and they're sweet, but not too sweet. They have a nice mouth-watering flavor, but
it doesn't really taste all that much like green apples. All around decent, but not great. Considering
that flavor isn't usually the first priority with novelty, promotional products like these, it could
have been a lot worse. Just don't eat too many in one sitting.
The real star of this show is the tin itself. I'll be honest, I'm a big Mario nut. One thing
about the series that has always attracted me, besides the quality gameplay, are the simple, yet
iconic and endearing graphics. Everything is so colorful and memorable, from the characters, to the
enemies, to the items, to the blocks you break open to get coins.
It stands to a testiment of the utter timelessness of those graphics that, even in this age of
high-def warriors in pimpin' robot armour and bad-ass laser cannons that shoot missles that in turn
shoot out even more missiles, this simple
mushroom is still one of the most immediately recognizable symbols of gaming culture. It's recreated
beautifully in this little tin. The colors are great, with a very attractive green. And, although
there's not a lot of detail to be replicated here, the details that do exist are absolutely
perfect. Just look at those adorable little eyes, piercing into your very soul.
If there is
one downside, it's that the pattern of dots on the caps of some of the mushrooms seem to be off-center, and several pictures I have
found of these online confirm that this a common error. Let's just pretend like the little guys are wearing their caps askew
in a jaunty, playful fashion on purpose. It's a sign of their individuality!
There are no blemmishes or anything to destroy the illusion that this is, in fact, a real-life
extra-life. It's a near-perfect replica of its in-game counterpart. A serial number is printed on
the back, but most of the manufacturing information is relegated to the bottom of the tin where it doesn't
distract from the 'shroom's overall appearance. It's even emblazened
with the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality! Not that it ever really meant much, but it's still a nifty
Even after you've finished off all the candies, the tin is useful for keeping loose knic-knacs or
spare change. However, it's good enough to display on its own. It comes highly recommended - the
candy's not bad either! I won't say it's some must-have collectable that everyone should absolutely
get, though. It's cute, but they can be expensive for something so simple. As a promotional item,
they'll probably be gone eventually, although if I was still able to get them 4 months after the
release of the game in question, it shouldn't be too difficult to get your hands on one. Although, it has
to be harder than getting the things in the actual game.