Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary
Super Mario Bros 35th Anniversary logo.png
Anniversary logo, depicting a Goomba, Luigi, Toad, Bowser, Princess Peach, and Mario
DateSeptember 3, 2020 – March 31, 2021 (2020-09-03 – 2021-03-31)
TypeAnniversary event
Organized byNintendo
Websitemario.nintendo.com

The Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary[lower-alpha 1] is an ongoing celebration of the Super Mario franchise since its inception with Super Mario Bros. in 1985.[1][2] Nintendo went through multiple different avenues to celebrate the franchise including video games, toys, clothing and events.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

Rumors of an anniversary event began in late March 2020, when Video Games Chronicle first reported on a supposed insider leaking info on upcoming Mario games, including remastered 3D Mario games, under the banner Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary.[4] This was followed by more reports by VentureBeat, Gematsu, and Eurogamer confirming such info.[5][6][7] It was then believed that the anniversary celebration was meant to begin in mid-April 2020, due to certain dates found on the official website.[8] Other reports claimed that the anniversary was going to be the major focus of Nintendo's E3 2020 presentation.[9] However, these plans were likely changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which postponed the celebration until early September 2020.[10] Further evidence of the anniversary event was discovered on July 15, when fans uncovered a hidden Twitter account for the 35th anniversary, which used the same e-mail address as other official Nintendo accounts.[11] On September 3, 2020, Nintendo released a variant of their Nintendo Directs titled the "Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct".[12] In this Direct, many games were revealed that were to be released in the coming months, as well as a recap of previously released Mario branded merchandise from 2020.[3][13] The Direct ended with a montage of most of the mainline Mario releases since 1985, omitting Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Super Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and New Super Mario Bros. U.[lower-alpha 2][14][15] The celebration will end on March 31, 2021.[16]

Games[edit | edit source]

The first Mario game to be released in 2020 was Paper Mario: The Origami King, which released July 17.[17][18] Information for a Paper Mario game for the Nintendo Switch had been leaked to Eurogamer in late March 2020, including information that this was meant to be revealed as a part of the anniversary at E3 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the announcements were split,[19][20] and instead the game was announced May 14.[21][22]

In the September Nintendo Direct, it was revealed that Super Mario All-Stars would be coming to the Nintendo Switch Online SNES service, and was released on September 3;[23][24] this was rumored about a week before the reveal.[25] The next game celebrating the anniversary, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, was released on September 18, 2020.[26][27] It is a compilation title featuring Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, all of which have been remastered with HD graphics, aspect ratios and updated controls.[28] Super Mario 3D All-Stars was first rumored in March 2020.[4] Also announced was Super Mario Bros. 35, a battle royale based on the 1985 original, which is an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch Online service.[29] The gameplay involves 35 Marios competing in Super Mario Bros. levels, until the last Mario wins, and was released on October 1, 2020.[30]

The September Direct also revealed Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, developed by Velan Studios, that was released on October 16.[31] The concept of the game involves a real life toy depicting Mario or Luigi in a kart, where the player can draw a map using the kart and four gates.[32] The player can then race with in-game opponents being the Koopalings using augmented reality.[33] The game comes in two versions, either a Mario version or a Luigi version, both of which come with a charging cable, arrow signs and race gates.[34][35] Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros., a limited edition compilation Game & Watch handheld, was released on November 13, 2020.[36] The game is compiled with Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels, and an updated version of the first Game & Watch title Ball, replacing the original character with Mario. It was also said to contain 35 hidden easter eggs, in reference to the anniversary.[37] The handheld itself is based on a modified Widescreen Game & Watch handheld with a d-pad and a full-color LCD screen.[38] Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Super Mario Bros. 35, and Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. will all be available for a limited time until March 31, 2021.[39][40]

Finally, a port of the Wii U game Super Mario 3D World, titled Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury,[41] will be released on February 12, 2021. The game includes increased gameplay speed, online co-op, amiibo support, and the addition of the Bowser's Fury game mode, which introduces new levels and story.[42]

Merchandise[edit | edit source]

Lego[edit | edit source]

In March 2020, it was revealed Nintendo joined forces with the Lego Group to bring a new Lego theme to celebrate the anniversary, titled Lego Super Mario.[43] This theme is a combination of a video game and a Lego set, with an electronic Mario figurine that can interact with barcodes on structures resembling Mario features like Warp Pipes and ? Blocks, which can make sound effects, in linear Super Mario style levels.[44][45] In total, the Lego theme has 11 sets,[lower-alpha 3] 4 packs pertaining to cosmetic changes to the Mario figurine, and a blind bag collection of 10 Mario enemies.[46] It was released on August 1, 2020.[47]

More Lego information was revealed in July 2020, when Nintendo unveiled a miniature Lego Nintendo Entertainment System and CRT TV replica, which displayed Super Mario Bros.[48] While not associated with the Lego Super Mario theme, the set can interact with it. By having the Mario figurine on top the TV, it can make sound effects.[49] This set also released on August 1.[50]

Clothing[edit | edit source]

In April 2020, both Uniqlo and Levi announce a range of Mario branded clothing. Uniqlo revealed a line of T-Shirts with Mario on them, a notable t-shirt being a timeline of mainline Mario games.[51][52][53] Levi, added a wide selection of clothing including hats, overalls, tops, and hoodies, all of which were patterned with Super Mario characters.[54] During the Direct, Nintendo announced two more clothing brands that were collaborating, Black Milk, which make clothing for women, launched October 6, 2020,[lower-alpha 4][55][56] and Puma, which released basketball shoes branded with Super Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy iconography.[57][58]

Toys[edit | edit source]

Hasbro began collaborating with Nintendo, with their plans being revealed in July 2020 and released the following month. These plans turned out to be Mario themed Jenga and Monopoly tabletop games, complete with unique Mario styled gimmicks.[59][60][61] Another company involved in the collaboration was Jakks Pacific, which sold multiple Mario characters figurines throughout the year, both new and old. One of the figurines was a 12-inch tall figurine of Mario, fitted with sound effects and music.[62] When Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury was announced, additional info was released outside the Direct, revealing the game would be launched alongside Cat Mario and Cat Peach amiibo.[63][64]

Other[edit | edit source]

In August 2020, the German adhesives manufacturing company, UHU, released a line of adhesive products plastered with Mario characters.[65] In the same month, Nintendo unveiled two special edition wired controllers branded with Mario designs. One is red and gold and the other a render of Peach's Castle.[66] Three additional Mario controllers were announced and released in the following October.[67] After the Direct, the Nintendo online store update to include a wide range of merchandise, including plushes, mugs and clothing.[68] Additionally, on the My Nintendo service, members could do missions in exchange for rewards including a pin set of different Mario games.[69] The Nintendo eShop updated its theme to Mario iconography.[70] Various retailers offered pre-order bonuses for Super Mario 3D All-Stars.[71] Black Screen Records will be releasing a Super Mario 64 vinyl record album titled "Hang on to Your Hats" for the Video Game Jazz Orchestra band.[72]

Events and partnerships[edit | edit source]

Real world[edit | edit source]

Originally, Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan was going to become open to the public in early 2020, in conjunction with the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and to celebrate the anniversary.[73] However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan both events were postponed to 2021.[74][75] Another facility at Universal Japan, a Mario themed store and cafe, opened on October 16. The store sold a wide array of Mario merchandise and the cafe sold pancakes and power-up shaped smoothies.[76][77] Construction on the Universal Hollywood version of the park began in August 2020.[78] Nintendo reopened their New York store, after lockdown and vandalism, and released more Super Mario merchandise.[79] On the day of the anniversary, September 13, Nintendo launched two websites for Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels in Japan.[80] These were meant to pay tribute to these games, and allow for people to look at an overview of the games, as well as download the original instruction manuals.[81] In Japan, Nintendo commissioned special Mario animations for JR East trains. These animations are for weekly random trivia questions, which rotate out each Monday.[82] On September 30, Cold Stone Creamery announced a partnership with Nintendo, which runs until December 15, 2020.[83] The partnership involves three different items for purchase and consumption; a Rainbow Road inspired ice cream filled cake, with the addition of the ice cream served in a Super Mario Odyssey themed cup and a rainbow star milkshake.[84][85] In November, Nintendo partnered up with Amazon to produce Super Mario themed boxes that can be served to customers randomly through their orders.[86][87]

In games[edit | edit source]

Many other Nintendo games will feature in-game events related to the anniversary.[88] Animal Crossing: New Horizons will receive Super Mario items in March 2021,[89] Splatoon 2 hosted a splatfest for "Super Mushrooms vs. Invincibility Stars" in January 2021,[lower-alpha 5][91] Mario Kart Tour released two new characters in the form of Mario and Donkey Kong Jr. in their original 16 bit sprites from Super Mario Kart,[92][93] Super Smash Bros. Ultimate hosted a Super Mario themed tournament in December as well as an Origami King spirit event,[94][95] and Super Mario Maker 2 hosted special Ninji speedruns.[96]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. (Japanese: スーパーマリオブラザーズ35周年, Hepburn: Sūpāmarioburazāzu 35-shūnen) in Japan.
  2. Outside of the direct, these games do appear on official timelines, with The Lost Levels replacing Bros. 2 in Japan.
  3. There are two extra sets obtained under different means.
  4. This was also released alongside clothing themed after Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
  5. Additionally, T-Shirts will be released for the Splatfest.[90]

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