Mario’s Got Your Back!

This little guy needs no introduction. Having sold more games than any other video game franchise in the world, he’s pretty well known – that’s right, it’s-a Mario! At first, this cool accessory looks like just another plushie of Nintendo’s famous mascot, until you realize that he’s actually a backpack design.

Mario’s distinct look was a result of the difficulty in making recognizable sprites with limited color palettes, and it’s served Nintendo well – the bright red cap and shirt paired with blue coveralls make Mario instantly noticeable from any distance. Everything about the backpack looks great; Mario is rendered flawlessly in 3D, from his large squashy nose to his permanently crossed blue eyes. The material even looks luxuriously soft and plushy, and I’m sure that if I encountered this backpack in real life, I’d be very tempted to snuggle with it.

Mario Backpack
Unfortunately, the one department where this backpack falls short is practicality. I’m not sure if the main compartment is in Mario’s head or body, but either way you won’t be able to put much in it. So, while this might seem perfect for conventions if you don’t feel like dressing up in your cosplay finery, it’s just too small to fit all the swag you’ll inevitably pick up. You could definitely use it as a carry-all (that’s metrosexual for “purse”) in your everyday life, if you’re not embarrassed to be seen carrying a Mario backpack in public.

However, I suppose there might be a small number of people who have reached a certain point of maturity where they believe that it’s no longer cool to flaunt their love for a certain Italian plumber at the office or around their significant other. That’s inconceivable to me, but there you go.  If you are, however, tragically too grown-up for this backpack, it could also make a wonderful Christmas present for younger relatives. And costing only $17.99, it’s practically a steal if you’re on a budget as small as the backpack itself.

If you’d like to check out some other Mario-inspired designs you don’t need to look very far. Mario merchandise abounds, from the collector’s edition Yahtzee to these amazing fan-made filing cabinets.