Saturday, December 3, 2022 | 11:12 am

Nintendo Collector Finds Super Mario Bros. 3 Happy Meal Display from 1990

Nintendo Collector Finds Super Mario Bros. 3 Happy Meal Display from 1990

Nintendo and McDonald’s have had partnerships going back decades. These partnerships sometimes give players access to in-game perks, like with the Mythical Pokemon giveaways for Pokemon X and Y, but typically it’s been more common for purchases at McDonald’s to come with Nintendo toys or collectibles. This was the norm in the 1990s when Super Mario Bros. 3 launched, as mobile gaming was stil very rare, and the ability to download or modify a game was nearly unheard of.

One such example of a toy giveaway was in 1990, when Super Mario Bros. 3 had launched just a few months prior. Now, one collector has discovered the store display for the promotion and brought it home for a hefty sum.

In mid-1990, McDonald’s and Nintendo partnered up to give away four different Super Mario Bros. 3 toys. Mario, Luigi, a Koopa Paratrooper, and a Goomba toy were possible options in each Happy Meal. McDonald’s would typically have a display near the front of the store or in the order line displaying the toys, enticing kids to ask their parents to buy if for them. McDonald’s sold more Happy Meals, kids got a Mario toy, and the promo surely led to many parents eventually bringing home the game and an SNES for their kids. After the promotions ended, these signs would be taken down and likely trashed, but like with many game-related store displays, at least some units ended up getting rescued.

Such was the case with this particular display, which YouTuber Retro Rick discovered at a retro gaming convention in Ontario, California. The display was being sold by a booth in the dealer’s hall, with the display appearing to be in nearly immaculate condition. The toys are all present, the display box is in good shape, and it doesn’t look like it’s faded due to excessive sun exposure. For a collectible that dates back over 30 years in Mario’s history at this point, it’s been kept very well. After a bit of negotiation, Retro Rick was able to walk away with it for $570.

It’s not entirely clear if the item was really worth that much, but gamers have certainly paid extremely high prices for similarly rare pieces of gaming collectibles and advertisements. In any case, Retro Rick seems to be extremely happy with his purchase, taking to both YouTube and TikTok to show off the acquisition. It’s definitely a considerable amount of money to pay for what amounts to a few old toys and a display case, but for many fans, this Super Mario Bros 3. collectible will likely bring them straight back to their early days of gaming.