Nintendo and McDonald’s have been partners for decades. These partnerships sometimes give players access to in-game perks, like with the Mythical Pokemon giveaways for Pokemon X and Y. Still, typically it’s been more common for purchases at McDonald’s to come with Nintendo toys or collectables. During the launch of Super Mario Bros. 3, mobile gaming was still extremely rare, and the ability to download or modify a game was almost unheard of.
Several months prior to the launch of Super Mario Bros. 3, a toy giveaway was held to celebrate the launch. Now, one collector has discovered the store display for the promotion and brought it home for a hefty sum.
McDonald’s and Nintendo partnered in mid-1990 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. Normally, these signs would be taken down after the promotion ended and trashed, but like many game-related store displays, some units got 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. Considering that it dates back over 30 years in Mario’s history at this point, it has been well preserved. Retro Rick was able to walk away with the item for $570 after a bit of negotiation.
Whether the item was really worth that much is unclear, but gamers have certainly paid extremely high prices for similar collectibles and advertisements. Retro Rick seems extremely happy with his purchase, taking to YouTube as well as TikTok to show off the purchase. 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 bring them back to the days when they first got into gaming.