Partnering with Tearfund

Mario soft toy

Price: £8

(Luigi, Toad, Yoshi and Donkey Kong also available).

Comments: You know how supermarkets have sweets next to the till? They're supposedly there in order to tempt you into a last minute impulse purchase but sometimes it feels like they're really there to keep you busy arguing with your children so you don't realise how long you've been waiting in the queue. Well, GAME have discovered something even better than sweets - they've started putting Nintendo-themed soft toys by the till.

This is genius. Evil genius.

It was bad enough going in there with the children before. It's been a long time since I've had peace to hunt around in the bargain bins without one of my offspring running over with a copy of Pokemon Dash! or Mario Party 37 or something in a pink box with pictures of princesses on it. Now, though, even if I do find something to buy, I've got to run the gauntlet of the cuddly Marios before I can pay for it. I turn my back for a second and the kids have loaded their arms with half the population of the Mushroom Kingdom. It's a minor miracle I haven't had to cough up for the entire set twice already.

I wouldn't mind so much but both the design and manufacturing quality are at the limit of acceptability for officially licenced merchandise. It looks like they've stuck Mario's head on top of a generic body pattern and there's white stitching visible all over the place. Still, it's obviously Mario and that's all the kids care about. Personally, I find it resembles Bob Hoskins dressed as Mario more than it resembles the plumber himself.

It's a shame Nintendo's minions didn't try as hard as they did with this Pokemon soft toy that Sproglette found in a charity shop recently:

Gengar soft toy.
The world's most evil blackcurrant, I choose you!

And that's nothing compared with this Wario that the wife knitted for Sprog2's birthday:

Knitted Wario soft toy.
You have no idea how long this took to make...
Conclusion: Would be great at half the price or twice the quality.

Height: Eight inches.
Fabric: Unremarkable.
Stuffing: Bulging.
Likeness to the actual character: Passing.
Expenses spared: Most of them.
Pester potential: Huge.

Rating: 3/5.

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