Still, nothing beats the thrill of gaining a complete set with the use of many, many, maaany two euro coins. But since it’s usually a lot cheaper to just buy the entire set in one go, we usually do that.

There are a few companies that make a lot, or only make, gashapons and Takara Tomy is one of them. Mostly known for their larger figures and the better quality Pokemon figures that were also available, they are still the king of gashapons. I just love their products since they’re so cute and extremely well made for being so small. And this set is no exception!

First up is the Penguin Suit which is an item in the long awaiting sequel to Super Mario Bros. 3; New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Like the name obviously makes clear, the suit is modeled to resemble a penguin and is thus my favorite new addition to that game. The powers you get when wearing the suit are quite nice. You can throw Ice Balls just like when you got an Ice Flower, you can swim more efficiently underwater and you can even walk easier on ice instead of slipping the whole time. But the most awesome feature has to be the sliding ability. You can just lay flat on your belly and slide away across the ice. And you can even zip over water which is just plain awesome.

And then we have the Star Coin which is a collectible item found in New Super Mario Bros. games. In each level you have to collect three of these and per coin you get 1.000 extra points to your score. Isn’t that neat? You know that these coins have existed for quite some time but under different names and looks? But essentially, they’ve stayed the same.

Next are two blocks, the ugliest Question Block (or ?-Block) they’ve ever made and a Power Block (or POW Block).
The ?-Block is a cube that holds a Power Up in it which comes in handy most of the time. These are not random but stay the same every time you play the level.
The POW Block is also a good-oldie since it has been around since the first Mario Bros., the arcade version mind you. In the original arcade game, you could use it to damage all enemies (apart from air-born ones) on the screen at once. But you could only use it a certain amount of times.
But now, it can be picked up and carried, and once thrown, it eliminates all the enemies onscreen and also drops all floating coins. And it goes away to where POW Blocks go when used…

Two other widely known items are the Green Shells and Red Shells. These can be obtained after stomping on, respectively, a green or red Koopa Troopa. In the game you can stay afloat in water with the Green Shell while the Red Shell can be used as a projectile.

The next items are also a simple color-swap but with different meaning; the Fire Flower and the Ice Flower. While the Fire Flower has been in the Mario games since the first Super Mario Bros., the Ice Flower is relatively young (Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time – 2005). While the Fire Flower lets you throw fireballs, the Ice Flower lets you throw ice-balls. How original.

Another newbie is the Propeller Mushroom which let you fly through the air, spinning round and round like a propeller until you gently float back to the ground. Or abyss. Your choice. I like it that they tried something new instead of just flying and it reminds me a bit of Peach in our version (not the Japanese version) of Super Mario Bros. 2. Like with Peach, the flight is not continuous but when you touch the ground, an enemy or a platform, you’ll be able to lift off again.

Even people that haven’t played any Mario game know these two mushrooms, maybe not by name but at least by appearance. I’m talking about the Super Mushroom and the 1-Up Mushroom. I even got the sound of the first one as SMS tone (and my ringtone is the Zelda tune). Please tell me you know what these mushrooms do…

And lastly, one of my favorite items, the Yoshi Egg. Yoshi is one of my favorite Mario-World characters, mainly thanks to two games; Super Mario World 2 (SNES) and Yoshi’s Story (N64). Especially the last one is extremely cute as you can see when you look at the equally cute plushies I got from that game.
You can hatch a Yoshi from this egg when you acquire it in the game. And just like in the good old days (Super Mario World – SNES), you can use him as your noble steed.

And with that item, I’ve come to the end of this review. Well, almost. I just want to tell you about the quality and the paint application on these tiny, about 2cm (~0.79inch) items. It’s extremely good. No real flaws (aka noticeable by naked eye) whatsoever. It really makes you wonder what they could do with larger items doesn’t it? Also the last four items (Propeller Mushroom, Super Mushroom, 1-Up Mushroom and the Yoshi Egg) are the 4 special items in this set. That means that these are harder to obtain.

Conclusion
You know I love these kind of things and these are definitely no exception. They are cute, well made, colorful and just plain awesome! Got a lonely phone? Get one of these guys to keep it company! You won’t regret it.

Pictures

Item reviewed: New Super Mario Bros. Wii – Mini Mascots
Type: phone danglers, mini-figures
Manufacturer: Takara Tomy
Variations: none
Rarity: Hard to find the complete set.