9 Best Mario Toys of 2020 – Reviewed
Mario is far more than a video game star. Everyone’s favorite plumber has jumped out of home consoles and is available in a wide variety of toys and merchandise.
There’s so much Super Mario Bros merchandise that finding the right toy for your child can feel as difficult as the final battle on World 8-4. But our guide will help you claim the top score. Here are the best Mario toys for 2020 plus some “cheat codes” for selecting the best one.
Quick Picks: See Our Top 3 Favorite Mario Toys
- Little Buddy Mario Plush Doll Set
- Super Mario Activity Book for Kids
- Super Mario Kart Mini RC Racer
- Bowser vs. Mario Diorama 3-Pack
- Super Mario Match Board Game by Top Trumps
- 3D Mario Lamp by Threetoo
- K’Nex Mario Kart Building Set
- Mushroom Kingdom Castle Playset
- 32-Piece Super Mario Action Figures
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the Different Types of Mario Toys?
- Plush Toys
- Action Figures
- Board Games
- How Do I Find the Best Mario Toys?
- What Types of Toys Does the Child Like?
- What Mario Games Does the Child Like?
- Frog Mario
- Tanooki Suit
- Raccoon Suit
- The Cape
- Metal Mario
- What are the Child’s Favorite Mario Characters?
- Princess Peach
- Fire Flower Mario
- How Do I Know if a Mario Toy is Safe?
- What are the Benefits of Mario Toys?
- Benefits of Action Figures
- Benefits of Board Games
- Alternative to Video Games
- Fun for Younger Kids
- What Brands are Best?
- Should I Give a Mario Toy as a Gift?
- Final Thoughts
Little Buddy Mario Plush Doll Set
Cute and cuddly, this set of Mario and Luigi plush toys is perfect for both kids and collectors.
- Detailed pair of plush toys
- Includes Mario and Luigi
- Soft, durable and fun
- A great choice for fans of all ages
- Small compared to other Mario stuffed toys
This set of Mario and Luigi plush dolls are a great choice for practically any Super Mario Bros fan of any age. Each eight-inch doll is stuffed with soft polyester fiber for maximum cuddliness. As an officially licensed Nintendo toy, they’re well-made, detailed and authentic.
Plus, perhaps most importantly, the Luigi doll isn’t a green-colored copy of the Mario doll. Instead, each doll has a character-specific design: Luigi is tall and thin while Mario is short and squat.
They’re a great choice for just about any Mario fan. Younger kids can sleep with them as a nighttime pal while older kids can display them on a desk or shelf.
Super Mario Activity Book for Kids
This Mario-themed activity book features 70 pages of coloring pages, mazes, puzzles, kid-friendly games, and more.
- 70 pages of fun activities
- Features detailed drawings
- Includes a wide variety of Mario characters
- Each activity can only be completed once
Mario doesn’t need technology to be entertaining. This 70-page activity guide includes coloring pages, mazes, puzzles, Sudoku, and other great games.
The 8.5 by 11-inch book features high-quality, 50-pound paper. Each game/image is printed on a single side of paper to prevent bleed through. The book includes high-quality, detailed drawings featuring a wide variety of beloved characters including Mario, Peach, Toad, Bowser and many more.
The book helps develop creativity, fine motor skills, and cognitive thinking. It’s great for road trips, airplane rides and other occasions which call for a quiet, self-directed activity.
Super Mario Kart Mini RC Racer
Turn the floors of your house into a custom Mario Kart track with this mini radio-controlled car with a 100-foot range.
- Easy-to-control RC racer
- The car can pop wheelies, spin and perform other stunts
- Both Mario and Luigi versions are available
- “Anti-gravity” mode doesn’t do much
Mario’s excellent driving abilities are featured in the beloved Mario Kart series of games. But you can enjoy some racing action away from the game console with this radio-controlled racecar.
The simple-to-use remote lets you control the car’s direction and speed up to 100 feet. It can pop wheelies, do 360 spins, drift and more. The “anti-gravity” mode helps keep the car balanced (at least in theory).
Three different varieties are available: Mario Kart, Luigi Kart, and Mario Cycle. All are detailed, colorful, and durable. Easy to steer and use, they’re suitable for ages eight and up.
Bowser vs. Mario Diorama 3-Pack
A colorful, detailed playset featuring Mario, Bowser and Bob-omb articulated action figures.
- Detailed figures and playsets
- Features fan-favorite characters
- Each figure has several points of articulation
- Articulation points can be fragile
Nintendo makes more than games; they make high-quality action figures and playsets, too! This three-pack includes Mario, Bowser and the always-explosive Bob-omb. Each figure features loads of authentic detail. Plus, they’re fully poseable with articulated legs, arms, and heads.
Different sets include Luigi, Princess Peach, Goombas, and more. Each set is designed to fit together proportionally (Bowser is large, Goombas are small and so on).
Nintendo’s playsets are known for their high quality and attention to detail. They’re safe for kids three and older, making them a good choice for little ones who like the Mario characters but don’t play the games.
Super Mario Match Board Game by Top Trumps
The Crazy Cube game, also known as the Top Trumps Matching Game, has a Mario-themed edition featuring beloved game characters.
- Family-friendly board game
- Features 15 Mario characters
- Includes durable storage/carrying case
- The game can be a little confusing for younger kids
The Crazy Cube Game is a gridded board game where players try to be the first to match character pictures either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. But watch out for the Top Trumps card! It might allow your opponent to steal the game quickly.
The Mario version features 15 favorites including Luigi, Princess Peach, Wario and many more. The entire set is easy to store and transport in the included plastic case. It’s a fun, fast-paced strategy game for at least two players ages six and older.
3D Mario Lamp by Threetoo
With multiple color options and an amazing 3D effect, this Mario lamp is perfect as a table lamp or night light.
- Colorful light with unique 3D effect
- Seven color options including auto-change mode
- Ideal as a night light or room decoration
- The lamp isn’t bright enough to read by
Even though the lamp is flat, special technology makes it appear as if Mario’s face is three-dimensional. It’s a fascinating effect kids (and adults) are sure to love.
Press a button to change the colors between red, green, yellow, cyan, pink, and white. An automatic color changing option is also available.
The light isn’t bright enough to use for reading or illuminating a room. Instead, it’s a softer light best suited for decoration or use as a night light.
K’Nex Mario Kart Building Set
Build your own toy Kart with this 43-piece kit from K’Nex which also includes a ramp and Mario figure.
- 43-piece buildable kart
- Includes Mario figure
- Car rolls on flat surfaces
- Only one specific type of car can be built
Ready, set, build! Assemble the 43-piece set into a kart which rolls on practically any level surface. It also includes a custom Mario figure who sits behind the wheel.
The kart can be built in two ways. Traditional wheels are best for forward racing while the hover wheels allow the kart to slide around in any direction.
Plus, the box turns into a launch ramp. You can also download printable tracks from the included website link. K’NEX toys are fun to assemble, durable, and detailed.
Mushroom Kingdom Castle Playset
Princess Peach’s castle playset includes an exclusive 2.5 inch Bowser action figure plus a variety of Mario-themed accessories.
- Detailed Kingdom Castle playset
- Includes exclusive Bowser figure
- Safe for kids three and older
- Only includes one figure
Bowser’s taken over Princess Peach’s castle – and it’s up to you to save the day. The Mushroom Kingdom Castle Playset includes a detailed three-level castle, a flag pole, question block, brick block, poster, and a Bowser action figure.
Bowser is the big star here. He’s 2.5 inches tall with articulated points at his arms, legs, and head. Super detailed and colorful, this particular figure is only available in this set.
32-Piece Super Mario Action Figures
A collection of 32 classic Super Mario Bros action figures features a wide selection of heroes, villains, and accessories.
- Set of 32 action figures
- Each figure is detailed and colorful
- Includes major and minor characters
- Included accessories aren’t very exciting
The gang’s all here with this 32-piece action figure set from HXDZFX. They range in height from .75 to 2.6 inches. Each one is made from PVC materials, so they’re comfortable to hold but also unlikely to break.
As expected, the set includes major characters such as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, and other popular faves. But you also get a big selection of lesser-known characters such as Bob-omb, Koopas, Bullet Bill and others.
Frequently Asked Questions
We answer some commonly asked questions about Mario toys.
What are the Different Types of Mario Toys?
As you’d expect from such a popular character, you can find a Mario-themed version of just about any type of toy. Popular categories include:
You can find stuffed animal versions of practically all popular Mario characters. Aside from Mario, many kids love animal characters like Yoshi, Koopas, and Bowser.
When selecting a plush toy, choose one with soft, non-toxic filling such as polyester. The Little Buddy Mario and Luigi set is a popular, well-made option.
Mario and his friends have many different lines of action figures and playsets. You can find pretty much every character including more obscure ones, including Toad, Bullet Bill, and others.
Quality action figures will have loads of detail, so they closely resemble the characters kids know from the games. Also, look for figures with multiple points of articulation so they can be moved and posed.
Some popular action figures and playsets include the Bowser vs. Mario Diorama 3-Pack and Nintendo’s 32-Piece Set of Super Mario Action Figures.
Beyond video games, Mario is also a popular figure in many board games, too. You can find many classic games with a Mario theme or twist, such as Mario Monopoly and the Super Mario Match Board Game by Top Trumps.
How Do I Find the Best Mario Toys?
You know a child who loves Mario. But with such a large selection of toys available, how do you know which toy is the right pick? Here are three questions to ask yourself:
What Types of Toys Does the Child Like?
What does the child like to play with? For example, if he or she has a large stuffed animal collection in general, a Mario plush toy might be a welcome addition. Fortunately, no matter what types of toys the child likes, Mario-themed versions are likely available.
What Mario Games Does the Child Like?
Mario and his friends are in hundreds of games. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with them all. However, you’ll want to know the general type of Mario game the child enjoys.
The biggest thing to look for here is whether the child is a big fan of Mario Kart or the general Mario Bros games. If they’re a Mario Kart fan, you’ll want to give them a gift such as the K’Nex Mario Kart Building Set or Super Mario Kart Mini RC Racer.
Finding specialized suits is a major part of many Mario games. Not surprisingly, you can find toys featuring many of these famous costumes. Some of the most popular ones include:
First found in Super Mario World, the Frog costume allows Mario to swim underwater without needing oxygen. Kids often love the Frog Suit, not for its properties, but because it makes Mario look like a frog.
Often called the “raccoon suit,” the Tanooki suit is actually based on a mythical Japanese creature called the tanukis. The Tanooki suit first appeared in Super Mario Bros 3. It allows Mario to turn into an indestructible stone so he can attack difficult enemies.
This gets a little confusing for non-Mario fans. Although the Tanooki suit resembles a raccoon, it’s different than Mario’s Raccoon Suit. The Tanooki suit is a full-body costume while the Raccoon suit consists of ears and a tail. It allows Mario to hover and fly.
Mario’s yellow cape allows him to soar high in the sky. It first appeared in Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo. The cape was so powerful it was actually never used again in any other games. If you find a Mario toy where he’s wearing a yellow cape, it could be a collector’s item.
In Super Mario 64, the Metal Mario suit helped Nintendo showcase the power of their new console. With a shiny metallic texture, players had never seen anything quite like this suit before. In the game, it allowed Mario to walk underwater and collect coins. If you know a child who loves the Metal Mario suit, they will likely also love the 3D Mario Lamp by Threetoo.
What are the Child’s Favorite Mario Characters?
Mario has tons of cool friends (and enemies). For many kids, Mario isn’t their absolute favorite character in the universe. Here’s a quick look at the major characters and how popular they are:
Everyone’s favorite plumber is instantly recognizable with his blue overalls, red hat, and big mustaches. Mario’s distinct look is mainly the result of the graphical limitations of the time. When he first appeared in 1981’s Donkey Kong, the bold color scheme and simple design helped him standout on-screen.
Mario’s look has grown more sophisticated over the years, but his personality has largely remained abstract. Aside from a few enthusiastic catchphrases, Mario doesn’t even speak. All of that is by design. Nintendo feels that Mario’s lack of a defined personality allows players and fans to empathize and relate with him better.
Originally, Luigi didn’t have a name or personality. He first appeared as what’s called a palette swap. He was the same character as Mario in the early games, only colored green for the second player.
Eventually, the green guy grew in popularity. Nintendo turned him into a character named Luigi. He’s Mario’s “younger twin brother.”
Luigi’s look has evolved quite a bit from his palette swap days. He’s portrayed as taller and thinner than Mario.
Keep Luigi’s unique look in mind when shopping for toys. Cheaper action figures will use the same body type for both Mario and Luigi but paint them different colors. It’s basically a palette swap in real life.
Kids who are fans of Luigi will notice the difference. Make sure any Luigi toys have a character-specific design which isn’t just a copy of Mario.
Peach is far more from the damsel in distress she often was in the earlier games. Today, Peach is a major character in the Mario universe. She’s known for her kindness, cleverness and sweet nature.
Peach toys are often a reliable choice for most young girls, especially now that Peach is designed to be more of a role model.
The King of the Koopas is the main bad guy in the Mario world. He’s a giant turtle/monster who breathes fire. Fond of kidnapping Princess Peach, his ultimate goal is to defeat Mario and rule over the Mushroom Kingdom.
Bowser is often the largest figure in any line of Mario action figures or stuffed animals. Key details of his appearance include his tail, spiky shell, and tooth-filled jaws.
Although Bowser looks like a monster, kids rarely find him frightening. After all, Mario constantly defeats him and ruins his evil plans.
Kids love Yoshi. Mario’s dino pal first appeared in 1990’s Super Mario World, and he’s been a fan favorite ever since. If you’re not sure which Mario character is a child’s favorite, Yoshi is a safe choice. Even if he’s not the recipient’s absolute favorite, almost everybody loves the look of this loveable green dinosaur.
Fire Flower Mario
Fire flower Mario is one of the original costumes. When equipped, Mario can throw balls of fire at his enemies. The Fire Flower suit looks just like Mario’s regular outfit only it’s red and white instead of blue.
How Do I Know if a Mario Toy is Safe?
Because there’s no single type of Mario toy, there are no universal safety guidelines. Instead, you’ll need to assess the safety of each toy individually.
First, check the recommended age guidelines from the manufacturer. Watch out for any small parts which could be swallowed.
Most Mario action figures and stuffed animals are safe for younger kids. However, buildable toys, such as the K’Nex kart, are more likely to contain small parts.
Also, use the age guidelines to help determine the complexity of the toy. For example, younger kids often have difficulty understanding the rules of games like Monopoly and Top Trumps.
What are the Benefits of Mario Toys?
Most Mario toys have many different benefits.
Benefits of Action Figures
Action figures often help develop creativity and imagination. Kids can create their own stories and adventures using the Mario characters.
Action figures also help kids navigate social situations. Various action figures take on roles such as teacher, parent, and so on. Although these scenarios have nothing to do with the world of Mario specifically, kids are often comfortable playing with action figures they’re familiar with.
Benefits of Board Games
Other Mario toys have different benefits. Board games help kids learn how to follow directions and develop strategies. Plus, competitive games help kids learn good sportsmanship.
Mario toys generally promote positivity. The Mario world is cartoonish and filled with fun. While there is a slight amount of violence, it’s usually nothing more than Mario jumping on the heads of various creatures.
Plus, Mario is a hero. He rescues Princess Peach every time she’s kidnapped, which happens frequently. He stands up to bullies and solves puzzles along the way.
Alternative to Video Games
Mario toys are a great way to help young video game fanatics put down the controller for a while. Kids can play with Mario and his friends without staring at a screen.
Many kids find Mario-themed board games to be an entertaining alternative to video games. Board games have the same competitive aspect as video games, but with the benefit of face-to-face interaction instead of online interaction. Offline play is typically friendlier, more positive, and less toxic than online play.
Fun for Younger Kids
Mario video games are generally suitable for all ages. But they can still be a bit complicated for younger kids. Mario toys can be fun for fans who like the characters but who are too young to play the games.
What Brands are Best?
Nintendo grants the Mario license to a wide variety of different companies. Quality can vary significantly. Just because the toy is an officially licensed doesn’t necessarily mean it’s well-made.
Always check for trusted brands. For example, K’Nex and Top Trumps are well-established brands which make a variety of toys aside from Mario toys. They’re brands you can usually count on to make high-quality products.
Of course, sometimes you don’t need to look at licensed products at all. Nintendo doesn’t just make video games. They make a wide variety of merchandise, including action figures. Nintendo action figures are known for their durability, detail, and overall high level of manufacturing.
Should I Give a Mario Toy as a Gift?
Almost every child is aware of Mario. Even if they don’t play many video games, they still likely have a favorite character or two from the Mario universe.
Mario toys are often great gifts because they’re not particularly controversial. The world of Mario is cute, wholesome, and positive.
If you’re not sure what type of Mario gift to get, choose something simple like a stuffed animal or set of action figures. However, if you know more about the child’s interests, you can find a gift which fits their personality.
Mario has achieved a level of popularity in line with Mickey Mouse or Harry Potter. Just about everyone loves Mario, so related toys do make a relatively safe gift which pretty much every child will enjoy.
Nobody could have possibly predicted that the little guy from Donkey Kong would grow into an international superstar. Kids of all ages love Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, and the entire cast of characters.
Fortunately, kids don’t have to stare at a screen to play with Mario and his pals. Mario action figures encourage creative play and social development, while Mario board games can entertain the whole family. No matter what type of toy your child likes, Mario is ready to bring the fun!