In the video game industry, studios use the term "gone gold" to mean that a game is all but certain for a release. This isn't typically done in the movie industry. But, one way to know if a film will be coming out is the promotions. Specifically, if a chain like McDonald's releases a line of Happy Meal toys. This is exactly what happened with The Super Mario Bros. Movie well ahead of its theatrical release in April.
McDonald's locations around the globe have started carrying toys based on characters in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The most interesting part is it includes one character that we didn't get a chance to see in the trailers.
Here's a complete list of all the McDonald's Happy Meal toys:
- Jumping Mario
- Barrel Donkey Kong
- Spinning Peach
- Flashlight Luigi
- Toad Kart
- Mario Kart
- Fire Breathing Bowser
- Spinning Lumalee
Lumalee is a character that was first introduced in the 2007 game, Super Mario Galaxy, and would later reappear in the sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2, three years later. The reason we're pointing out the cyan Luma is his association with Rosalina. If Lumalee is part of the toy set, then Rosalina could join The Super Mario Bros. Movie, another recurring character in the Super Mario Galaxy line of games.
With that said, fans shouldn't expect the McDonald's Happy Meal toys to last for more than two months. These lines are usually only exclusive for a certain time period. Most likely, you only have until early February to collect all eight of the Mario toys.
As for why the toys arrived so early, we have a possible explanation. Before the delay, The Super Mario Bros. Movie was scheduled to hit theaters this month, specifically, December 21, which is just right before Christmas. Unfortunately, the film's producer and a long-time Mario developer, Shigeru Miyamoto, revealed that it will premiere on April 25 instead. The toys could've been scheduled to release this week before the delay and McDonald's went ahead with it anyway.
Ultimately, delaying The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a good idea. It gives Illumination more time to work on the film and polish it. At the same time, it avoided clashing with Avatar: The Way of Water, which just pulled in a billion at the global box office in 14 days. The film is on track to break even and make over $2 billion in the next few months.