While Japan’s Super Nintendo World theme park is already open and even developing new areas, the United States will have to wait a bit longer. However, that doesn't mean Nintendo fans in the U.S. are receiving nothing to whet their appetites for the beloved gaming company and its famous characters.
Universal Studios Hollywood is offering Super Nintendo World merchandise for a limited amount of time. Discover the merch that Nintendo fans can get at the world famous theme park below.
Nintendo’s brand of merchandising
Nintendo merchandise is almost as in-demand as the legendary gaming company’s consoles and games themselves. The recent surge of Nintendo Switch sales is a testament to that. With universally recognizable IPs and the Nintendo brand attached, Nintendo merch is undeniably popular among both the young and old alike.
Nintendo merchandise could rival even giants like the Disney and Warner Bros. IPs in terms of popularity, demand, and variety. It helps that Nintendo is known for family-friendly content. This gives Nintendo a wide range of opportunities for branded merchandise.
Mario, Zelda, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Earthbound, Super Smash Bros., Kid Icarus, Splatoon, and many other IPs under the Nintendo umbrella lend themselves well to marketability for merchandising. Even the more obscure, but connected, IPs attract Nintendo fans.
Super Nintendo World delay in the United States
When Super Nintendo World was announced for development and construction in Japan, fans around the world were already anticipating future locations, especially in the West. Aside from the Nintendo branding, the theme park designs were a throwback to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), which many gamers consider the greatest video game console of all time.
Later, the announcement that the Universal Studios line of theme parks would be the hosts to the Super Nintendo World experience across the ocean made U.S. fans ecstatic. Plus, because it would be an addition to the already existing theme parks in Hollywood and Florida, expectations were high that Mario and company would soon arrive after the Japan Super Nintendo World construction and opening.
But there was one unforeseen stumbling block: COVID-19.
Like with many businesses and developments, especially in the entertainment industry, the global pandemic put a monkey wrench in Super Nintendo World’s arrival on American shores. Even though it would not take as much time and resources compared to an entirely new theme park, the pandemic had a detrimental effect on Universal Studios Hollywood and Florida's projections of bringing over Super Nintendo World to the West.
Although Super Nintendo World Japan began operations in the first quarter of 2021 (March 17), the date that Mario, Bowser, Metroid, and the rest will arrive in Universal Studios is still undetermined - or at least the theme park attractions, food places, and rides based on these properties. So U.S. fans won't be able to ride Yoshi or drive through Mario Kart courses quite yet and for a little while longer.
Nintendo of America announcement
In a tweet on August 7 shared by the official Nintendo of America Twitter account, the company delighted fans with the announcement that Super Nintendo World merchandise would be coming to Universal Studios Hollywood:
Items are available for a limited time at the Universal Studio Store in the park. pic.twitter.com/00Fx0lad1N
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) August 6, 2021
However, there is a caveat in that the Super Nintendo World merchandise at Universal Studios Hollywood will only be available for a limited time. This is likely due to a small supply of stocked items. The variety of the items is also not extensive, with mostly Super Mario Bros. products such as apparel, stuffed toys, and accessories.
Some fans have already gotten their first experience of the Super Nintendo World merchandise and have taken to social media to share their experiences, such as in the YouTube video below:
Worth the wait
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to make overseas travel difficult (if not impossible), fans wanting to go to Super Nintendo World Japan have no choice but to wait. With that said, a Nintendo theme park has been a long time coming.
Older fans have waited a lifetime to see attractions and rides based on Nintendo IP such as the Mushroom Kingdom and the Donkey Kong areas that are currently being planned. Those in the United States will also have to be patient for a little bit longer.
Still, most fans consider it worth the wait, and this Super Nintendo World merchandise helps tide them over until it’s safe to go to these magical places once again.