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Nintendo’s Product Placement Past

Published May 29, 2014 by |
Mario driving a Mercedes

With Mario Kart 8 due to hit store shelves tomorrow, Nintendo announced Thursday a partnership with car-maker Mercedes to bring a downloadable motor to the Mushroom Kingdom (for Japanese players at least).

The DLC will see a Mercedes GLA become available as a kart for Mario, Luigi and the Mario Kart 8 roster to pick from.

However, this isn’t the first time Nintendo have placed real-world brands within their first-party games. Here’s a round-up of Nintendo’s past and present product placement appearances:

  1. Mario Kart 8 – Mercedes Benz (GLA Kart)
    Mario Kart 8 (Mercedes DLC)

    Ditching the classic Kart for a more classier ride will be an option in Mario Kart 8.

  2. Mario Golf: World Tour – Callaway (Golfing Brand)
    Mario Golf: World Tour (Callaway)

    3DS title Mario Golf: World Tour features branded Callaway golf balls and even sponsored tournaments.

  3. Pikmin 2 – Duracell (Battery)
    Pikmin 2 (Duracell)

    Miyamoto’s little Pikmin were put to work carrying this ‘Courage Reactor‘ in Pikmin 2. Here in the UK this item appeared as a Duracell battery, whereas in Japan it was a ‘National Hi-Top’ Japanese brand battery.

  4. Pikmin 2 – 7Up (Bottle Top)
    Pikmin 2 (7-Up)

    Another little bit of product placement in the Gamecube’s Pikmin 2, this time by way of a 7Up bottle top.

  5. Wave Race 64 – Kawasaki (Jet Ski)
    Wave Race 64 (Kawasaki)

    The Nintendo 64’s version of Wave Race featured prominent product placement for Jet Ski manufacturer Kawasaki, from in-game banners, to Jet Skis, to even featuring on the games Start Screen.

  6. 1080 Snowboarding – Tommy Hilfiger (Clothing)
    1080 Snowboarding (Tommy Hilfiger)

    Looking cool on the slopes was clearly a top priority in 1080 Snowboarding for the N64, as your characters came wearing designer Tommy Hilfiger clothing. The racing game also featured the brands logo on in-game advertising.

  7. 1080 Snowboarding – Lamar (Snowboards)
    1080 Snowboarding (Lamar)

    Staying with 1998’s 1080 Snowboarding — When selecting a board you did have a choice, but whatever that choice was, it had to be a Lamar.

  8. Punch Out – Mike Tyson
    Punch Out (Mike Tyson)

    Ok, so this one isn’t strictly a ‘product’ placement, but to see a celebrity feature so prominently in a game was definitely unique at the time. 1987’s Punch Out features the boxing star as a boss battle, and in the North American version of the game Tyson’s name appeared on the box.

Know of any other instances of first-party Nintendo product placement? Let us know in the comments!