I can't help but think that every geek out there has a soft spot for Super Mario Bros. For me, this game was my first exposure to home video games (aside from Pong and early TI computer games like Parsec, Alpiner, and Munch Man). Super Mario Bros was different though. It was in-depth, it was challenging, it was full of wacky scenarios, and it had a musical score that really got your heart racing in those underground levels. The goal was, predictably, to rescue the princess from the evil Bowser. Princess Toadstool, as she was known back then, was an early version of the Blonde-haired, pink-dressed damsel that became an awesome playable character in Super Mario Bros 2 and has since starred in tons of games (including her own). Princess Peach (The brunette, Yellow-dressed princess) has had an equally prominant role in the Mario mythos since her debut in Game Boy's Super Mario Land in 1989. Their characters have each had a ton of merchandising over the years, but I am only highlighting two of the more recent (and more accessible) products to have surfaced in recent years. Let's check them out below!
We'll start with the K'NEX Blind-Bag Mario Mini-Figures. K'NEX is a LEGO-type property that has several interesting licenses including Angry Birds, Sesame Street, and Super Mario. They are easily found at stores like Toy'R'Us, Target, and Walgreens.
So far, there have been two series of Super Mario Bros K'Nex Blind Bags (Not including the Mario Kart series in white bags). Princess Peach was released in both Series 1 & 2, while Daisy was only available in Series 2. This review is only showing the packaging for Series 2 (Series 1 is also in red packaging, just with a different character lineup shown - most notable for excluding Peach)
They are articulated at the Shoulders, Wrists, and Necks.
They come in pieces in their little red baggies.
K'NEX has easily deciperable codes on their blind bags.
For Series 2, Princess Peach has the 3rd number underlined Once, and Princess Daisy has the 1st number underlined Twice. Princess Daisy is apparently rare with only one or two per box. Note: The "squeeze" method for determining which characters are within the bag doesn't work too well for K'NEX, as the figures are wrapped up in padding and there are paper inserts disrtorting the shapes.
Series 2 Princess Peach
Series 2 Princess Daisy
Next up are some Comparison Shots with two collectible figures of the Princesses from Popco Entertainment. These are the PVCs you probably see everywhere. They are packaged singally, in groups, blind-boxed, and sometimes with a different company name. But they are everywhere (Target, TRU, Drug Stores, Grocery Stores, Wal-Mart, etc etc. As far as I can tell, the first of the princesses (Peach) appeared in 2009, but with all the release varaitions that's hard to verify. I've had mine for years and I still see them on the shelves.
These unarticulated PVC figures have more personality than the K'NEX, but I wasn't about to pick and choose. They are all great.
I'll wrap this up by wishing for the newest Mario Princess from Mario Galaxy, Princess Rosalina to get her turn in plastic. She has a great design that's unique to her game but still cohesive to the overall Mario aesthetic. I can't wait to see if we get some figures of her.
Time for a Comparison Pic!