Release date: 1994
Size: +/- 6cm
Main distribution: Europe
These are promotional Mario / Nintendo figures Mars gave out when you bought their chocolate.
5 figures could be collected; Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi and Toad.
Mario stands in a classic victory pose holding up his fingers in a V for Victory, or Peace, with his other hand on his back. He has a happy, open mouth, large smile on his face. He’s wearing his blue overalls and red shirt and hat. The proportions are spot on for that old classic 90s Mario look. The branding is on his back, and reads in raised font: CE © ™ 1994 Nintendo All Rights Reserved MADE IN CHINA MARS ® 41497 VIE. There’s a mirrored 5 under his left foot.
Luigi stands in a proud pose, pulling the strap of his dungarees with his left hand, while his right hand is open gesturing to the side. He has a happy, open mouth, large smile on his face. He’s wearing his blue overalls and green shirt and hat. The proportions are spot on for that old classic 90s Luigi look. The branding is on his back, and reads in raised font: CE ™ © 1994 Nintendo All Rights Reserved MADE IN CHINA MARS ® 41497 VIE. There’s a 3 on the back of his right hand, as well as a mirrored 5 under his right foot.
Princess Peach stands in a neutral pose, with her hands along her side. She has a bit of a shocked expression on her face, with high eyebrows and an o mouth. She’s wearing her classic pink dress. The proportions are spot on for that old classic 90s Peach look. The branding is on her bottom, and reads in raised font: CE ™ © 1994 Nintendo All Rights Reserved MADE IN CHINA MARS ® 41497 VIE.
Yoshi stands in a neutral pose, with his right paw on his belly and his left paw along his side. He has a gentle smile on his face. The proportions are spot on for that old classic 90s Yoshi look. The branding is on his saddle and underneath his tail. On his saddle it reads in raised font: ™ © 1994 Nintendo All Rights Reserved. Under his tail it reads in raised font: CE MADE IN CHINA MARS ® 41497 VIE.
Toad stands in a neutral pose, with his hands along his side. He has a smile on his face. The proportions are spot on for that old classic 90s chubby Toad look. The branding is on his back and underneath the rim of his mushroom hat. On his back it reads in raised font: ™ © 1994 Nintendo All Rights Reserved MADE IN CHINA. Under his mushroom hat it reads in raised font: CE MARS ® 41497 VIE.
I believe mine is a bootleg, and also stands on a white disc.
I don’t recall how you could get these figures at the time (I was 6, and we never had “A brands” candy like Mars). I’ve seen boxes from France, where it had a mini Mars bar and a figure inside, but they don’t mention Toad. I also have a Luigi still in its original plastic packaging, and I feel like they came in a bag of Mars mini bars, like the Spacix cards?
Regardless, I do remember getting my first one; Yoshi. My mom loves going to second hand markets, and I had accompanied her for the first time. Perhaps she had brought me reluctantly, as I recall her telling me we couldn’t get anything (there were lots of toys). I don’t remember where it was, but I remember it was a small, local one, indoors. One table, at the end of the room, had the full set of these figures. I loved Super Mario World on the SNES at the time, playing it at my uncle a lot, and Super Mario Bros 2 on the NES at my cousin’s, and so fell in love with these figures. I begged her for these, but she told me no. Eventually, she caved and asked and it was apparently expensive. In the end, I was allowed 1. My favourite being Yoshi, I picked that one.
I played with Yoshi so much as a kid, often eating things by bumping its nose into stuff. Hence all the paint rub there. If there ever was a figure that started it all, it was probably this one. I still love it very much.
These figures were often seen at second hand markets (clearly a promotional item of its time) but often overpriced. Eventually I managed to get a second of my mom; Mario. Mario also got played with a lot, bumping into things with his hat, like breaking blocks as in game. He got a lot of paint rub. These are my childhood figures, classic Mario and Yoshi team.
Later as a young teen, I found a Luigi and Toad. Toad was my second favourite, and the chubby 90s one is my favourite Toad to date. However, they had white discs underneath them, and I think they’re bootleg. Still, they were part of the set for me. I had never seen Peach again, to the point I thought I had imagined her.
As I got older I found another Luigi on a market to replace my KO one. I started casually looking for them online, but by now they were considered “rare” and expensive. Online, I saw Peach, and knew I hadn’t imagined her.
And then one day, as I’m casually browsing Marktplaats, I find a lot of Mario figures, including Peach, for fairly cheap. So I bought it and had it delivered to my parents in the Netherlands. I then had to wait a while to be able to pick it up, but I finally had found Peach. The lot came with Luigi still in packaging too, and another Mario. And although that Mario is in a better condition, I can’t get rid of my childhood Mario, and I also prefer that paintjob over this “new” one.
All that’s left now is to find me a proper Toad…
I’m keeping my spare Mario and in-packaging Luigi for now as backups, but I can be persuaded to sell or trade. Luigi on a white disc is for sale.
A lot of people complain about the look of these figures, but I absolutely adore them and they scream 90s to me.
If you like classic Mario / Nintendo, you’ll love these figures. They can be a bit pricey nowadays though.
If you prefer more modern or accurate looking Mario / Nintendo stuff, you’ll probably want to give these a miss.
Got any more details / information you think I should add? Or did I get something wrong? Do you own these figures? Do you agree or disagree with my findings? Let me know in the comments below!