Nintendo says heck no to unlicensed Mario Kart rental outfit

Alleging infringement of intellectual property, the gaming giant is suing a company that lets you drive a go-kart on the streets of Tokyo in Super Mario outfits.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read
Picture from Geek Culture, used with permission

Always wanted to race around the streets of Tokyo dressed up as your Super Mario character on a go-kart? Well you soon won't be able to do that, if Nintendo has its way in court.

The Japanese gaming giant is taking a Mario-inspired go-kart rental company, MariCar, to task for infringing on its intellectual property, according to a Friday press release from the company.

While driving go-karts aren't exactly a new thing, MariCar's combination of being able to drive on actual roads while dressed up as characters from Super Mario have great appeal to tourists visiting Japan. The surge in popularity has not gone unnoticed, however, and Nintendo is taking action.

Nintendo claims that the company's name, MariCar, is a play on its popular Mario Kart racing games, and that MariCar is using Mario branding and apparel for advertising purposes with out permission.

MariCar, which charges a customer around 8,000 to 11,000 yen (about $70 to $100) for a 2-hour ride, lets customers put on a Mario onesie while driving around Tokyo's fashionable Shinjuku area in groups of 6 to 12.

And it's not a gig for slow drivers, according to this online review. The route takes you up on expressways alongside cars and buses, and you'll have to keep up with the convoy. A valid international driving license is also required, and no, you don't get to shoot turtle shells at other drivers. It's not really a race, after all.

If you're keen to try this out before it gets shut down completely, you'd best be heading on a plane to Tokyo as soon as possible before it all the fun ends.