Mario Kart would be an amazing event in real life. Just think about how fast you could go zipping around little tracks with Mario-themed karts and even “power-ups” to use. It would attract so many people it’d be ridiculous. It seems one company in Tokyo has done its best to provide this kind of experience to tourists.
MariCAR Shinagawa has been serving up lookalike Mario Kart cars for anyone who wants to zoom around Tokyo in style. There are even special onesies for tourists to wear to put them in the shoes of their favorite characters while riding around in the karts.
Unfortunately, with all the Mario Kart characters and cars available, Nintendo has taken an exception to this service and has stated that the karts are a little too close to the original Mario Kart models for comfort. These rides were being given without the permission of Nintendo, and Nintendo has this operation in its crosshairs now.
MariCAR states that they previously spoke to Nintendo as well as their personal legal experts to ensure they were doing nothing that wasn’t above the board. But it seems that Nintendo feels otherwise, as the company wants to make sure there’s a clear demarcation between Mario Kart copycats and its own brands, especially as there seems to be a new Mario Kart attraction coming soon at Nintendo’s theme parks in the future.
MariCAR is indeed frustrated by the situation, especially since the attention attracted by the lawsuit Nintendo has filed against them has already caused their website to crash. They also don’t have the money to take on a giant like Nintendo in this type of situation, so it’s likely the business will just shut down.
MariCAR is still giving rides for now, but the focus of their brand has been altered slightly, with the company’s website now states:
“MariCAR is in no way a reflection of the game ‘Mario Kart’. Therefore, when riding the go-carts none of the following will be allowed. 1. No racing each other on the streets. 2. Do not throw banana peals or any other garbage on to the streets. 3. Do not throw red turtle shells or any other objects to each other. MariCAR is a very exciting once in a life time experience tour you can enjoy in the streets of Japan.”
Unfortunately, this story will likely end with the MariCAR service going away, but it was a very cool idea from the Tokyo-based business. Hopefully whatever Nintendo comes up with will be equally awesome to merit getting rid of this service.
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