This is Mascot Week. All week. I shall be featuring some of my favorite mascots, starting with a very special one.
If you want to see a bunch of mascots, Las Vegas is a great place. While technically, they aren't "official" mascots, they are close enough for the purpose of this site.
Mario is a fictional character, who first appeared in Donkey Kong in 1981. Originally he was unnamed or simply called "jumpman." Later, with a bit of flipflopping, Mario's full name was revealed to be Mario Mario.
Mario has appeared in over 200 video games and the Mario franchise is the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Despite the success, Mario almost didn't come to be.
Shigeru Miyamoto had originally attempted to create a video game featuring Popeye, Olive Oyl and Bluto, but he couldn't obtain the licensing rights.
Mario's apparel colors were created to have a contrast with the rest of the action in Donkey Kong. His large nose and mustache were added to make the small on-screen character appear more human.
In addition to all of the video games, Mario has also spawned a huge merchandise line. Mario might be the most recognizable human video game character. So even though this wasn't the "official" Mario character, I still took the opportunity to pose with him.
Mario and me in Las Vegas, NV-October 2016.