Nintendo Turning Mario Characters into Hot Wheels

Mario Bros. leadin' the way.

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When Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima said licensing deals are critical to helping the company bring in more consumers, he wasn't kidding.

In June the company's iconic characters appeared on Vans sneakers, and now they're being transformed into toy cars, as Nintendo has partnered with Mattel to turn six of its characters into Hot Wheels.

These characters are Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, Toad, and Bowser. Unfortunately neither Wario nor Waluigi have been given the Hot Wheels treatment, which is a travesty if you ask me. Take a look at the characters in car form below.

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According to Mattel, these Hot Wheels are "headed to stores now."

In February, Kimishima said fewer young people were finding Nintendo's characters through games, and were instead discovering them through products like officially licensed Mario toothbrushes. As a result, the company planned to focus on licensing deals.

"Due to changes in our industry, the proportion of young consumers who are first experiencing games on our systems has been falling," he said. "We want to have everyone become familiar with our IP by reaching as many people as possible from an early age within their daily lives. Our long-term strategy is to spark our consumers' interest in playing Nintendo game systems and encouraging continued growth of our games business."

A new Universal theme park based on Nintendo franchises is in the works, and rumors have suggested movies could also be on the way. Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto said in 2015 that the company is looking at bringing its characters and franchises to the big-screen, and leaked emails revealed that Sony Pictures was in deep negotiations with Nintendo.

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