Nintendo Has a “Perfect” Image of Mario, Invalidating Other Interpretations

The thing's on display at the Nintendo NY Store

Think of Mario. It’s very likely we all have different images of the Italian plumber based on age, game preference, and what Nintendo systems you either bought or skipped out on over the company’s many years.

But according to a display at the Nintendo Store in New York City, the company has a “perfect” image of the character on display that it uses for internal consultation for things like sculpting, toys, and modeling for video games.

Images of the statue of ideal Mario were posted on Twitter by Jenny Nicholson (@JennyENicholson), where Nintendo’s mascot is shown in a jumping pose that looks like pretty much every other time you’ve seen Mario jump before. But along with the statue is an info card that explains how Nintendo uses this ultimate Mario to maintain a consistent look and proportions in almost any media or merchandise where the fireball-throwing hero is seen.

“This model of Mario was made with “perfect” proportions to represent Mario for use by sculptors, toy makers, modelers, etc. to help in making other versions of Mario. By measuring and using this model as reference, it’s faster and more accurate to make a copy of Mario in different forms—and approval and review of the finished piece is much easier.”

Extended reading on the fire-throwing plumber:

So apparently this is version of Mario is the gold standard to which Nintendo holds all appearances of the character. While the statue is posed, as Nicholson hypothesized, it’s likely Doug Bowser and co. has the model itself saved in some heavily encrypted file that can be used to create poses and the like for things like the statue.

The larger implication here is that other versions of Mario are somehow less good and right than this perfect specimen of mushroom-eating hero.

Paper Mario? Fake

The Original Super Mario Bro from Super Mario Bros.? An impostor.

Bob Hoskins as Mario in the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film? A hoax. But still perfect.

No word on what this means for Baby Mario, who may one day grow up to be the flawless version of Princess Peach’s boyfriend Nintendo NYC has on display.