The Good: Cute, Well-made, Can be affordable
The Bad: Doesn't so much DO anything, Begs for other Super Mario Plushes!
The Basics: The Koopa Troopa from Super Mario Brothers is imported as a 10” plush in a crawling stance and is actually a pretty cool stuffed “animal.”
Back when I worked for a comic book shop (was that really only a year and a month ago?!), I was pretty happy. I was actually becoming the comic book geek I grudgingly admit that I am now, having been a lifelong science fiction geek. My wife, however, has some tendencies of the video game nerds and I love her for that. In trying to get her some swag that she might like, the day that the boss at the comic book shop I managed got in a huge bunch of boxes of Super Mario plush toys, I let her know. The next day, she came to work with me to hang out for the day and she fell, almost immediately, in love with the plush Koopa Troopa!
Banpresto in China is the company that makes plush characters based upon the Super Mario Brothers video gamesThe tags are all in Chinese, save the Super Mario logo, the name Banpresto, the website address, and the line “licensed by Nintendo.” These stuffed toys are designed to look cute and embody the characters from the popular video game franchise and they live up to that remarkably well. The Koopa Troopa, in fact, comes in several different varieties, from the upright running one to the crawling one. The one I got for my wife is the crawling one, which makes sense because in the game players jump on top of the back of the Koopa Troopa as it waddles around on all fours!
The stuffed toy is 9 1/2” long by 6” wide and 5” high. It is basically a bright yellow turtle with comically large eyes and a smooth green shell. While four feet, tail, head and underside are all plush, the shell is a smooth vinyl with a pattern reminiscent of a soccer ball.
The eyes on the Koopa Troopa are embroidered, as are the nostrils, so this is actually, a very durable little plush! For those who actually want to make Super Mario scenes, the underside of the Koopa Troopa is well-detailed with the lines on the belly stitched right in!
The Koopa Troopa’s materials are also listed in Chinese and the website for the plush toys is in Japanese, so I cannot evaluate that.
The Koopa Troopa is probably considered by everyone but my wife to be an accessory of its own, as opposed to a primary plush. It comes with no accessories, but it does have a glossy hard cardboard tag attached to its soft tag on the actual Koopa Troopa. It comes with no other accessories.
The Koopa Troopa is fun, but it does not actually do anything. This is a plush that stands stably on all fours and makes a cute pounding sound when it is punched on its shell (this is basically just the sound of flesh on vinyl). Beyond that, it is not an especially playable toy.
I can only suspect that the importers for Banpresto are either scamming eBay or are seriously using sweatshop labor in making their Super Mario toys. When the boss at the comic shop bought the Koopa Troopa and other Super Mario plushes, he was able to get lots of them for less than $10/lot (lots being anywhere from two to seven plush toys per lot!) plus shipping. The importers refused to combine shipping, which was the dramatic expense of these toys (though it did not cost nearly that much to ship). As a result, these plush toys seem to have some of the most varied prices in the business, anywhere from $10 - $40/ea.! It is hard to guess what will happen to the market on these when Banpresto stops producing them, but right now they are hot and they show no signs of deflating in value at the very least.
The Koopa Troopa plush can be exceptionally cool if you find it inexpensively enough, which is a very real possibility. Because there is so little cool Super Mario merchandise in the United States, this is bound to appeal to most fans of the franchise who are looking for swag from their favorite video game.
For other plush toys, check out my reviews of:
The Worm From Labyrinth Plush
Platte River Trading Mexican Free-tail Bat Plush
Giant Microbes Bad Breath
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.