Tower Records’ Mario Celebration!
It’s Mario’s 30th anniversary, and to celebrate Tower Records in Japan is pulling out all the stops with a massive summer sale campaign featuring a bevy of exclusive Mario goodies. Myself, being both a Mario and Tower Records fanatic, had to check it out.
It’s pretty rad.
I first headed down to the Shinjuku store, as this is the one closest to my place. The store takes up four stories of the Flags department store building, with each floor featuring some sort of Mario display.
Those question mark boxes aren’t just for display though, they’re tissue boxes! And if you show the clerk a tweet from Tower Records mentioning them, you get one for free. Thanks to my lovely boyfriend for translating their tweets and letting me know, or I never would have scored one.
The Shibuya store goes one step further with the Mario decorations, decking out their entire entry facade to be Mario-themed, and adding cute Mario pixel art on the escalators between each floor.
On the second floor of the Shibuya store is a Tower Records Cafe, and they’ve gotten into the celebratory spirit as well. Not only did is the area decked out with Mario plushies, but special Mario meals have been added to the menu too.
Gesso (Bloober in the states) inspired squid-ink pasta with a side of lettuce and red sea weed made up the main course. That was followed by a lovely question mark block tiramisu that was absolutely delicious.
As for drinks, I had a great blue soda also inspired by the underwater level, while my darling boyfriend sipped on a Mario latte that he said was very refreshing. The other Tower Cafes have their own unique Mario food, and you can find out more about them by going to Tower’s official website (Japanese only, sorry).
Included with the meal were some freebies as well! We each got one Mario coaster, and were given the chance to grab one random figurine from a set of eight. Unfortunately, we both got bloobers! Oh well, it just gives me an excuse to go back again. I really want Luigi.
If you don’t feel like eating the Mario food, there are still some free goods you can get. In addition to the previously mentioned tissue boxes, you can also get free fans featuring Mario. No need to show tweets or even ask for these, you can just go right up and take one. Tower often gives out fans like these, as they are welcome freebies during Tokyo’s incredibly hot and humid summers.
Those are the extent of the complimentary Mario swag, however, if you want anything else it’s going to cost you. There are a lot of t-shirts for sale, although since I’m a giant by Japan standards I didn’t even bother looking at those. Instead I moved straight onto the other souvenirs and merchandise.
Got some Mario cups! They’re a little on the small side, but they’ll work well for coffee/whiskey. As you can tell, they sport the “No Music. No Life” Tower Records logo, as do the rest of the Mario items.
Much like fans, towels like these are big items in Japan, especially at concerts where people use them to cover their heads from the sun or dip them in water to help them cool down. I wouldn’t dream of defiling mine in such a way though, it’s going on my wall.
Love these folders too! Tower’s colors being nearly the same as Mario’s really turned out to be a happy accident, they look great together.
Also got a keychain. Also going on my wall.
However, what will no doubt be one of the hottest commodities from this summer sale will be the Mario black record bag.
Unlike everything else on sale, you can only buy this with points via a Tower Records membership. It took me several frustrating tries to figure this out (my Japanese is horrendous and the clerks’ English is usually worse) but again, thanks to my boyfriend, all was taken care of. I now have a new record shopping bag.
This is really a fun little event and if you find yourself in Japan before it ends in July, I highly recommend checking it out. These Mario goods will no doubt be a hot commodity on the collector’s market someday, and the food is delicious!