We can't believe it either—everyone's favorite jumping, mustached, red-hatted plumber is turning 35 this year! Although the beloved character, originally named "Jumpman," debuted in 1981's Donkey Kong, he (and brother Luigi) first starred in a Super Mario Bros. title in 1985.
Developer Nintendo plans to make Mario's (and, hopefully, Luigi's) thirty-fifth birthday celebration a big one. Later this year, they will reveal official plans to re-release a number of classic Mario games from throughout the decades on the Nintendo Switch.
Rumored titles ripe for a re-release include 2007's Super Mario Galaxy, 2002's Super Mario Sunshine, and a twenty plus-year-old beloved gem, 1997's Super Mario 64. Additionally, 2013's Super Mario Galaxy is slated to receive an upgraded Deluxe version.
In addition to re-releases, there are rumors of several new Mario games coming out in 2020 as part of the franchise's anniversary celebration. In particular, the Paper Mario series may be receiving a new installment, the first since 2016's Paper Mario: Color Splash.
Originally, Nintendo was going to unveil its plans for Mario's anniversary party at 2020's E3 conference in June. However, E3 has been officially canceled as a result of the current global COVID-19 pandemic. With the loss of E3, many companies have turned to digital showcases to announce upcoming titles. However, it is currently unknown whether or not Nintendo will follow suit. The company has so far refused to comment on any rumors related to potential Mario-related announcements.
One official announcement has been made: the upcoming release of several Super Mario Bros. themed Lego sets. The highly interactive sets feature coins to collect, a Yoshi to team up with, and classic enemies to defeat, including a Piranha Plant and Bowers Jr. Nintendo has not ruled out that its new partnership with Lego could result in additional sets, including those based on non-Mario IPs.
Fans are also hoping for further details regarding the release of Super Nintendo World, an upcoming theme park at Universal Studios Japan (and later Universe Studios Orlando). While the park's planned summer opening will likely be delayed due to COVID-19, we can at least expect further news and details to arrive sometime this year.
Sources say that Nintendo has also partnered with a number of other retailers, including clothing brands Uniqlo and Levi's, although it is not known whether those deals will lead to the unveiling of Mario-related anniversary products.
Additionally, a staggering array of brand new Mario merchandise can be purchased at the all-new Nintendo Store, which opened in late 2019 and is located in Tokyo's Shibuya district.
What Super Mario titles are you hoping to see released or re-released as part of the series' 35th-anniversary celebration? Let us know!