Living in Manhattan on a journalist's salary comes with certain pros and cons. On the one hand, you get to live in Manhattan; on the other, your sliver of Manhattan is inordinately small, more closet than proper home, forcing extreme austerity in both budget and belongings. That means an even stricter limit on any collection of souvenirs and collectibles. But that doesn't keep me from dreaming big.
I now live in a one-bedroom apartment (I've moved since this story), and though that means I definitely do not have any disposable income right now, I at least have a little bit of space to dream on With some cash, I will be able to line bookshelves, window sills, and dressers with a grand assortment of ephemera that I'll swear is ironic but I actually really treasure.
After reviewing some of the great (and very weird) Godzilla merchandise I found on eBay, I'm now delving into the world of Super Mario. A lot of this stuff is either old or based on older versions of the former plumber, though there are some... new and risqué items at the end.
These Super Mario Bros. comics
This is pure ignorance on my part, but I had no idea there were Super Mario Bros. comics. (Yes, I knew about the cartoon show.) Starting at $19.99, it's not a bad deal.
This old Mario trophy
Look closely and you'll see that this was meant to reward someone for a high score in a video game, not for some kind of cosplay martial arts competition. But this thing is 30 years old, so I think at this point, you can give it as a reward for whatever you damn well please. Just $39.99!
These Mario and Luigi Pikachus
Name a more iconic trio. I'll wait. (I guess you can put it in the comments, maybe I'll check it at some point, but really I'm just quoting a meme.) These are licensed, too, and were sold at the Pokémon Center store in Japan! The mustaches alone are enough to make me really consider buying these — especially because I can get both for just $22.99!)
This 'autographed' Super Mario Bros. movie Slithering Koopa action figure
An action figure of "Bowers" from the Super Mario Bros. movie is enough of a prize. But throw in a mint condition box, autographed by... "someone," and you've got yourself a steal. The seller 100 percent doesn't know who autographed this thing — a friend of theirs won it and it was signed by the cast of a PODCAST. What more do you need to know? Especially for just $20, plus $8.75 for shipping and handling!
This Mario bowl
As the description makes clear, this is for TOBACCO use, OK? This strange piece of smoking erotica will set you back a dank $39.99.
This fuzzy Mario plush from 1988
Stuffed toys tend not to age well and so you shouldn't expect a doll released 30 years ago to be in great condition. Still, this 10-inch Mario plush by Acme (a company that seems to no longer produce plush dolls) is especially bedraggled. I figured it was just a really low-quality product to begin with, but a little further investigation yielded plushes that are in considerably better shape. Still, I am featuring this really crappy one because it looks like Mario spent 30 years just going up and down a pipe and that makes me laugh. And, at $17.99, it's cheaper than the others.
This Bowser iron-on T-shirt transfer
There are three things I like about this:
1. The Nintendo Power branding
2. The extra work it requires to have Bowser on your T-shirt
3. The stylish dude modeling the thing.
For $8.99, it's obviously a steal.
These decorative wall trims
My girlfriend really does not like the wooden trim at the top of our walls in our new apartment and I think I've found a solution. For just $20, too!