Friday, November 18, 2011

The Mushroom Kingdom!

When I saw that Nintendo was building the Mushroom Kingdom in the center of Times Square, New York City, in celebration of the release of Super Mario World 3d for the 3ds, I couldn't help myself. I called my friend in the city to see if I had a place to stay, then I booked my flight. Nintendo has never let me down before*, so flying from New Orleans to New York City for this event should be totally worth it, right? I mean, life size warp tubes, trampoline coin bounce, FREE Tanooki ears and tail?! I'm so in.

I get to New York City (my first time, mind you) and I'm a buzz with excitement. I set my alarm to make sure I got there a little bit early for this 10am event. I take my first subway ride to Times Square and... Wow, there's already 2,000+ people here. The crowd completely dwarfed the playground. My first wave of worry hits. Did I travel 1,500 miles to wait in a line?

So I make my way to the back of the "line" and realize there’s no line at all, just a mob of pushing mom's, crying kids and dedicated nerds all vying for the best position to obtain the free Tanooki ears and Tail, of which we all assume supplies are quickly dwindling. One mom berated me for my age, telling me that this event was for children and that I was ruining her childrens' day by being in "line" before them. I almost had to call her a very nasty name in front of her children. Second wave of worry hits. Is this going to turn into a riot?

So I wait, and I wait and I wait. Three full hours pass and I don't feel like I've gotten any closer to the entrance. Not only that, but I start seeing people that were behind me in line getting up to front! I start cursing Nintendo quietly in my head (and not-so-quietly on Twitter) for not having line barricades. I start losing hope. Third wave of worry. Should I just go home?

That's when I spied a Nintendo employee not dressed like everyone else. Could it be? Yes! Its an Event Coordinator! I tapped her on the shoulder and explained to her how far I had traveled and my Platinum Club Nintendo status, and how if I could just get the ears and Tail that I would even pass on playing in the Kingdom. She took me to the front of the line! FAITH RESTORED!

I get my ears and tail (which are super high quality and AMAZING) and hop right up into THE MOTHA EFFIN MUSHROOM KINGDOM. They have a life size Bullet Bill, two huge, scarey looking Piranha Plants, Trampolines that make the coin grab noise when you jump on them all accompanied by the Super Mario Theme encouraging you to Mario style greatness in the background. Completely magical.

That being said, the whole Playground setup was a little cramped, which was another reason the "line" had been moving so slowly. Now I understand doing an event like this in Times Square has its obstacles to overcome, and taking over even a half a block of space is going to be a major undertaking, but then I guess that leads me to ask: Was that really the best choice of location for an event like this? Nerds are dedicated people, if you build it, they will come (in costume). There’s really no need to put an event like this is such a high traffic area.

Everything worked out for me, but I can't help but think there where many many disappointed faces coming out of this event due to some organizational fails on Nintendo's part. Events like this attract the loyal and they're the ones your should be thinking about Nintendo. Tsk, tsk - for shame.

If I were to rate this event on a scale of 1-10 I'd give it a 6. The giveaways and the Playground were cool, but the wait time and the lack of organization were why I have to be a tough on scoring here. Nintendo, you almost failed me, but I'm still on your side! Just keep your priorities straight!

*cept the virtual boy.

Click Here to see Nudie-Tanooki photos!

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