Skip to content

Real-life Mario Kart company loses final appeal to Nintendo, owes ¥50 million in damages

Tokyo street karting company MariCar cops an almighty blue shell from Nintendo for unofficially using their Mario Kart characters.

Chris Button
Chris Button
1 min read
Real-life Mario Kart company loses final appeal to Nintendo, owes ¥50 million in damages

Once upon a time, there was a Tokyo street kart company that imitated Mario Kart. You may have seen pictures. It looked pretty cool. But the company hadn't licensed anything from Nintendo, leading to Mario's lawyers getting involved.

There ain't no fairytale end here, that's for sure.

The latest in a long-running legal dispute between Nintendo and kart hire company MariCar is that a Supreme Court appeal from the latter has failed, meaning they now have to pay Nintendo ¥50 million (nearly $625,000 AUD).

This ongoing stoush dates back to 2017, where Nintendo sued MariCar for intellectual property infringement, as the street karting company included costumes so participants could dress up as Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom companions, which featured heavily in promotional materials.

Initially, a 2018 court ruling awarded ¥10 million in damages for Nintendo, but back and forth appeals resulted in an eventual larger sum in favour of the Japanese games company.

In amongst all this, MariCar, which has since changed its name and removed references to Mario Kart from its website, attempted to crowdfund support during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

They only attracted four donors over several months. Ouch.

I don't think anyone will be attempting to break Rainbow Road records in the streets of Tokyo anytime soon.

Nintendo is famously protective of their IP — MariCar is simply another in a long line of companies to learn this the hard way.

Art & CultureNintendoGames

Chris Button

Chris is an award-nominated writer based in Adelaide who specialises in covering video games and technology. He loves Donkey Kong Country, sport, and cats. The Last Jedi is the best one, no questions


Related Posts

Immersive Gamebox review: a genuinely fun alternative to movies or arcades

The photos look weird, but they just don't do it justice. Immersive Gamebox is a nice new option for some interactive fun in the heart of Sydney.

Immersive Gamebox review: a genuinely fun alternative to movies or arcades

Xbox adds vaporous new styles to its custom controller Design Lab

Electric, Fire, Cyber, Dream, Nocturnal, and Stormcloud. Can you guess which colour is which in the new Vapour style range on the Xbox Design Lab?

Six controllers with six different new Vapour style finishes.

What's the Venn diagram of Destiny and Mass Effect fans?

Destiny 2 is having some fun with a Mass Effect crossover event, letting players nab some armor sets inspired by some of our fave friends from the Normandy Crew. Titans can get a Commander Shepard style N7 set, for Hunters there's a Garrus style Vakarian set, and Warlocks