I took a chance the other week with our favorite friends, Pix'n Love Publishing. I decided to purchase the recently released Mario Goodies Collection from their website directly. I absolutely kept track of everything going on with my order, because their history speaks for itself. After no contact or responses whatsoever for a good three weeks, it showed up unexpectedly in the mail. The fact that I was surprised that it arrived at all is a testament to Pix'n Love's business practices. And don't think I didn't repeatedly attempt to find out the status of my order. But on to the book itself.
This thing is great. It is a brief documentation of Mitsugi Kikai's Mario collection. Kikai holds the distinction of having the most Mario-related items in the world. His Guinness World Records certificate clocks it in at 5,400 individual unique items. However, he claims the actual total of all items he owns is closer to 20,000 (including doubles, etc.).
The book is primarily pictures, with tiny text snippets in between. This is a great format for a book like this, because Kikai has a lot of unique and rare items. The book is separated into eight sections:
- Video Games
- Video & Audio
- Figurines & Plushies
- Life Accessories
- Collector Goodies
- Foreign Goodies
Thankfully, there are items from the Famicom-era all the way up to present day. For me, the older items stand out as being a lot more interesting, as the more modern things can be found in stores right now. I really enjoy the things from the period where Nintendo was a little more free on how their characters were presented, and things weren't as set in stone as they are today. The artwork on a lot of the boxes and promotional material is also way cooler than anything currently on Mario-themed stuff (in my opinion). Most of the pictures presented here are of older-era items.
Obviously, the book can't cover the entirety of Kikai's collection, but it definitely has a lot of variety, and the formatting is perfect. Pictures are all high quality and presented on a plain background. The text is unobtrusive, which is good, because the focus is on the items themselves. I made the grab for a "Tanuki Limited Edition," which was limited to 150 copies (supposedly). Apparently it is already sold out. I can't speak for the "Classic Edition," but the Tanuki version is a really nice hardcover with solid binding. The pages are of high quality, and all images are in vivid color. I believe the "Classic Edition" is softcover.
The only complaint I have is the flimsy half slipcover that goes over the book itself. The thought is nice. It's a pipe that Mario's face peeks out from. However, the material is very thin, and the fit is extremely snug. Already the edges are starting to fray, and I've only removed it once.
For Nintendo collectors, I would say that this book is definitely a must-have. The amount of items, high quality images, and organized way it's presented really make this book stand out in terms of quality. As stated before, Pix'n Love knows how to make books well. They just can't effectively handle the international business part to save their lives. They took a tiny step in the right direction by just printing the English text right below the French, so they didn't have to do two separate printings.
I would highly recommend picking this book up, but the only place to get it right now is Pix'n Love's website directly. Order at your own risk!