If you've ever wanted to experienceÂ Mario KartÂ in real life, then we have some bad news for you. You can't. Because Nintendo threw a blue shell at your best chance of feeling the wind in your hair as you drift through the the Mushroom Kingdom, and now that dream is deader than Luigi in Dracula's castle. In late September, Nintendo won a lawsuit against MariCAR, a Tokyo-based go-karting company that offered patrons the chance to drive around the streets of Tokyo decked out in Mario cosplay. The Tokyo District Court ruled that MariCAR must fork over 10 million yenÂ -- approximately $89,000 -- in damages to the video game maker for intellectual property infringement.
According to Nintendo, the company, which offered unlicensed Mario KartÂ cosplay to its customers, was harming theÂ Mario Kart brand and creating brand confusion to prospective consumers. MariCAR, which first drew Nintendo's legal ire for including people in Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Bowser costumes in its promotional advertising, has been ordered to cease and desist offering the branded costumes to prospective kart riders.â€œWe will continue to take necessary steps against damage being done to our brand and intellectual properties, which we have spent years to build,â€ Nintendo said in a statement about its legal victory.MariCAR also made headlines in recent months when tourists crashed their go-karts while driving around the streets of Japan. To be fair, this lawsuit only the second worst reason thatÂ Mario KartÂ has been in the news recently. (If you don't know what this is referencing, for the love of all that is good and holy, do not look it up.)
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But there is a light at the end of the Rainbow Road if you happen to live in the United States. Australian-based company the Mushroom Rally is bringing a new real-lifeÂ Mario KartÂ experience to Los Angeles in 2019. Unlike MariCAR, which lets customers drive around city streets, the Mushroom Rally is a race that takes place on a custom-built track and it will feature approximately 600 people racing in groups of 20 at a time, according toÂ Los Angeles Magazine.Â you can even win custom trophies if you manage to achieve pole position. Those who eke out a win will receive tickets to compete against winners from other cities in a larger competition in Las Vegas, too. Whether or not Nintendo will start stockpiling bananas and red shells in the meantime to throw the Mushroom Rally's way next year remains to be seen, but something tells me that they better keep Lakitu on speed-dial.Do you think that Nintendo did the right thing? Would you want to try a real-lifeÂ Mario Kart experience? Let us know in the comments below.