Long before you mastered "Madden," "FIFA," and even "Golden Eye" or "NBA Jam," there's a pretty good chance you squandered many hours with a gray plastic controller in your hands, gobbling gold coins, climbing through green pipes, and guiding a red-and-white-clad plumber on an 8-bit quest to clobber Bowser and rescue Princess Peach. It's no wonder that in 1990, a study concluded that Mario was more popular and recognizable to American children than Mickey Mouse.
Earlier this week, Shigeru Miyamoto's mustachioed Italian brothers, Mario and Luigi, celebrated their 25th birthdays. Since hitting store shelves on September 13, 1985, the Super Mario franchise has sold almost 240 million video game units. The duo have been the face of energy drinks, lunch boxes, shampoos, an ill-fated movie and cartoon show, and even a long-discontinued breakfast cereal. As we pay homage to the silver anniversary of Super Mario Bros., the popularity of Mario-themed costumes shouldn't be overlooked. Almost certain as jumping into the lava in Bowser's Castle or getting blasted from behind by a turtle shell in Mario Kart, every Halloween party will have at least one attendee dressed up as a character from the Mushroom Kingdom. As a tribute to 25 years of Mario's video-game dominance, here are photos of the 15 most epic and common Super Mario-themed costumes.
Mario and Luigi
Mario and Luigi with Special Powers
The Mario Kart Ensemble