The Mario Kart franchise is the rare example of a game series that reaches all ages, from grammar school play dates to dorm room tournaments and beyond. And with the April 28 release of Mario Kart 8 for the Nintendo Switch looming, Target has turned into a love letter for all things Kart.
The transformation begins at the very front of 650-plus Target stores across the United States, where the big red bollards that keep stray shopping carts in check have been turned into spherical Marios and Luigis. From there, the store doors are rigged with flashing lights as shoppers are serenaded by the Mario theme song as they enter.
The stores' shopping carts have also undergone a makeover to look like Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach’s karts from the game. (Though Target does sell bananas, you'll have to supply your own blue turtle shells and Bob-ombs for that authentic Kart experience.)
Target will only look like a real-world Kart track for a limited time, so if you want to feel what it’s like to race down the aisle as Princess Peach, you better head to your local store soon to see if they’re participating. And if you’re looking to ensure you land your own copy of Mario Kart 8, you can go to Target’s website to preorder a copy.
Unfortunately, if it’s a new Nintendo Switch you’re after, well, Target isn’t making any promises. While it's not as impossible to find as the NES Classic was (when it still existed), Nintendo’s latest console isn’t immune to the company’s infamous low supply and high demand model.
“If you’re still trying to get your hands on Nintendo Switch, keep checking your local Target store,” the website states. “We’re working hard with Nintendo to keep these crazy-popular consoles flowing in to Target stores throughout the year.”
For now, your best chance to play some Kart might be in the aisles of your local Target.