A retrospective (and retro) salute to video gaming’s greatest hero.

This is a golden age for T-shirts. Working from home, with the weather warming up, means no need to put on formal business attire. It’s also a golden age for video games, since the safest place to get your entertainment during the coronavirus pandemic is within the healthy safety of your own home.

And so the timing is just right for the release of Uniqlo’s brand-new line of Super Mario T-shirts.

Actually, the real reason we’re getting these shirts now is that 2020 marks the 35th anniversary of Nintendo’s Super Mario franchise (yes, the character first appeared in 1981’s Donkey Kong, but he wasn’t called Mario then, and he wasn’t yet super in 1983’s Mario Bros.).

In keeping with the historical focus, many of the shirts include artwork and other elements seemingly sourced from the beloved NES game’s instruction manual.

Of course, Mario being super for three and a half decades means that his look isn’t limited to 8-bit pixel art, as this shirt tracking his evolution shows.

▼ Granted, that Super Mario 64 version isn’t taken from the in-game graphics, but from the render for the box art, but he looks exactly that cool in N64 fans’ memories.

Still, the focus here is largely on Super Mario’s early outings, like this scene which for many gamers was their first mind-blowing experience with skipping levels.

▼ Choosing to only jump to World 2, when you’re already half-way through 1-2, is a puzzlingly high level of restraint.

Surprisingly, there’s one shirt that features Mario only in name, saluting his first adventure on the Super Famicom/Super NES.

▼ But then again, Yoshi really did steal the spotlight in the system’s launch title.

And last, in the most subtly clever design

…we see Mario crouching down, with his hat pulled down over his ears as he makes himself as small as possible.

How come?

Because there’s a Bullet Bill shooting by above his head!

The entire lineup went on sale at Uniqlo retail locations in Japan on April 10, and can be ordered online here. Each shirt is identically priced at 990 yen, making for a affordable way to expand your stay-at-home wardrobe (and also look good once it’s time to go outside again).

Source, images: Uniqlo via Otakomu
Images: Uniqlo
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he wonders if anyone else initially pronounced it as “Super Mario Bros” instead of “Super Mario Brothers.”