Thank you Mario! But our ice cream is in another box!

One of Japan’s most popular types of ice cream is Pino. Its simple design, a bite-sized morsel of ice cream coated in rich chocolate, belies the depths of its deliciousness. And now, to make them even more tempting, Pino has teamed up with the smash hit The Super Mario Bros. Movie for a limited time.

A trip to participating supermarkets and convenience stores across Japan will let you come face to face with one or all of three special packages of Pino with Mario and his friends on the cover.

But that’s just the tip of the ice cream! There’s a chance that waiting inside will be limited-edition Pino ice creams in special star and heart shapes. But even rarer is a super mushroom Pino said to be made with white and strawberry chocolate to look just like it does in the games and movie.

The thought of rare chocolate mushroom-shaped ice cream alone sent our office into a frenzy and our reporters P.K. Sanjun and Ikuna Kamezawa set out to find it by buying 30 boxes of Pino!

It’s unclear how rare this power-up is, but surely the odds are better than one in 30… right?

Spirits were high as P.K. opened the first box, only to reveal…

▼ …6 regular Pino

As our team reached the tenth box things were looking pretty grim… or as grim as opening dozens of boxes of ice cream can be.

Then, they suddenly they hit on a winner in the form of a star-shaped Pino!

Much like the magic star of Mario games past, it made our reporters feel invincible as they bravely forged ahead through more boxes of tasty treats.

But by the twentieth box of Pino, the star had worn off and the regular background music returned to P.K. and Ikuna’s adventure.

However, shortly after that, they they came across a rather underwhelming heart-shaped Pino. It was nowhere near as encouraging as the star, in no small part because the Super Mario games don’t really even use hearts all that much.

As if going through one of the underwater levels from the first Super Mario Bros., our Super Pino Bro and Sis trudged slowly and awkwardly through the final boxes. Ikuna opened number five and, well… Her face really says it all.

And once P.K. opened the thirtieth box it was made certain that the super mushroom Pino is really hard to get.

Still, he decided to have his picture taken with the two winning and 28 losing boxes of Pino for posterity.

So, sadly, after spending roughly 5,000 yen (US$37) on ice cream, we cannot report on what this special edition Pino looks like, so here’s a picture of some mushrooms from the movie. It’s probably something like that.

Image:© 2023 Nintendo and Universal Studios

If you decide to take the Super Mario Pino plunge and do find one of these coveted super mushroom ice cream treats, be sure to cherish it. It’s one of those fleeting foods, so get a nice photo and really take the time to appreciate whatever level of craftsmanship went into making it before popping it in your mouth because you may never get another chance.

Photos © SoraNews24 (unless otherwise noted)
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[ Read in Japanese ]