The video game museum Art of Nintendo Power revealed earlier today on Twitter that it has restored an old Mario mascot costume from 1989, which was used in the 1990 Nintendo World Championships.
The museum announced it was in the middle of acquiring the costume back in January of this year. At the time, the then-owner of the costume had started rebuilding the head with a third party, but it still needed new eyes and a bunch of other work done to it due to decades of wear and tear. So the Art of Nintendo Power volunteered to take it off their hands and finish the restoration process itself, with the aim being to eventually transform it into a part of its regular museum exhibit.
The costume arrived in the museum's hands in June, and since then, has undergone a further transformation, with Art of Nintendo Power reaching out to the original maker to create a new set of eyes, in addition to doing some additional work on the face. Here's what Art of Nintendo Power said about the process in its recent announcement:
"Our dream project is almost finished. This is a restored official Nintendo Mario mascot costume circa 1989. Nintendo used him for a number of events. Including the 1990 Nintendo World Championships. When he was found, his thermoplastic interior was completely disintegrated, which could not be repaired. The person who found him originally began restoration using hard foam (which is why he looks different. His "bones" are a totally different material!).
When we purchased him and took over, he was about 50% of the way there. We commissioned new eyes, did more work to the face, and mounted him semi-permanently to a mannequin. I am BEYOND pleased with the result. I knew we wouldn't be able to get him to 100% based on the irreversible work that had already been done. But I'd say he's a good 85%, he's stable, and he's safe."
Art of Nintendo Power will be making an appearance at Pax West (which takes place this weekend between September 1-4). We're not sure whether the Mario costume will be on display at the event just yet, but we recommend going along anyway, if you're in the area, to see some of the other great Nintendo artifacts that will likely be on show.