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Nintendo Unveils Real-Life Mario Kart

Many of us have concentrated so hard on our Mario Kart antics that we’ve forgotten we’re not actually driving the kart (who wouldn’t want to throw a turtle shell at a giant ape trying to make us spin out?). For everyone who’s ever imagined what it would be like to really get behind the wheel of one of those fun-looking go-karts, Nintendo has indulged our fantasies by creating two real-life versions of Mario’s and Luigi’s karts. The company unveiled the wheels at the LA Auto Show.

The karts are replicas of the on-screen vehicles that were designed for Nintendo’s Mario Kart 7, which is due out Dec. 4. While the karts are undoubtedly entertaining gamers and car enthusiasts, it’s likely a very strategic marketing ploy by the struggling gaming giant.

Nintendo earlier announced it would likely record its first losses ever in 2011, thanks in large part to the advent of smartphone gaming apps, their availability and their very low price points. Introducing a real-life Mario Kart would be an excellent way to drum up buzz and, hopefully, sales just in time for Mario Kart 7’s release, which coincidentally falls at the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

Watch a cool video of the karts below.

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