Fake Item Box

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Fake Item Box
Artwork of a Fake Item Box, from Mario Kart Wii.
Artwork from Mario Kart Wii
First appearance Mario Kart 64 (1996)
Latest appearance Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (2013)

The Fake Item Box, originally known as the Fake Item,[1][2] is an item found in the Mario Kart series. Fake Item Boxes resemble regular Item Boxes in their design, but unlike their regular counterparts, they do not give items to karts that pass through them—instead, the item acts as a hazard that flips vehicles over in a way similar to that caused by a Green Shell or a Red Shell. Fake Item Boxes are generally obtained by racers near the front of the race, being used as traps similarly to Bananas; however, as of Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Fake Item Boxes cannot block incoming shells. This item has not appeared in recent installments, with its last appearance in a main series Mario Kart game being in Mario Kart Wii.


Mario Kart series[edit]

Mario Kart 64[edit]

FakeItemBoxMK64 icon.png

The Fake Item's first appearance is in Mario Kart 64. It can only be obtained if the player is in 1st or 2nd place, but CPUs can also obtain it in 3rd to 6th place. They appear identical to regular Item Boxes with a key difference: the question mark inside is upside-down (a ¿ instead of a ?). Karts that collide with one are blasted into the air. Like Bananas, they can be used to block incoming shells, though unlike Bananas, they cannot be tossed forward. If placed in midair, the Fake Item floats; this is the only game where Fake Items are unaffected by gravity.

Pre-release screenshots of Mario Kart 64 depict the Fake Item with a bomb inside of it instead of an upside-down "?".[3]

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

Fake Items return in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Here, they retain their ¿ symbol and are now colored red, making them easier to distinguish from real Item Boxes. However, the color is slightly obscured when viewed from a distance; they will only appear solid red as the player approaches. Racers hit by a Fake Item will emit red electricity while tumbling. They can be destroyed by running into them with a Super Star or picked up with Hearts, while other obstacles pass through them, including all shells, eggs, Fireballs, and Chain Chomps.

Mario Kart DS[edit]

Fake Item Box

The Fake Item Box's next appearance is in Mario Kart DS. They have a new set of differences from a real Item Box: they lack a "¿" entirely, they do not spin around, and they show up as red on the bottom screen's map. Their overall behavior is much the same as the previous game, though they do not bounce when thrown. Additionally, they get knocked away if a racer collides with them instead of exploding as all other iterations do. They can be obtained if the player is anywhere from 1st to 3rd place, with CPUs also being able to obtain them in 4th and 5th place. In Balloon Battle, they can be obtained if the player has two or more balloons.

Missions 4-6 and 7-8 involve collecting a number of Item Boxes while avoiding Fake Item Boxes.

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2[edit]

Fake Item Boxes appear in Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 under the name Jack-in-the-boxes.[4] They look similar to the Fake Item Boxes of other games, but have a different effect when touched: Instead of flipping the kart out, it unleashes a toy jack-in-the-box clown to temporarily cover the screen while the speed of the kart decreases.

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

The Fake Item Boxes return to their Mario Kart: Double Dash!! look in Mario Kart Wii, with a style change to match the new style of the real ones, as well as being larger than in the previous games. They can be obtained from 1st to 5th place, with CPU-controlled players also being able to obtain it in 6th and 7th place. The highest chance of obtaining this item is in 1st place, with a 7 out of 40 (17.5%) chance of obtaining it in said position. While they still have a ¿ sign inside, like in Double Dash!!, they can hide their red color at a distance - only on approaching do they turn red. Fake Item Boxes become blue instead if they belong to the blue team in team play. Much like in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Fake Item Boxes can be destroyed only by colliding into them. In N64 DK's Jungle Parkway, if a lightweight racer places a Fake Item Box close to the edge of the track near the ramp and a heavyweight rams them into it using a Mushroom, they will get sent flying onto a small island. This is best demonstrated in VS Mode using two human players. This is so far the most recent non-arcade Mario Kart game the Fake Item Box appears as a usable item, making it, the Thunder Cloud, and the POW Block the only three usable items in Mario Kart Wii to not reappear in any future non-arcade installments.

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX[edit]

Fake Item Boxes make a reappearance in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, serving the same purpose as the Jack-in-the-boxes in Mario Kart Arcade GP 2.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games[edit]

The Fake Item Box makes its first appearance outside of the Mario Kart series in the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, where it appears in various Dream Events. In Dream Alpine, Dream Ski Cross, Dream Snowboard Cross, Dream Short Track and Dream Bobsleigh, Fake Item Boxes can be placed behind the player and will cause opponents that hit it to fall over and lose speed.

Unused appearances[edit]

Mario Kart: Super Circuit[edit]

While not in the final game, the Fake Item was going to appear in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, but was taken out. It shares the same function as the Banana.


Mario Kart Wii[edit]

The Fake Item Box card from the Mario Kart Wii trading cards
  • Trading card bio: "Deception. That's what the Fake Item Box is all about. It looks remarkably like a real Item Box except that the question mark inside of it is upside down. Many a racer has found out the hard way about the treachery of the Fake Item Box and those who drop them. But like the saying goes, it's always better to give than to receive. Words to live by when playing Mario Kart Wii, for sure."
    • Game Tip!: "Carefully drop a Fake Item Box within a cluster of other Item Boxes or directly behind a real Item Box so your rivals will run into it and crash."


It has been requested that more images be uploaded for this section. Remove this notice only after the additional image(s) have been added. Reason: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games





Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese にせアイテムボックス
Nise Aitemu Bokkusu
びっくりばこ (Mario Kart Arcade GP 2)

Fake Item Box

Surprise Box

Chinese 假道具[5]
Jiǎ Dàojù
Fake Item

French Fausse boîte à objets
Fausse boîte à bonus (Mario Kart 64 manual)
Fake item box
Fake bonus box
German Schwindel-Box
Cheat Box
Italian Oggetto Finto (Mario Kart: Double Dash!!)
Falso oggetto (Mario Kart DS and microsite of Mario Kart DS)
Oggetto finto (Mario Kart DS's instruction booklet and Mario Kart Wii)
Fake Item
False item
Fake item
Korean 가짜 아이템박스
Gajja Aitembakseu
Fake Item Box

Spanish Bloque Sorpresa
Surprise Block


The blue Fake Item Box, normally restricted to team races, can appear in solo races due to a glitch.
A glitch involving the appearance of blue Fake Item Boxes in a solo race in Mario Kart Wii.
  • In Mario Kart Wii, if the player selects a team race or battle mode first and chooses the blue team, then exits and plays Grand Prix or solo Vs. mode, the Fake Item Boxes will be blue instead of red.
  • The instruction booklets for Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart DS erroneously state that the Fake Item Box can be used to block incoming shells, when they cannot in games following Mario Kart 64.
  • There exist some unused leftovers for the Fake Item Box and Mega Mushroom in the files of Mario Kart 7.


  1. ^ Mario Kart 64 English instruction booklet, page 13.
  2. ^ Mario Kart: Double Dash!! English instruction booklet, page 17.
  3. ^ https://tcrf.net/Prerelease:Mario_Kart_64#Early_Fake_Item_Box
  4. ^ RobertoLPDX (June 28, 2015). Let's Play: Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (Longplay). YouTube. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  5. ^ Official Chinese website for Mario Kart 64. Retrieved February 20, 2020.