Fake Item Box
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The Fake Item Box is an item found in the Mario Kart series. They resemble regular Item Boxes in their design, but unlike their regular counterparts, they do not bestow 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.
Mario Kart series
Mario Kart 64
The Fake Item Box's first appearance is in Mario Kart 64. 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 midair, the Fake Item Box floats; this is the only game where Fake Item Boxes are unaffected by gravity.
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
While Fake Item Boxes are absent in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Fake Item Boxes (called simply Fake Items in the Nintendo Power guide) appear in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Here, they have a ¿ symbol and are also colored red. However, the color cannot be seen from a distance - only when approaching will they turn red. 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
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.
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Fake Item Boxes appear in Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 under the name Jack-in-the-boxes. 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
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. 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. 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, the Mega Mushroom, and the POW Block the only four usable items in Mario Kart Wii to not reappear in any future non-arcade installments.
Trading card information
Description: "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."
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX
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
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 Dream Events such as Dream Ski Cross.
Names in other languages