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Item Boxes are boxes found in the Mario Kart series. Item Boxes look like ? Blocks but are transparent and often multi-colored, and in more recent games they have a iridescent checker board pattern. When a character passes through them, they will get a random item. These blocks also appear in Mario Tennis and Mario Power Tennis. They have appeared in all the Mario Kart games, except Super Mario Kart where they used ? Panels instead. Fake Item Boxes appear as a Power-Up from the real item boxes, and can be used in a similar way to Banana Peels but has a bigger impact by making racers flip over instead of spinning out. As seen in Toad's Factory in Mario Kart Wii, Item Boxes can be made out of Brick Blocks.
Mario Kart series
Super Mario Kart
? Panels, also known as Question Panels, are the terrestrial based version of the ? Block. While ? Blocks hover in mid-air, ? Panels lay flat against the ground. These objects first appear in Super Mario Kart. ? Panels litter the racetracks of the game. When a racer drives over a panel, he or she receives an item. Although normally yellow with a black question mark, ? Panels turn red after driven over, signifying they are deactivated. Red panels remain deactivated through the rest of the race (unless every ? Panel in the course is deactivated, in which case every panel turns yellow and once again offer items). ? Panels are replaced by Item Boxes in Mario Kart 64 and the rest of the Mario Kart series.
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart 64 is the first game to utilize Item Boxes, replacing ? Panels from Super Mario Kart. Instead of being flat, square, and yellow like ? Panels, they have an octahedron shape with a ? in the center, and are multicolored. Colliding with an Item Box will provide the character with a random item; the item received is determined based on the place of the character - the farther back they are, the more powerful items they will get. Unlike ? Panels, Item Boxes respawn almost immediately after being used.
Throughout the game, there are two item boxes with the unusual characteristic of providing nothing but Spiny Shells; they are marked with a sideways "?" and appear hanging from the Luigi Raceway balloon and atop a large rock on Koopa Troopa Beach.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Item Boxes take on a different appearance in Mario Kart: Super Circuit. Here, they look like cubes that change color instead of their previous octahedron shape. Most are found in groups of 3 but some boxes are isolated in uncommon locations in the track. Other than appearance and location changes, no functional changes have been made.
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Item Boxes make a reappearance, along with a new variety named Double Item Boxes. Unlike regular Item Boxes, Double Item Boxes grant both the driver and the thrower items. Item Boxes in Mario Kart Double Dash!! take on a different appearance from their previous appearances: they are still shaped like cubes, but they have a checkerboard texture, similar to a race flag.
Double Dash!! is the first game where Item Boxes can move independently around the track - some in Mushroom Bridge or Mushroom City will follow the track like the other cars, while some in Peach Beach or Sherbet Land will move back and forth along a piece of track. Moving Item Boxes may or may not respawn where they left off.
In split-screen mode except for Battle Course stages, Item Boxes are brighter checkerboard texture than the normal checkerboard texture. In the mini-game Bob-omb Blast, Item Boxes and Double Item Boxes only grant players the Bob-omb item, and have their "?" replaced with a Bob-omb to show this.
Any Double Item Boxes are replaced with single Item Boxes when a Mario Kart: Double Dash!! course appears in a later game.
Mario Kart Arcade GP
Item Boxes in Mario Kart Arcade GP and its sequel serve the same function, except instead of their current cube structure, they take form as rainbow hexagons. They are usually found in hordes in most places, like what all other Item Boxes can be found.
Mario Kart DS
In Mario Kart DS, the boxes have a similar appearance to the boxes in Mario Kart Double Dash!!, being slightly more square with white borders and including transparent areas, and serve the exact same function. Like in the previous games, they still grant the player an item depending on the player's place.
In DK Pass, there is an item box sitting on top of a large hill that acts rather unusually. It will give the player, no matter what place they are in, a Star, Triple Mushrooms, a single Mushroom, or (rarely) a Red Shell. It is sometimes referred to as a "Super Item Box". This is the only location of such in the entire game, but it also appears in missions where the player must beat someone else (like Yoshi, a Chain Chomp or a red car).
In multiplayer battle mode, defeated players have an unlimited supply of item boxes (though there is a delay time for each use) and can deploy them similar to a banana. These help other players get items. The ghost item boxes disappear after a while.
Mario Kart Wii
In Mario Kart Wii, the item boxes lose their checkerboard textures and gain rainbow dot textures. They act in a similar manner as in the previous games and nothing has been changed relating to function when an item is received. However, they do reappear at a slower rate than its precedents. It is seen that Item Boxes are created out of normal Brick Blocks in Toad's Factory.
The concept of a "super" item box returns only in the battle mode stage, Chain Chomp Wheel. There, some item boxes float in the center of a large ring, bearing in shape of a star. If players can aim correctly and touch the item boxes, they mostly receive a Star or the occasional Mushroom.
In multiplayer modes, Item Boxes have spinning question marks inside them as opposed to being static in single-player mode.
Mario Kart 7
Item Boxes return in Mario Kart 7 with the same design and purpose as Mario Kart Wii, with a rainbow-colored texture slightly less biased against the red area. Unlike in Mario Kart DS, they do not appear on the bottom screen's map.
While the "super Item Box" of DK Pass remains intact, the Spiny Shell-only Item Boxes from Luigi Raceway and Koopa Troopa Beach have been replaced with a regular Item Box and a single Coin respectively.
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Item Boxes reappear in Mario Kart 8, holding the same function as in previous encounters. The appearance remains about the same from Mario Kart 7, except it is a crystalline grey instead of a rainbow color and the ? is a little bit bigger. One difference between the games is that players can no longer hold two items at once (like in Super Mario Kart), and items will appear in the drivers' hands (like in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!), or in the case of the triple items and the Crazy Eight, automatically activate by themselves. Unlike previous games, it now has a new sound effect, for both the Item Box itself and the item roulette.
In Animal Crossing, there are Item Boxes after the glider segment that are held up by balloons, which can be obtained by either gliding through the Item Box or by breaking the balloon.
Super Smash Bros. series
Mario Tennis series
Item boxes are only used in the two games, Mario Tennis for the N64 and Mario Power Tennis and the former can only utilize item boxes in a certain stage. They both have similar functions to each other and to the Mario Kart series as they will both give the player an item when hit, which is in this case, hit by the tennis ball. They both give similar items as seen in the Mario Kart series; even as far as having the same sound effects of Mario Kart Double Dash!! in Mario Power Tennis.
Mario & Sonic series
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
In the most-to-all Dream Events in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, item boxes are used. They, like in the series they debut in, give the player an item if the player happens to run into the item box. However, the Item Roulette cannot be stopped too early, unlike the past Mario Kart series of games and the item does not depend on the current ranking of players.
Mario Party: Star Rush
Item Boxes make an appearance in the minigame, Bowser's Shocking Slipup in Mario Party: Star Rush. Here, depending on the timing hit, they can deliver Lightning Bolts to Bowser or cause Banana Peels to spawn, which can stun players. Double Item Boxes appear and give out twice the number of items. During the second phase of the battle, Item Boxes spin faster.
Super Smash Brothers Brawl Sticker Information
Sprites and Models
Names in other languages