Mario Quiz Cards

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The Mario Quiz Cards are a set of informational quiz cards licensed by Nintendo and published by Atlas Editions in the mid 1990s. They follow a specific format that usually features an illustration of a Mario franchise character with a word bubble that asks a multiple choice question. A separate illustration follows that features some of the characters and is related to the question. On the back of each card is the answer to the question, along with a detailed explanation accompanied either by a photograph or an illustration. The cards cover a wide variety of topics, including science, history, astronomy, and geography.

Occasionally the cards attempt to reveal something about the characters that is not shown in the games of the Mario franchise, or depict them doing things that Nintendo (particularly Nintendo of America) would never allow them to do in the games, which are marketed primarily to children. Cards that try to do these kinds of things include:

  • A card asking who Cyrano de Bergerac was shows a more romantic side to Mario's personality than is shown in games.
  • Mario shows himself to be capable of playing kendo in a card asking what weapon that martial art uses.
  • On a card asking why it is important to know one's blood type, Dr. Mario reveals Princess Peach to be blood type O positive.
  • Two religion-related cards, one shows Mario reading the Quran and praying to Allah (God in Arabic), and the other shows Mario reading a Bible.
  • A card asking what Greenpeace is shows Mario and Luigi protesting against nuclear weapons.
  • Luigi is shown reading a history book in a card that asks when the Nazi German dictator Adolf Hitler rose to power.
  • Princess Peach is shown attending an organized rally for the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • A card asking when Prohibition was shows Mario chasing a Goomba toting around a bottle of alcohol.
  • One of the cards has Mario listening to the Fab 4, a supposed parody of The Beatles, while Mario himself sports a bowl-cut similar to one of the band members of the Fab 4. The card in question asks what important event happened in Candlestick Park on August 29th, 1966, the place and time the Beatles performed their final full public concert.
  • A card asking where a person would find both the Grand Ole Opry and Graceland shows Mario wearing the iconic outfit of Elvis Presley.

Two cards interestingly use Bowser's "King Koopa" design from the cartoons, recolored to match his game counterpart. Also, one card has Luigi's clothes in Mario's colors.