Nintendo Is Suing A Japanese Company Over Their Real World ‘Mario Kart’ Tours Of Tokyo

If you ever wanted to hit the streets in your own Mario Kart while dressed as a character from the classic series, your time might be limited. MariCar is a Japanese company that allows guests to dress as their favorite Nintendo characters and tour Tokyo in special go-karts.

It seems like a great idea, but the problem is that the company apparently did not obtain permission from Nintendo for the venture. The company released a statement confirming the lawsuit according to Bloomberg, promising to be tough despite MariCar’s pledge to keep customers smiling:

“To protect the valuable intellectual property we have nurtured over many years of hard work, we will continue to take tough measures,” Nintendo said in a statement.

MariCar disputes the claims, saying its go-cart services do not breach competitive or copyright laws, based on advice it received from legal experts. Nintendo representatives also signaled understanding of its services when the two sides met a few months ago, MariCar said. The surprise lawsuit and sudden flood of attention crashed MariCar’s website and damaged its business, it said.

“We will work with all our might to protect the smiles of our customers,” MariCar said in a statement.

You can see the karts in action below, with the truly sad part being that most probably didn’t know it existed before today. There are other kart businesses in Japan according to The Verge, but the chances of them avoiding the same scrutiny are slim. Not a bad idea if Nintendo wants to work out something official, though. Look at those smiles!

(Via Bloomberg / The Verge)