The Red Wii & Mario's 25th in Japan | Collector's Corner - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, February 2, 2024

The Red Wii & Mario's 25th in Japan | Collector's Corner

Before the Wii was released into the wild, Nintendo showed off the system in a multitude of colors when they revealed the console shell in 2005. Of course, when the system launched in late 2006, the initial offering was just limited to white. This extended well into the system’s lifespan up until 2009 when the company began offering the system in black in Japan that summer. While most of the other color offerings fell by the wayside, a special red Wii was released starting in Japan. As many of you are well aware, the red Wii did make its way to the West, however, today, we’re going to take a look at the Japanese version and what sets it apart. 
Background on 25th Anniversary
The 25th anniversary of anything is almost always a pretty big deal. Things were no different with Mario. Nintendo celebrated the plumbers 25th in 2010 in a variety of ways. Two different DSi systems were released in October of that year, with a red DSi LL (or XL) and a 7-Eleven exclusive DSi. 
Perhaps the most famous item was the Super Mario All-Stars Collection, which also saw a release in the West (a few months after the Japanese release in North America, Europe and Australia). Just to go off on a tangent for a little bit, I totally get the hate for this game at the time. I was even hesitant to pick it up and only did so because I found it at a slight discount. Sure, the actual game itself is very disappointing, essentially being just Super Mario All-Stars on a Wii disc. The other parts of the collection - the packaging, CD and booklet are pretty cool, though. 
Nintendo also offered Club Nintendo members the chance to win several different Mario related items with the purchase of select games. After registering, 10,000 winners would be awarded with one of the following:
  • Mario Tote Bag | 1,000 winners
  • Luigi Tote Bag | 1,000 winners
  • Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary T-shirt | 3,000 winners
  • Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary Playing Cards | 5,000 winners
Eligible games were as follows: 
  • Super Mario Collection (All-Stars) | Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • Mario Kart Wii
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 | Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. | DS
  • Mario Kart DS
  • Mario Party DS
The campaign ran from September 13, 2010 until January 10, 2011. 

In an effort to help promote the campaign, free pamphlets with all of the above information were available at retail stores across Japan. You can find some photos of this below. 
The Super Mario Bros. 25th anniversary red Wii released on November 11, 2010 for a suggested retail price of ¥20,000. This special edition of the hardware was identical to other Wii models on the market. This is based on the original model and still features the GameCube controller ports and GCN disc support. Per usual, this set also comes with a red Wii Remote (equipped with Wii Motion Plus) and a red Nunchuck. A red rubber case is also included for the remote. While simple, this sharp paint job does look really nice and was a fantastic way for Nintendo to welcome Mario’s 25th.
The box itself features the red Wii, Wii Remote and Wii logo and text at the bottom right corner indicating that a Wii Motion Plus controller is included. The upper right corner sports the Super Mario Bros. 25th anniversary logo. Below that is a logo for the pre-installed version of Super Mario Bros. (more on that in a bit). The back of the box showcases the anniversary logo at the center with the Wii and Nintendo logos in the top two corners. Upon opening the box, fans are treated with some extra goodies in the form of a “thank you” message for purchasing the console as well as some nice sprite work from the game. All in all, the packaging, like the system itself, is really classy and is a great showpiece for any collection. 
As mentioned previously, this special edition of the system included a preloaded Famicom/NES Virtual Console game, Super Mario Bros. However, this isn’t just ANY version of Super Mario Bros. For the anniversary, Nintendo went through the trouble to add extra elements, namely “25” being written on coin blocks throughout the game. It may not change the way that the game was played, but it was an interesting, unique addition nonetheless. 
What’s on My System?
When hunting for retro games or systems, you never know what you are going to find when it comes to save data. Sometimes save data is completely wiped. Sometimes you’ll find a treasure trove of games or some awesome end game saves. Other times, you might just end up with nothing for a variety of factors. What about here? Did this pre-installed version of Super Mario Bros. stay intact? 

Upon booting up my system, I was asked to set the game’s clock and everything that comes with the initial setup. I was disappointed to find that all of the save data and games had been removed. I’m unclear if this was done by the original user for a system transfer to Wii U or just general removal of the data upon selling the machine. It could have been done by the local shop where I bought the system from. Whatever the reason, it’s a shame. I was really wanting to add this limited VC version of Super Mario Bros. to my “collection.” Sure, it’s not a huge deal, but this is just another example of how games like this will just be lost to time, even if it is only essentially a ROM hack. 
Oh no...

With few special editions of the Wii released over the years in Japan (mostly boxes, though), I was pretty pleased with my find here. Although most of the the colors exhibited in the first reveal of system never came to fruition, its’s great that this one did make it to the store shelves. The only thing I’m disappointed with is the fact that everything on the system I bought was completely wiped. 

But let’s turn things over to you. Did or do you have a red Wii? What region? What did you think about the Virtual Console service or the 25th anniversary “game” that was released to commemorate this milestone for Mario? Sound off in the comments down below! We’d love to hear from you.


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