Speedsters of Australia, it's time to don your best red cap, slide into a pair of overalls and jump behind the wheel. If you want to take part in Mushroom Racing, the outfit isn't optional — although, if that's not your style, you could pick a green hat or a dinosaur costume instead.
Not content with zipping through the streets of Tokyo and causing quite a stir, a real-life version of Mario Kart is headed to Melbourne. On five Sundays in Melbourne, participants will dress up as their favourite character, get cosy in a go-kart, race till their heart's content and collect stars to win prizes.
While Tokyo's MariCar lets racers zoom along the city's actual roadways (yes, really) that won't be what will happen here — while the location is still a secret, the organisers stress that it won't be on the street. We're certain that throwing shells or bananas at your opponents won't be happening either. Sure, that's all well and fun when you're mashing buttons and trying not to fall off the Rainbow Road while you're playing one of Nintendo's many console versions (or counting down the days until the first Mario Kart smartphone game is released), but it's definitely not cool in real life.
Tickets are $85 and include your zooming, costume hire, a snack and transport to and from the CBD. It's all happening on Sunday afternoons in May, June and July, with sessions running at 2.30pm, 4.30pm, 9pm and 10.30pm, with an after party to follow. Do note that the pick-up time is 4.5 hours prior to race time, so it'll be a long day.
Organisers are calling it "the rally of a lifetime", and while that's definitely overstating the significance of driving around pretending you're Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Wario or whichever other character you like, you know you're eager to give the novelty a go. And, let's face it, it's not quite as ridiculous as human bowling.