Remember MariCar? It's a company which offers go-kart tours around Tokyo, with participants famously dressing up as characters from the Super Mario series. As you can imagine, this annoyed Nintendo, which took MariCar to court for copyright infringement case against the karting firm in 2017. It was unsuccessful, but then sued the karting company for intellectual property infringement in the same year and won – something MariCar initially seemed to ignore.
However, MariCar was ordered to pay Nintendo 50 million yen (that's £375,000) for violating said intellectual property and changed its name to Street Kart Tokyo Bay. Furthermore, the company's official site now carries the following disclaimer stating that it is "in no way a reflection of Nintendo" or Mario Kart. Super Mario character costumes are also no longer supplied, and the firm now describes itself as offering "Real Life SuperHero Go-Karting" instead.
Street Kart Tokyo Bay's legal battle with Nintendo is the least of its problems, it would seem. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused a downturn in tourism – something Street Kart Tokyo Bay relies on heavily to survive.
To counter this, the company launched a "Save The Street Kart" crowdfunding campaign in Japan. The page went live on April 24th on Campfire, Japan’s answer to Kickstarter, but by the time it closed on June 30th, it had failed to reach its funding target. Just four people donated a total of 11,569 yen (£86), falling way short of the 2,000,000 yen (£15,000) target.
What this means for the future of Street Kart Tokyo Bay remains to be seen, but it looks like the days of X-Men shrieking with delight at the sight of Mario and his chums on Tokyo's roads have finally come to an end.