Nintendo uses Mario and NYC cabs to promote Mario Kart Wii

New York is a tough town. You’ve got to assert yourself if you want to get anywhere in the Big Apple, and I mean that literally when it comes to our great city’s taxicabs. If you’re meek like me, and you have trouble hailing cabs, don’t fret! On Thursday, April 24th, from 8 to 10 AM and 12 to 2 PM EDT, Mario will give you a hand — and he’ll pay for your ride, too!

Mario Kart Wii officially launches in America on this coming Sunday, April 27th. In a strange effort from Nintendo to advertise the game, everyone’s favorite Italian plumber will be at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan (7th Ave. between 52nd and 53rd streets) on Thursday. He’ll be hailing cabs for New Yorkers on the go, and they won’t have to pay a thing to get to their destination!

I’m only seeing a very tenuous thread connecting Mario Kart Wii and New York City cabs, but hey, you can’t complain about free cab rides! After all, they can get pretty expensive, even for short distances. Last Friday, I took a cab from Penn Station to the Jacob Javits Center for New York Comic Con, and the ride — only four avenue blocks over — cost me $8. Ugh.

If you’re interested in this, check out the press release after the jump. I just wish that one of my favorite videogame characters had been there last Friday to help me out…


To Celebrate Launch of New Mario Kart Wii Game, Nintendo Sends Commuters Racing Through the City

Video game icon Mario™ treats unsuspecting New Yorkers to a free cab ride. Mario is in New York to promote Mario Kart® Wii, the new Nintendo racing game that features Mario and all of his Mushroom Kingdom buddies. He’s helping commuters race through the city before they get racing with Mario Kart Wii.

Mario Kart Wii launches April 27 and will be packaged with the Wii Wheel accessory, which lets players control the action on the screen just like they were steering a real car. The game also introduces a host of new courses, vehicles and eye-popping battle arenas, plus the ability to compete online with drivers from around the world using Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection.

Mario, everyone’s favorite Italian plumber, and excited (and grateful) New York commuters

Thursday, April 24
8-10 a.m. and 12-2 p.m.

Sheraton Hotel
811 7th Ave., between 52nd and 53rd streets.


  • Mario hailing down cabs for New York commuters
  • New Yorkers queuing up for a free cab ride
  • Mario costumed character
  • Mario Kart Wii game play b-roll available
Samit Sarkar