Mini Mario Bros. Cabinet – Valentines Box Contest

The local newspaper was having a Video Game themed Valentines Box contest a few days before Valentines day where people were encouraged to create a box to collect valentines which was inspired by their favorite video game. The winner of the contest got a brand new Nintendo DS Lite. Mel read about it in the paper and decided it would be a fun project to do, so she asked me to cut out one of the mini cabinets on the CNC machine so she could assemble it, paint it, and apply the artwork to it for the contest.

We only had about a day and a half to get it done, but I think she did a great job with how much time she had, and I only helped a little (cut out the pieces and helped edit the artwork, she did all the rest).

We cut a slot in the back (that is where the valentines went), and rigged a cheap magnet/bracket system to allow the back of the box to open and close easily (to retrieve the valentines). Mel had some black push pins she used for “joysticks” on the control panel, and we put a small “Mario + Peach” on a pixelated heart as the “screen”.

It was fun to make this, but sadly we didn’t win. They gave everyone who ented a little certificate (we entered under Wellingtons name so he has a nice little certificate of appreciation already), and a little box of chocolates or something. They also had all of the entries on display at the mall for a while, and it was fun to see it there too.

There are many more pictures in our gallery of this project.

Nerd Alert:

  • Peach wasn’t actually marios “girlfriend” when the Mario Bros. arcade cabinet was out, if we were going to be true to the period the arcade was released, it would be “Mario + Pauline”, but we figured more people knew who Peach was since she is his main squeeze now.
  • The original Mario Brothers arcade game came in 2 cabinet styles. The original was called a “Wide-Body”, which had very similar shapes, but was wider than normal Nintendo cabinets (which also made the artwork different on each as the more narrow cabinets had to crop the artwork to fit). The more narrow cabinets weren’t original mario cabs, but conversions (might have started life as a Donkey Kong or Radar Scope cabinet, but converted to Mario Bros. because the arcade operator hoped it would perform better). This mini model would have been considered a “conversion” since it’s based off the Donkey Kong cabinet.
  • The original Mario Brothers arcade had orange sides and front (not black). It did have some black (the inside, top, and back of the cab was black, but the front kick panel, speaker front, and sides would have all been orange). We didn’t have time to paint it 2 colors (have to mask off areas, wait for paint to dry, spray multiple coats etc…), so we just painted the whole cabinet black (much easier).