Hey, Luigi — Nintendo Builds a Real-Life Mario Kart

Nintendo has built two of the vehicles in the game Mario Kart 7, which launches on Dec. 4 on the 3DS, the portable game system that displays games in 3-D.

With the help of West Coast Customs, the auto body shop known from the MTV series “Pimp My Ride,” Nintendo was able to create real-life replicas of the classic Mario Kart and Luigi Bumble V Kart.

As in the game, Mario’s shiny red go-kart comes complete with a glider attachment for flying; Luigi’s kart is tricked out with a rear propeller for underwater navigation.

Here’s Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, posing in Luigi’s Kart:

And, here’s Mario’s Kart:

The karts will be on display at the LA Auto Show, Nov. 18-27 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and there is a contest for a chance to bring one home, via GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards program.

To win, PowerUp members must make a purchase or trade in a game at GameStop in December.

Early next year, an episode of “Inside West Coast Customs” will show how the vehicles became a reality.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik