The newest version of Mario Kart comes out on April 28, and Target's commitment level is the 150 CC of retailers.
About 650 stores will get them, with each having about eight decorated carts (Mario, Luigi and Peach only though, sorry Toad lovers). It's the first time Target has wrapped its carts like this, and they'll probably be around for two or three weeks.
"It's really taking and transforming our iconic shopping carts into really, iconic as well, Mario karts," Target spokesperson Lee Henderson told GoMN. "Everybody knows what a Mario kart is, and so it's sort of blending those two together as sort of super Target carts."
There will also be giant Mario and Luigi faces stretched around those big red balls (called bollards) outside of Target stores.
And there will be a motion sensor on the doors so that, when you walk in, the countdown beeps from Mario Kart play. Here's video:
The Switch's success
The Switch has been selling out everywhere, including at Target. It's Nintendo's fastest-selling console, and the second-biggest hardware launch since 1995 (when an industry group started keeping track), gamesindustry.biz reports.
So it's no surprise Target would stay close to such a hot product – and one that has name recognition from young kids to adults now. Consider the first Mario Kartcame out in 1992, a whole 25 years ago now.
"This is a brand or a property that really is cross-generational, so parents that grew up with Zelda and some of these other popular titles are now able to introduce them to their kids through new gaming systems as well," said Henderson, adding Target has been a "destination" for Nintendo products since the original NES.
The Switch, and the return of these beloved titles, has only increased the nostalgia level.
This is also the latest promotion that involves transforming pieces of Target's stores in some way, beyond just putting up special stands or hanging more things from the ceiling. There were the Poké Ball-painted bollards last year at 400 stores for example, or the augmented reality winter wonderland experience that used Google's Project Tango tech.
It's about giving customers an "experience," Henderson said, referencing a statement from Target merchandising exec Scott Nygaard.
Target is working with Nintendo on the promotion, and Henderson said that – while this is probably the biggest part of the campaign – there are some other components that will be coming in the next week. That includes some social media stuff, and things through other media channels.
When will Switches be in stock?
Henderson said Target expects demand for the Switch to stay pretty high throughout the year, as other big-name titles come out and the holiday season approaches.
Target does not talk about inventory, like how many consoles they might get, or when they might come in. But you can call and talk to actual Target team members to try to stay on top of it.