The moustachioed Mario has long had an iconic look of overalls, a cap, brown shoes, and white gloves. And, of course, that signature facial hair. While there have been some slight variations, like swapping colours around, the Italian plumber has basically stayed the same since his introduction to the world as Jumpman in Donkey Kong.
Princess Peach didn’t come about until 1985’s Super Mario Bros., but even though we got a pixelated look at the Mushroom Kingdom ruler, Nintendo did not have a finalised look for her. So when the game sold like hotcakes, Nintendo was scrambling for merch to push sales even further.
It enlisted the help of mangaka Gaku Miyao, who shared some photos of some lost Mario merch that never saw the light of day — a pair of kids’ shoes! Think of all the littluns who didn’t get to wear these on their feet back in 1986.
As you can see, Peach has much-straighter hair than her now-iconic wavy locks. Admittedly, we think this old design is really cute, and reminiscent of old-style manga princesses. There’s a lot of red, including on the skirt, and she’s wearing a pink overcoat-like piece. But there are similarities to her current design, too, such as her blue eyes, the three point-crown, and hair colour.
We have a translation of the short thread, thanks to Twitter user GSK:
“I worked on this girls’ merch, before Nintendo had established a standardised design for Princess Peach; the Peach everyone’s familiar with was born later. a certain someone shed a few tears over their legit work being treated as fake.
A lil more info: at the time, pics #1 & #2 were the only ‘official reference materials’ for Peach—they weren’t sufficient for girls’ merch, so I faxed my rough sketches to Nintendo & got the OK; if that design took root, Peach might look like #3 right now”
It’s fascinating to see just how Peach’s pixels were translated to paper and merch back in the day, and Miyao also shared an image as to what the Princess may have actually looked like had Nintendo gone ahead with the shoes.
Now this is lovely. There’s something extremely elegant about this look, and it looks even slightly more like the Peach we know and love today, with bigger hair. It’s also even more anime-esque than the first one! Nonetheless, we never got the shoes, so Miyao’s design never made it past the drawing board.
What do you think of these older Peach designs? Let us know in the comments!