One of my favorite games as a kid was Mario Brothers (and Super Mario Brothers Dr. Mario and pretty much anything else with Princess Peach, some Goombas, and Yoshi that I could get my tiny hands on), and for me it all started with the original NES, the Nintendo Entertainment System. My ringtones are usually the 8-bit music from the games, and the coin box ding is my text tone. I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to the Mario franchise, I’m pretty well hooked for life. They got me young and they got me for life; good job, Nintendo.
Like many children of the ’80s, I sometimes wear my nostalgia on my sleeve. With the advent of omnipresent consumerism (and Etsy), it’s pretty easy to literally wear it on my sleeve. Now, though, it’s even easier as you can make your own memories tangible from the comfort of your own home.
We’ve seen some really cool things from Thingiverse, and they just keep coming. The latest one to catch our eye over here is some 3D Printed Mario Clouds Electronic Jewelry, from Adafruit. While it’s a little bit more of a project than some quick print-and-done designs over at Thingiverse, the payoff is also that much more — shall we say, in true ’80s spirit, rad? — for this piece.
Using some electronics that you can solder and configure (all with easy-to-follow instructions), the famous 8-bit Mario clouds as seen throughout so many Mario Bros. games will scroll across the 1.44-inch screen on this piece: just move or shake it to trigger the animation! Per the directions, the TFT display “interfaces with the Pro Trinket micro controller over I-squared-C using Adafruit Arduino libraries. The Lipoly Backback adds a rechargeable power circuit.”
Once the electronics are all sorted, they can go into the case. The case — which you 3D print yourself using files from Thingiverse — is inspired by Nintendo’s classic Gameboy. I know I feel like a kid again, looking at the grey face with its familiar controls. The design is in five downloadable files, and of course can be customized by users who really know what they want out of it.
The Mario clouds on the completed piece will scroll around on the screen, adding a flair of electronic prowess to the general nostalgic whimsy of the piece. While as a woman I’d be happy to wear it as a necklace (maybe not every day), it’s a pretty great showpiece design however you choose to wear or display it.
What do you think about Adafruit’s Mario Clouds jewelry piece? Is this something you’d try? If you’ve made it, we’d love to see it! Sound off in the Mario Clouds forums.
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