If there is one video game series that me and my wife can both agree on, it’s Super Mario. From our love of the original NES game, 3D Super Mario Galaxy titles for the Wii, to Mario’s current Mario Odyssey and Paper Mario: The Origami King Switch adventures, we absolutely adore the fun video game world Nintendo has created.
Another thing the wife and I both agree on are Super Mario collectibles. Her small collection of Mario items quickly fueled the Mario-collecting bug in me; our combined passion culminating in a rather sizeable display of Mario toys. However, there are only so many figures of the famed plumber (and his brother Luigi) one can collect before experiencing Mario burnout.
Thankfully, there is no shortage of imaginative Super Mario video game characters, especially when it comes to the colorful army of enemies Mario must face. As such, we’re always on the lookout for new bad guy Mario toys to collect. From Goombas to Paragoombas, the more obscure the enemy type, the better.
What follows are 10 of our favorite Super Mario enemies, all of which also have toys produced of them in some form or another (photos from our collection below); be it collectible micro figures, vinyl toys or full-blown action figures. Here we go!
While most mushrooms benefit Mario in his endless quest to save Princess Peach, these fiendish fungi seek to stop him. As the very first enemy encountered in Super Mario, the Goomba may appear slow and clumsy, however, these shiitake mushroom-inspired villains are not to be underestimated. With strength in numbers, multiple Goombas can easily trip up Mario; putting his jumping skills to the test. With flying winged Paragoombas and massive, multi-stomp Grand Goombas added to the mix, defeating the lowly Goomba ranks can quickly become quite challenging.
A Super Mario character staple from the start, no Mario toy collection should be without a Goomba or two (or three).
2) Cheep Cheeps
Where Goombas pose a bumbling threat to Mario on land, Cheep Cheeps bring the bumbling threat underwater. Lazily swimming fish, Cheep Cheeps may lack the single-minded destructive intent of the Goomba, but their mere presence in the water is a pesky obstacle for Mario to overcome. Aside from Super Mario 3D Land, Mario is left without his trademark stomp in battling Cheep Cheeps. His best defense against these simple aquatic foes is by carefully just swimming past them. Mario may even get lucky and encounter a cowardly Eep Cheep; yellow colored Cheep Cheeps that actually swim away from Mario when he gets close.
3) Piranha Plants
Based on the Venus flytrap, Piranha Plants are carnivorous creatures that have a hankering for Mario meat. Thankfully, most of the monsters are rooted in one spot (beware the walking Stalking Piranha Plant!), allowing Mario to carefully calculate a jump over them. Typically sprouting from Warp Pipes, Piranha Plants often lure Mario into unnecessary combat (and potential death!); Mario’s desire to see what treasures await on the other side proving too tempting to resist.
4) Chain Chomp
Like the Piranha Plant (for the most part), Chain Chomps are grounded and unable to roam free. While this allows Mario to better gauge his next move, the Chain Chomp’s unpredictable lunge becomes the challenge! Like an eager puppy ready to be taken out for a walk (down to its adorable “arf! arf!” audio cue), Chain Chomps both delight and irritate with their irresistible canine charm. Once you have a Chain Chomp’s attack range figured out, they aren’t that difficult to maneuver around. Unchained Chain Chomps, however, give a new meaning to “who let the dogs out”. Watch out!
5) Shy Guys
Despite their namesake, the masked Shy Guys are actually quite open… and aggressive. These robed, cult-like enemies bum-rush Mario whenever they see him. Despite the standard Shy Guys’ basic movement in the game, subspecies, such as the gas mask-wearing, projectile-launching Snifit have different behaviors that greatly add to Mario’s problems. The massive Paper Macho Shy Guys as encountered in Paper Mario: The Origami King are especially challenging (and uber creepy) compared to their smaller red-robed siblings.
Unlike the hostile Shy Guys, Boos truly are shy – as long as Mario is looking at them. These cute chubby ghosts abound in the Mario games, especially in the Luigi’s Mansion series. Normally encountered underground, or in any haunted local, Boos stalk Mario because deep down inside, they just want attention. While standard Boos are basically an inverted enemy threat, beware of their leader, King Boo! This ruler of the Paranormal Dimension and ally to Bowser possesses far more power and malicious intent!
So far our Mario enemies list has been either A) a bunch of bumbling idiots that chase after you or are B) alert, sentient creatures that can barely move. Bob-ombs change everything by effectively introducing smart bombs to the Super Mario games. Bob-ombs are self-aware, self-destructive ticking time bombs that have one purpose in life: to blow up Mario. With tons of TNT on their side, Bob-omb makes for a formiable enemy.
8) Bullet Bill
Like Bob-omb, Bullet Bill has a very explosive personality. Unlike Bob-omb, Bullet Bill is more free to follow our hero; an unpredictable flying missile of mass Mario destruction! This powerful enemy usually leaves Mario but one choice: RUN! Shot from large Turtle “Bill Blaster” Cannons, Bullet Bills come in all shapes and sizes, including relentless Cat Bullet Bills (Super Mario 3D World), larger, shark-toothed Banzai Bills (Super Mario World), and even indestructible King Bills (New Super Mario Bros. Wii)!
9) Koopa Troopas
The back-and-fourth marches of the mushroom Goomba army may be large, however it is the turtle legion of Koopa Troopas that truly reigns supreme in Mario games. Even the basic Koopa Troopa poses a major threat to Mario; the creature immediately withdrawing within it’s protective turtle shell upon contact. With skill, Mario can use the Koopa Troopa’s defense against them; turning their shell into a lethal projectile. However, it is the higher Koopa Troopa ranks that pose the most threat to our plumber hero. With projectile chuckin’ Hammer Bros, Spiny-throwing, cloud-riding, spectacle-wearing Lakitus, and even magical, spell-casting Magikoopas, Mario has more than his work cut out for him!
You saw it coming. Aside from being the main villain in almost every Super Mario game, Bowser deserves a spot on this list simply because he’s the root of all evil for most every enemy type on our list! He’s that bad! With the Koopalings in charge of the Koopa Troop and his bratty son Bowser Jr. in tow, Bowser has only three goals: kidnap Princess Peach, defeat Mario, and conquer the Mushroom Kingdom! Bwahahahaha! Can Mario stop him?
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