Mario and Mega Man Pixel Pals get the variant treatment (review)


It was at the Gamestop Expo last September that I was first introduced to PDP’s newest entry into the collectible market with Pixel Pals. In all honesty, the concept of taking something simple has gained plenty popularity over the years, and creating classic video game characters into licensed 8-bit nightlights is a pretty smart and cool idea.

The first set of Pixel Pals launched back in November with Mario, Mega Man and Vault Boy, which is a pretty good start. Each Pixel Pal costs $15, making it a bit more expensive than your average Funko Pop! Vinyls, but slightly similar in PDP’s packaging and numbering of each piece. Later this month, PDP will be adding four more Pixel Pals to their line, including a color swap of the already released characters.

I was lucky to get my hands on both the Fire Mario and Solar Blaze Mega Man before their release later this month, and as my first two Pixel Pals, I couldn’t be any happier with how everything looks. It’s the small attention to detail from PDP that make them really stand out, including the different colors of the boxes, the ability to use the Pixel Pals as nightlights as they run on two triple A batteries, and how thin they actually are, resulting in not taking up that much space. I have to say, I am extremely impressed with these since unlike Pop!’s, which I have a tendency to leave them inside their box displayed on my shelf, I’d actually like to display Mario and Mega Man in different rooms, doubling them as nightlights.

I do feel that it might be a little too early for PDP to start releasing variants so quickly after launching their line, especially since they have a great opportunity to reach into this new demographic of retro gamers and collectors. The Pixel Pals line has so much potential, especially with such a giant pool of series and characters from the 8 and 16-bit era, that I feel that so many fans including myself would love to see with Pixel Pals of Sonic, Link, Samus and Chrono, just to name a few.

Overall, it appeals to collectors, and most importantly, fans of retro gaming, showing the market that it has a lot of potential. It’s something to keep an eye on, especially if your favorite character ever gets released.

Rating: 4.5/5

What character would you like to see given the Pixel Pal treatment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

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