Mario: The $10 Billion Franchise That Keeps On Giving

First appearing as ‘Jumpman’ in the 1981 arcade classic by the name of Donkey Kong, Mario has appeared in more than 200 video games since his creation by Shigeru Miyamoto.

Although Donkey Kong was very popular at its time, Mario exploded into the mainstream with his 1985 appearance in the pseudo-sequel Super Mario Bros., which has sold more than 40 million copies.

Plush toys, TV shows, and even a movie (albeit not a very good one) were made about the mustachioed plumber.

Astonishingly, the Mario series has sold more than 500 million copies, and the Super Mario Series alone has sold about 300 million copies, which is even more than the global phenomenon that is Pokémon, which has sold more than 270 million copies throughout its life.

Aside from his most famous occupation as a plumber, Mario has also worked as a doctor, demolition expert, artist, tennis umpire, boxing referee, chef, and even an archaeologist, among many other job titles.

With a resume long enough to make even Robert De Niro blush, it’s little wonder Mario has sustained itself as long as it has.

Plus, with the release of Super Mario Maker for the Wii U, fans now have the chance to create their own Super Mario–style levels to share with the entire world.

Who knows what Mario will do next!