They came from the third dimension! Each new Nintendo 3DS is packed with a handful of special cards that dig into the realm of augmented reality to project special 3D images into one's real-world space when viewed on the 3DS's special screen. In short, this allows for a little Mario model or Link likeness to stand on your desk in a simulated fashion. As it turns out (and we talked about this on Episode 41 of Power Button), if one scans and then prints those special cards at a larger scale, then the simulated character blows up in size accordingly. Taking this result to the logical end, it's possible to print out gigantic cards to summon a life-sized character to virtually stand next to you (as seen here with Nintendo's Satoru Iwata himself and his Mii). Iwata likes this idea and has decided to offer official giant cards via the Japanese arm of Club Nintendo sometime in the future. Here's a bit from Tiny Cartridge:
No details have been announced about release date or Coin price — or about a release outside of Japan — but the good news there is that it would be trivial to scan and print larger AR Cards on your own, so you too could hold hands with your Mii.
We have a giant plotter at my office that can print 36" x 42" sheets. It's very tempting to ask for permission to use it for a very important and necessarily vital personal project. If the Mii card can be scaled up to life-size proportions, then so can the Mario card, the Link card, etc. The possibilities are certainly exciting to my inner seven-year-old.