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Club Nintendo Reveals 2011 Elite Status Rewards

Mario pins Once again it's that time of year when Club Nintendo announces the freebie items it's sending to members who spent enough money on Nintendo products to qualify for the Platinum or Gold levels of Elite status.  Past bonus items have included a displayable Mario plumber's cap, a custom version of Punch-Out!! featuring a sparring match with trainer Doc Louis, and a really superb Mario figurine.  So what can Platinum members look forward to this year?  Commemorative Mario pins.  A whole set of 'em, in fact.

Mario & Friends Pin Badge Collection

Official Club Nintendo collection of 25 commemorative pins representing the world of Super Mario Bros.  The pins come packaged in six specially created puzzle boxes that can be arrange to represent Mario, Goomba, and Mushroom.

Gold members get the usual calendar.  Alright, so, these pins aren't on the same level of magnificence as last year's figurine, but they do look kinda neat.  I'm an easy pushover for pins featuring pixel art.  Some people are disappointed with the pins (it seems there was a rumor that this year's Platinum bonus would be a Kid Icarus figurine), but there are worse items to receive.  It's hard not to like something featuring Mario, too.  My initial snap judgment is that these pins are better than the Mario hat / Doc Louis Punch-Out!! reward, but worse than the figurine.  Overall impression: generally pleased, but not impressed.