A first-time father recounts his experiences with Bumkins' Mario and Zelda-themed gear.
I’m settling into the end of my second year of parenthood. As someone who writes for a Nintendo website, one of the things that caught my eye when getting ready for my son’s birth was, naturally, looking for cute Nintendo-themed baby paraphernalia. While you can find some awesome stuff on Etsy and the like (I’ll call out the friend who made a Mario mobile for me as well as NWR’s own Andy Goergen who made a spectacular Yoshi’s Island Mario and Yoshi painting for my kid’s room), Bumkins appears to be the primary license holder for Nintendo baby goods. Thankfully they are because soundly, Bumkins’ baby products are fantastic.
You can pick from a slew of teethers, plates, and bibs here, but for this article, I’m going to focus on the Bumkins pieces I have practical, baby-worn use of.
Zelda Caped SuperBib and Triforce Silicone Grip Dish
There’s something imminently enjoyable about calling your baby the Hero of Time when he tries his best to eat applesauce without making a total mess of himself. With this great bib, you can do that often. The front resembles Link’s iconic tunic, coming complete with a pouch at the bottom to catch any droppings. The back, for no purpose other than style, features a Hylian Shield. It’s adorable—and maybe most importantly—machine washable (though remember to air dry it instead of throwing it in the dryer!).
The Triforce dish is similarly fun, even if the triangular shape is ultimately impractical. It features four areas to hold things, making it really good for when offering your child multiple types of food. This might have been when my kid first discovered how to dip a chicken finger into yogurt. Also I just learned that you can use the Triforce dish in the oven, which is wild. I legitimately didn’t know that, and I’ve had the thing for two years.
NES Controller and Game Boy Silicone Teethers
While your child might learn some potentially terrifying habits of how to handle controllers, these teethers are wonderful. The Game Boy one has a hole where the screen would be whereas the NES Controller is more or less identically shaped to the real thing. Freeze them for the best soothing for aching gums. My son has long since retired these, but they were handy to have. Also, I can report that he has since handled an NES Controller (one of the Nintendo Switch Online ones) and he has not tried to eat it or chew it. So, that’s a success.
Super Mario Reusable Snack Bags
These are the latest additions to my Bumkins collection (and full disclosure: Bumkins sent us samples of these), and well, they arrived right when COVID-19 started affecting America, so using them as on-the-go snack bags has happened exactly once, at a park the day before New Jersey enacted a stay-at-home order. While I can’t pull from experience, I can report that they’re easy to work with. You can toss these bags in the top rack of a dishwasher or run them through the wash. For the purposes of this article, I used them around the house with my son. He enjoys seeing Mario and Luigi on them, sometimes pointing at them and laughing. I look forward to using these more practically when I can leave my house, but for now, I’ll be content knowing my son likes laughing at them.
And that’s my experience with Bumkins’ Nintendo products. They’re overall one of my preferred brands for baby feeding and teething gear, and if you’re expecting or looking for something to buy for a Nintendo-loving friend, I highly recommend them. For now, their selection is Mario and Zelda, but if I might throw some hopes of brands for the future: let’s see a food pouch with Tom Nook’s face all over it or maybe a bib that can make your kid into the next member of Star Fox. Or let’s go for broke and see a food dish shaped like Mr. Saturn. Your move, Bumkins.