Super Mario Bros Shampoo and Bubble Bath
In November 1990, two characters from the world of Super Mario Bros., Mario and Princess Peach, made the jump from video games into bathtubs and showers. That year, Revlon, in partnership with Nintendo, released a line of shampoos and bubble baths with these characters emblazoned on colorful bottles.
The shampoo was available in “Tear Free” and “Smooth Tangles” formulas, while the Bubble Bath was just sold on-theme with either Mario or the Princess on the bottle.
In the autumn of 1990, press releases about the products were sent out. Here is what you might have seen if you opened the paper one morning:
Splish, splash, it’s time for a bath. Rub a dub dub, it Mario and Princess in a tub. Revlon has just launched the Nintendo Super Mario Bros. Shampoo and Bubble Bath to entice children to take baths. Named after two popular characters, Mario and Princess, the line includes Mario Shampoo and Princess Shampoo in “Tear Free” and “Smoothes Tangles” formulas, and the Mario Bubble Bath and Princess Bath. Priced from $2.29 to $2.89, these produced will be available in November where health and beauty aids are sold.
Super Mario Bros Shampoo and Bubble Bath Press Release
When it was first released in 1990, it was announced that it would retail between $2.19 and $2.89 a bottle as stated in the release. Prices I have found from ads and newspapers set the price in the middle of that range.
By 1992, interest in the shampoo and bubble bath was waning. So unsurprisingly, you could find big deals on them with some stores pricing them for as low as three bottles for a dollar.
They would also release a double bottle where the shampoo and bubble bath were pairs together in a cumbersome set conjoined under one wrapped label. It seemed more “sample sized” and was not the greatest form-factor, but nice if you wanted both products together. I am sure they made pretty great stocking stuffers for Christmas 1990.
Most kids found out about this new product from a popular series of comic books ads that they ran in 1991.
How I got my Super Mario Bros. Shampoo
By 1990, my older sisters had begun buying what I would call, “fancy shampoo.” Stuff that looked like it came out of a salon.
I was just out of the phase where I was washing my hair with a bar of soap and these fancy sweet-smelling shampoos were hard to resist. Me using them? It did not go over well.
My Mom called me into the kitchen and told me I needed to stop using their fancy shampoos. I told her I liked the smell of them, which I believe she found charming, because she told me that I could go and buy my own shampoo from the supermarket if I wanted to.
The next day when I was headed to the store, she gave me a few dollars and what did I buy? Super Mario Bros. Shampoo, of course.
My sisters though it was hilarious and teased me about it for months. Never again was I given free reign to choose my own shampoo, instead it was purchased for me. For at least a few months after I ran out of the Super Mario stuff, I would refill the bottle with the Suave-brand that had been purchased for me.
You could find both products on shelves for years afterwards, although the price would drop precipitously by 1992, and they were practically giving it away in 1993.
Nowadays, they have become collector’s items for fans. Their colorful bottles and bright illustrations gracing the gaming room of many a Mario fan.