Club Nintendo, the holy Nectar card of gaming, is being wound down this September.
Launched as the presumably-hip-sounding-at-the-time Nintendo VIP 24:7 in 2002, the 12-and-a-bit-year-old loyalty points system has long handed players much Mario-related merchandise as a thank you for registering their purchases (from 250 "Stars" for a game up to 1000 for those hardy, now-smug-looking souls who backed the Wii U).
But this once-fluffy institution that Mario's maker has been running since it launched the GameCube in the pre-online days has unfortunately become as laboured and confusing as… well, transferring system data from one Nintendo console to another, so is well due a spruce up.
Indeed, quite how Nintendo Points, Wii Points, DS Points and Stars all interconnect has been a confusing riddle for a while. Given that a Nintendo 1000 Points Card can be redeemed for 4000 Stars, and 1000 Points cost £7, that should make each Star worth 0.00175p. Except 1000 Points cost £9 on the DS for a bit. So maybe not. We'll stick with the Wii conversion rate for this.
But none of that really matters as, however you accumulated your Stars, you now have to spend the buggers fast, as while Nintendo has a new, shiny loyalty scheme on the way, the whole Stars shebang is over come September 30th 2015.
So, Stars Catalogues at the ready, let's make like someone who's spent a day at the fair, has a hand full of redemption tickets and has a glowering fair manager waving the fair keys in their general direction, hurrying them up to get out of the fair quite soon, and find the best on offer, from "just bought a New 3DS" to "still playing GoldenEye"…
1.) The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Ring Tones
An unspecified number of 15-second brass-heavy .wav overtures to sound strident and accomplished in the office. (Stars to Cash Value: £0.09)
2.) 8-Bit Mario Festive Gift Wrapping Paper
Using up Stars + being ahead for Christmas = excellent multi-tasking. Two 60x84cm sheets here for your troubles. (Stars to Cash Value: £3.50)
3.) Mario Kart 8 Starting Grid Unisex T-Shirt
Get that "Cash-strapped Games Journo" look in an instant/wash your car in retro style. (Stars to Cash Value: £6.56)
4.) Mario, Luigi and Bowser Foam Walls
Alas, not actual walls, but 20x25cm foam cut-outs that you then put on a wall. Wall sold separately. (Stars to Cash Value: £7.88)
5.) Relaxation Set - Luigi
Forget Virgin Upper tags on your suitcase, this eye mask and blanket combo is the high-flying accessory to be seen with when Transatlanticking. Obligatory pink Peach version not in shot. (Stars to Cash Value: £10.50)
6.) Yoshi Backpack
It makes you look like a dinosaur, what more do you need? Gerald's already ordered one. (Stars to Cash Value: £11.38)
7.) Game & Watch: Ball
An actual game! Although one made in 1980. Joking aside, this is the first Game & Watch handheld reissued for the masses so unless you want to drop £130 on the original, it's the nearest you'll get. (Cash Value: £13.13)