uniqlo nintendo
The grand prize winner of Uniqlo's design contest features none other than Nintendo's Mario as the main motif. YouTube/Uniqlo

Japanese retail giant Uniqlo is no stranger to collaborations, having produced several collections that feature other artists and their work. Not only that, but the clothing retailer has also released collections that feature characters from different franchises; such is the case in their collections with Marvel, Pixar and Disney. Most recently, the company teamed up with video game company Nintendo to create a collection of shirts featuring Nintendo characters. What is most notable about this collection in particular, however, is the fact that the designs themselves have come from actual fans.

In tandem with Nintendo, Uniqlo launched a t-shirt design contest that aimed to have fans submit their own designs featuring classic Nintendo franchises. These franchises include the likes of “Pokemon,” “Animal Crossing,” “The Legend of Zelda” series and even more recent titles such as “Splatoon.” With the contest having already found their winners, the designs for the upcoming collections have already been teased on the clothing company’s website.

With Mario being Nintendo’s poster boy, it comes as no surprise that the grand prize winner’s design featured the plumber himself. The design makes use of the character’s iconic NES look from way back when, giving longtime fans a throwback of Nintendo’s early days. The second place design went to a fan’s colourful “Splatoon” motif, while third place went to a “The Legend of Zelda” design. While the “Zelda” shirt will only be available in kids’ sizes, the “Splatoon” shirt will be made available for men’s and kids’ sizes. On the other hand, the grand prize Mario design will be available for men’s, women’s and kids’ sizes, making it available for everyone across the board.

The top three winners will not only be having their designs come to life, they will also be awarded with some cash prizes for their efforts. As Polygon reports, the first place winner garners a $13,298 cash prize with a Nintendo Swtich signed by the one and only Shigeru Miyamoto himself. The second place winner will also receive a Miyamoto-signed Nintendo Switch alongside a $3,989 cash prize, whereas the third place winner will be awarded with $664 in prize money.

Several other Nintendo shirts will be making their way to Uniqlo stores despite not taking the top spots in the contest. These other designs include art featuring Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, Kirby and fan favourite Pikachu.