Nintendo's Kirby series first began in 1992 with the release of Kirby's Dream Land. The franchise has existed for over two decades, and in that time, HAL Laboratory has celebrated some of its most notable milestone years. This is a list of Kirby series anniversaries, describing when and how each was celebrated.
For reference, Kirby's Dream Land debuted in Japan on April 27 and North America on August 1; thus, both of those dates are considered Kirby's official birthday. These dates are bold when mentioned below.
The year 2002 marked the series' 10th anniversary. Though Nintendo did not bring attention to this, the company did celebrate the occasion by releasing Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land for the Game Boy Advance. This is a remake of Kirby's second game, Kirby's Adventure, which launched on the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993, and was notable for starting the trend of Kirby using Copy Abilities.
The year 2007 marked the series' 15th anniversary. Like the 10th anniversary, Nintendo did not bring attention to this. However, the company did begin developing Kirby Super Star Ultra to celebrate the occasion, then released it for the Nintendo DS in 2008. This is a remake of Kirby's ninth game, Kirby Super Star, which launched on the Super Famicom and Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1996.
The year 2012 marked the series' 20th anniversary. Unlike the previous anniversaries, Nintendo made an effort to capitalize on it.
Nintendo released an original game, Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition, for the Wii. As its name implies, it is a collection of six classic Kirby games: Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. It features two other game modes: The first of these is New Challenge Stages, which has Kirby play through challenge stages based on those in Kirby's Return to Dream Land; this mode serves as an epilogue to that game. The last mode is Kirby's History, which has Kirby travel down a hall filled with past games. The player can read about them, watch clips from them, view each box, watch three episodes of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, read manga volumes (only in the Japanese version), and watch a symphony play a medley of Kirby music.
Packaged with the game are a Compilation Soundtrack CD and a copy of Kirby's 20th Anniversary Celebration Book. Whether the player is reading about them or listening to music from them, both cover almost every game in the series. The book is slightly different in each region it was released in, as certain games were or were not released in those regions (for example, the Western version replaces any mention of Kirby's Super Star Stacker with Kirby's Avalanche, as the former game was not localized outside of Japan).
On September 1st, Nintendo hosted an event at PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington. To celebrate the anniversary, the company wanted to break the Guinness World Record for the most people in a room blowing a chewing gum bubble simultaneously. Altogether, 536 fans showed up to participate, setting the new record.
- A line of Kirby merchandise was released in Japan, with each item sporting a tag with the Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition logo.
- On September 5, a Limited Edition Kirby Medal was made available as a Club Nintendo reward, costing 600 Coins. Only 1000 were produced.
- On September 18, Club Nintendo began holding a random drawing for members, with the prize being a set of circular Kirby-themed playing cards. Members could participate by registering a copy of Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition by October 31 and completing a survey. There were 190 winners.
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The year 2017 marked the series' 25th anniversary. Nintendo brought attention to this anniversary, especially in Japan.
During a Nintendo Direct presentation on April 12, 2017, Nintendo revealed its plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Kirby through a series of three game releases during the year. This included unveiling and releasing Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, as well as announcing Kirby's Blowout Blast for a Summer release. A third game was teased for a Winter release, though no details were announced then.
Kirby's Blowout Blast, an expansion of the Kirby 3D Rumble sub-game from Kirby: Planet Robobot, is a simplistic game that hearkens back to Kirby's Dream Land, and it is the first completely 3D game to use traditional gameplay in the series. Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, an expansion of the Team Kirby Clash sub-game from Kirby: Planet Robobot, is more complex, introducing certain RPG elements and in-game purchases. It contains appearances from and references to characters from throughout the series.
During a Nintendo Direct presentation on September 13, 2017, Nintendo announced the third game: Kirby Battle Royale is a somewhat complex game that plays like a combination of Kirby's Blowout Blast and Kirby Fighters Deluxe. It features 10 game modes, some two-dimensional and some three-dimensional, and brings Copy Abilities into a 3D space for the first time. The game also features some references to past games. It was released in November 2017 in Japan and Europe, and January 2018 in North America.
- In Japan, the company Banpresto (bpnavi) held a lottery called Kirby: Sweet Party. Starting January 21, 2017, customers could pay ¥620 for an entry and receive a prize; prizes were split into eight categories of rarity, from A to H. The participant who pulled the final prize was awarded a special one. Also, Banpresto held "Kirby: 25th Pupupu Collection" (April 2017)and "Kirby: KIRBY ★ ICE CREAM" (July 2017).
- Tokyu Hands, a Japanese department store chain, collaborated with HAL Laboratory and the company Ensky to hold an event called Kirby's Pupupu Paint Day. From April 15 to May 14, 2017, the Tokyu Hands locations sold Ensky-produced merchandise based on the Kirby series. To fit the event's paint theme, much of the merchandise featured images of Paint Kirby and a Waddle Dee flinging green paint.
- HAL Laboratory arranged Kirby-themed concerts in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. They were conducted by Yasushi Takemoto and performed live by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Osaka Symphony Orchestra, respectively. In addition to hearing orchestral renditions of popular music from the series, the audience listened to some Kirby series developers talk about the series--two notable guests were series creator Masahiro Sakurai and voice actress Makiko Ohmoto. The dates and times of each concert were as follows:
|Bunkamura Orchard Hall (Tokyo)||Orix Theater (Osaka)|
|April 16, 2017; 12:45-1:30 PM, 5:15-6:00 PM|
July 20, 2017; 6:15-7:00 PM
July 21, 2017; 6:15-7:00 PM
|June 18, 2017; 12:15-1:00 PM, 4:00-5:00 PM|
- The Yamashiroya toy store in Ueno, Tokyo held an event called Kirby's Birthday. From April 27 to May 20, 2017, the building's sixth floor was converted into a Kirby store, selling merchandise from various games. Kirby-themed snack foods such as cookies were also sold. A table was provided that allowed attendants to write birthday messages or draw pictures on sticky notes which were then posted on the back wall; using pink, blue, yellow paper, they formed a large sprite of Kirby from Kirby's Adventure wearing a yellow bow tie, along with the message "HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIRBY!!"
- Sega Ikebukuro GiGO and namco Umeda store--a Japanese arcade and a shopping complex, respectively--collaborated with Dippin' Dots ice cream. In honor of Kirby's 25th Anniversary, both stores released Kirby-themed can badges and charms to sell alongside the frozen treats; the charms were sold separately at ¥350 apiece, while the can badges were sold with cups of Dippin' Dots ice cream for ¥800. They were released on July 1, 2017.
- TBS ishop, a Japanese retail chain, launched a collaboration with Nintendo called Kirby Pupupu Train. The company released a line of Kirby-themed merchandise at its stores starting in December 2016. The products toured from one city to another across Japan over a year's time. As its name suggests, the theme of the collaboration and products was a railway, with characters dressed up as conductors or passengers. A map of real-world destinations was drawn but given a Kirby theme, so each location was given the name of a place on Planet Popstar; from well-known locations like Green Greens to more obscure ones such as Dedede Resort.
- Lawson, a Japanese convenience store chain, launched a line of Kirby-themed merchandise in celebration of the Kirby series' 25th anniversary at the time of Kirby's Blowout Blast's release (July 4, 2017). In addition to the merchandise line, the Kirby 25TH x LAWSON campaign included a ¥1,500 prepaid card and a download card for Kirby's Blowout Blast that included an exclusive theme.
- On December 14, 2016, Nintendo opened a website celebrating Kirby's 25th Anniversary. It includes a history section containing to a mostly-complete line-up of Kirby games, character bios for the four primary characters (Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight, and Waddle Dee), and a list of celebratory events and products.
- In addition, an official Twitter account (@Kirby25thJP) was created. It was used to promote upcoming games and merchandise while simultaneously using artwork to celebrate holidays and pay homage to series characters. The characters running the account were Channel PPP, a crew of Waddle Dee reporters who delivered news from Planet Popstar, though their efforts are often shown to be fraught with danger or discomfort.
- During August 2017, the music on the Wii U eShop was changed to a rearrangement of "Green Greens."
- On August 14, 2017, Nintendo UK released a YouTube video called "Kirby 25th Anniversary - Trailer," which showed footage of every Kirby game released in Europe up to that point. Nintendo of America uploaded an extremely similar video called "Kirby 25th Anniversary Trailer" on August 22, 2017. This showcased almost every Kirby game released in North America.
- The official Twitter account also had "Bandana Waddle Dee's News!," which were posts relating to the upcoming game Kirby Battle Royale.
- On April 27, 2018 the official Twitter account renamed itself, and shortly after, posted an image celebrating the end of Kirby's 25th Anniversary. This message was followed by another post which contained a link leading to the "Kirby Portal", which will host comprehensive information about future Kirby Star Allies content, along with other goods.
- A line of Kirby merchandise was released in Japan, with each item sporting a Kirby 25th Anniversary logo.
- Premium merchandise was also produced. The company Runa sold stainless steel Kirby watches for ¥27,000. The company Ensky sold metal necklaces featuring Kirby and Magolor for ¥15,000, as well as Kirby and Meta Knight rings for the same price.
- Each of the events listed above had its own line of merchandise that often followed the event's theme.
- On April 27, 2017, Nintendo released a Kirby's 25th Anniversary Nintendo 3DS Theme. It uses the general aesthetic of the website and plays "Welcome to Dream Land" from Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition. This Theme was purchasable for 20 Gold Coins on Nintendo's website.
- On August 1, 2017, Nintendo released a wallpaper and re-released Kirby 3D on the My Nintendo rewards program. The aforementioned Nintendo 3DS Theme was also made available as a reward.
- On August 8, 2017, the company Bandai Candy released a Kirby-themed candy called Star Kirby Pupu Momoko Gumi. Each packet contains apple-flavored gummy candies shaped like Kirby and Waddle Dee, as well as a large sticker featuring images of Kirby and/or Waddle Dee with food. There are 12 possible stickers.
- On August 14, 2017, Play Nintendo released a free wallpaper to celebrate Kirby's 25th anniversary. It is the same image used for the background of the Kirby 25th Anniversary website, but with the anniversary logo in the lower right-hand corner.
- On now-closed official Miiverse accounts, official artwork was released celebrating anniversaries of certain games and of the series itself. This included artwork celebrating:
- The first anniversary of Kirby: Triple Deluxe (2015).
- The first anniversary of Kirby Fighters Deluxe and Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe (2015).
- The seventh anniversary of Kirby Super Star Ultra (2015).
- The fourth anniversary of Kirby's Return to Dream Land (2015).
- The ninth anniversary of Kirby: Squeak Squad (2015).
- The 22nd, 23rd, and 25th anniversaries of the Kirby series itself (2014, 2015, 2017).
- For unknown reasons, the "Kirby 25th Anniversary - Trailer" video released by Nintendo UK calls Kirby Super Star by its North American name rather than its European name, Kirby's Fun Pak.
- Footage of Kirby Super Star Ultra was not shown in the "Kirby's 25th Anniversary Trailer" video, for unknown reasons.
- On April 1, 2018, the Kirby 25th Anniversary website and Kirby 25th Anniversary Twitter changed to revolve around Waddle Dee's 25th Anniversary. Logos and artwork from both sites were replaced with Waddle Dee equivalents. Waddle Dee Star Allies and Waddle Dee Battle Royale were two games advertised; clicking on either revealed artwork of Meta Knight or Dedede holding signs (that say "ドッキリ," which means "feeling shocked or startled," likely an equivalent of "April Fools!") followed by real artwork of the two games. These changes were an elaborate April Fools' Day joke by Nintendo.
- Furthermore, a section reserved on the Japanese Kirby website specifically for Waddle Dee was highlighted. One of these pages was a slideshow which featured various Waddle Dees through the Kirby series. Clicking on an "Extras" tab led to four images of clothed Waddle Dees, each representing a past promotion.
|“||Happy birthday, Kirby!!!
It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since you came into this world.
Our youthful traveller has been inhaling all manner of things and puffing up like a big balloon, right up to the ripe old age of 25. Kirby, you've become a fine, upstanding...adult?! I must say, your plump, pink form has taken on something of a refined glow recently.
And to mark this auspicious occasion, we have no less than three new Kirby games for you to enjoy! The free-to-start Team Kirby Clash Deluxe co-op action game came out just recently, and this summer we're getting Kirby's Blowout Blast, the first genuine 3D action game in the series. On top of that, we have a new fighting action game due this holiday!
How have you all been enjoying Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, by the way? Since the game came out I've been getting into it all over again, playing it with my family. I reckon seasoned players could have a lot of fun supporting their teammates by playing as Doctor Healmore.After you finish the game, incidentally, a certain someone shows up in the village, looking like quite the reformed character. Why not have a look for yourself!”
|— Shinya Kumazaki • Miiverse|
- Official Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition website
- Official Kirby 25th Anniversary website
- Kirby 25th Anniversary Twitter
- Kirby Portal Twitter
- Kirby Sweet Party website
- Kirby 25th Anniversary Orchestra website
- Kirby meets Dippin' Dots website
- Kirby Pupupu Train website
- ↑ Wikipedia
- ↑ Kirby's 20th Anniversary Celebration Book, p. 35
- ↑ The Escapist
- ↑ eBay
- ↑ Nintendo World Report
- ↑ Nintendo World Report
- ↑ Perfectly Nintendo
- ↑ 一番くじ 星のカービィ 25周年プププコレクション
- ↑ 一番くじ 星のカービィ KIRBY ★ ICE CREAM
- ↑ Inside-Games
- ↑ Inside-Games
- ↑ Imgur
- ↑ Kirby Duppin' Dots website
- ↑ Pupupu Train map
- ↑ Nintendo Everything
- ↑ My Nintendo
- ↑ Bandai Candy product page
- ↑ Play Nintendo
- ↑ Waddle Dee 25th Anniversary website April Fools' joke
- ↑ Waddle Dee 25th Anniversary Twitter April Fools' joke