Bring this classic power-up to life as part of your Christmas decor.
Super Stars (also referred to as Starmen) can be found in a plethora of Mario Bros. games, including the original and the Mario Kart series. One place you’d typically not find them, however, is on top of a Christmas tree. That was until now.
In the game, when a player gets a star, they become temporarily invulnerable to all damage. This enables them to defeat anything and rack up points, except to hazards that would normally be fatal regardless of power-ups. Well, John Edgar Park has decided to swap out invincibility for some sparkling decor.
The Super Mario fan has built his own 8-bit tree topper using an Arduino, LEDs and a few other off-the-shelf tools. Starduino — a name that was coined by yours truly — is a fairly straightforward project. It consists of an Arduino GEMMA (ATtiny85) that drives an Adafruit NeoPixel ring housed inside a 3D-printed blocky star. Meanwhile, power is supplied by a USB cable plugged either into a wall adapter or a battery.
Still looking for a last-minute focal piece for your tree? Don’t despair! Park has provided a step-by-step breakdown of his build on Adafruit, so you can spark some nostalgia of your own this holiday season.