Fake Item Boxes are items in Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart Wii. They can easily be mistaken for real Item Boxes because of their similar shape, size, and animation. The effect is usually stronger from a greater distance away. However up close, Fake Item Boxes have inverted ? symbols and may turn red depending on the game. They do not move either in some games.
A Fake Item Box is an Item that is used for attack. A player can throw the Fake Item Box up in front of them to try to take out any drivers on front of them. In a way, it is similar to Banana Peel, as it can also be dragged and dropped behind a Kart, but is it does more damage than a Banana Peel. It knocks them over, similar to a Red Shell or Green Shell.
Unlike most items, the Fake Item Box does not block items(such as shells) when placed or dragged behind the player (except in Mario Kart 64)
Fake item boxes usually have an additional animation next to tumbling over, with red lightning-like shapes.
AI (automatic intelligence) appear to neither avoid or intentionally collide with Fake Item Boxes (so they do not see the illusion).
In Mario Kart DS, the minimap displays a Fake Item Box in red. The main difference between these and real boxes are having no question marks, not spinning, and seemingly bigger. They are also red in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart Wii, but sometimes blue, too, in Mario Kart Wii in battle mode.
It was planned to appear in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, but was scrapped.
In Battle Mode on all games that feature the Fake Item Box, except for Mario Kart DS and Versus Mode on the Wii, the color of the box depends on the team you're in. Team Red has red boxes and team Blue has blue ones.
Tips for spotting/using them:
- Most Item Boxes are placed in very specific patterns and locations throughout the track, so an odd one out might be easier to spot.
- Since they don't stop projectiles (except for Mario Kart 64), try dropping one as soon as possible.
- Try placing them in the middle of the track, because then the AI has more chance of hitting it.
- Try placing it in/on a real item box, as the AI has more chance of hitting it.
- Try placing them at the top of a ramp that leads to a jump over a gap in the track.
- Try placing them in a narrow section of the track (i.e. a bridge).