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Cartoon karts get real for 'Mario Kart 7' ad


Talk about 3-D. The racing karts from "Mario Kart 7" are more real than they might appear.

Nintendo's beloved, madcap "Mario Kart" racing franchise is known for its zany race cars, even zanier power-ups and for delivering nothing but high-speed, high-octane fun.

With the new "Mario Kart 7" game about to launch for the Nintendo 3DS, the game company has launched a new TV advertisement imagining what it might be like if we could really jump into the game's wacky cartoon karts and race them against our friends on colorful courses that seem almost real.

The ad itself is a pretty nifty blend of the real world and the animated one. Check out the below video for yourself.

But what's really cool, is catching a glimpse of how the ad was made ... and realizing that they used real, fully operational karts plucked from the game design when they shot the video. California-based stunt driving company Drivers Inc. posted the following behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot:

If only Mario's real-world kart also came with a real-world pop-out hang glider. I'd run right out and buy myself one. Alas, it looks like we'll have to stick to flying cars in "Mario Kart 7" which officially launches Dec. 4.

(Thanks to GameSetWatch for the heads up.)

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Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+.  And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.