While Lakitu's Cloud made its first appearance along with Lakitu in the first Super Mario Bros., it did not appear as a collectible item until Super Mario Bros. 3. The item could be obtained two ways: As a reward from Princess Peach for defeating a Koopaling at the end of a world, but was also very rarely obtained by defeating a Hammer Bro.. The item would allow the player to skip a level in which they did not want to play. However, if the player dies in the level they skipped to, they will be transported back to the one skipped.
In the later games, Lakitu's Cloud was able to be ridden after the Lakitu that inhabited it previously was killed, which helped Mario and Luigi reach destinations they normally wouldn't. Although in these games, it did not appear as an item like it did in Super Mario Bros. 3.