An item is an object that a character is able to collect on the boards. The items have become a staple feature of the Mario Party series. The items usually resembles a character or object that is found in other Mario games. The characters can use the items on their turns to cause havoc on other characters, switch character positions, steal another character's coins, and even gain a star. The items that a character can acquire have a wide variety of effects. The traditional way a character can acquire an item is by purchasing them at an Item Shop or through an Item Mini-game. However, there are other ways of gaining an item like receiving one in a hidden block or receiving one in an event.
The items were introduced in Mario Party 2. In this game, the characters were able to carry one item at a time. The character's could gain an item by either purchasing them at an Item Shop or winning an item mini-game. However, a few items can only be won in the item mini-games. In Mario Party 2, each of the main characters had a favorite item that they preferred to use. The items return in Mario Party 3, in which the characters were able to carry three items instead of one. New items were also introduced in addition to the old ones. Mario Party 4 added a twist on the items with the new Mini-Mega system, which allowed the characters to obtain items that affects their size, although the traditional items were still left intact.
In Mario Party 3, there were four items that a character could only receive through special methods. The items include the Barter Box, Koopa Swipe Card, Lucky Charm, and the Wacky Watch. A character could obtain one of these items either through a hidden block on the board map, given by Toad if they answer one of his questions correctly while landing on the Item space, or received randomly in an Item Bag.
Items existed in the first Mario Party, but were used differently- rather than being obtained in the middle of a game and used by the players, the items are bought at Mushroom Shop outside of the boards, and could be set on or off to appear during a game. Six of them, the Plus Block, Minus Block, Speed Block, Slow Block, Warp Block, and Event Block will appear randomly in place of a normal Dice Block. The others are replacements for your Coin Box, and the No Boo and No Koopa items, which disable Boo and Koopa.
Mario Party 5 through Mario Party 8
The item system was revamped in Mario Party 5 in the form of capsules. The characters could now collect capsules from a Capsule Machine, which usually contained Mario series characters and objects. The character had a choice to either use the capsule on themself for a small fee, or throw the capsule on the board map which creates a "trap". The capsule system was replaced in Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7 with the new orb system. The orb system was similar to the capsule system in Mario Party 5, except a character can only throw certain orbs on the map while they must use other orbs on themself. They were also able to gain coins from the orbs. The items made a partial return in Mario Party 8 with the introduction of candies. With the new candy system, the characters were not able to toss them on the board map anymore.
Mario Party DS
The effects of capsules and orbs were brought back in Mario Party DS when Hexes were introduced. Hexes, light orbs before them were bought or collected and were thrown on a space to sabotage the opponents. Hexes didn't keep the names of common enemies and items, and instead were simply called -10 Coins Hex and 2 Star Hex.