"For as much as Nintendo likes to portray Mario as an “everyman” hero, let’s face facts: He’s not particularly relatable once you get past the protruding paunch. Most of us on the EGM Crew, save reviews editor Ray Carsillo, aren’t Italian. Do any of us get to hobnob with royalty on a regular basis? And have you seen the kind of bank plumbers make these days? Mario clearly isn’t in any tax bracket the average gamer would recognize. (And let’s not even get into all the “supplemental income” he must rake in with his highly questionable “medical practice.”)
Toad, on the other hand, embodies more of what the typical player faces as they make their way through life. He’s short, squat, a servant to the whims of the 1%, and when he was first introduced as a playable character in Super Mario Bros. 2, what was his special power? Not floating on air or leaping over the hills and meadows with spectacular jumps, but plucking vegetables faster than anyone else."