To celebrate Kirby‘s 20th birthday, over 500 people set aside their differences to blow bubblegum.

2012 is shaping up to be rather a big year for videogaming anniversaries. Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy last week celebrated their 25th birthdays with the announcement of a long-awaited movie and an insanely large box set respectively. They’re not the only ones celebrating this year, of course, and at the PAX Prime conference last weekend it was Nintendo’s turn to celebrate a milestone. Kirby, Nintendo’s beloved pink inflatable spheroid, turned 20 in August. To mark the occasion the company brought over 500 attendees together, not to announce a new release, but to blow bubblegum.

In total, 536 members of the PAX crowd congregated under the watchful eye of a Guinness World Records representative. They came from far and wide for one common purpose: to be officially crowned the largest group of simultaneous bubblegum blowers on the planet. Some wore the face of Kirby proudly upon their chests, others remained in civilian clothing, but it didn’t matter; all were welcome for this prestigious occasion. To be in compliance with strict Guinness World Record rules, each person had to chew their piece of bubblegum for at least a minute, before holding a bubble in place for a full thirty seconds. Silence presumably fell before the official nod was given: this was, indeed, a new record-beating attempt. In all, the crowd smashed the previous record of 304 participants, which was set in October 2010 by a group from Kirkwood Community College in Iowa.

Commenting on the event, Nintendo of America’s vice president of sales and marketing, Scott Moffitt, praised the amassed PAX attendees for their efforts. “Kirby is no ordinary character,” he said, “so it’s not a surprise that his fans would go to extraordinary lengths to mark his 20th anniversary.” The other half of the Kirby anniversary celebrations, the Wii release of Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition, will appear in stores on September 16 in the US, and some time later this year in Europe. “Between this new world record and the upcoming launch of Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition, it’s turning out to be one heck of an anniversary party,” Moffitt concluded.

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