A Fake Item Box is an item found in the Mario Kart series. They resemble regular item boxes from a distance, but turn red when the Player gets near them. They will electrocute a kart or bike and cause them to spin out upon contact. They usually have an ¿ instead of an ? in Mario Kart 64 but the occasional ones are red or do not have ? at all. Nevertheless, they still release the same effect if the player happens to stumble upon one. Fake Item Boxes are different than Bananas and Shells in that other items can go through them. This makes them useless for protection of the rear of a Kart, as they will not block incoming attacks. However, Fake Item Boxes do block incoming attacks in Mario Kart 64, but the player can't throw that item forward; in all the other games, the player can throw the Fake Item Box forward or backward.
The Fake Item Box has appeared in all of the Mario Kart games except for Super Mario Kart, where item panels were used instead of boxes.
The fake item boxes get their look back from Mario Kart Double Dash!! in Mario Kart Wii except they get a texture change, along with its counterpart, the item box. Both sport rainbow-dot texture patterns now instead of a checkerboard texture. They also behave in the same manner as in Mario Kart Double Dash!! and even spin around like normal item boxes.
In battle/team race mode, the fake item boxes will become blue in the blue team, but retain their original color in the red team. At first glance, fake item boxes in the blue team look vaguely similar to regular item boxes, but if the player happens to look closer, the fake item boxes don't have a rainbow pattern on them and sport a ¿ like regular fake item boxes.