Nintendo has applied for new Donkey Kong trademarks in Japan. These include trademarks for a “DK” logo, the traditional “DK” barrel, “Cranky Kong,” “Diddy Kong,” and “Dixie Kong.” The actual application pages may be viewed here.
I know what you’re thinking: Could this be a hint of a major new Donkey Kong game on the horizon?! But unfortunately, the answer to that question is probably–nah. These trademarks have the look and scent of being for general merchandising purposes, like T-shirts or something.
Still, it’s good that Nintendo thinks the Donkey Kong brand is worth fully exploiting. The more confidence Nintendo has in its brands, the more likely we are to see more games from those series. It’s kind of strange to think about, but in times when a new Donkey Kong or Metroid isn’t in development, the best thing we can do to encourage a new game is to buy a T-shirt or two. Personally, I love my Metroid II: Return of Samus shirt that I bought at the Nintendo NY store!