In the world of racing games inspired by franchises, nothing will ever knock Mario Kart from its lofty pedestal. There's no point even trying. If a developer wants to make a success of something in the same way via one of its franchises, it has to set itself apart from MK. Sega has decided to do the exact opposite of that in a number of ways with Team Sonic Racing, but most notably via its items, or wisps.
There are 15 wisps available to racers in Team Sonic Racing, and 10 of them are clearly inspired by Mario Kart. Inspired might be a stretch as some of them are simply lazy copies.
Bob-Ombs, Red Shells, And Green Shells
The Black Bomb is clearly just a Bob-omb. You can throw it forwards, drop it backward, and it even bounces like the MK equivalent.
While shells can't and don't play a part in TSR, the Crimson Eagle is clearly just a red shell. As for green shells, in TSR they are orange rockets. They even still bounce off of walls and barriers like green shells, despite being explosives. You'll also be able to use orange rockets to destroy blue cubes which are just TSR's version of Mario Kart's banana skins.
Boo, Lightning, Stars, And Bloopers
We are not done yet, so let's pick up the pace. The most on-the-nose copy is TSR's Jade Ghost, a wisp that makes the racer invincible while also stealing another character's item. Sound familiar? It's exactly what the Boo item does in Mario Kart. The Ivory Lightning wisp is just, you guessed it, Mario Kart's lightning. Stars will turn you invincible and do damage to other racers, just like Mario Kart's star, and TSR's white boost has the exact same effect as a mushroom.
The Magenta Rhythm wisp that technique racers can use does the exact same thing as the Blooper does, obscuring your opponents' vision. Last but not least, the Yellow Drill. Drop to the back of the pack and you might be lucky enough to get this wisp. It'll fire you through the back, knocking other racers aside as you go. That's right, exactly like a Bullet Bill. We would have been okay with TSR's wisps paying homage to Mario Kart, even copying them in a handful of cases. But for two-thirds of the game's items to be this on the nose, that's a little much.