"Toad – known in Japan as Kinopio (キノピオ) – is a fictional, anthropomorphic mushroom in the Mario series, created by Shigeru Miyamoto. A citizen of the Mushroom Kingdom, Toad is one of Princess Peach's most loyal servants and is constantly working on her behalf. He is usually seen as a non-player character (NPC) who provides assistance to Mario and his friends in most games, but there are times when Toad takes center stage and appears as a protagonist, as seen in Super Mario Bros. 2 and Wario's Woods.
Toad's original role as a helper has been increasingly taken over by Toadsworth, causing Toad to appear less frequently than he once had in the main series; however, in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, two Toads (Yellow and Blue) appear as playable characters along with Mario and Luigi."
Source: Wikipedia, "Toad_(Mario)", available under the CC-BY-SA License.