In 1980, Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. released a little arcade game revolving around a pizza-shaped character eating his way through a maze, being chased by ghosts. They knew they had a good thing going, but they probably didn’t realize it would be one of the most beloved games of all time and a pop-culture icon. Now, over 40 years later, they teamed up with The LEGO Group to bring us an epic tribute to the original game. Join us as we chomp our way through the 2651-piece LEGO Icons 10323 PAC-MAN Arcade, which will be available June 4th and retail for US $269.99 | CAN $349.99 | UK £229.99.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Click to WAKA WAKA WAKA!
If you’re looking for more bang for your buck, LEGO Creator 3-in-1 sets are one of the best options out there. Fun techniques and pieces coupled with three different instruction manuals provides loads of playability, and the ones that feature small buildings make for good additions to any city layout. The latest, LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31131 Downtown Noodle Shop, is no exception to that. While it may not be the most exciting set out there, particularly in a summer wave full of awesome sets, it’s both practical and cute. Join us as we take a brief look into the details of this 569-piece kit, which will be available August 1st and retail for US $44.99 | CAN $59.99 | UK £39.99.
When I was a kid, the closest I ever got to a real arcade was the game room in the back of the local bowling alley. Dirty carpet, a change machine that wouldn’t accept my crinkled dollar bills, and neon beer signs illuminating the TMNT machine that I could never get a turn at. I always imagined that somewhere there were kids living it up in a real video game paradise, and Brick Grayson has brought that paradise to life. Just looking at it, you can hear the cacophony of music and laser fire and cries of “hadouken!” that must echo through the place. The choice of colors does a great job of implying neon without there being any actual lights. And I particularly like the Pac-Man and Ghosts on the side of the building made mostly from sausages. If I could just get inside, I bet I could finally take a turn as Raphael.
Creative part usage crosses over with retro-gaming nostalgia in Classic Space Arcade by brickleas. This entry into the Iron Builder contest takes uncommon Large Figure Part Shield Holder with Axle LEGO elements and mashes them up with side-scrolling in a way that’s sure to earn a high score. The use of the shield as both a part of the spaceship and the scoring counters is brilliant, but I also like the other creative touches. The smallest white stars are made from headlight bricks with white bars inserted into them, for example. And check out the similar-but-not-identical builds on the asteroids. It looks like classic Atari graphics to me!
Over the years, we’ve featured a lot of creative builds resulting from Iron Builder challenges. Why not check our archives and see what you’ve missed?
2020 being the first year in a long time without a licensed LEGO video game is a disappointing moment for fans. It is yet another faction of business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to GameRant. While there is still hope for the tentative release of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga in 2021, this might be a good time for The LEGO Group to develop pinball game sets. Sure, this screams old school. But TLG already notched success when they captured the nostalgia for Super Mario and the Nintendo Entertainment System. Let’s also not forget the brick-built retro games, plus 2016’s Ideas Maze (21305). Just one look at the Chicken-Pen-Ball machine, made by Eli Willsea, has us stuck on tilt.
Eli’s fifth creation in the Iron Builder competition used the Track Switch 9V in yellow 19 times. He continues to outdo himself going up against Jonas Kramm, another gifted builder. Eli’s use of the Track Switch 9V balances function and form. They serve as the flippers, the flowers (dandelions?) in front of the barn, the handle on the ball shooter, and even the cabinet’s feet. It’s an egg-citing creation that takes our cheap chicken puns to the next level in this demo video. Check it out.
These days any distraction is a good distraction, and Cecilie Fritzvold brings us a very good distraction, indeed. This awesome LEGO arcade features games that incorporate the dynamite bundle element. There are three of them in the video game, and several in the claw machine–most notably as part of the claw assembly itself. I also want to call out the quality setting for these arcade classics: the flooring has just the right “cheap linoleum” look, and the printed 2×2 tiles on the wall make for excellent posters. And that strawberry malt is just too cute. Man, I really want to try to win something out of that claw machine. It’s probably rigged, though.
If you love claw machines as much as I do, you’ll also want to check out this fully functional human-scale LEGO claw machine.
We recently featured a pinball machine with a modular play field. I’m not sure why there is a sudden uptick in pinball builds, but I am totally on board! Bring them on, pin-wizards! I have to say, you may have a tough time competing with this one, created by Nachapon Lego. I’ve seen a few multi-tiered LEGO machines, but this is probably executed the best. The physics behind pinball can be complicated. The size of the field coupled with the size and weight of the ball, plus the angles of the obstacles, all make for a tricky design process. Then you bring LEGO into the mix and the constraints take on another level of difficulty.
The Star Wars theme will be popular for many of you, but if that’s not your thing, the builder made a sister-table. The obstacles are the same, but this one has a creative and colorful adventure motif as a tribute to the vast possibilities of LEGO. The game-play video below will have you wishing you could have a go at it yourself! I particularly like the ball-saving that can be done by kicking it back to the main level once it drains.
If you haven’t already, definitely take a peak at some of our other featured pinball articles! You’ll find my own Classic Space pinball machine, along with a few others that will get you excited about making one too!
Some of you may already know I’m a little obsessed with pinball. I just can’t help being enthralled with the awesome engineering that lies within a pinball machine. It’s like an obstacle course for your mind, but tangible. And nothing makes me more giddy than one made from LEGO. This little machine, built by Dawid Marasek, may look simple, but it has a great asset: it’s modular.
Click to watch the video of how it works!
With the release of the latest LEGO Ninjago line, we’ve received a cool new collection of arcade pods. Builder Xennethy has transformed the oddly shaped “game cabinet” shells into some awesome vendor stalls. In particular, this collection features news, hat, and vegetable stands.
The cabinet alone is a pretty awkward and cumbersome element, but a handful of simple accessories gives it a whole new life. It’s easy to imagine them in any city or park scene. Click the link below to see close-ups of the nifty builds.
Continue to see more
Each year LEGO’s homebrewed Ninjago theme finds a new setting for its cast of pseudo-ninja heroes, ranging from sky pirates to medieval fantasy. The theme has always reveled in a no-holds-barred approach to mixing and matching ancient bladed weapons, advanced technology, and outrageous antagonists. The 2020 lineup’s twist is a cyberpunk aesthetic set in a digital world via a videogame. All of the Ninjago heroes find themselves dueling in the cyber realms via their avatars, bringing a Ready Player One-like plotline to LEGO’s most successful in-house theme. Today we’re looking at a trio of small sets that serve as the entry points to theme both for the consumers and the characters in the world. These arcade cabinet boxes are the transformation portals wherein Kai, Jay, and Lloyd are transformed into their digital avatars. 71714 Kai Avatar – Arcade Pod (US $9.99 | CAN $13.99 | UK £8.99), 71715 Jay Avatar – Arcade Pod (US $9.99 | CAN $13.99 | UK £8.99), and 71716 Lloyd Avatar – Arcade Pod (US $9.99 | CAN $13.99 | UK £8.99) will be available starting January 1. They contain about 50 pieces each.
Click to read the full review
If you’ve spent any time in arcades, you’ve likely been tempted by those crane games where you can win a handful of candy (or sometimes bigger prizes). H.Y. Leung has taken that temptation to the extreme by making their own working version from LEGO bricks.
The base of this build is 80×64 studs (roughly 64×51 centimeters); pretty close to 1:1 scale to a real-world crane game. The arm design comes from LEGO set 42043, the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245, with a modified claw. The first control on the left side rotates the arm left and right, moving it through a 200-degree arc. The next three switches handle positioning of the boom and outrigger and opening and closing the claw. To the right of the controls is a slot that accepts tokens, and a switch to activate a pneumatically-controlled horizontal security bar, intended to keep people from reaching up and into the game when it’s not in use.
This claw-machine creation incorporates just a touch of non-LEGO parts in the custom plexiglass, external air compressor, and edible treats. I personally would have liked to see this machine filled with LEGO parts, but I suspect bulk candy is a lot cheaper to refill it with.
Speaking of arcade games, the colors are inspired by the prize machine in the mobile game Crossy Road. Not familiar with that machine? Happily, H.Y. has also recreated a LEGO version to add some context. I like the inversion of the red/yellow styling between the two games.
Get your quarters and tokens prepped, because it’s time to hang out at the arcade! This impressive collection of minifigure-scale machines by Kale Frost has everything a LEGO gamer could want, from classics like Pac-Man and Kong to Street Fighter and air hockey. See if you can identify all of the machines!
A closer look at the skeeball machine shows just how perfectly they fit with minifigures. These machines would look great in an expanded version of the arcade in Ninjago City Docks, which featured official LEGO-designed minifigure-scale arcade cabinets. Or if something bigger is more your style, check out this 1/2-scale working arcade cabinet.