Interactive LEGO experiences aren’t the norm for the average set builder but public events can often feature large mosaics such as this. Builder Hans Demol designed this awesome Mario & Friends mosaic for LEGO fans to build as a group during an event. Each person would get a 16×16 plate to fill in and add to the picture, filling it in frame by frame until all 49 plates were done. LEGO has made bank on their Mosaic sets and it’s easy to emulate their method in stud or brick form. After all, you’re basically just working with pixel art, which is wildly popular on its own thanks to the Minecraft and classic gaming fanbase. As such, there are pixelating programs you can use to roughly design models like this but it’s also fun to try to freehand your own. It’s great to blend with regular models too. For example, I once used it to make a screen for drive-in theater!
Speaking from personal experience, I can say pieces like this can be wildly popular with builders of all levels and ages. Little hands might struggle with 1×1 plates but bricks look the same from above and those are a lot easier for them to handle. Hans did an awesome job shaping and shading each character which means there are definitely going to be people searching for certain sections to complete. Those super colorful sections are super fun but can also be super confusing for little ones. It’d be awesome to see this completed in real life though!
It’s important to understand as you read this review of the new LEGO 71374 Nintendo Entertainment System that I never owned an NES myself as a kid back in the 80’s. But I wanted one. After all, it felt like nearly every one of my friends in the neighborhood in Japan where I lived had a Famicom, or later the true NES launched in 1985. As I went over to my friends’ houses and played Super Mario and the very first Legend of Zelda, I so very desperately wanted one! But I never did, partly because I was told that I had enough toys in the form of all the LEGO underfoot in my bedroom. Now, I can buy my own (US $229.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £209.99) and build it for myself from LEGO, which seems even better. Does this marriage of my favorite little plastic bricks with the big plastic brick of my dreams live up to 35 years of pent-up expectations? Let’s find out…
August has arrived and that means new LEGO sets! LEGO has launched 108 new sets and items available today. In addition to new sets like the Nintendo NES and Super Mario lineup, Ideas Grand Piano, Star Wars 501st Battle Pack and LEGO Art, fans in the US and Canada can finally celebrate the summer arrival of Harry Potter, Creator 3-in-1, City, and Ninjago waves that you’ve waited so patiently for. Nearly every LEGO theme has some new sets–it can be a lot to process!– so we have your complete guide right here detailing each and every new set and item. [EDIT: It appears that LEGO may have delayed the US & Canada release of some of these sets until September. We’ve asked for clarification.]
LEGO is also offering two free gifts-with-purchases at the start of August. The first is 30385 Super Mushroom Surprise, free with purchases of LEGO Super Mario sets more than US $40 through August 16th or while supplies last.
LEGO and Nintendo have partnered to reveal 71374 Nintendo Entertainment System, a buildable NES console and a retro CRT “tube” TV that comes with a Super Mario Bro. cartridge and a scrolling level reminiscent of World 1-1. The instant nostalgia trip is made up of 2,646 pieces and even comes with an 8-bit Mario.
The NES will be sold exclusively by LEGO through the end of 2020 then expand to other retailers starting in 2021. The set will sell for US $229.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £209.99 beginning August 1st, the same day that the other new LEGO Super Mario sets become available for purchase.
(Edit: LEGO originally listed the purchase price of US $199.99 online and in its press release and then updated the online price to US $299.99 and then updated it again to US $229.99. We have received confirmation from LEGO that US $229.99 will be the final price.)
LEGO and Nintendo have unveiled the first wave of sets in the Super Mario theme, with the core set being 71360 Adventures with Mario. The 231-piece starter course comes with the Mario “digi-fig,” buildable Bowser Jr. and a Goomba, and will retail for US $59.99 | CAD 69.99 with pre-orders beginning today for general availability starting August 1st.
LEGO and Nintendo have also revealed two expansion sets, Bowser’s Castle Boss Battle which will retail for US $99.99 | €59.99 and the Piranha Plant Power Slide which retails for US $29.99 | €29.99.
LEGO and Nintendo have revealed their four-year partnership in the making, showing off LEGO Super Mario to the world. The product line, arriving later this year, features an interactive LEGO Mario figure who collects coins in levels created with physical LEGO bricks. But how did the partnership come to be, how does Mario work, and what Easter eggs are hidden throughout the buildable levels?
The Brothers Brick sat down with Jonathan Bennink, the Design Manager at the LEGO Creative Play Lab and Digital Design Lead for LEGO Super Mario. who gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming product line. We asked him the questions you wanted to know the answers to, so read on to find out all about LEGO Super Mario.
LEGO and Nintendo have revealed a new Super Mario product line that features an interactive LEGO Mario figure who collects coins in levels created with physical LEGO bricks. The partnership with Nintendo was teased earlier this week and will bring an entirely new kind of game experience based on everyone’s favorite plumber. The oversized Mario figure contains a screen and speaker and reacts to the level built around it.
Whilst we’ve never had an official set, Mario and Luigi are no strangers to LEGO. Many builders have tackled these gaming icons before, but it’s always good to see another take. These figures by ZiO Chao are excellent — tightly-built in a chibi style, but immediately recognisable, and full of character. The outfits are perfectly captured, the faces expressive, and I love the stands beneath each figure. Don’t miss the brickwork on Toad’s mushroom head, and the simple but effective way ZiO has captured Toad’s face. Lovely stuff.
The folks at Build Better Bricks have continued their series of LEGO designs based on Super Mario characters with this adorable Goomba. This build looks pretty simple at first glance, but there are some clever techniques used to create the simple shapes of the classic video game foe. The eyebrows were the first thing to catch my attention, the key piece attaching them to the body seems to be the relatively new bar 1L with 1×1 round plate with hollow stud. I’m not sure how they achieved the half-stud offset for the mouth, but I guess I could buy the instructions if I really wanted to find out.
This Goomba would look perfect alongside the Mario, Luigi, and Bowser models by Build Better Bricks we previously featured.
As a big fan of classic gaming, I was thrilled to see Mike Dung’s adorable chibi trio of LEGO Nintendo characters. Mario and Link are here, as is the LCD handheld gaming legend that is Mr. Game & Watch. I love that Mario and Link’s tiny bodies are poseable, and the sculpting of their facial features is spot-on. Despite being monochromatic, Mr. Game & Watch looks quite animated! After seeing these figures, I could play a few rounds of Super Smash Brothers.
How do you make Super Mario Brothers even better? Recreate its stars in LEGO bricks. Build Better Bricks has done exactly that. First up, Mario faces off against Bowser, with both characters put together brilliantly. Mario looks smart in his trademark dungarees, and appears eminently poseable thanks to the use of Mixel ball-and-socket joints. Bowser kind of steals the show here though (making a change from stealing the Princess), with a perfectly sculpted form. The face in particular is excellent — I can almost hear his throaty chuckle.
And Mario’s little brother shouldn’t feel left out of the fun. Here he is, looking petrified as usual. However, at least he has his trusty Poltergust vacuum-backpack to deal with any persistent spectres. Don’t worry Luigi — there is nothing to fear but fear itself…