Interactive LEGO Super Mario sets launch August 2020

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It was only a matter of time before Super Mario got the LEGO treatment, iconic as both properties are. After announcing a collaboration between Nintendo and LEGO last month, the Danish toymaker has now revealed that the first sets will launch globally on 1 August this year.

The “Adventures with Mario Starter Course” is the key to unlocking the theme’s interactive elements. Rather than a regular minifigure, Mario features a colour sensor, LCD screens in his face and belly, and a speaker allowing him to react to different elements of the set—jump him onto a question box, for example, to see a coin pop up.

The rest of the set includes all the basic building blocks (sorry, not sorry) of a Super Mario level: platforms, pipes, water, lava, a goomba, Baby Bowser, a goal flag, and the end-of-level castle. “Activation points” are built into many of these elements, allowing further interaction with the Mario figure and allowing for a game in which players have to collect as many coins as they can before getting to the end of the level. The different modular components can be configured in different ways—it’s LEGO, after all—to allow folks to design their own Mario courses.

Three “Expansion Sets” have also been unveiled. The Piranha Plant Power Slide set comes with a seesaw contraption, as well as a couple of Piranha Plants and a Koopa Troopa. The Bowser’s Castle Boss Battle set is perhaps the more impressive of the bunch, with a full Bowser’s Castle to build and a variety of enemies to fill it with. Finally, the Monty Mole and Super Mushroom Expansion Set—which comes free with preorders for the starter set—includes Monty Mole, a Whomp, a super mushroom, and a POW block, among a handful of desert-themed bricks.

These sets are due for release on 1 August 2020. The Starter Set is available for pre-order now from the LEGO Store (for NZD $89.99); pricing for the other sets will be revealed at a later time.

Hopefully this collaboration is the starter of bigger and better things for Nintendo and LEGO. If it does well, maybe we’ll see other Nintendo properties (Metroid!) get similar treatment.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.