Earlier this week, LEGO and Nintendo teased the announcement of a joint venture involving the Super Mario franchise. Speculation mounted as fans wondered if this would mean a Super Mario themed LEGO set, a LEGO-Mario video game, or both. The answer was revealed to lie somewhere in between.
LEGO and Nintendo unveiled their project on Thursday in the form of an interactive, Super Mario-themed LEGO set. A Mario-Zilla toy, of sorts, is the focus of the sets. Mario is electronic and has a small screen on his chest that appears to play music and reveals his current status. The sets themselves resemble classic Super Mario levels, complete with baddies, warp pipes, question blocks, and more.
The interactive experience plays out as giganta-Mario navigates a LEGO level. When Mario lands on a warp pipe or an enemy, the music and video screen on Mario’s chest respond as Super Mario veterans would expect. For example, when Mario lands on a question block, scrolling question marks appear on Mario’s chest before revealing a prize, with sound effects to match. The music changes as Mario runs out of time, encounters danger, or reaches the goal flag.
Mario appears to be the only interactive personality, though other confirmed characters include Yoshi, Koopa Troopa, Baby Bowser, Shy Guy, Piranha Plant (unconfirmed if it’s Petey), Blooper, and Goomba. Traditional LEGO mini characters appear to be nowhere in sight. The children displayed in the demo are most likely not included.
This is clearly not a traditional LEGO set, a Mario-themed LEGO game, or a LEGO-themed Mario game that many likely hoped for. However, the blend of licenses seems like a perfect fit and this idea is nothing if not extremely innovative. And this project may be the first of many. Which leaves us with one very important question: When is the Legend of Zelda LEGO set coming?