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This article was published on July 14, 2020

So help me, I need this LEGO NES and its (kind of) playable Mario game

So help me, I need this LEGO NES and its (kind of) playable Mario game Image by: LEGO

LEGO and Nintendo today confirmed they’re releasing a new set, this time a recreation of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System console. Far from a simple recreation, this brick set will apparently allow you to actually play a Mario game… well, sort of.

Details about the set leaked earlier this week, and were confirmed when LEGO released a video on it today. It’s to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the console, and is almost a note-perfect recreation — they even cheekily sneak in a shot of the person assembling it blowing on the cartridge before putting it in. And lest you think this is just a static item that happens to look like a NES, the TV will allow you to “play” a level from Super Mario Bros. This is done via a crank on the corner of the screen that scrolls through the level, while Mario jumps along.

We’ve already seen some of the Mario sets LEGO has been working on, and they’re adorable. But this… this is something else. This feels like something just a little more extraordinary. Also, if you put the little Bluetooth-enabled Mario figure on the top of your TV, it’ll apparently replicate the original Super Mario Bros sounds. That’s just precious and makes me smile.

The NES set comprises over 2,600 pieces, and is recommended for people aged 18+. I can definitely see this age bracket getting more of a tickle out of this than most younger children, who will have only heard about the NES in reverently told family legends. While I think the previous Mario sets were more about being creative using the familiar bricks as a jumping-off point, this is more about simple, uncomplicated nostalgia for adults who owned the NES. That’s not a bad thing — just maybe not the youngsters’ thing. Given that I’m in that age demographic for whom the sight of a NES engenders fond memories (and not curiosity about an historical artifact, which I assume is how the kiddos feel), I want one. I don’t even like LEGO and I want one.

The LEGO NES will be available on August 1 for the princely price of $230. While you can’t pre-order it, you can check out its store page here.

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