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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

There's a LEGO NES Now? ...Am I Interested?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm theoretically the target audience...

Last week, Nintendo and the LEGO Group had yet ANOTHER joint press release announcement of a new LEGO set: The LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System, otherwise known as the NES Building Kit. Here's a quote from the press release that should catch you up to speed on what they've been working on up 'til now, but with added KoopaTV article hyperlinks:
“The LEGO Group and Nintendo announced their partnership earlier this year, bringing a fun-packed LEGO Super Mario universe to life through a Super Mario Starter Course set that exclusively features a LEGO Mario figure who displays a wide variety of instant reactions to movement, color and various action bricks. This entry point set was followed up on in May with a series of Power-Up Packs and in June with the announcement of a range of Expansion Sets and collectible Character Packs. All have been designed to build out the world of LEGO Super Mario, letting players unleash their creativity by building exactly the levels and challenges they want to see LEGO Mario and friends compete in.” 

You count those? There have been three announcements. You know what is obfuscated in the press release? ALL of those Super Mario LEGO products and packs are coming out August 1, which is the same day this LEGO NES is coming out. In other words, literally no product has been released yet, but both companies are acting like they're building off great successes and continuing a venerable product line.

Remember: No one has actually spent money on these yet. All of these LEGO sets could be a disastrous flop, but they keep announcing new stuff since they seem REALLY sure it's massively appealing. And they're all coming out on the same day.

Well, is the newest NES Building Kit appealing to me? What's it look like? Let's take a look:

Here's the product description. It says...
“Do you love video games? Did you play Super Mario Bros.™ back in the day? Or do you just enjoy a hands-on, creative activity in your spare time? If so, this nostalgic LEGO® Nintendo Entertainment System™ (71374) model kit is perfect for you.”

Well, I do love videogames. I did play Super Mario Bros. back in the day, and the Nintendo Entertainment System was the first console I've owned. All I had on it was Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and World Class Track Meet, all on one cartridge. I no longer have the NES. I kinda miss it.

But there's no way I'm spending $230 on a LEGO replica of an NES. I wouldn't even spend $60 on the Nintendo Entertainment System NES Classic Edition, and that was an actual game console with 30 games on it, not this 2,646 piece (what?!) replica:

LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System NES kit TV controller action Super Mario Bros.
The controller is just for show. In fact, there's no cable connecting the NES and the television monitor.
(Table, mug, notebook, plant, and Millennial person not included. Neither are batteries.)

I'll note that the Mario LEGO sets are specifically marketed to kids, and the NES set is specifically marketed to adults. Because only adults feel nostalgic for an NES. Kids these days are weirdly nostalgic for the Nintendo Wii. That said, I'm not interested in this at all. ...And my TV didn't look like that and definitely wasn't that small.

Also, I'm pretty sure the only Super Mario Bros. level portrayed here is 1-1. I was definitely good enough to get past that. Though I did get stuck in the Minus World.

Ludwig doesn't inherently dislike the LEGO brand or anything, in case you might've gotten that impression from all of the articles about it being negative. That's Mario's doing. Except for this article. That's just him not being moved by NES nostalgia. Are you? Are you interested in this? Does the idea of putting 2646 pieces together terrify you? ...Actually, on closer inspection, LEGO classifies this as in the LEGO Super Mario line of products, so screw it. It's tainted.

Nintendo is happy to reference this as part of their merchandise strategy.
The next wave of LEGO-Nintendo collaborations will be releasing January 1, with more Super Mario.
In terms of the next nostalgia product, meet the ? block from Super Mario 64.
LEGO is going on to release a LEGO Atari 2600 two years later. What's the target audience of THAT?


  1. Hey, at least this means now Emmet can know the joy and pain of Super Mario Bros 1 (Which maybe like a week ago I finally beat without using warps for the first time!)


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