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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Who would want a LEGO Atari 2600 set?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Crash your wallet like it's 1983 all over again.

Building off the alleged success of the LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System set (MSRP: $230), LEGO on July 19 (just one day after I published another LEGO article!) announced a LEGO Atari 2600 set, featuring 2,532 pieces that build a console, LEGO cartridges of Asteroids, Adventure, and Centipede, a joystick, LEGO recreations of scenes of those three games, and a “surprise open mechanism.” (Reminder that it's not a real game console.) As well as an MSRP of $240. It's releasing on August 1, the same date many LEGO Super Mario products are releasing.

Apparently, this is to celebrate Atari (the company)'s 50th anniversary, though the Atari 2600 itself was released in 1977 (45 years ago). It's meant for... elderly people who have fond memories of the Atari 2600 system. Strangely, the announcement was NOT done in cooperation with the company that's going around calling itself Atari today. You won't find a press release from Atari... just a tweet. The present Atari is a really weird company that has the Atari brand and the ability to cash in on that (and released a modern console in 2021 called the Atari VCS that has a library of ancient Atari games plus cloud-streaming with stuff like Stadia, Luna, and Xbox Game Pass), as well as other projects like a sketchy blockchain business. They also made a gay pride parade simulator in the previous decade. (And that seemed to have been a flop to the point where Atari deleted references to it from their site and social media.)

Anyway, I struggle with the idea that there are real people out there who would pay $240 to fulfill some kind of super-dormant Atari nostalgia. When I think of the Atari today, I think of laughably primitive graphics on low-quality copycat shovelware titles that literally caused the videogame industry to crash in 1983. (Same Atari 2600.)

LEGO Atari 2600 surprise open mechanism coffin
It turns out the surprise open mechanism is a built-in coffin,
which is fitting for the console that killed the videogame industry in the United States and had its excess games buried in a landfill.

But hey, do what you want with your money. I probably could talk you out of your delusions, but if you've been clinging to them for over four decades, you're probably off the deep end already, and for longer than I've been around. At least THE MIGHTY BOWSER never stopped being cool.

What would you do with $240 to spare? Get a LEGO Atari 2600? Or buy something else? Let KoopaTV know the ways you can creatively use that money, and help contribute to you earning a $10 Nintendo eShop gift card code from the site as part of the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program! Sure, it's not $240, but you'll also probably get more out of that $10 than the $240 that'd go to a homage to a terrible industry-crushing product with poor software that has its modern brand managed by suspicious bad guys.


  1. Eh, it’s one of the few ways the Atari name is staying alive. I mean it’s not like their gonna make new games, and I don’t know who’s buy those.

    Funnily enough, I just got the Lego NES as a gift. So this article is a tad bit coincidental timing to me. Strange!

    1. Let it die. You don't see anyone talking about, say, the Commodore anymore.

      When ya gonna build the thing?

    2. Yes but since the commodore didn’t play the biggest part in the industry crash, It doesn’t have the same -uh- valor and charisma a brand like Atari does.

      Going to Florida this week, so hopefully when I get back. But the person who gave it to me wants to build it with me, so then again who knows? I just hope I can find a spot to put it where it won’t get destroyed by the rest of the households occupants.

    3. I meant old things from that era, not necessarily crash-causers. But, yeah, Atari 2600 sold 30 million consoles, which is the most of anything before the NES. So it does have the most notoriety and "charisma"...

      I'm more concerned you'll destroy it with...spikes. Then again, if your spikes step on a LEGO, does it hurt?

    4. The spikes have to be sharp enough to kill all creatures that stand before me….buuuuuut they aren’t capable of breaking out of whatever those Star blocks are made out of. However, even if the gordo cannot break the blocks, they still continue stabbing/rubbing against them in an effort to erode the blocks over time. But anyway, no legos don’t hurt the spikes.

    5. LEGO blocks might be tougher than star blocks. Except LEGO blocks can be painful upon contact while star blocks are smooth.


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