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Friday, April 7, 2023

LEGO Super Mario Character Pack Series 6, Wendy O. Koopa in the Creativity Toolbox, and Pom Pom on a Balloon Ride

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What did they do to my sister?!

We didn't cover it (yet), but there were a number of announcements from LEGO as it relates to LEGO Super Mario matters, including The Mighty Bowser (who was the main subject of our last article on LEGO Super Mario product releases), on MAR10 Day 2023. But before we can discuss those, KoopaTV needs to play catch-up to SEVERAL LEGO Super Mario releases that seemed to have come out around December 25, 2022 or January 1, 2023 that never got a press release in the LEGO Newsroom but seemingly just materialised without much fanfare. We're really quite late on this one, but it's also important not to ignore it because some very important people (one of whom is a KoopaTV staffer... in name only, but still) are represented. But she'll be at the end of the article. Read the whole article for a detailed description of the death and destruction that LEGO Super Mario brings to the environments he visits and their local creatures, including Koopas. It's actually quite astonishing what a consistent menace he is.

Ah, note that I own none of these sets. This is just my impressions as a salty Koopaling based on the sets’ product pages.

Ice Mario Suit and Frozen World Expansion Set

For 25 USD, you can get an ice skating set featuring an Ice Mario suit for LEGO Mario (sold separately), as well as a Cooligan (the sliding penguin with sunglasses, because he's cool) and a Goomba. Goomba is already encased in a block of ice, but Mario is supposed to kick the Cooligan into the ice block, which presumably slays the Cooligan. Rather than let the innocent Goomba breathe fresh air, Mario is then supposed to murder the Goomba as well. It's a pretty basic set with little thrills outside of the Cooligan launching into the Goomba's ice block, but it perfectly encapsulates why Mario is such a monster to civilisation, even going to far-off frozen worlds just to murder innocent creatures.

Lava Wave Ride Expansion Set

After slaughtering the cold folks, Mario decided that it's time to go into an opposite extreme environment. For 35 USD, he can ride on a Lava Lift bordered by two Lava Bubbles and then assault a Fire Brother just because he's there. The Lava Lift is repeatedly described as an “oscillating lava wave”, meaning it swings back and forth. He is meant to have the swing's platform (made of skulls) bash the two Lava Bubbles off their habitat. Apparently, it's difficult to stay on the swing, and to raise the blood pressure of the plumber, falling off the swing means death. It's unclear what the Fire Bro. is supposed to be doing, since he's not managing the swing or riding on it. (Perhaps he is actually supposed to be the guy who stands in front of amusement park rides and makes sure you're not too short or too fat to go on it, and Mario's solution to failing both of those is to kill the safety guard.) The page suggests that Mario should bring a friend, such as LEGO Luigi or LEGO Peach, to kill the Fire Bro. while Mario rides the swing by himself.

LEGO Super Mario Lava Wave Ride Expansion Set bubbles building instructions
How about a head warning for the Fire Brother?
Or for the Lava Bubbles that are in danger?

Fliprus Snow Adventure Expansion Set

The Lava Wave seemed too hot for Mario, so he's going BACK to a frigid hellhole featuring Fliprus for 65 USD. Now, I played New Super Mario Bros. U on my Wii U. I don't know what a Fliprus is, but apparently it's only in one real level and it's a secret level at that. I'm sure I played that secret level, but they're not memorable to me. Apparently, someone at LEGO or Nintendo's licensing department decided to remember, and here we are. It seems like you don't kill the Fliprus but you play a sport with it (though Mario is known to kill people he defeats in a friendly game of tennis), but you do kill a Freezie (which has questionable sentience anyway) to obtain a fruit, as well as kill a Red Koopa Troopa (which has unquestionable sentience) for fun (while destroying his snowman—sorry, I mean snowperson) in the set's activities, as well as bring that frozen fruit to a baby penguin as a gift. Cooligans are unacceptable to Mario and must die on sight, but a baby penguin is fine?

There is also a campfire to hang out in, probably powered by the innocent and deceased Fire Bro from the previously discussed expansion set. The fruit is this inexplicable green thing. It looks more like a vegetable. Based on my research, penguins eat fish, squid, and shrimp. They are carnivores that only eat meat and don't eat plant-based items. In other words, Mario comes into the snowy ice world, disrupts the local habitat, and sees himself as a hero by trying to feed a fruit to a baby penguin that doesn't even eat fruit. You know who would eat fruit? The Koopa Troopa. It's probably his. But Mario hates Koopa Troopas, and he is willing to ruin the natural order of things to enforce his bigoted point of view to the world, even to the great detriment of said world.

LEGO Super Mario Bros Fliprus Snow Adventure Expansion Set Freezie Koopa Troopa Baby Penguin fruit
Koopa Troopas can and will eat delicious fruit.
(Though it's unclear if this fruit is delicious or what kind of fruit it is.)
Penguins don't eat fruit. So what is Mario doing giving it as a gift?
(Also, that text should say Freezie, not Freeze.)

Conkdor's Noggin Bopper Expansion Set

There is not much to this 15 USD set of a big Conkdor bopping a springboard. You build the Conkdor and the switchboard. And that's about it. Mario is supposed to dodge the beak and then jump on Conkdor's head to give it severe migraines. There's no deep lore to this one. Simple to-the-point cruelty.

Character Packs – Series 6

For $6, you can get a box containing one of six possible characters and a small platform for them to stand on. The box means that you have no idea what is inside the package prior to opening it, for that maximum miserable gacha experience. The official site has an order limit of two per household, so you have no chance of getting every character, and only a small chance of getting a character you want. They don't even sell the character packs on the My Nintendo Store. Here are the characters:
  1. Birdo (she has a big tree for shade)
  2. Green Toad (he has a beach chair to sit on)
  3. Ice Bro. (he has a tree and a small brick platform)
  4. Bramball (it's on top of a swamp)
  5. Two Cat Goombas (they like grass)
  6. Blooper plus three baby Bloopers (underwater with some kelp)
  7. Sumo Bro. (his platform has a couple of torches)
  8. Spike (comes with a spike ball)
I'm sure you'd be upset if you got Bramball or Green Toad instead of Ice Bro or Sumo Bro. Several of those characters you can already get separately, such as Bramball (in the Chain Chomp Jungle Encounter) and Sumo Bro (in the Boss Sumo Bro Topple Tower). Birdo and Ice Bro are only available through this, though.

Peach's Garden Balloon Ride Expansion Set

This is a real substantive Expansion Set—for 50 dollars, you can visit Peach's Garden with many features. While it's Peach's Garden, any of her, Mario, or Luigi can explore. There's a Blue Toad with a wink expression and a watering can (and his shabby excuse for a house), a Pink Yoshi, a Lava Bubble (in case you don't want that Lava Wave Ride set), a hot-air balloon (the Lava Bubble goes inside), but most importantly, Pom Pom with her boomerang. (Least importantly, there's a turnip. You know, something actually grows in the garden.)

You may remember the Adventures with Luigi Starter Course also had a Pink Yoshi, as well as Boom Boom, who is related to Pom Pom. Someone can attack Pom Pom for no reason, but attacking Pom Pom isn't the main focus of this set. That's to pull things from the garden and ride the balloon. But in the process of attacking Pom Pom, you also will destroy the clouds around her. The balloon itself doesn't fly by itself, of course. You're supposed to grab the balloon with Mario, Luigi, or Peach inside and they can make noises while riding it. It's very bad treatment of Pom Pom (she just likes gardens, as many women do), but that's not even the worst that a female Koopa will face in this wave.

Creativity Toolbox Maker Set

For $60, you can get a mess of randomly assorted LEGO pieces (making that worthwhile is where the “creativity” is supposed to come in)... as well as my sister, Wendy O. Koopa, who has the worst-looking figurine of the Koopalings represented in this series so far. (So far, Morton and Roy have been spared.) There is also a Blue Yoshi and a Goomba. To be fair to the random part, the set comes with six baggies, and the contents of each baggie isn't random. Baggie 1 has Blue Yoshi; Baggie 2 has grass and hills; Baggie 3 has more grass, hills, and some stones; Baggie 4 has flowers, trees, and the Mushroom; Baggie 5 has Goomba, sand, and pyramids; and Baggie 6 has Wendy with King Dad's checkpoint flag.

LEGO Wendy O. Koopa Koopaling Super Mario Creativity Toolbox Maker figure
Wendy does not look anywhere near this bad in-person.
LEGO did a tremendous disservice.

There's really not much else to say here since there isn't a storyline to this set. It's an excuse to bring Wendy O. Koopa in the fold, and they did it in the worst possible way. I strongly anti-recommend it.

Which set here gave you the worst vibes? There is something awful or disturbing about all of them, but that's just how Mario and Mario-based media is. Besides feeling for his sister, Ludwig feels what goes on in Fliprus's Snow Adventure is probably the worst of the worst in this article.

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