Lego's Buildable Nintendo Entertainment System is a Perfect Storm of Childhood Nostalgia

By Andrew Liszewski on at

To coincide with Lego’s playable Super Mario sets arriving on August 1, the company has expanded its partnership with Nintendo to create what appears to be a near perfect brick-built replica of the original NES console, complete with a controller, a loadable game cartridge, and an old school tube TV with Super Mario Bros. playing on screen.

There’s impressive scale and detail included in the NES, and it'll set you back £210. As Kotaku previously calculated, buying all of the previously-announced Lego Super Mario sets available on launch day will cost a hefty £520. Collectors who’ve already budgeted over half a grand for the new Mario collection will undoubtedly be just as eager to add a Lego NES to their building to-do list, so what's another £200-odd among friends? RIP our bank balances.

The NES is yet another addition to Nintendo’s rapidly growing collection of sets specifically targeted at AFOLs, or adult fans of Lego, that come in sleek black packaging with artwork that’s kept to a minimum. To Nintendo’s credit, it could have simply released the plastic brick NES all on its own, with the matching controller and scale replica of the Super Mario Bros. cartridge, and fans would have still emptied their wallets for it. But the miniature CRT TV goes above and beyond the call of duty, and the fact that it actually recreates the first level of the game with a clever scrolling animation is kryptonite to any (formerly) fiscally responsible child of the ‘80s.

For those who’ve thrown caution to the wind and decided that Lego’s new interactive Super Mario and the NES are more important than paying rent or their mortgage in August, the two sets actually interact, which is a good way to justify grabbing both. If you place the interactive Mario character atop the NES’ TV, the figure will play the Super Mario Bros. theme song and all of the corresponding sound effects as the on-screen Mario jumps, collects power-ups, and squashes baddies.

The set will exclusively be available from Lego’s physical stores and the company’s online store for the duration of 2020, but starting in 2021 the NES will be more widely available from other retailers as well.