Thanks to our friends at LEGO, the TTV Channel has officially acquired all of the new sets for the LEGO Super Mario theme. As of today, we will be regularly putting out new video content surrounding the sets, mainly consisting of reviews for all the expansion packs and any sort of fun possibility that the theme brings to the table.
With the first review out there, what do you guys think so far? Does the theme interest you? Would you get it as a gift?
And of course, how did I do with the review? Did you enjoy it?
All LEGO Mario related discussion is welcome here.
If you’re a kid and a Mario fan, this theme may be a dream come true. It’s like that old “toys to life” gimmick in reverse–the game now manifests as a tangible product. But for AFOLs or kids with no interest in Mario, this is just…eh. There’s some neat ideas here, but I feel like they don’t come together in a way that feels like the kind of toy that only Lego can make. An interactive board game is a neat concept, but I feel like it’s not quite modular enough here. Like, imagine if you could program custom goals with custom rules or something, a bit more in the vein of what Mindstorms offers. That’s what I feel this should have been. This theme could be the start of something great, but right now, it just sorta…exists. It’s not offensively bad, but it’s not especially remarkable right now unless you’re gonna actively play the game of this set.
I feel that this theme relies too heavily on an extremely flawed gimmick though. As LegoDavid’s erroneously flagged post states- this gimmick will get old very fast.
You could argue the gimmick might encourage children to rebuild their sets to make their own courses for the sake of the gimmick- navigating Mario in such a way as to get a high score. Rebuilding and reimagining LEGO is doubtless a critical part of the brand.
But what kid is really going to do that? How many times can you physically make mario “jump” on top of a goomba? It seems rather tedious. Especially when repeating the same actions to get a high score of all things. I can’t say I know any kids who are interested in getting a high score.
I can certainly see the potential for AFOLs to make something inventive, but only with the use of their own parts. These sets look like 4+ junior kits with large specialized pieces. Mario himself reminds me of many of the other “tech toys” we’ve seen hit the market (and later the clearance isle.)
On top of all of that, I can imagine this is only going to be a nightmare for parents. No instructions? Triple A batteries? Tiles needed for Mario to interact? This is going to make for a lot of crying kids. These kits honestly feel like a late 90’s attempt by LEGO to compete with video games. Heck, if you need a smart phone/tablet to actually build the set, why not just get your child any number of games on the app store? Like, -crazy example- Mario? Mario Kart? Dr. Mario? Sonic? etc etc.
These sets have such a high price point just to sloppily simulate a platformer. How many parents will honestly buy this? Is this really the best LEGO could come up with? I feel like the mousetrap board game was more innovative. And as Ven’s review repeatedly states- there’s only ONE set with Mario? And how many others without? That’s going to lead to a lot of confused parents who neglect to read the box. I guarantee this will happen. I hope this theme flops and LEGO can go back to the drawing board.
I don’t think you quite understand LEGO Mario. Mario is built with a color sensor underneath him, which is why he can tell when he’s stepping on water, desert, grass, or lava. You may not look much into that, but what this means is, if you have LEGO, you don’t need anything outside what comes in the Mario starter set to build an epic course. You’re encouraged to use your own pieces. The app has challenges to use your pieces and design whatever you want, and to take pictures and save it all. I honestly find this product so unique nothing other than Nintendo and LEGO could have made this.
(This whole idea of using your own bricks is the one thing I feel Ven had missing in his review)
What would kids do if they had minifigure Mario sets? They would take the minfigure, have him jump around, stomp on things, fight some bosses, that kind of stuff. But with this style of Mario, he interacts with the world around him. He can swim, fall into lava, perform challenging athletic feats (those Boomer Bill and Piranha Plant Slide sets look hard, even to an AFOL like me), collect coins, play music, interact with enemies and bosses, and just add a whole secondary level to play. You don’t need the pipe to play, that’s just the little game for fun challenges between friends or app users.
I definitely think this is how it’s going to be. I mean, Nintendo and LEGO have been working together for four years. Look at the NES set! It’s incredible for AFOL’s, and just a neat thing children wouldn’t get a whole lot from. LEGO hasn’t forgotten us. I mean, Mario has “2018” on his pieces. The sets we’re seeing started being made, designed/drawn out even before, two years ago! Who knows what we still have yet to see? Mariokart, Legend of Zelda, Smash Bros.
Who can really look at this line and say, “This was a mistake.”
Think about how many kids have LEGO sets that are still together within three months. Rebuilding is their jam.
Kids are rather ingenious when it comes to imagination. They aren’t going to always do what gets them the most coins (by the way, you can’t spam jump a Goomba without waiting a bit in between each coin because you can get, at most, three from a rapid fire jump), they’re going to do what’s the most fun. Give Goomba a spaceship, make him a castle, turn him into a dragon, I don’t know, but kids will find a way to make it happen.
The app provides instructions that are a lot easier for parents to follow than the paper ones with only one angle. I can guarantee that.
Mario needs only two for nearly 80 hours of play (being on), which is a lot nicer than I remember Wii remotes being, and those had AA batteries.
One of the main reason there aren’t any paper instructions is that showing the interaction is not something that can easily be shown with just a swarm of arrows pointing different directions multiple times. Instead, the digital instructions have short little tutorial videos on how to properly use every tile, something I find incredibly genius and engaging.
So, you’re saying this line feels like LEGO and Nintendo are trying to create a product they want to compete with… Nintendo?
Actually, this one’s still fun to play regardless
I also entirely know the irony here, because LEGO Mario is so much more costly than these games, but I still find Nintendo mobile games kind of depressing, and I thought the joke would be funny, sorry it wasn’t…
My genuine belief is that these games have 0 room for story/imagination, the things that make LEGO LEGO, and I’d gladly pay the little money I have for the LEGO aspect to one of my favorite franchises.
LEGO isn’t here trying to recreate Mario. It’s trying to take Mario, something kids love, and combine it with LEGO, another thing that kids love. LEGO is all about inspiring creativity and imagination in children. Mario is about exploring weird, creative worlds and collecting coins, beating challenges and, believe it or not, gimmicks.Not only nearly every, but nearly every level has some sort of gimmick to it. LEGO has beautifully created a combination of both of these in a way I at first too mocked, until I saw it play out.
I would encourage you to watch more reviews. See exactly how the app works, or download it and test the instructions out yourself. This, I’ve learned, is the kind of theme you won’t understand until you experience it.
Are you serious…?
Because this set… The starter set…
It sold out 24 hours after it was put up for preorder online. 24 hours, a set being prepared for for four years sold out. That’s amazing.
I guarantee this is going to change. I mean, sure, I was hoping to get Mario in the Bowser’s Castle, but I’m not going to burn LEGO Super Mario boxes over it. I’m just going to wait for a starter course that appeals to me more than the current one. (Why must I make myself miss out on Bowser Jr.? I hope he comes in another set one day)
Either they return the set, their kid enjoys a fun LEGO set with the rest of their collection, or they eventually buy the Starter Course.
Ah, this sentence hurts me so much. I can’t ever imagine hoping a LEGO theme flops, especially one as revolutionary as this. I know you all see this as another game/life thing, but I really respect the people who spent four years designing a theme I wholeheartedly could last several years and not get old, like, at all. At some point, I guess we’d run out of Starter Course ideas, or something.
I mean, imagine it: we start with Mario Bros., but eventually we could get Luigi’s Mansion, or Mariokart, or Super Mario Galaxy, or Odyssey, or 64, or whatever. There is a plethora of ideas out there, and I hope that the vocal naysayers out there are wrong so that I may get a chance to see them.
Sorry about the counter-rant, but I am so passionate about this project because I love LEGO and Mario so much. I get that this isn’t what you want, and you don’t understand, but you were never really supposed to. Look at the NES, Haunted House, Mickey/Minnie Mouse, Overwatch (R.I.P.), Pirates of Buccaneer Bay, and the Piano set, and tell me that LEGO is forgetting AFOLs exist. Tell me why kids can’t just have one wave of Mario sets.
TL;DR- I guess I’ve basically admitted it at this point. I’m in love with this theme, and I would encourage anyone who isn’t just to look more into it. Maybe there’s something you could really like from this. I mean, look at Bowser’s Castle, eh? If you’re not a Mario fan enough to care, why are you upset or pessimistic about this?
Sorry if I got a little heartless. It’s late for me, I’m tired, and I like Mario.
Sincerely, I hope they do. But if they’re keeping their sets together after 3+ months, are they?
I can name at least 3 instances where someone didn’t even bother to build the lego dimensions set because it came with no instructions. Doubtless, parents and kids will figure out they have to get the app, but they shouldn’t have to. LEGO sets have always come with instructions and it’s going to frustrate and confuse consumers during their first impression of the theme.
There’s more than one company making video games. Refer to my point raised about why a parent would drop triple digits on this when they can just get their kid a free mario game on their phone. Regardless of if it’s pay to win/play.
Yes and every other pre-order we’ve seen this year has sold out on the same day. Scalpers and soy-soaked nerds. I GUARANTEE most parents probably have no idea LEGO Mario exists right now let alone that it was up for pre-order. Again, what parent is going to drop this much money for what is basically a board game? I don’t know if there’s enough overlap between kids who like LEGO and Mario to really keep this theme going. I could be wrong. Again, I don’t know but I’m extremely skeptical.
No, I really think these sets are too high concept for your average consumer. Either a parent will buy the mario set and their kid won’t be able to make it work, get sick of it, or they’ll buy a set without mario and figure the rest of the line is crap too. I really don’t think parents will give this expensive line a second or third chance when there are so many cheaper alternatives for toys.
Of course, I’m sure there’s enough nerds who will buy this theme up but I’ll be very surprised to see any kid wanting this, their parents buying it, and that same kid’s interest being consistent with this very simple GIMMICK toy beyond a day at most. That’s the nature of gimmick and tech toys.
…which must ultimately abide by the rules of the color sensor. You can’t add your own rules to the color sensor or the barcode thing; you must play with the fixed rules of the base game. Again, you can’t really customize your own events, just what those events represent, and that’s the core issue here.
The only thing that Lego Mario, as it is, has over that is that when the kids do that, they get sound/visual cues in response. The gimmick exists in service of that, not to allow it to go beyond it. You can put the barcodes and colors on other things, but Mario will always react the same way.
I don’t know who has. It’s just unimpressive, but as I’ve said, this tech can open up new possibilities. The building of the tallest tower begins with the placement of a single stone, after all. However, it’s not unreasonable to look at this line and think that it doesn’t realize its full potential.
The games referenced don’t matter. The value of the set does. What can you do with it? What useful parts come with it? What play value does it have? Think beyond Mario, even Nintendo. Can you make something truly complex with this tech? I’d argue that, synthesized with the programming capability found in Mindstorms, you might.
I’m passionate about Bionicle, but if Lego said they were bringing it back only for it to be something as simple and gimmicky as this, I’d be ■■■■■■■ insulted and I wouldn’t waste a nanosecond typing out a defense for it.
I’d rather they had better sets with better play potential than whatever the hell this is.
Because I believe that anyone who would get this set if it were better deserves it to be better. I can’t claim to be truly mad because I’ve never cared about Mario as a franchise and I was realistically not going to get this set, but I do think that themes based on video games–platformers, no less–have a lot of potential and I was genuinely curious to see what Lego did with this. We got…an electronic block of plastic. Again, I don’t wish for this theme’s nonexistence, but I fear that it may not do well and its basic premise won’t have a chance to be improved upon for bigger, better projects.
Imagine, for example, if Lego got the rights to make Pokemon sets. Unlikely, I know, but hear me out. Now imagine that you get a sort of Pokedex-type thing in the starter set that can recognize specific Pokemon for…idk, whatever purpose, some sort of game like the TTG. If this thing had a USB port and software to make it recognize MOCs and give them custom stats, you could basically make your own Pokemon for personal use. That has a lot more potential; it’d synthesize Spore with Pokemon, essentially. Or it doesn’t and it only sounds cool on paper. Idk, I’m spitballing what this kind of gimmick could be beyond what it is now.
LEGO Mario doesn’t need the sets to be together to operate. In fact, it’s encouraged that you take them apart and make something new with it. That’s what I’m trying to get at.
LEGO sets also always come in boxes and use bricks with studs on them and have minifigures, what are these weird robots with gear functions?
You can’t fit LEGO, a company designed to help kids think outside the box, into a box. It’s a company that is always adapting, evolving, and changing. It tries new things, and takes risks. LEGO Super Mario is, undoubtedly, a risk. It’s an entirely new style of play and building. People have been starting to complain about where LEGO is today, putting out the same type of sets over and over again, and here they are with not only a new theme, but an entirely new toy, and people who aren’t even in the target market are wanting this torn down.
So LEGO and Nintendo are still creating a product they believe will compete with Nintendo…
I mean, take it from me, the free apps are kind of dumb. Nintendo even announced that they are “retreating” from the mobile games market, and nearly every single mainstream one I’ve heard about has been trashed and hated by the fans of the franchise it was made after. I played Mariokart Tour long enough to know that it’s just not the best game.
Plus, you’ll always have those parents that are tired of their kids on their phones and video games all of the time that will likely gravitate much more towards this. I mean, $60 is only, what, a fifth of a console?
You got me there, but obviously people are interested. It’s sold out several times.
Calling this a board game is like saying Bionicle and Pop! figurines are the same thing. One has a fixed ruleset that can’t be experimented with or messed around with, the other has a list of parts and entities that can be mixed, remixed, imagined, and realized by a kid rather than a genius board game designer.
Considering how big Mario is, I feel this could easily be wrong.
If this theme doesn’t take off, I’d imagine it’d be because of the style and design you are talking about not clicking with its intended consumers. Mario is huge. LEGO is huge. Surely there is enough between them that it could easily fare decently.
This is why the instructions are virtual: to literally show you how it works.
There is a bit less to get sick of than a normal LEGO set. Don’t try to imagine this as a video game, think of it as an interactive LEGO system.
Still a LEGO set that would probably be pretty entertaining to kids. Again, I’m not even planning on buying the Starter Course.
You’re not supposed to buy all of it. You’re supposed to pick up your favorite ones, and then throw in your own bricks. The designer really wanted to do something only LEGO and Nintendo could do together, something standard minifigures wouldn’t accomplish (Peach’s castle would just be another castle, and the minifigures would just be minifigures. It is evident that this them was created by these two companies working together).
Do you understand children? The child in me wants this so badly right now
It’s the simplicity that allows the children to make it complex. The builds aren’t extraordinary, but they look very Mario and fun and cartoony to children (and me), and so if they want to keep their Bowser’s Castle together, they can, but if they want to take it apart and make a giant Bowser car Mario has to jump onto and battle Bowser on, they totally can. I’ve seen kids have fun with less.
The gimmick here isn’t the coin game, the gimmick is the creativity. Mario doesn’t need the pipe or flag to jump around, collect coins, play noises, and fight bosses. He doesn’t only have sixty seconds to do everything. While that’s what’s advertised, it’s kind of like a creative VS survival mode thing.
For a line designed for kids, I’m glad it isn’t more complex than it is. It’s nice and simple, which is nice. How would you even make the rules? On the app, which everyone seems to hate the idea of?
Mario VS Thanos.
Mario VS Thanos.
I’m going to make it happen. I’m just going to.
So, some people are complaining that LEGO Super Mario went too far, but I think you’re saying LEGO Mario didn’t go far enough. Remember this is wave 1. Wave 1 of Ninjago wasn’t all that impressive. Nor was HeroFactory. And while both can be controversial theme, they both started small and only ever expanded. Look at Ninjago now. Some of these sets are equal in quality to Star Wars. BB-8’s AT-ST is surpassed in quality by Lloyd’s mech, or pretty much anything from the movie. Maybe Mario will take the same route? I promise you, we are not done with LEGO Mario.
So why are you criticizing it? This is a door into a whole new world! LEGO is taking such a massive risk right now, what you should be doing is encouraging it to go farther, not shaming it for not meeting your dreams.
They do to me. I would buy a Galaxy set in a heartbeat.
A good lot.
I don’t care about any of that, I just want some fun with LEGO and Mario… I’m not a programmer
Bionicle was very simple to start out with, and it certainly had gimmicks. Collectable masks, gear functions, this stuff lasted until, what? 2004? 2005? Then it got replaced by shooters. Bionicle is full of gimmicks, so why does no one criticize them? Because their main gimmick, just like LEGO Mario, is what you can make with them. Make your own Mario level, make your own Bionicle storyline. Build your own boss fight, build your own self MOC. It’s been LEGO’s gimmick for years, and it’s been serving the company very well.
The play potential in this is far higher than most LEGO sets. I know I flip back and forth on the game, but I do really like the idea, and I also know that if people don’t, that’s okay too. The game aspect makes your LEGO sets into a playable level that you design nearly every part of. Yes, you say the technology is to simple and deserves more creativity, but to simple minds such as kid’s, this is magnificent.
I think… I think this is kind of what LEGO is wanting you to do.
LEGO has been working with Nintendo for, what, four years? This is their trial wave. They are using this to see how much kids enjoy it. They can go above and beyond if it catches on, and I highly doubt Super Mario is the last we’ll see of this partnership.
I think I have two, probably three main points in all of this. I understand LEGO is taking a risk. I know people are not going to like it. As both a LEGO and a Mario fan, I originally was severely grossed out by it.
But that brings me to my first point:
I looked into it. I watched reviews, and I pondered it, and I realized just how incredible this is to me. I can design my own Bowser’s castle level, for cheaper than if I were to buy a Switch and Mario Maker 2 and make my own, plus it’s LEGO. Mario Maker 2 just feels so limited now that I can literally build an Umarak the Hunter boss fight. And it really is not that hard. I can attack different tiles to different parts of my collection, and make, say, a Bohrok Va take one step to defeat, a Bohrok three jumps, and a Bohrok Kal a whopping ten-step boss battle.
I watched Brian’s Beyond the Bricks review, and he urges people who are not sure about the theme to go and find a why to try it out. He seems certain that LEGO would have had some kind of demo in the stores or something that currently is not possible, but he believes that the only way to know for certain whether or not this wave is for you is to try it out yourself. You don’t need to necessarily buy it, but see if you can find someone who does, or find some YouTube channel (like TTV) who is working on showing it off for you.
There is so much potential here. You’re right, SirKeksalot, there is much more that could be done, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more that won’t be done. And that brings me to my second point:
The theme isn’t done. Mario is so big of a universe, trying to fit it into one wave of sets, even thirteen sets, is like trying to fit the story of Bionicle into one thirty-minute speech. It just can’t happen. I guarantee this won’t be the last of LEGO Super Mario, and I’m also pretty confident that we’ll see minifigures at some point. Look at the LEGO NES, isn’t it beautiful? If that doesn’t make a Nintendo fan somewhat satisfied with LEGO Mario existing, I’m not sure what would.
Beyond the Bricks is also promising that LEGO will do something with Mariokart, the number 1 best-selling game on the Switch. I mean, I got into Mario thanks to Mariokart Wii.
My final belief is that it’s okay you’re disappointed, or upset, or overall hateful, if you are any of those things. LEGO Mario isn’t made for you. It’s made for children who like LEGO and like video games. I can’t promise this theme will soar thanks to these, but I can accept AFOL’s getting angry because I know they weren’t meant to be made happy by this. And just as there will be kids who don’t like this, there will be adults (such as yours truly) who do.
I want this theme to do well. Not just because I love Mario, but because I want LEGO to branch out and try doing more new things. I wasn’t ever sick of LEGO. It’s a risk for sure, but it’s one I’m glad LEGO was willing to make. Wishing for this line to fail will have a lot more impact than just this wave of Mario being marked as a failure. Hidden Side apparently just ended, when would LEGO ever try anything interactive again? Would they be excited to make more Nintendo products if Nintendo’s biggest character just flunked? Probably, but would they put as much effort into trying to make you guys happy or not?
I just love the diversity. At the moment, there are no themes I’m actively collecting (unless Bionicle counts as one). I’m ready to find another, and Mario screams to me.
I think this is it for me. This is going to be my new favorite theme. I am overwhelmingly satisfied, and yet excited for going forwards. I wish other were with me, but I’m not used to being a part of a crowd. I think that’s all the LEGO Mario I will debate for now. I want to start getting excited for the first time I’ll hold a LEGO Bowser in my hands. What a magical moment that will be.
Complexity isn’t the issue. Lego, as a product, is rather simple–but it has the potential to do very complicated things. Lego Mario has not shown this potential thus far. He has a fixed number of scripted responses to stimuli.
This kind of illustrates my beef. You can’t make Mario sit on a particular barcode and say, “Mamma-mia! I’m-a inevitable!” or what have you.
That’s just it. It’s a door that doesn’t currently lead into a room. It can, and may in the future, but isn’t being used to its fullest quite yet–which is potentially harmful for the reasons Risebell keeps mentioning about how this product may not perform well, thus stopping this potential innovation in its tracks.
How can we expect to encourage Lego to move forward without encouraging them to evaluate their current shortcomings? There is nothing wrong with criticizing flaws so long as the aim is ultimately in service of identifying what should be improved.
…Ok, can I get some examples, then? Like, something at least as intricate as what Mindstorms can do.
Because Bionicle wasn’t just its gimmick, it had a sweeping narrative and a lot of worldbuilding. The tools it provided were a stage for kids to set their sets’ and MOCs’ adventures in. The play features were only there to facilitate that. Lego Mario is essentially Bionicle if Bionicle’s only selling point was the gear function, is what I’m getting at.
Why should I have to do it? I’m not the party who designs and sells Lego sets. I can’t make this a reality without the tools to do so; Lego has to make those tools first.
Can you stop crossing your words out like you’re too scared to send your message?
I’m talking about instructions here. Something you NEED to properly enjoy the product as it’s intended. It’s going to throw people off when they have to install an app and then look for the instructions on that app. This is something I have seen multiple times in the past.
This guy is the biggest mario and lego fan I know and he’s already gotten bored with it. I think I can rest my case here.
I find the rest of your points pretty poorly thought out and I can’t say I have much interest in replying to the rest of them.
I hope you like this theme but I’m still not convinced it’s any good.
That was because I was being sarcastic. You were talking about how we have come to expect so much from LEGO and that anything that deviates from what we expect is dangerous, and yet here we are on a site made by a channel began on the theme which deviates from standard LEGO more than essentially anything at the time. I cross out my words when I’m being more lighthearted and the such.
Well, at least he loves him. I dunno, I feel Mario could potentially get boring, but I’m excited to try new things to make him more interesting. Plus, with more waves comes more possibilities. I have hopes.
Thank you. I would have liked more people to be excited about this than the few who are, but I understand I can’t change that.
Half the sets are already on back order, including Bowser’s Castle. Am I happy or sad? Definitely sad.