Nintendo and Lego have recently been partnering to launch an entirely unique line of Mario Lego sets featuring an electronic version of Mario that kind of lets you play through Lego versions of levels you build. However, the latest release in this partnership is a bit different. It’s a replica of the original NES model, complete with a controller and television that features sidescrolling Mario action.
The release of the 2,646-piece set, including yellow and red aux cable ports, is in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the NES in the West. The NES itself actually opens, and you can put in a Lego game cartridge and load it inside. The controller buttons can be pressed down, and while not exactly to scale, everything looks like it should. That is — except for the retro TV, which might be the true star of the set. The TV has a crank that turns a 2D Mario level while a Mario figure on a stick moves up and down according to what is going on in the level.
On top of that (literally), you can use the Mario figure from the Lego Mario sets to bring the whole thing to life. Place him on the TV, and as you crank he’ll play the Mario theme from World 1-1 and sound effects will occur in correlation with what’s on the fake screen. It’s all pretty innovative stuff as far as Lego goes, and for any collector of Nintendo junk it is clearly a must-have.
The set will release on Aug. 1 (along with a host of other Super Mario Lego sets) at Lego stores and on its website before rolling out to a more general release later. It will cost $229, a small price to pay for that warm nostalgia feeling of both childhood Lego builds and classic NES action.