It’s Super Mario Day today and Lego are celebrating with a giant new set for Dry Bowser and the first appearance of Donkey Kong in brick form.
So far, Nintendo themselves have made surprisingly little fuss about MAR10 Day but Lego has used it to announce two major new sets in their Super Mario line.
There’s still no word on the rumoured Zelda set but Lego has unveiled the 1,321 piece Dry Bowser Castle Battle Expansion Set, which features the skeletal version of Bowser and similarly spooky version of a Goomba and Piranha Plant.
As with the regular Lego Super Mario sets it’s designed to work with the Bluetooth Mario, Luigi, or Peach minifigures, but the other announcement is for a brick-built Donkey Kong that won’t be out until next year.
The Castle Battle set is inspired by numerous final levels from the franchise, not just New Super Mario Bros., where Dry Bowser made his debut, but also the likes of Super Mario Galaxy 2, where the Magmaargh lava monster is from.
There’s also a Purple Toad stuck in a cage that you have to rescue, since these aren’t just dioramas that are meant to be admired from a distance, but fully interactive and customisable levels.
All the sets have special tiles on the interactive parts, like the crane holding up Toad’s prison, that know when a minifigure is standing on them, so they can react to it by showing the minifigure gaining coins, getting hurt, or playing appropriate sound effects or music.
The line has been going since 2020 and it’s really very clever in the way it tries to make the sets playable models and not just static toys.
The Dry Bowser Castle Battle set is available from August 1 for £94.99, from Lego stores and Lego.com, and will end up as one of the biggest Lego Super Mario sets so far, at least for the regular line aimed at kids.
There’s also been a number of more expensive sets aimed at adults, including an amazing brick-built NES, a fantastic homage to Super Mario 64 in the form of a transforming ? Block, and the recent giant-sized Mighty Bowser figure.
The Castle Battle Set was announced during a special YouTube livestream, which also included a brief glimpse at the first ever Donkey Kong figure.
He and his extended family have not been featured before but the brick-built figure above will be released this summer and is likely part of a whole new line of Donkey Kong related sets.
Although the Lego Super Mario line has included many relatively minor characters, from Birdo to each of the Koopalings, Donkey Kong has been notable by his absence. So too has Wario and Waluigi, who you can’t help but wonder might also turn up next year.
It’s also possible that next year’s sets may try to tie in to The Super Mario Bros. Movie, either directly or indirectly. Especially as the Donkey Kong design here is based on his old Rare look and yet he’s had a major redesign for the movie.
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