Keep calm, stay home and play video games? Or sit in your living room and piece together a 2,646 piece Lego build? This past weekend, we stayed home and did both, kinda. We got our hands on the Lego Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Building Kit ahead of its launch on August 1, and spent a few happy hours reliving our 8-bit childhood fantasies building a realistic-looking NES console, controller and retro '80s TV, which you can scroll manually to look like Mario is running and leaping up and down obstacles and bopping his head on question blocks.
Watch the time-lapse video of our build and how we 'played' a game of Super Mario Bros here:
Build & video: Pyron Tan/8days.sg
If you think the idea of popping in a Lego game cartridge (it locks in like a real Game Pak) and using hand power to turn a lever to move Mario across the TV screen is charmingly low-tech, then meet the other Nintendo Super Mario thing they're launching, the Lego Super Mario play experience.
This one's for kids, and melds the technology that today's children are so used to and adept at, with the tactile fun of Lego bricks. Mario is a battery-powered figurine that features a little screen on his shirt, and eyes and mouth that light up. When you switch him on, he says "It's Lego Mario time!" You get him with the Super Mario Starter Course, and there is a whole range of expansion sets, where you can build Lego obstacle courses for Mario to knock over his enemies, stomp on questions blocks, overcome obstacles and, ultimately, collect coins and beat your own high score (displayed on Mario's chest), while the figurine plays exciting music and reacts to what you do (yes, the classic game jingle is there, along with the familar ting of coins being collected).
All the sets will launch Aug 1, and you can pre-order the Lego Super Mario Starter Course ($84.90) here.
The Lego Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Building Kit, $329.90, will be available Aug 1 at certified Lego retailers.
More views of the NES set here:
Photos: Pyron Tan