LEGO teased a collaboration with Nintendo for officially licensed Mario sets earlier this week. Today they’ve posted a video showing them off, and they’re unlike any LEGO set you’ve seen before. With an electronics-infused, super-sized Mario minifig, these sets let you build your own levels that he reacts to as you progress through them.
The sets are surprisingly simple, using familiar elements of the Mario games like warp pipes and question blocks. As Mario “moves” through the level (read: as you move him with your hand), the figure keeps track of “coins” collected, enemies defeated, and other in-game elements, reacting with sound effects and LED screens built into the face and shirt.
In the intro video, you can see kids moving Mario through the sprawling modular levels, encountering classic enemies like Goombas, Koopas, Piranha Plants, Shy Guys, and Bowser Jr., along with Mario’s trusty dinosaur steed Yoshi. The Mario figure appears to use Bluetooth for connection and NFC (or something similar) to detect nearby elements of the stage.
Final set design, pricing, and availability are up in the air at the moment. Presumably LEGO would want the first sets in stores before summer, but continuing efforts to combat the coronavirus have made long-term scheduling something of a crapshoot.