It’za Mario time everyone! Cause today I’m reviewing the LEGO Super Mario Starter Pack, and boy, was it epic! Firstly, the box comes in a weird shape, it’s rectangular on the bottom but angled at the top. Opening it up there’s numbers on the flaps of the box, which I couldn’t figure out the purpose of. It comes in packets thankfully, but I was perplexed when I saw the tiny instruction booklet. Opening it up, I was horrified to find that the only “instructions” there were, were those detailing I had to get the LEGO Super Mario app!
My reaction was that of Darth Vader at the end of Star Wars Episode III…
Annoyed, (because who in their right mind enjoys building without physical instructions?) I opened up my iPad and got to work. The first thing you make is obviously Mario, but unfortunately, the app wants you to calibrate Mario and download and Bluetooth and connect… (you get the drift) Once you get Mario ready you have to supply two of your own triple-A batteries, unscrew Mario’s spinal cord in a very creepy manner, insert the batteries, and screw his spine back into him.
Mario is comprised of 3 main parts, his hat, his head/torso, and his overalls which clip onto the torso. There are also some little 1×1 circle studs for ears and buttons on the overalls. The hat clips onto the head. The arms cannot come off and are too big to hold minifig tools, but there is a little minifig hand moulded inside the big Mario hands. This does allow it to somewhat hold minifig tools for a while. Mario’s eyes look very creepy when he is turned off, it’s like he is staring into your soul…
When Mario is turned on, he says “LEGO Mario time!” in a cheerful voice and you can then pick him up and hop him around (it even makes a jumping noise) I will explain the whole gameplay part of this set at the end, so you can skip there if you want. Mario when left alone, just blinks and changes expression randomly. There is an interface where you can choose instructions, and to my horror again it dawned on me ALL the sets were built without physical instructions. (I think it’s time to make a NOOOO Darth Vader Counter: 2) I began building each of the parts (which each had their own loading animation for a build of like 6 parts, NOOOO Counter: 3)
As each part is built, there is also little videos that show their function and what you need to do with them and Mario. There is a total of 2 castles, (one which could blow up) 1 Bowser flag, 1 mystery block, 1 turntable thingy, (please don’t kill me Mario fans, I don’t play the game much) 1 cloud jump thing, 1 launch pipe and finally some decoration clouds, trees and flowers. The 2 characters in the set are Bowser Jr and a Goomba, which can both be jumped on by Mario to gain coins.
The set (or map) is connected by varying plates of different lengths with a 2-stud width. You connect them onto the structures listed above which are built on these circular plates. Mario can sense the different colours of these plates and they each have different meanings. Green=land, blue=water and red=lava/fire (which hurts Mario, he dies if he lands on the lava 3 times)
You can choose to connect the map pieces however you would like which allows for many, many possibilities. The whole gameplay aspect of the set is that you control Mario as he adventures through the map. You have a 60 second timer, starting from when you jump into the starting green pipe. You then have to run around and jump on different things, collecting as many coins as possible.
Well, that was a pretty long review… Obviously this is pretty quick with just the starter pack, but one of my friends has some other LEGO Super Mario Sets and when I went to their house you can easily see how the sets can be expanded. I have to say though, LEGO Mario is really fun, and if you are a fan of the games or want to try something new, I highly recommend checking it out. The only downside for me was the lack of physical instructions, and lack of batteries included.
Thanks for reading!
Set: Adventures with Mario Starter Course
Theme: Super Mario
Set #: 71360
Number of Minifigs: 0
Number of Pieces: 231
A special thanks to our friends at Zavvi who supplied this set for us to build. Check them out for some great deals on LEGO sets.