Find all the nineties nostalgia we’ve hidden in the new LEGO® Super Mario 64™ ? Block
Super Mario 64™ sparks fond memories from childhood. Rushing home from school, switching on the Nintendo 64® console, snacks sorted and controller in hands.
Your biggest concern of the evening was beating the Goombas and saving Princess Peach.
It’s been 25 years since the original game was released and our new LEGO® Super Mario 64™ ? Block is a true homage to the good old days. The set is packed with nostalgic Easter eggs and opens to reveal recognizable microscale levels and iconic characters from this ‘90s childhood classic.
Featuring some of the most memorable moments that true fans will recognize, we hope you love the set as much as we loved creating it.
How it all began: a diorama with a difference
The LEGO team wanted to make something nostalgic that had never been done before.
Benjamin Ma who worked on the digital design for the LEGO® Super Mario™ set says, “I would quietly whisper into the designer’s ear things like we should do Mario 64, the fans would love it...it’s the best Mario game...and I convinced him to do one version.”
After brainstorming several concepts, they decided to create a diorama to bring the true essence of the game to life, incorporating the iconic ? Block. But there’s more than meets the eye to the recognizable yellow exterior.
The most challenging thing for LEGO designers Pablo Gonzalez and Daire McCabe, was the mechanics to make the box open in a magical way.
Pablo comments, “It looks like it’s a simple box, but it has a lot of surprising functions that makes it very, very strong.”
Daire adds, “We built it in multiple directions, combining System and Technic elements. The hinge for the main door uses element #91176 built horizontally along the base of the cube, incorporating the anchoring points for the rubber band mechanism that holds the door closed. We wanted to take as little space from the interior as possible so we could fit as much as we could inside the cube.”
So, what’s inside?
Open the ? Block and be prepared for a rush of old memories to flood back. Here we go!
Explore the different levels, in brick form!
Now, you can build LEGO brick versions of Cool, Cool Mountain, Lethal Lava Land, Bob-omb Battlefield and Peach’s Castle – that all rise up and unfold into a multidimensional display piece.
“We picked four super iconic levels that are all very different...it represents a lot of gameplay memories,” says Benjamin.
One of Pablo’s favorite parts to design was Peach’s Castle.
“It took me a while to find the proper elements to achieve the look of the castle in that scale, which is quite complicated. I’m very happy with the final result.”
The microscale castle is packed with nods to the game, like the paintings inside (that Mario uses to jump through to different levels), the purple rug and Peach’s stained-glass window. The attention to detail is impressive.
Cool, Cool Mountain and Lethal Lava Land
Once you start opening things up, there are more secrets. In Cool, Cool Mountain you’ll find cool, cool characters such as a penguin and baby penguin – and there’s a little gap in Cool, Cool Mountain that you can fall through, just like in the real game.
Find the giant eyeball (aka Mr. I) in Lethal Lava Land as well as many more nostalgic details...but we can’t give it all away *wink*.
As a Super Mario fan himself, Benjamin explained “all the way throughout it was like sharing memories with the designers of ‘oh I remember playing this part or that part’.”
Can you spot Mario’s enemy, Mr. I?
Can you remember some of the iconic scenes from Bob-omb Battlefield?
We added the floating island and the red ! Block – plus there’s also a reference to a popular shortcut that fans used in the real game.
Pablo says, “this guy [King Bob-omb] is my favorite as it’s made of a Technic ball...it fit really well with the scale and the size.”
We loved those floating islands
“Whatever you want to highlight, you make it bigger,” adds Pablo and that’s what they did with King Bob-omb.
Some other loveable and iconic characters in the set include micro-build versions of Mario, Princess Peach, and eight more...
“You’ll hear the Peach’s Castle theme when you’re looking for the secrets, but then if you go to the Bob-omb Battlefield, you’ll hear the Bob-omb Battlefield music. You’ll hear LEGO Mario jump on Goombas. All the sound effects are there so you can imagine how you’d play it back in the day.”
There are 10 Power Stars hidden throughout the set.
“The idea behind this was just like in the original game, you don’t immediately know what to do and we wanted it to be the same with this. It’s about finding 10 secret stars...you get 10 hints.”
Benjamin adds, “If you can collect all the stars there is one last Easter egg you can unlock.”