Team-up with Nintendo goes above and beyond by creating a new way to play that’s unlike traditional Legos or video games.

Let’s be totally honest here: when Lego announced it was bringing out Super Mario Legos, all it really needed to do was make a few custom blocks with shapes and decals from the Nintendo franchise, and everyone was going to be perfectly happy. Both Lego and Nintendo have spent decades building up loyal, multi-generational fanbases, and so even the most standard of crossovers would have been cause for builders and gamers alike to rejoice.

But instead of doing the bare minimum, Nintendo and Lego put their heads together and came up with something extra-special, and extra-cool.

It’s easy to forget, but before Nintendo was a video game company, they were a toy company (and before that, they were a playing card company). So for the Lego Super Mario project, Nintendo and Lego wanted to create a new style of play that’s different from either conventional Lego sets or video games. The result is a Lego Mario figure who kids (or adults, of course) run through courses they build out of other pieces, interacting with the environment and enemies while giving you audio/video cues as to Mario’s emotional state along the way!

While they look like solid painted pieces at first glance, Mario’s mouth and eyes are actually small digital screens, which let him change his expression while shouting his well-known catch phrases, such as “Here we go!” and “Whoopie!”

There’s also a digital display on Mario’s chest, which tells you when Mario picks up coins (and also apparently when he’s on fire). Collecting as many coins as possible seems to be the goal, as you get a final tally when you reach the end of the course. The figure also seems to provide background music, even switching to the spooky boss level/castle music from the original Super Mario Bros. when Mario hops onto a spinning trap platform, and there also looks to be some kind of a time limit, with beloved Mario theme switching to double-tempo as time runs short.

Aside form Mario himself, the videos gives glimpses of Yoshi, Goombas, Piranha Plants, and Bowser Jr. No sign of Bowser Sr. or Princess Peach in the preview, but they seem like no-brainer inclusions for eventual inclusions to the lineup.

Source-material purists will probably find it kind of strange to see Mario getting coins for jumping on enemies, which isn’t really keeping with the Nintendo games’ play mechanics. Aside from that minor quibble, though, Lego Super Mario looks like an awesome, innovative concept to combine two beloved ways to play, and we can’t wait for the companies to tell us when it’ll be available.

Source: Nintendo
Top image: Nintendo
Insert images: YouTube/Nintendo, Nintendo
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he played the original Super Mario Bros. for several weeks before learning you could -gasp- go down pipes!