Boost Your Game! Every Power-Up and Bonus Block in LEGO® Super Mario.

Over the last few weeks, I have reviewed each of the individual expansion sets in the first wave of LEGO® Super Mario. As we have gone through the sets,, we have encountered a range of blocks that add to Mario’s abilities during the course of the game. Some enhance game play. Some grant invulnerability. Some just yield coins.

Some of these are powerups: they convey an advantage to LEGO Super Mario. Some are bonuses: they provide Mario with coins. But they all have their own unique behaviours. Some have been documented elsewhere, others might not. Read through, as I set out to document all of the bonuses that might convey some form of advantage to the player in LEGO Super Mario:

Question Mark Block

This is one of the first powerups we encounter – appearing in the starter set, as well as Bowser’s Castle Boss Battle. With 5 potential bonuses, which can be used once each in a timed game, there is scope to arrange your course so that you can return to the block, or set several up in your course.

  • Set 30385, 71360, 71369
  • Effect: The question mark box randomly selects one of 5 options when scanned:
    • 15 second of Time;
    • Super Mario Mushroom power;
    • Star Power,
    • 5 coins and
    • 10 coins.
  • duration: each effect has a different duration of action, but can only be obtained once.
  • Rescannable: You can obtain each effect is once, after which it is replaced by a single coin.
  • By having multiple ‘?’ blocks in your layout, you do not need to keep returning to the same one, in order to increase your chance of getting the next bonus from it..

POW Block

This block is cleverly disguised in the Monty Mole and Super Mushroom set, as well as the Guarded Fortress as a place for Mario to jump, and knock things over: but it does so much more. Jump on POW, and then on any enemy requiring multiple scans for Mario to gain the coins – you can get them with just that one scan! And you can reuse it on other enemies too.

  • Set 40414, 71362
  • Effect: There is a POW sound effect as well as a a display on Mario’s chest screen. Once activate, any multi-scan enemy (such as Bowser, Bowser Jr, Thwomp etc) can be defeated with a single scan.
  • Rescannable Yes. With same effect. Most high scoring enemies will only yield their maximum score once.

P Block

This block increases the coins you gain from regular stepping – one coin/3 steps – for around 10 seconds. You can only use it once in a timed game.

  • Set 71364
  • Effect: the P-Block increases Mario’s ability to accumulate coins, such that he gets a coin with every 3rd step while it is in effect (there is a change of music. (A much more frequent steps/coin compared to without the bonus in effect)
  • Duration: The effect lasts for a little over 10 seconds.
  • Rescannable: no

Time Bonus

The base game gives you 60 seconds: this block adds 30 seconds. Combined with the 15 second time bonus that you can get from the ‘?’ block, you can have your game extended to 1minute 45 seconds.

  • Set 71365, 71369
  • Effect: 30 seconds of additional time
  • duration 30 seconds!
  • rescannable No
  • comments: can be added to 15 second time bonus from’?’ block, to get a total of 1 minute 45 as maximum course time.

Super Mushroom

Just like in the video game, the super mushroom conveys a degree of strength to Mario. Of course, the figure cannot grow to double size, but he can still survive falls that might otherwise leave Mario stunned, and unable to collect points for a few seconds. This is another bonus also available from the ‘?’ Block.

  • Set 30385, 40414, 71366,
  • Effect: super mushroom power. It reduced Mario’s likelihood of being stunned, if he falls off a platform, or crashes into a piranha plant on the ‘power slide’
  • duration: until Mario is ‘injured’
  • rescannable no. But effect is also available from ? block.

Star Power

The ability to kill all enemies with a single scan, and earn double points while you do it is always handy. It is the only way to defeat Boo and Peepa. Again, also tucked away in the ‘?’ block.

  • Set 71367, 71377
  • Effect: invulnerability, able to destroy ghosts (Boo and Peepa), double points for defeating enemies.
  • duration: 10 seconds
  • rescannable: no
  • comments Similar effect is one of the options available from ‘?’ block.


Treasure boxes (3)

These boxes give you three points each. they are carefully hidden in Toad’s Treasure hunt. BUT, the first time youscan them in order, you get a bonus score.

  • Set 71368
  • Effect: Scan for 3 coins each.
  • duration
  • rescannable: yes – but only for 3 coins each.
  • comments If scanned in order, the total coins earned = 16. The full bonus is not available for subsequent scans.

10 Coins

Scan once. 10 coins. That’s All.

  • Set 71362
  • Effect: awarded 10 coins
  • duration: Once only
  • Rescannable: no
  • Comments: Similar effect to scanning Stone eye, or Piranha plant.

5 coins

this tile appears twice in the haunted yard, but you can only collect the 5 coin bonus once. It is hidden in the expansion pack in several places: under the spider’s web, as well as under a tree: The player might be disappointed to spend time finding the other, only to discover there are no points to be gained.

  • Effect receive 5 coins
  • Set: 71377 x 2
  • duration: Once only
  • Rescannable: no
  • comments While there are 2 included in the base set, only one can be scanned for the coin bonus in the one period of game play. Functionally, they behave in an identical way to scanning ‘Dry bones’ – but without the crumpling sound.

Mario’s Friends

There are three friends that Mario can visit on his travels: Toad, Toadette and Yoshi. It does not appear that the barcodes perform any specific ‘magic’ for these characters – so I think you could easily substitute the tiles to any missing friends you might wish to include: Luigi? Princess Peach, Princess daisy? Who else would you look to include?

  • Mario speaks a random greeting, and gets some coins: 5 on the first greeting. Each tag is different: full points are available with visiting each character in the course of a game, but they do not appear to be specific to the characters.
  • rescannable: yes. Subsequent scans yield between 1 and 5 coins
  • comments: At the end of the first wave of sets, there are only three friends to visit: Yoshi (71367), Toad and Toadette (Both in 71368).


With so many powerups and bonuses available, I think there is great potential for people to design their own layouts, based of scenarios from the video game, as well as creating their own versions of missing characters: friendly and otherwise.

There is also the option to co-opt one of the coin bonuses. – either 5 or 10 – to use in conjunction with your own design of enemy, or treasure hidden somewhere in your level. It could also be used in return for rescuing a character (for example, Princess Peach) from Bowser.

The friend tags are fairly generic, and as such, could also be easily adapted for the purposes of your own ‘friendly character’ for Mario to visit, up to a total of 3 – unless you wanted to use Toad, Toadette AND Yoshi in the one level. I appreciate the fact that these tags are different barcodes for each, allowing full points to be earned with multiple friends.

Once you have played with your LEGO Super Mario sets, the time comes to introduce the characters that aren’t included in the range at this stage: Princess Peach and princess Daisy, for example, on the side of Mario; You could build your own Brick Built Luigi – he is unlikely to appear in the foreseeable future as an electronic figure, like Mario. – you could introduce a Chomp Chain – with a similar mechanism to the piranha plant; Shy Guys with different coloured robes; or even others of the Koopa tribe such as Iggy and Morton (amongst others). And it always adds a little bit of interest to the game if there is a benefit to be had in defeating them. Of course, with 35 years of heritage, there are hundreds of characters, obstables and enemies to look at.

I’m looking forward to seeing how you might use your knowledge of the Bonus elements, as well as the scoring of Friends and Enemies, to co-opt tiles from different setsto build your own characters, layouts and traps.

Who do you think is missing from LEGO Super Mario? What traps or obstacles would you like to see? Which enemies would you like to build? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play Well.

2 thoughts on “Boost Your Game! Every Power-Up and Bonus Block in LEGO® Super Mario.

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