What Next for LEGO® Super Mario? [Contest announcement]

In which we briefly reflect on the LEGO® Super Mario Sets, consider what’s missing, and announce the next Rambling Brick Competition, with great LEGO Super Mario Prizes, thanks to the LEGO Group.

Have you been enjoying the LEGO Super Mario sets? Or have you had a bit of a play with them and thought “What Next?”

Over the last few weeks, I have spent “a little” time doing “some research” into the world of Super Mario games. By “a little”, I probably mean “quite a lot.” And by “some research” I probably mean “spending a bit too much time playing through a couple of the games, as well as working my way through the 30th Anniversary Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia.”

This has left me wondering about where LEGO Super Mario could go from here: I think the theme is great, but it is predominantly aimed at younger builders, to play with their families. That said, Super Mario now has a 35 year pedigree – hundreds of worlds, enemies, friends, traps and treasures to choose from. While the expansion sets as we have them at the moment are terrific, they are designed for kids. Easy to lay out, easy to pull apart. Fairly sparse in their density, with only a 2 stud wide plate holding things together. What if we set out to build on that 35 year legacy, with builders of greater experience?

When we look at the LEGO Super Mario expansion sets, there seems to be one of three purposes behind any of them:

  • ‘Scenery’ – a place to be, with an ally – but not essential for game play. The only real example here is 71367:Mario’s House And Yoshi.
  • ‘An obstacle’: A challenge for Mario to get past, as well as an enemy to defeat along the way- there might also be a power up included: I’d consider the 71365 Piranha Plant Power Slide; 71366 Boomer Bill Barrage, 71364Whomp’s Lava Trouble, 71363 Desert Pokey, 41404 Monty Mole and Super Mushroom as well as 71376 Thwomp’s Drop fit the bill here.
  • Finally, we have the ‘Adventures:’ several pathways to take, multiple enemies and opportunities – 71377 The Guarded Fortress, the Haunted Yard and 71368 Toad’s Treasure Hunt are all great examples of this.
    • (that said, 71369Bowser’s Castle Boss Battle is a bit of a hybrid between an adventure and obstacle – but given multiple enemies and play features, it meets my definition of an Adventure type set.)

But it could be so much more!

In the Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia: The Official Guide To The First 30 Years (Dark Horse Books, 2018), we are given a quick and easy, two page guide to many of the characters in the series. Many, we have already seen in LEGO Super Mario. Some are yet to appear. And there are many that do not even appear on this double spread. Some are already in the character bags. Some character types (Yoshi, Toad, Shy Guy) appear using a variety of different colours in the games.

Some of Mario’s Friends and Foes (Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia: The Official Guide to the First 30 years. 2018 Dark Horse Books

So Here Is The Challenge:

Design an expansion pack that doesn’t exist.

  • It could be a simple setting and character – like Mario’s House and Yoshi or it could be a foe not previously encountered, along with some form of obstacle or trap. whichever you choose, it would be reasonable to include a powerup or bonus, as well as a small enemy or two. These additional enemies should be appropriate for the envoronment, and may be new or established characters.
  • There are no limits to the LEGO Elements that you might choose to use.
  • If you do not have access to the printed bricks that you wish to use, feel free to use your own stickers, custom printing, or casually Photoshop details on. Please point out custom elements/printing in your entry
  • For any new enemies, please include how you would look to defeat them: number of jumps, number of coins awarded, whether or not star power is required and so forth. You can see how existing enemies can be defeated here.

If you are looking for more of an idea of the contents of the LEGO Super Mario expansion sets, you can check the menu above for all of our LEGO Super Mario articles.

The Koopalings: a collection of Mario’s foes.

Entries may be submitted by email to rambling brick or by posting your entry on Twitter, Instagram or Flickr, using the tag #ramblingmario.

  • Digital entries are allowed: but if you are using automated elements – such as Powered Up or Mindstorms, please add a video to demonstrate.
  • Please add some notes or adequate photographs to your entry for Documentation of play features
  • You do not need to own LEGO Mario to enter, but you might find it helpful to examine some of the videos of the sets in action.
  • There is no limit to the number of pieces you may use, or the terrains to be explored. But the task is to set up an obstacle or building, rather than an entire level. Please limit the base dimensions to a 32 x 32 studs. Overhang is permitted. you can build it as tall as you wish. Photographs do not have to present your expansion model on the baseplate.
  • You may submit up to three seperate entries.
  • Entrants should be at least 16 years of age at the close of entries.

There will be a panel of judges, and the criteria include:

  • Character design, including use of appropriate scale
  • Inventiveness
  • Interactivity
  • and ‘Feeling like’ LEGO Super Mario

A full list of other terms and conditions can be found here.

The Prize pool will include sets from the LEGO Super Mario theme. At this stage, the pool includes: 71360 Starter Set, 71365 Piranha Plant Power Slide, 71366 Boom Bill Barrage and 71379 Toad’s Treasure Hunt. Other sets shall be added to the pool, depending on availablility.

Entries Close 2400 UTC September 20, so you have just over three weeks to get your entries in.

I look forward too seeing your LEGO Super Mario MOCs. So get creative, get building, but most importantly,

Play Well!

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