When I asked the question ‘What’s next for LEGO Super Mario?’ last month, I had no idea what sort of response we would have. The sets had just hit the market, and people were still exploring what the system is capable of. However, that didn’t stop people from submitting over 20 entries. some were created digitally, some were created with Super Mario elements that they already had, and some were put together using their own bricks!
Unlike previous contests I have run, where the build could easily speak for itself, this time we received entries in a variety of formats: Photos, videos and text explanations (including an explanation of game play, as well as scoring schemes for the expansion).
We had a panel of judges look over the entries, and we then collated the top 5 results from each judge. Builders were not eligible to earn more than one prize.
We had great support from the LEGO Group’s AFOL Engagement team, for supplying prizes, plus some special extras from LEGO Australia.
First Prize, goes to Aiden at Backwards Benny Builds. Aiden built three submissions, but his entry ‘Captain Toad’s Canyon Caper’ captured the judges’ imaginations.
As well as Captain Toad, driving the mine car, he gives us Mummy Me, a ghost like enemy (requiring star energy to defeat) and a Conkdor. He also brought us a Chain Chomp, who is used to knock down the wall to a treasure room.
Aiden Gave us some great box art, as well as real game play to se the scene:
For his work, Aiden receives 71368 Toad Treasure Hunt, as well as a creator set.
In Second Place, is Barney M. He did not let the fact that he didn’t own a LEGO Super Mario set interfere with his ability to get involved in the competition, with his Beach Battle expansion set.As well as a comprehensive overview document, we were also treated to a video demonstrating how the level might play in real life:
It demonstrated three interesting mechanics, solid visual design, and space between the various activities. I particularly appreciate his clam shell design, with printed bricks, as well as a rubber band to flick it open in response to a tap on top of it. to say nothing of Mario’s ‘Handlebar Moustache’
Barney receives a71360 Super Mario Starter Set as well as the 71365 Piranha Plant Power Slider.
The Third Prize goes to Jovanni Bricks, whose build ‘Chain Chomp Stomp‘ introduces a bean stalk, as a chain chomp, which can be launched at an unsuspecting Monty Mole.
Jovanni Bricks will receive a copy of the 71366 Boomer Bill Barrage, 741365 Piranha Plant Power Slide and the 71372 Power Up Cat Mario suit.
Fourth place goes to Peter Auon who built several imaginative models. The one the caught the judges attention was the imposing ‘Blooper Nanny’s Rotating Reef‘ Peter explains:
“The Blooper Nanny boss is waiting for Mario, but to get there Mario must rotate the reef to access the enemies and power-ups. Knock open Clampy to get the Super Star, then defeat the Baby Bloopers and hit the item block before taking on the Blooper Nanny. “
Blooper Nanny requires four scans to defeat, yielding 6 coins. If Mario rescans her, it is worth a single additional coin.
“I am especially proud of the surfboards used as the tentacles for the Blooper Nanny.”
Peter will receive a copy of 40414 Monty Mole and Super Mushroom, as well as 71363 Desert Pokey.
The Fifth Prize goes to Joshua H, who simulated the Cheep-Cheep’s attacking Mario on the bridge, using a clever mechanism: Mario gets on a platform wound back and forward by the player. In the meantime, a motor rotates a pair of Cheep Cheeps: if one gets too close to Mario’s Platform, he is knocked off, and enters a no coin state.
This was a delightfully elegant solution to producing a ‘dynamic challenge’ for Mario.
“The player begins by hopping across a few grass steps guarded by a lone Goomba. They then come to a bridge, which includes an exclusive barcode for claiming ownership of the set. Mario is placed inside a cart that can be moved left or right using the crank seen on the left.
The objective is to get Mario across the bridge as many times as possible before time runs out. At each end the cart tilts a bit, which allows Mario’s gyroscope to recognize that he made it to the other side. Each trip earns 2 coins, but like the Piranha Plant Power Slide the player can build up a multiplier for up to 6 coins each!”
For his efforts, Joshua wins a copy of the LEGO Super Mario Starter Set.
CM4Sci Wiggler Wrangle:
“Includes 2 Wigglers, one normal and one angry, as well as a Bramball enemy.
“For the Wiggler obstacle: LEGO Mario has to jump on both “normal Wiggler” dots, you flip the Wigglers, hit the other two a few times, Mario makes a “choo choo” noise like that of the angry Wigglers , and then he gets a boss’ number of coins. I took inspiration for this from the rotating logs in the levels the Wigglers appear in.
“Custom decorations include the face prints, the body and scan prints for Wigglers as well as the Bramball. The Bramball sticker would be the same as a Goomba’s, the Wiggler stickers would take multiple jumps like that of bigger enemies.”
One of the judges commented “Exemplary visual design in the box-art mock-up and wiggler design, and I like the idea of the rolling logs mechanic.”
Here are some of our honourable mentions:
Please join me in congratulating our prize winners. Now, there were a number of other entries, and many were of a very high standard.
Doro Hatanaka: Toad Town House and Paper Macho Goomba
“Since Paper Mario has already been referenced by the design team in 71367 Mario’s House & Yoshi, I thought I would recreate a scene from the latest Paper Mario game, “The Origami King”. The scene I chose to recreate is when the player finally arrives in Toad Town to find a Paper Macho Goomba destroying a Toad’s house. This set features two new characters with the possible Paper Macho Goomba and its posable head and Olivia, Mario’s partner in the game. The features of the set include blasting off pieces of the Toad’s house, to recreate the damage done by the Paper Macho Goomba, which reveals two scannable coin tiles, a stand for Olivia near a bench which in game is used to heal Mario and is instead a “friend tile”, similar to Yoshi and Toad, a Paper Macho Goomba with three scannable stickers on its back instead of the usual hitting the same tile 5 times for bosses. This set would feature two new printed elements for Olivia’s eyes and the Paper Macho Goomba’s upscaled face. Three new scannable tiles for the Paper Macho Goomba’s back, Olivia’s interaction tile and the coin tiles on Toad’s wall.”
You can see more images of this model here.
Morton’s Airship Battle, by Ádám Osbáth was put together using LEGO Digital designer, but was still able to capture the feel of LEGO Super Mario.
“It’s supposed to be an airship “bossfight” with Morton. I would consider it to be a simple “obstacle” set. The new enemies would be Morton (a bit more difficult Bowser Jr. sort of “boss”), and a Paratroopa (basically the same as a regular Koopa). ”
For some of us, Mario Kart has been a mainstay of family Gaming activities in recent years, and there were a couple of entries based on this subset of the Mario Universe.
The first came from Riccardo Pivato:
“Drive in a crazy round race with super Mario! Before jumping in your red, blue&white Kart get a bonus from the ‘?’ box then start the race! Turn the wheel to drive and….Pay attention to the green Koopa sheel launched by your opponents! Dodge the barrels thrown by Diddy Donkey Kong from his palm, be careful from the ink of Calamako! Avoid splipping on the banana peel or get hit by the bullet! Get coins by standing on your kart as much time as you can!”
We loved the Kart design, and the mechanics of the level reuses several of the other threats to Mario from other expansions..
The other came from first prize winner, Aiden from Backwards Benny Builds.
He gave us 3 vehicles, as well as a way to launch shells after the cars, as well as Shy Guy and Yoshi.
Other Direct Game World References:
Micro tubule Man developed some great playsets based on existing levels in different Super Mario games – and a somewhat epic reconstruction of Metro Kingdom from Super Mario Odyssey!
King Bob-omb on the Summit
“This set is an homage to Mario’s first adventure in Super Mario 64: Climb the hill and face King Bob-omb himself in a royal duel! But be wary of the Big Steelies as you climb up! Once you defeat King Bob-omb, take the ladder to get to the back of the hill. There, free the Chain Chomp and retrieve the Star Block behind the gate! Characters included: King Bob-omb, Chain Chomp, and 4 Big Steelies”
King Kaliente’s Lava Lair
“This set is an homage to one of Mario’s better remembered quests in Super Mario Galaxy: King Caliente is back for revenge! But is he still weak to coconuts? Jump from one platform to another platform in order to reach the coconut cannon behind King Kaliente. Watch out for the spring shooter fireballs and coconuts shot by his octopi henchmen! Defeat the Octogoomba, Octoguy, and Elite Oatogoomba along the way! Be sure to be careful once you reach the lava geysers! One you land on the coconut shooter and start to shoot at King Caliente and his henchmen, you will be awarded 30 coins over 23 seconds for your counterattack! This section can be played in a two player mode, where one player plays as Mario and tries to defeat the octopi with the plater shooter coconut cannon, while the second player tries to knock Mario off with the Octopi’s spring shooters.”
Adventures in the Metro Kingdom
“This set is based off of Mario’s Adventures in the Metro Kingdom: Face the fearsome Mecha-Wiggler! Place Mecha-Wiggler on the top of New Donk City Hall and drop it down the rollercoaster track to send it charging at Mario! Then take out the nearby Sherms patrolling the area! Meet with Pauline, various New Donkers, and Talkatoo throughout the city to get varying amounts of coins! Enter the city sewers and carefully traverse the spinning platforms over the poison water! But watch out for the stud cannon filled Poison Piranha Plant, which will shoot poison studs at you as the platforms spin! Once you activate the power plant return to the front of New Donk City Hall for even more extra coins! Tired? Then visit the Odyssey for a nice break! Fight the T-rex on the construction girders! Watch out for its sweeping tail and try to land a decisive blow on its back! Characters included: Pauline, 4 New Donkers, Poison Piranha Plant, T-Rex, 3 Sherms, Talkatoo, and Mecha-Wiggler.
Activate the power plant by ground-pounding the red flat tile on the top of the power plant. You will immediately gain 5 coins for this. But returning back to New Donk City Hall will award you another 35 bonus coins and will cause Jump Up, Super Star to play!”
“Visiting the Odyssey will cause Mario to relax and Cascade Kingdom’s music will begin to play. The T-rex takes 8 jumps to defeat and awards 15 coins. I would probably give Pauline, the New Donkers, and Talkatoo better prints, but since I don’t have the technical capabilities to do that, their faces are just a start to what I’d envision that they’d actually look like.”
This is an amazing effort, and I commend Microtubule man for the effort that he has put into designing his build. It is certainly an ambitious project.
Jean L developed a version of Whomp’s Domino Ruins from Mario Party, as a two player, turn based game. This was certainly an interesting approach to a future for LEGO Super Mario games
Gameplay: It is a turn-based two player game. One plays Mario, and the other (opponent) controls the obstacles in a 10-turn or less game. The goal is to get as much coins and stars by the end of 10 turns, and / or reaching the goal pole within time limits.. The ‘?’ box acts as the dice in each turn. If it rolls coins, you can move forward 1, 5 or 10 steps depending how many coins you get from the ? box. A mushroom grants you 1 extra life and the star is for competing scores. You can also get extra time. Star is more valuable than coin. If Mario dies, he has to be placed at start tile again.
Features: It has a newer form of Whomp, exclusive character Bill Blaster Tower, rotating platform, rolling rocks obstacle, a pair of glasses, a hammer and more. Whomp can be defeated by knocking over once, on coins though. The Bill Blaster Tower and rotating platform can’t be defeated. The rolling rocks obstacle can be deactivated by stomping on the slide. No custom elements/printing for this set.
Some other, more conventional expansions:
We had another version of an airship level, featuring Boom Boom, by Dawson K.
“I call this model Boom Boom’s Airship. If it is played in order, the first action for Mario would be to scan the Koopa Troopa shell, which would give 2 coins. Then, Mario would jump on the platform, scan the code, and launch the shell down the hill of coins. When the shell smashes into the ninji at the bottom, the ninji’s code is revealed on the deck below. Mario can scan the code to receive one coin for each scan. I have designed what the code might look like on the custom printing sheet. I have also designed the ninji’s printing. Then, Mario would scan the ? block. If a star appears, it doubles the coins gained from defeating Boom Boom. Mario then jumps over Boom Boom and presses the platform to trip Boom Boom onto his face. Mario would then scan Boom Boom’s shell three times for a total of 3 coins each time, double that to 6 each for using a power star.”
Mossie the Mossasaurus Pursuit
Luis M.F. Provided a great description for the level: “Mossie Mosasaurus is a nice looking damsel, she is the queen of the undersea kingdom. And once she sees our beloved plumber swimming she decides he’ll make a great morsel and thus starts a frentic pursuit that it is the only way to win but beware, her kingdom is full of her allies and the Bloopers, Cheep-Cheep, Uganis and more will aid their Queen. Once Mario uses the Warp pipe to the surface, Mossie will surface and a Boss Battle will ensue (a 20 second clock will be positioned here to aid the player) were stomping her four times or firing with the flower power up are the only way to defeat her and send her running allowimg Mario to continue with his quest. Mossie gives x20 coins if chosen to defeat her as the second stage of the battle is optional. Her course will consist of a stand with: one Ugami, one Blooper and one Cheep-Cheep (extra enemies can be acquired using the characters packs). Some corals and rock work and a warp pipe leading to the surface stage were Mario can elect to flee or fight her. Her stage is accessible from the left part were Mario jumps to the see and Mossie spots him giving chase (she will be in a mobile stand that moves and can catch Mario is he gets stuck on the terrain of an enemies holds him), Mossie can gobble up enemies which she then takes a pause and can ignore terrain by destroying it (the environment is placed on swivels that are triggered when she passes by).”
I would have loved to see a little more detail in the design of his entry, as I could see some terrific ideas behind it.
Several of our top 5 also submitted additional entries, which were also extremely interesting:
From Jovanni Bricks
Coin Coffer Stomp
The setting for this set is inspired by the Mountain World in the New Super Mario games. It has yet to be seen in an official Lego Mario set, and thus allowed me to introduce a few new things. Two new mushroom platforms lead up to the main obstacle, each with three new printed parts on the front with a checkered pattern. Similar to the Desert Pokey Expansion, in this set Mario can sit inside a rotating box and hit enemies. The play feature is very simple, twisting the box with Mario inside swings a beam which collides with the three platforms, knocking off any enemies on top.Inside the box is a new barcode tile, which gives Mario coins when you twist him and the beam makes contact with a platform. Lego Mario can then hop out and scan the enemies you’ve toppled. The Paratroopa enemy (left) is new, built the exact way as the existing Lego Koopa Troopas, except with a red shell and wings, and also yields two coins when scanned twice. The Coin Coffer enemy (right) is new, with a new exclusive mouth and eye print. Lego Mario interacts with his barcode in a new way, like the Bob-omb character you can scan Coin Coffer multiple times in quick succession to get lots of coins. However, the number of coins you get depends on how far you’ve “walked” Mario since starting the level, with a maximum of 20 coins. Basically, if you haven’t played with a Lego Mario, every time you make him hop to move, he takes a “step”, and the computer inside him keeps track of it. So for example, after you start your course with Mario, if you walked him 10 steps before jumping on Coin Coffer, you can win 10 coins by scanning the barcode 10 times. After you’ve scanned it enough to get your step reward, Lego Coin Coffer will always grant an additional 8 coin burst.The reason for this is because in some Mario games when the Coin Coffer appears, it ejects coins when being chased, and explodes with coins when being defeated.
Spikey Desert Expansion
Lakitu sits in his smiling cloud and can sway back-and-forth. Spike sits atop a hill, and you can throw spiked balls at Mario my pressing on the lever in the back. Also included is a barrel which can be scanned by Lego Mario to “pick up” and throw. This expansion set includes three new bar-code stickers, on Spike, Lakitu, and the barrel. New printed elements can be found around the barrel (8 new 15068), for the face of Lakitu’s cloud, for Lakitu’s face, and for Spike’s Mouth and Eyes.
Simply scanning Lakitu twice by jumping on him will give Mario 3 coins. Spike however, is a little more complicated to take out. Similar to the Boo and Peepa enemies, he cannot be defeated by a simple scan. First, Lego Mario must scan the barrel, which plays a new sound effect, to “pick it up”. Mario can then hop on Spike, which will play a throwing sound as well as the barrel smashing, and yield 5 coins for defeating Spike.
From Peter Aoun
We had two other submissions from Peter, one set on the beach
“Mario wants to reach the warp pipe, but the beach is full of Sidesteppers. Use the seesaw to knock the Sidesteppers back and forth until they fall off, then scan them for coins.
Includes both neutral and angry Sidesteppers. Scans to defeat:1 Coins: 1 Rescannable: 1 Comments:’Splash’ sound on scanning by Mario”
“Hop in the Kuribo’s Shoe (aka Goomba’s Shoe) and take on the enemies. The bottom of the shoe is open so objects and terrain can be scanned through it. Kuribo’s Shoe offers immunity to lava and spikes (if they are ever introduced as an obstacle). Each hit on an enemy counts as double, and defeated enemies earn 2 extra coins.
I could imagine this working similar to a costume pack and slot into Mario himself.”
Aiden at Backward Benny Builds
We had one more submission from Aiden, bring back the original Mario enemy: Donkey Kong’s Broken Plane Bayou.
A tropical bog with exotic wildlife, as well as mysterious pieces of downed airplanes…
Donkey Kong: THE original Mario baddie. Has a barrel-throwing function built into the base he is on. Featuring Donkey Kong: Takes 6 hits to defeat. Dodo Bird (Dozy): 1 hit Tropical Tortoise: 2 hits (because it has a shell and thus uses the Koopa Troopa tag) ,
Again, he included a video of the game play with his submission.
I would like to thank all of the entrants for taking the time to produce their submissions. There is absolutely no denying the passion and thought that has gone into them: not just how a set might look, but also the gameplay and scoring involved. This was not just about MOC design, but also considering the gameplay, as well as elements that belonged in the LEGO Super Mario Universe.
LEGO Super Mario might not appeal to every AFOL, but there is no doubt that that there is great scope for further development of the themes and worlds created in the video games, as well taking some ideas in new and different directions.
I commend everyone for their efforts, and would like to thank our multigenerational judging panel. Congratulations to the winners. Your prizes are on the way, and will take a month or two to arrive, with shipping and logistics somewhat disrupted by coronavirus.
I am in awe of the talent, and creativity demonstrated by every one of the entrants in this contest. I am so glad that you took the time to draw inspiration from the theme.
I hope you enjoyed reading through the entrants, and take some inspiration for your own LEGO Super Mario builds. why not post them on social media and tag the Rambling Brick, or use the hashtag #ramblingmario. Until next time,