Hands on Review: 71386 LEGO® Super Mario Character Packs (2nd Wave)

The second wave of LEGO® Super Mario Sets was announced a month or so ago, and there has been great interest in what is coming up. The LEGO Group have sent over the entire wave for me to take a look at over the next week or so. Keep your eyes open: while the official release date is January 1 2021, some sets have been spotted in the wild in the USA. This week, the LEGO Super Mario App has now been updated to include the 2021 sets, so you should have full functionality.

Today, I thought I’d take a quick look at the 7186 Character Packs: Like series 1, there are 10 to collect, and 20 in a box. In my box, there was a complete set on the left, and another on the right.

The box opened up to reveal two columns, side by side. Some shifting had occurred in shipping, so I proceeded to look down the left column of the box. The figures come in a similar bag to series 1, packaged in Factory S – Kladno, Czech Republic. – in week 42 of 2020.

This is the order of figures, as I encountered them, from front to back. I have included scoring details, including the coins earned as well as whether or not they can be rescanned in the course of a timed game.

Each bag includes a 4×4 ‘biome base’ – green (grass), blue (water), yellow(desert), red(lava) or purple (soda jungle), as well as some elements to help build up an environment for the figure to inhabit. In this series, there are two figures from each biome. Out of character for the rest of the LEGO Super Mario experience, these character packs also come with building instructions in the packet.

Poison Mushroom

Probably the most interesting of the characters, as far as the way it interacts with Mario in Game play. This includes one the new biome: Soda Jungle (purple).

Perhaps Mario should stay off the ‘shrooms

Jumping on the Poison Mushroom leaves Mario stunned, in a no-coin state for for ten seconds. This state can be reversed by shaking him, or standing on a blue plate. Up to seven coins are awarded when Mario returns to the normal state, either by waiting, or standing on the blue plate ( I scored between 3 and 7). Shaking him returns him to normal sooner, but with no coins awarded. Rescanning results in a repeat of the process. The most notable elements here are, in my mind, the recolouring of the mushroom cap from white (and red) to medium lilac (and bright reddish violet).

Fly Guy

Essentially a Shy Guy with propellor head. This figure is based on a grassy biome plate. Fly guy grants one coin for every scan. The propellor on the head effect is quite effective, and he also has 3×2 feet in blue, as well as a printed 3stud wide circular tile. There is also a new element in this set: the 2×3 plates, with a 1×1 area removed. In the past, this solution would have been achieved using a 2×2 corner plate in conjunction with a 2×1 plate. This is certainly a more stable, and more aesthetic solution in some situations.

Ninji

This figure is Based on the 2x2x2 cube, and comes with a grassy biome. Single scan yields a single coin, which can be repeated. I love the printed tile with his eyes.

Foo

Essentially a cloud floating over the desert, foo is another figure which repeated grants a coin, when scanned by Mario. The biome is certainly a shoutout to that of Bullet Bill, as seen back in the first series of the Charqacter Packs. The printed eye tile is sufficiently generic to have lots of future use.

Para Beetle

Parabeetle comes with a shell, featuring holes for a 3.18 bar on his back. This creature needs to be scanned twice to yield 3 coins initially. Subsequent scans give a single coin.

Spiny Cheep Cheep.

Spiny Cheep Cheep, essentially another one of the one scan- one coin figures. Being from the water biome, there is a gentle ‘splash’ from Mario, every time it is scanned. I am impressed at the way in which Spiny Cheep Cheep looks so angry.

Huckit Crab

Another Single Scan/ single coin and repeat water dweller, Huckit Crab’s biome includes some sea weed. His single large claw looks a little unbalanced, but this is in keeping with the original artwork.

Parachute Goomba

Parachute Goomba comes with a purple Soda Jungle plate: He is worth a single coin, and this is repeatable. I really like the printed dish used as the parachute.

Thwimp

A small Thwomp, Thwimp comes with a small lava biome. The figures is based on a spike covered 2×2 cube. You only collect coins if you strike him 3 times, granting 3 coins. Subsequent scans give one coin each. I love the expression on its face. I pick up a similar vibe here, Comparing it to Thwomp, as you might with The Child from The Mandalorian and Yoda. We have lots of light bluinsh grey ‘pyramid tiles’ in this pack.

Bones Goomba

Bone Goomba, from one of the lava soaked levels, features printing on the side of one of the 3×1 offset plates used, to represent its teeth. Like many similarly shaped characters, one scan earns one coin.

The App Experience

The LEGO Super Mario App is not essential to build these characters, but there are some interesting things to gain from it. There is the option to scan in caracters specifically from series 2, to add then to your collection.

On playing a timed course, the simple foes are all recognised in the same way by the app. The barcode remains the same for all of these figures, regardless of the actual contents.

I found these three figures to behave a little differently, and this would appear to be consistent with how the App considers them. I found the Poison Mushroom coins to be variable, depending on how the ‘no – coin’ state was broken, but possibly also based on how long Mario remained in that state. Or it might just be random!

In Conclusion

Overall, another strong series, of brick built characters – inexpensive ways to add additional challenges to your custom levels. The building techniques are pretty simple. There are some intriguing new elements to be found in this series too. I am especially curious to see how the 2×3 with cutout might be used in the future. Each biome is equally represented throughout the series, but only 3 figures have a more creative functionality than ‘scan once, and repeat as required.’

The 71386 LEGO Super Mario Character packs go on sale January 1st. for $AUD5.99 $USD4.99 3.89Euro £3.49. you can find then in the LEGO Online store here.

What do you think of this collection? Are their any characters you are glad to see appearing here? Why not leave you comments below, and until next time…

Play Well.

This series was sent to me for review urposes by the LEGO Group. All opinions are my own.

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