Hands On Review: 71381 Chain Chomp Jungle Encounter

Today, we continue our exploration of the Second Wave of LEGO Super Mario Sets, and this time we have one of the most frequently suggested characters from our Super Mario Contest: Chain Chomp.

The Chain Chomp Jungle Encounter is the smallest expansion in this wave, and features 160 elements. It will become available on January 1, 2021 and cost 19.99 USD/ 24.99 EUR -19.99 GBP – 39.99 AUD – 24.99 CAD. There are two characters to overcome: the Bramball, as well as the Chain Chomp; and a brand new treasure box mechanic. All existing in the new biome of the Soda Jungle.Want to know more? Read on…

The Landscape

The Soda Jungle

The Soda Jungle biome is characterised by medium lilac plates and nodes, as well as vibrant coral flowers. The pathways through the soda jungle are toxic to Mario: there are three different levels of toxicity, as reflected by Mario’s expression. The third level puts Mario into a no coin stateWashing Mario in water, or shaking him can reduce the effects of the Soda Jungle – each touching onto water reducing the poison effects by one level, as well as yield one or two coins – but it is not really an efficient way of maximising your score!

The Teeter Totter

The Chain Chomp is tethered at the base of a palm tree, and the teeter totter is close tho this. The expansion consits solely of Soda Jungle landscape plates. These are relatively poisonous for Mario, and if he remains on the lilac plates for any periodm, we see him become progressively unwell. Like the Poison Mushroom, this effect can be overcome by washing (water) or shaking the soda off Mario (literally lift and shake). Flowers in the Soda Jungle consist of leaves, with a vibrant coral flower stud on top.

Enemies

Bramball:

This vine based enemy is a bright orange spotted cube, which scans for one coin, and can be rescanned as required. a trick of the light here has made the medium lilac plate of the Soda Jungle appear slightly blue.

Chain Chomp

The Chain Chomp exists as an obstacle to Mario, rather than as an enemy: it has no barcode for you to scan. The chain covers the Treasure Box’s barcode. Chain Chomp’s eyes are printed on the side of 2×2 black bricks, and the chain is made from multiple short technic beams. His teeth consist of multiple white pyramid tiles. The red pin attached to the end simply slides into a technic hole, allowing relatively easy removal.

Fortunately, the Chain Chomp (more octagonal or square depending on your point of observation) is sitting on a see-saw – a firm slam of Mario down on the sweet spot of the tile is enough to send the chain chomp flying, and releasing himself from the tether. Unfortunately, the ‘sweet spot’ is pretty small, and it can be difficult to ensure that he soars properly. The good news is that the set is produced in 2020, rather than 2017, at which stage, the reddish brown tiles were more likely to snap with high pressure applied.

Addendum: The Chain chomp does have a barcode on its underside. If you scan it, Mario emits the Bark, which Chain Chomps make in the video games, and Mario displays an exclamation mark on his chest, and gives a startled expression on his face. If you scan it while a game is running, you get a similar effect. However, if you scan it while Mario has Star Power, scanning the Chain chomp gives you 16 coins. Thanks to Huw from Brickset, who drew this to my attention in the comments.

The Treasure Box

The Yellow Coin yielding treasure box makes its first appearance here. By scanning the box as many times as possible in 4 seconds, you can accumulate multiple coins. Once it has handed the coins over, you cannot get any more.

A run-through.

Here is a runthough of the Chain Chomp Jungle Encounter:

This is a smaller set, and acts more as an obstacle rather than a true enemy. The nature of the Chain chomp, and the treasure box means that the reward can only be unlocked only once per game. I like the addition of the Bramball, and the mechanism for Chain Chomp is quite a challenge to succeed with first time. However, it might leave younger players frustrated.

It goes on sale from LEGO.com and other retailers on January 1 2021 (although it might be spotted in the wild elsewhere as well). What do you think of this expansion set? Why not leave your comments below and until next time,

Play Well.

2 thoughts on “Hands On Review: 71381 Chain Chomp Jungle Encounter

  1. The chain chomp head does have a barcode on the bottom but it’s not clear to me what happens when scanned. Mario just displays a exclamation mark.

    Like

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