Expanding LEGO Super Mario with a trip into Wiggler’s Poison Swamp [Hands on Review 71383]

We have been working through the second wave of LEGO Super Mario expansion sets lately, and we are almost at the end. Today I would like to look at 71383 LEGO® Super Mario™ Wiggler’s Poison Swamp Expansion Set. It has 374 pieces, the most of any set in the second wave of LEGO Super Mario, and is has a recommended retail price of 39.99 USD/EUR – 34.99 GBP – 59.99 AUD – 49.99 CAD.

Like all of the sets in this wave, the main biome is the Soda Jungle: purple (medium lilac) tiles and plates. If Mario is left standing on this colour for too long, he become stunned in stages – gradually entering a no-coin state. until the soda is washed off by standing in water, or brushed off by shaking him.

This set is an interesting build, and I found a few new building ideas included, as well as new elements in significant quantities.

As you can see, there are quite a few medium lilac elements included in this set, including 8×16 tiles, several 4×4 and 6×6 biome plates, and a new 8×4 half biome plate: we saw these appearing in bright green in the Maker Set 71380.

We also see the introduction of a new 1x1x2 upwards bracket, in bright yellow, as well as the 1×3 with 2 studs offset plates, 2×2 with only 2 studs, and the 2×2 coupling plates. This bracket also comes up in a more utilitatarian dar grey, as well.

We have a grey ‘splat gear’ here, which seems a little odd, as there is nothing that it will be able to mesh with. Or is there? We shall find out soon.

There are also a number of 2×4 tiles, with rounded ends, and the Koopa Para Troopa faceted 2×2 brick, with hols for wings to be attached.

The Environment.

There are 2 main area and a couple of minor environmental areas.

Wiggler’s Poison Swamp.

This is a large purple area, formed by placing the two 8×16 tiles together , with some clips on the side, and several of the larger biome half-plates.

This next part of the build blew my mind. As a community, the possibilities afforded by the relatively new ‘Splat Gears’ are still being explored. In the 71380 Maker set, we saw one meshing with the ship steering wheel element. This set demonstrates the meshing of a gear with 1×2 modified plate with 5.4mm ball on the side.

This converts linear movement to rotation, or vice versa. The Four modules distance travelled by the box that stands in results in 90º rotation of the gearwheel.

There is an action tile in the slider, which changes the music currently being played, and rotates Wigglers head back and forward… but more on that later.

The Ricketty Bridge.

the next aspect of the expansion is a part I refer to as ther Ricketty bridge: a brige that will help Mario to traverse the swamp. As it gets built up, it traverses several pillars. But then, it can be rolled up.

You can see a small technic beam with ball, attached near the palm tree at the end of the bridge. It doesn’t move much, but when it does, it trows the system off balace enough so that the bridge will unroll. this provies Mario with a safe way to traverse the swamp, and to smite a Goomba on the way.

The Swinging Raft Jetty and Island

Once mario makes his way down to the palm tree, he has the chance to climb onto a raft, which in turn can spin around, and transport him to a small island, Just what this island has in store is unclear. Perhaps an enemy to defeat, or perhaps a path to the end of the level. I found the connection between the swinging beam and the raft was fairly weak, and it often disconnected. The raft can then be used to traverse any part of the swamp. I’ll come back to this later.

A Small Swamp Extension

There is a small purple biome plate, connected to the tail end of the swamp, and on this plate there is space for an enemy, but technically, many have the same prolem with the swamp as Mario, or perhaps a powerup. As it happens, a Star Power brick is included in the set…

The Foes

Let’s look at the foes that Mario has to deal with in the Poison swamp:

Wiggler

The most important foe that Mario has to face here would have to be Wiggler. Not so much a foe, as a force to be controlled. Wiggler’s sections are joined using a plate with vertical bar, with the bar passing through a coupling plate on the next segmnet, and an overlying coupling plate on the original segment, locking it in plate. The wiggler has a flower on his head. The head is placed on the gear wheel which linked to the slider:

As the slider is moved back and forward, the Wiggler’s head rotates back and forth, forcing the rest of the creature to follow. Ultimately, the end of the Wiggler lashes back and forth. Ultimately, its tail end will hit the ball switch, unrolling the bridge.

Koopa Paratroopa

Koopa Paratroopa has the same construction as the one included in the 71380 Maker Set, but has a different scanable barcode. As such, you can have these two both appear in a single level, with the potential to score full points for both.

Goomba

The Goomba is pretty standard. It is great to get another one to scatter around a course. As always, scanning a Goomba is worth 1 coin.

Bonus Bricks:

The set comes with a Star Power Block.

The Super Star is the same barcode as other Star Power bricks from Wave 1. It grants Star Power for 10 seconds. This includes:

  • Invincibility to lava or swamp poison
  • Ability to defeat ‘Multiscan’ enemies with one scan – although this might not grant the maximum number of points when there is a skill component: eg scannable treasure boxes such as in Chain Chomp; Bob-omb.
  • Ability to defeat hard to beat some enemies that cannot be defeated in other ways, including Boo, Peepa and Chain Chomp.
  • Double points scored
  • Suspending the timer for the duration of the time it is active (effectively an extra 10 seconds of time)
  • During Star Power, Mario cannot activate other bonuses such as time, or question mark blocks.

Action Bricks

There are two action bricks included in this set:

Sliding Brick

As mario slides back and forth, there is a change in music. Sliding the box back and forth earn coins with every one or two direction changes. With wiggler attached, as we discussed earlier, the caterpillar starts waving a,ong its length. The faster that you slide, the more force that the tail can generate.

Raft Brick.

When on the raft, Mario gains coins for moving, and particularly changing direction. You can slide the raft on the table, or keep it attached to its tether. It can also be released from the tether, to grant coins by by free sliding. You gain additional coins if the raft is angled as it changes directions.

Here’s a quick run through of the level. I am using the 60 second game, collecting 10 seconds with the star power. This level is a great challenge using the Dash 30 (yellow tube) game.

In conclusion, this is an interesting level, and, like all of this wave, the game mechanics included throughout the Poison Soda Jungle are innovative, building on the different ways of playing that we saw in the first wave. I found this the most engaging of the new expansion packs. Wiggler contains good supplies of the new elements. I am happy to get a new Koopa Paratroopa, which can be used in conjunction with the one in the Maker set, and was excited to see the linear/rotation convertor with the slider.

This set is now available, with retail prices of 39.99 USD/EUR – 34.99 GBP – 59.99 AUD – 49.99 CAD. I give this expansion 4/5 Arbitrary Praise Units

What do you think of this expansion for LEGO Super Mario? Is it your favourite? Or a failure? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play Well.

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