The LEGO Super Mario Buildable Characters were unveiled at LEGO CON, and this series represents a significant departure from the format of characters seen previously. I was fortunate to receive a shipping box for review from the LEGO Group, and I will present the contents of the box: we will look at the shipping order, the new packaging and the characters, including the characters behaviour in game, and their potential in game coin value.
The Box is decidely larger that for series 4, which contained 18 bags. This time, however, it contains 2 columns of 8 boxes. On the front end of the box is a graphic explaining that you need one of the starter sets to be able to play with the figures in the game.
With 16 boxes, we have 2 complete series in the box. Unfortunately, for bag feelers, the parts are now in boxes. Unfortunately for everyone, these character builds have increased in price from $5.99AUD – $9.99AUD. But could it be that the price rise is justified? Let’s take a look inside to find out.
The figures come in a box, with a hanger, and tape seals at box ends. Inside, there is 6×6 biome tile, as well as a bag of parts, and an instruction leaflet. The instructions give detail of building the character on one side, the landscape on the other, as well as a list of characters in the series.
I opened my boxes sequentially from the front of the box. The left and right side were identical in their configuration. An advantage of the boxed sets includes difficulty in rearranging the bags through rough handling in transit.
One thing that rapidly became apparent on opening the packs, and building the characters was that they are more substantial than many of the builds seen in previous series of Super Mario Buildable Figures. They come with a 6×6 rather than a 4×4 base, allowing more detail to be added, while the characters tended to be more substantial builds than previously seen.
Here are the figures I encountered, from front to back:Nabbit; Purple toad; Waddlewing; Red Yoshi; Blue shy Guy; Hammer Bro; Baby Yoshi; Magikoopa. Let’s look at them in detail!
Resplendent in medium lilac, with a printed kerchief over its face, the Nabbit is a thief. If you scan the sack it is carrying, you can get one of the items being carried. This is essentially the same mechanic as the question mark box, and there are similar gifts available. The parts selection includes two black 1x1x2/3 plates?bricks.
Scan: As per ? Brick. One of 5 coins, 10 coins, 15 seconds, super mushroom, star power
Rescan: can potentially obtain all gifts from the the scans. Once each item is found, subsequnt selection of that item (in computer memory) will yield only one coin.
Toad comes with a little patch of grassland, with some bushes. Scanning the tile results in a heart appearing on peach/Mario/luigi’s chest, and exchanging a greeting.The first greeting will yield 5 coins, subsequent greetings from 1-3. You can also give toad a piece of fruit – First, Peach scans it, and rather than eating it, or putting it in the present, she scans Toad’s tile. This results in peach scoring 3 coins. [Let’s call this ‘Friend’ behaviour, as it applies to other characters we encounter.]
This is a new face for toad, who now appears in 4 colours (including Toadette)
- Biome: Grassland
- 1st scan: Greetings, and 5 coins
- Rescan> Different greeting, 1-3 coins
Living in the clouds, waddle wing sits atop a giand beanstalk. The code on its tale is worth 1 coin when scanned. I love the bold winged look he sports, thanks to some fancy Studs not on Top work, attached to 1x2x1 45º slope bricks.
- 1st scan: 1 coin
- Rescan> 1 coin.
This is the 4th yoshi we have seen – with Green, pink and yellow also previously seen. Behavious is consistent with those seen since the Luigi starter set in 2021: Freindship behaviour as described above, is the Digital Brick scans red yoshi’s tile.
The character can ‘ride’ red Yoshi: His face appears on the Digital Brick’s torso screen, and this functions similarly to a super mushroom – if the brick falls or is dropped, it will lose the ride, but not enter a ‘no coin state.’
If, while ‘riding yoshi’, fruit is eaten, you gain a coins.
- Biome: desert
- 1st scan: 5 coins, greeting,ride (equivalent to super mushroom)
- Rescan>: new greeting, 1-3 coins.
Blue Shy Guy
Balanced on a raft on the Soda Swamp, Blue Shy Guy is worth one coin, and can be rescanned. He features a 3×3 round tile, as seen on his red brethren. The figure includes a 2×3 plate, with the central stud on one side cutout.
Biome: Soda Swamp
1st scan: 1 coin
Rescan> 1 coin
One of the more substantial builds, Hammer Bros occupies the dungeon realm. He is holding onto a brick built hammer, while the fire blasts up from the landscape.
- Biome: Lava
- 1st scan: Needs 4 scans to defeat, giving 5 coins.
- Rescan> single coin.
Baby yoshi looks decidedly non-plussed. They have hatched near the water, and are standing on a bridge (I love the lily-pad). Scanning Baby yoshi demonstrates’friend like’ behavious. While baby yoshi appears on the torso, they go away quickly, as they cannot carry the player’s character!
- Biome: Water
- 1st scan: Greeting/5 coins. Feed Fruit: 5 coins
- Rescan> Different greetings score 1-3 coins. Further fruit feeding: 5 coins.
St the back of the box, we have the Magikoopa. Flying up amongst the clouds, they are worth one coin to scan, and can be rescanned.
- Biome: Sky
- 1st scan: 1 coin
- Rescan> 1 coin.
There you have it
Compared with the previous series, this season feels relatively small, with only 8 characters, BUT there are 2 full sets in the box, unlike series 3 and 4 – where there was one complete series, and an incomplete series.
The builds are also significantly more expensive, with a RRP of 9.99 AUD, rather than 5.99AUD. Are we seeing a blatant ripoff with these figures? or has something changed?
Previous searies saw figures coming with a 4×4 base. Series 4 had a mean mass of 14 grams, while series 5 has a mean weight of around 30 grams. On average, twice as much plastic! So, we are seeing more elements: this is reflected in more detailed landscape plates, as well as more involved character builds on the whole. Here is series 5 on the left, with series 4 on the right:
As far as the playability is concerned, this wave of LEGO Super Mario sets focusses on Princess Peach, sharing fruit, while interacting with friends. Our heroes has 3 friends in this wave of buildable characters – Purple Toad, Red Yoshi and Baby Yoshi. Toad interacts with our playable character, so does yoshi, along with the carrying /spare life mechanic. Baby Yoshi is not big enough to carry our hero yet, but loves to eat fruit. Some great lessons here.
Nabbit gives an additional set of options to the ‘?’ block; and Hammer Bro provides an additional high scoring / multiscan enemy.
On the whole, I appreciate the changes that have been made to the format of the series. While some are recolours of characters we have previously seen (Blue Shy Guy; Red Yoshi; Purple toad), Nabbit gives us a new ‘bonus mechanic’, emulating the ? Box, and giving us ways to reclaim what they have stolen. The larger biome tiles also brings us some more detailed landscape elements, providing inspiration for further layouts.
My favorite design for the series is probably Waddlewing – even though its on ly a 1 scan/one coin to defeat, the determined look on their face is just a little bit hilarious!
Are you excited for this series? Who is your favourite? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,
This set was provided by the LEGO Goup’s AFOL Engagement team for review purposes. All opinions however, are my own.