Every year, around this time, we see an adult focussed set drawing inspiration from LEGO Super Mario: be it the Retro TV, the Mario 64 Question Mark Cube or the Mighty Bowser. These sets have drawn heavily on nostalgic aspects of the Super Mario games, to present an artefact that has certainly been a talking point in many households around the wolrd. Each of these sets has had a suitably impressive price tag attached, too (priced from 300-400AUD This year, perhaps as a sign of the times, with cost of living being what it has become in 2023, the scale has been somewhat reduced. This year’s adult focussed LEGO Super Mario set is a shelf sized model of the Pirhana Plant. With 540 pieces, the set will be released on November 6th and priced at $AUD94.99/$USD59.99 / €64.99 / £57.99.
Over recent years, the LEGO Group have been responsive to the cries of adult fans – Give us more, give us bigger – and now it has become apparent that the major problems that these large LEGO sets have give AFOLS are related to two major factors:
- one is cost with the previous adult focussed Super Mario sets, we have seen prices starting at $USD199.99
- another is display space. I love the look of the new Concorde, but at over 1m in length, there is no doubt that I have nowhere to reasonably build it or display it without causing major disruption to the family living spaces.
Both of these issues are addressed with the latest model: with only 590 pieces, and measuring 23cm high x 11cm wide x 17cm deep, it will happily fit on most shelves Meanwhile, with prices more like $AUD94.99/USD59.99 it is smack bang in the middle of the prices seen for sets released in 2023 with 500-550 pieces.
Bearing a startling resemblance to Audrey 2 from the Little Shop of Horrors, the Piranha plant made its video game debut in 1985 in Super Mario Bros, and has evolved from an 8bit sprite to a gloriously rendered 3-d opponent throughout the Mario-verse.
Carl Merriam, Senior Designer, LEGO Super Mario, commented: “When designing the Piranha Plant, it felt important to capture its distinctive features and ensure that the set could be positioned in a way that reflects its iconic poses. I’m so proud of the finished result, from the mouth to the leaves and stalk, we’ve managed to perfectly portray the menacing essence of the Piranha Plant!“
There is one thing missing from this set that has been included previously in other Super Mario sets – there is no action tile included, which can be scsanned by the Super Mario figure – as such there is no integration to be seen with your LEGO Super Mario. I suspect that these features have been relatively underused in the Mighty Bowser, for example, and as such probably won’t be significantly missed.
The 71426 Pirhana plant goes on sale Noveber 4 and can be picked up from LEGO.com for $AUD94.99/$USD59.99 / €64.99 / £57.99 (link should divert to your local LEGO.com)
Is this model for you? Would you like to see more ‘single evening, small shelf’ builds aimed at adults, or do you prefer the monstrous sprawling epic build? Why not leave your thoughts on this below.
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