When LEGO first announced the LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System I could not wait another day to get my hands on it. As an avid fan of the original “Nintendo”, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) has a special place in my heart. This console is what got me into console gaming way back in 1986. The launch title, Super Mario Bros. would forever be one of my favorite games to this day that I still play thirty-six years later. Crazy right?
Another favorite of mine is LEGO. Then again who doesn’t like LEGO? But, what a perfect way to mash up these two things by making a LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System with a TV that has a moveable scene from Super Mario Bros.! While I still play original Nintendo games, I don’t build with LEGO as often as I would like. While LEGO is still well in my life thanks to my young kids, I have not bought a LEGO set for myself in a very long time. I am glad that changed with this release.
This set, item # 71374, is an incredibly detailed, well constructed, and massive coming in at 2646 pieces. Do not let the size scare you away as it is not a full-sized NES, obviously, the TV isn’t as well. I was absolutely knocked out but how detailed this set really was as it is nearly hard to believe that the NES cannot be plugged in and powered up.
The TV – LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System
The set includes a scaled-down version of an old-timey CRT television with a moveable screen that displays elements from the original Super Mario Bros. Cranking the handle on the side of the TV advances the scene where Mario jumps over blocks, collects coins, and stomps enemies in beautiful 8-bit detail. LEGO also included additional Goombas, Koopa Troopas, coins, and question blocks to allow some customization should your heart desire.
The television itself is also well detailed with a channel dial that clicks, a moveable antenna that clips into the back of the TV, and front trim that screams ’80s TV. The front of the TV is labeled to show what each of the knobs represents LEGO did not stop there and added even more detail to the rear of the TV. The rear not only has a detailed faux product label, but it also comes equipped with AV & coax inputs as well as the power input.
I started this build with the television as I wanted to save the best, the Nintendo, for last. In retrospect, I should have done the NES first as there were some needed items in the NES kit that were needed for the TV portion. One is the antenna and the other, the LEGO brick separator, a necessity anytime when dealing with tiny bricks. Not having those readily available was not a deal-breaker but the brick separator would have been nice to have.
The TV build had me smiling with amazement and shock after every turn of the page. Granted, I am no LEGO Master Builder, but I was shocked by some of the techniques employed to make this TV “function.” Various bricks from multiple LEGO lines were used to bring Mario to life and help captivate some childhood memories. From the gears and tractor tread system that make the screen function to the clicking mechanism that makes the channel select button “click” I was impressed with every bit of this build.
The Main Event – The LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Despite the TV being an incredible build, the NES is the real “Main Event” and is what we’ve all been waiting for. From the initial launch video, I knew that the cartridge loading system would be complex, but didn’t expect the entire NES build to be. The cartridge loading system emulates the loading system 100% like its original namesake. Whoever thought of this mechanism to do this using LEGO bricks is an absolute genius. Of course, this would go to waste if the LEGO Nintendo didn’t come with a game which of course is made of LEGO bricks. The rest of the build as I mentioned is complex and again utilizes techniques to ensure a very sturdy build. I wouldn’t try this, but I wouldn’t be surprised that this console could survive a fall to the floor. It’s incredibly solid and heavy.
Like the TV, the level of detail is incredibly impressive. The LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System looks nearly identical to the original Nintendo except that it is scaled down. The colors, shape, ports, switches, and buttons all match in full detail. It’s worth repeating that, It is honestly quite surprising the LEGO NES can not be plugged in and powered on. What really makes both the TV and Nintendo pop is the fact that there are only three stickers that are included with this set and they SHOULD be stickers. The first is the manufacturer’s label on the back of the TV and the other two are for the Super Mario Bros. game label on the cartridge. Everything else you see is printed directly onto the LEGO bricks.
The LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System also comes with a fun little easter egg that I won’t spoil here, but if you are curious and don’t mind the spoiler, check out our Instagram spoiler. This easter egg will make any Super Mario Bros. fan smile from ear to ear.
Add the Super Mario Bros. Starter Set for More Fun!
Owners of the Super Mario Bros. Adventures with Mario Starter Set also have the ability to attach Mario to the top of LEGO TV. After scanning a special tile, Mario practically comes to life and reacts to what Mario does on the LEGO TV while playing the theme from Super Mario Bros.
A great part of both builds is that the tops of both units are able to be removed to show off the internal mechanisms that make the Nintendo Entertainment System and the TV work. The LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System is priced at $229 and is well worth the money in my opinion. Online stock appears to be limited as it is currently temporarily out of stock on LEGO.com but some local LEGO stores are showing stock. If you’re a fan of the original Nintendo and Super Mario Bros. then do not wait and make sure you picked this up.