There's so much potential for more LEGO and Nintendo collaborations, and with any luck, the newly-revealed LEGO Super Mario is just the start. That playset – a platforming level-building kit with digital interactions between Mario and his familiar obstacles and foes – is more than four years in the making.
In an interview with The Brothers Brick, the digital design lead for LEGO Super Mario, Jonathan Bennink, spoke about the tech (Mario uses an optical sensor) and how the project came together. "We decided early on that we wanted to leverage what both parties are good at. For LEGO, that's of course the brick, being creative and using your imagination. For Nintendo, it is seamless interactivity and innovation."
Another interesting note: LEGO Super Mario is "not a video game" and it "doesn't connect to the Switch" or "Nintendo hardware platforms." The companies "wanted to keep the experiences very separate."
Asked if Nintendo fans can expect more LEGO sets in the future, Bennink seemed hopeful. "I can say that we haven't worked for four years to release just one wave of products. We hope to have a long and fruitful relationship with Nintendo and their IPs, and we are really looking forward to working with them on a longer-term. They have a lot of very exciting IPs that we might do or might not do."
I'll say what we're all thinking: The Legend of Zelda. Do that next! It feels like Nintendo is focused on going beyond traditional LEGO sets, but I'd be cool with a basic safe bet for Zelda. Or anything, really.
For what it's worth, Takashi Tezuka – who directed and produced some of Nintendo's greatest hits, including A Link to the Past – was the "creative lead on the Nintendo side" for LEGO Super Mario.
Everything you want to know about LEGO Super Mario [The Brothers Brick via VGC]