SUPER MARIO! WAHOO!

The legends of LEGO continue with another trip down memory lane to Derek’s childhood days of playing Mario and building legos. After completing the LEGO Groot in a manner of hours, Derek had an itch to keep challenging his building skills. We took a day trip to Chicagoland for some shopping and made a stop at the Woodfield Mall to investigate his next build. Due to popular demand, there was a line that wrapped around the staircase to enter the LEGO Store wherein we browsed the selection of models on display. There were a few jaw-dropping LEGO sculptures that caught his eye but Derek held off making a purchase right then and there so he could reconsider his options before making a final decision.

When the time was right, he ordered the Nintendo Entertainment System for an expert level kit more than five times the size of Groot’s 476 pieces with a total of 2,646 lego components!

This lego build was inspired by the classic 1980’s style TV and Super Mario Bros. the 8 bit side-scrolling platform game that charged players to take control of Mario and proceed to the right side of the screen.

LEGO supplied us with a unique tool for separating pieces that have been tightly pressed together. If you make a mistake and need to pull apart the pieces, the “Lego Brick Separator” will do the trick!  The tool is a beautiful thing, a bright orange piece of plastic sloped with a few funny bits at the wide end. This tool’s purpose is to become a wedge for separating bricks from base plates, a lever for applying pressure up or down to pull bricks away, and a sort of pokey bit for removing wheels from axels.

The “Lego Brick Separator”

Part 1: LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System

“It all starts with a brick…” Derek said to me as we captured the first piece of the puzzle. 

As Derek clicks pieces together and poses for a photo, I can’t always picture what is being made. He opens one bag at a time and lines the pieces up for an inventory shot so that he can look back at the photo to check if he missed something. After completing the steps of the numbered bag, he opens the next package to add on to the build.

As he made his way along in the numbered bags, we began to see the development of the Nintendo video game system. The inner workings of the NES and its cartridge mechanism were exciting to see click into place. This would later make it possible to insert a game cartridge and snap it into the machine.

As the structure was coming together Derek was surprised to find an “Easter egg” hidden under the surface with a warp zone that transports Mario to another level in Super Mario Bros. LEGO likes to include Easter eggs in their building construction as unexpected details that designers hide inside their builds as an inside joke for their fans.

With the gears working in place, the hundreds of pages remaining in the directions booklet slowly but surely transformed these colorful bricks into a very realistic Nintendo Entertainment System. By the way, have you noticed Derek’s shirt? hehehe

Ta-dah! We have a Nintendo Entertainment System! We’re only halfway finished with this build.

Time to stretch our legs and flip on Derek’s new favorite show, “LEGO Masters,” while moving on to the vintage TV.

Part 2: LEGO TV

The unique challenge with the vintage TV is the functional scrolling screen to demonstrate Mario’s pathway in Super Mario Bros. The LEGO designers created a TV with all the moving parts that scroll reliably without clashing and a gearing system with a hand crank that smoothly rotates the screen. Derek not only had to build the TV structure, but assemble the inside of the screen with its moving lego panels. If not completed correctly, this function does not work as the designers created it.

To say that this phase of the build is complicated would be an understatement.

And finally, Derek was ready to present his final product! Photos can only capture so much so I put together a video clip so he could demonstrate the Super Mario Nintendo Entertainment System in action. Super Mario! Wahoooooo!

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