LEGO Super Mario details (no word on level packs, optical sensor use, Nintendo’s involvement, and much more)

Earlier yesterday, we posted up a snippet from a Brick Brothers interview with Jonathan Bennink, Design Manager at the LEGO Creative Play Lab and Digital Design Lead for LEGO Super Mario.

Below you can see a round-up of details that weren’t included in the segments that we shared earlier.

  • No word-level packs for different Mario games/themes
  • No word on LEGO Super Mario sets at Minifigure scale
  • Mario uses an optical sensor
  • LEGO collaborated with Nintendo on the technology as well as the play concept
  • Mario has a display where his eyes, mouth, and belly screen are animated with game information
  • This includes how many coins you get, how much time you have left, and the interactions that you have with the set
  • Mario has a speaker so he can talk to you and play music at the same time
  • Mario has a color sensor on the bottom between his feet so we can read a selection of the LEGO color palette
  • You can add your own bricks in the levels that you make and get coins from that
  • The main action rates come from scanning barcodes
  • Barcodes are pre-applied stickers that come on 2×2 tiles
  • Mario reads those barcodes and then has a unique reaction to them
  • Not thought of like a video game
  • A lot of design thinking went into creating Mario
  • LEGO worked very closely with the Nintendo IP team
  • Nintendo was very specific about what colors they were able to use
  • LEGO tried Mario with a LEGO yellow skin, but it just didn’t look good on the figure
  • They went for this hybrid mix between LEGO and Mario colors to get as close as possible to the IP character
  • Mario’s head comes off, and LEGO “will have some more exciting news to share on that in the future”
  • The team wanted to make sure they don’t set the figure at such a high price that nobody can afford it
  • The size ultimately followed by what technology they needed to fit inside it
  • They played around with some completely sculpted characters
  • They tried a single injection-molded piece for a Goomba and Bowser Jr, who are both rounded
  • They tried to find the right balance between technology and playability in terms of pricing
  • The characters are brick-built to fit the square look of Mario
  • There are also new 8×8, 6×6 and 4×4 square plates with rounded edges that are two plates high
  • New decorations like the Bowser flag, Bowser Jr., and Koopaling
  • Takashi Tezuka was the creative lead on Nintendo’s side
  • If you jump on the question mark block, you see the question marks rotate
  • When you jump off the block, you’ll get an item
  • There are different things you can get, including a 10-coin bonus
  • When you stomp on an enemy, you’ll see an image and an accompanying sound
  • Talking to Yoshi makes Mario happy so he has a little heart on his belly screen
  • Mario has different phases that say “Hi!” or “Hey, it’s me again!”
  • The target age range is 6+
  • LEGO tested a lot on this project in focus groups in the US, Germany, Japan, the UK, and Denmark
  • Original Mario prototype “was a little bit gimmicky like some of the other tech toys out there that are fun to play with for a few hours but wear off after”

What do you think?

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Source: GoNintendo, NintendoEverything, Brothers-Brick