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Lego Super Mario was revealed earlier this week, and our first look brought with it a fascinating look at the first collaboration between Nintendo and Lego, which incorporates new technologies we haven’t yet seen. Fortunately, The Brothers Brick sat down with Johnathan Bennik — Design Manager at Lego Play Lab and Digital Design Lead for Lego Super Mario — to talk about the new collaboration in detail. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Lego Super Mario’s been in the pipeline for four years. Nintendo first came together with Lego about half a year before that to discuss how their partnership would go about, seeking to mesh their design philosophies together. While no details are announced, Bennik implies that there are other Nintendo-Lego projects in the works.
  • Lego Mario’s interactive technology is based on an optical sensor: the bottom of his feet can detect color and use it to detect whether he’s jumping or running over particular surfaces, adding to his coin count. He doesn’t connect to any Nintendo products — Lego Mario isn’t a toys-to-life endeavor and isn’t trying to be a video game.
  • The Lego Mario set was designed with a squareish aesthetic in mind. You can see this in the design of Mario himself as well as the levels. In an attempt to keep him faithful to his origins, it ended up being a hybrid style of both Lego and Mario design elements.
  • A huge element to the set is designing levels. In an effort to avoid the “blank slate” problem some people have when handed a bunch of Lego bricks, Bennik and team sought a middle ground where you still play around with creating and modifying play sets but having a more structured foundation to work off of.
  • When it comes to pricing, set numbers, and future sets, Bennik is required to stay quiet for the moment.

You can check out many more details in the full interview.



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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.