Nintendo & Lego Collaborate to Bring Video Game to Life
Kids are shifting fluidly between physical and digital environments, forcing toy brands to consider how their offerings can simultaneously exist between these two realms. This is leading to exciting partnerships like Nintendo and Lego’s recent alliance, which takes analogue toys into the next decade.
The two heavyweights are collaborating to produce Lego Super Mario, which brings the iconic video game to life in a physical building-block playscape. Different toy sets recreate the world within Nintendo’s Super Mario game in Lego bricks, and feature a large figurine of the central Mario character – which is where the physical toy fuses with the digital world.
The figurine has three LED screens on its eyes, mouth and chest. The eyes and mouth animate the physical character with responsive facial expressions, while the chest panel features actions as would be displayed in the video game – such as the number of coins that Mario has collected. Moreover, sounds, phrases and the Super Mario theme song are played through the figurine to reconstruct the full gaming experience.
The Mario model has Bluetooth connectivity, and uses this to respond to sensors in its environment to win or lose points and mimic the video game’s digital actions. For example, if he comes into contact with a Lego lava block, the chest panel’s digital graphics express that the player is losing coins.
To complete each level, users have to move Mario across a path of obstacles to make it to the finish flag (akin to the video game). As the play set is made from modular blocks, users are able to build and change the playscape to keep the game interesting.
For more on how brands are subtly embedding tech into analogue toys – creating magical experiences while catering to screen-averse parents – see Alexa-Integrated Screen-Free Play.