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Found 2 results

  1. caravancarlos

    Minifigure Background

    Hi All Does anyone know where I can get a background from for the minifigure series 15 background. The question mark one. I have made a frame and would like the back ground. Please help Cheers
  2. Hello! It’s-a me, Oky! And I’m back with another special review! For many years now, Mario, the stereotypical Italian plumber, has not only somehow evaded cancel culture, but also has been delighting the hearts of gamers everywhere with his simple and fun series of video games. One of the most influential entries in the franchise was Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 as it was the first Mario game to make the jump from 2D to 3D as well as one of the first successful open-world 3D platformers ever made. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the game, so after the success of the NES set, LEGO decided to celebrate this occasion by releasing a brick-built version of the iconic yellow ? Block that appears in many Mario games – which is ironic since Super Mario 64 was actually one of the few games where this block didn’t appear in. It may seem like a strange choice for a set, but these ? Blocks are always full of surprises, so perhaps there is more to it than just a big yellow box? Read on to find out! Let’s-a go! Set Number: 71395 Name: Super Mario 64 ? Block Theme: Super Mario Year of Release: 2021 Ages: 18+ Pieces: 2064 Price: $169.99 The Box The box of this set has the same kind of branding as every 18+ set nowadays with a glossy black background and a white strip of greebles made out of various plates and tiles running along the bottom instead of the white background like all the “regular” Super Mario sets. If you have read my previous review you will know that I’m not really a fan of LEGO’s decision to market all adult-oriented sets with such a depressingly dark box art. It usually detracts from the set, although in this case I think it kinda works. The darkness adds to the mystery of the ? Block. There is not much else on the front of the box except for the set name, the Super Mario 64 and LEGO logos, and some numerical info about the set which also adds to the mystery. To uncover the secret of the ? Block, you don’t have to punch it like Mario, just simply turn around the box to its backside. This side of the box reveals that instead of a powerup or coins like in the games, what comes out of the top of the block is a bunch of microscale Super Mario 64 levels! How cool is that! There are several little close-up shots of some of the details, the transforming feature, and a schematic showing the measurements of the set. The main image and the schematic hint at the fact that there is another flap on the front of the box, but don’t show what’s behind it. What could it be? The mystery continues! The top of the box shows a lineup of all the characters included in the set along with some closer looks at Peach’s Castle and Bob-omb Battlefield. There is also a side view of the Princess Peach figure for size comparison. The bottom of the box shows some choking hazard warnings and other legal info on top of the white greebles. It also reiterates the number of pieces in the set – just to let you know exactly how many pieces you can choke on. The left side of the box features another closeup of Peach’s Castle - which is fitting since previous rumors for this set only mentioned the castle. Maybe whoever spread them only saw this side of the box? The right side shows the set name in different languages and a seal certifying that this is indeed an “official Nintendo licensed product”. Contents Inside the box there are 19 numbered bags, one bag with the instructions, and one with large plates. Some of the build stages are split into multiples bags which is not unusual. For some of them it makes sense, like for the bags with the number 2 since they contain a lot of parts, but for the bags with the number 9 it seems wasteful as the bags are less than half full and contain the same kind of parts, so I don’t understand why they didn’t just put them all into one bag. The bag for the large plates also seems wasteful as it is so big that it could have fit a 32x32 baseplate easily (I had to fold the bag twice to fit it into this picture). I thought TLG wanted to get more ecofriendly, not less? Instructions The instructions booklets starts with a few pages of the set’s designers talking about their love for Super Mario 64, the design of the set, and comparisons between the set and screenshots from the game. It’s always great to get such a little look behind the scenes at LEGO and at the talented people who develop these sets. The instructions themselves are nice and easy to read thanks to the new light gray background they’re using for these adult sets. There isn’t a lot of repetition in the build, although step 183 on the following example page asks you to put inverted 2x2 tiles onto a 16x16 plate 64 times. You don’t see such a high number every day in these callouts. Notable Parts There are quite a few parts in new or rare colors and even some new molds in this set! New molds include a downward 2 stud long bracket and a 2x3 plate with a 1x1 gap in dark brown, although each of those debuted in one other set recently. The only mold that I have never seen before is the 2x2 corner plate with the corner rounded off which is used to extend the bottom of the 2x2 curved corner slope. The latter appears for the first time in yellow, as does Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi’s crown and the 2x2 inverted tile. We also get not one, but two new colors of the cattle horn, red and yellow, plus some in tan which is a color it hasn’t been produced in since 2009, so anyone who is trying to assemble a Mola Ram will be pleased. Other new part-color combinations include a support beam in sand green (which is odd since it is hidden inside the build, so there is no reason to cast it in a new color), moldy (dark green) ice cream , 1x1 inverted bracket in lime, 1x1 brick with studs on 2 adjacent sides and telescopes in bright green, 2x2 round tile in green, 1x3 tile in nougat, 2x2 inverted dome in brown, and 4L bars in trans-clear, so if you want your Jedi to have a colorless lightsaber, you’re in luck. There are plenty of other parts in rare colors that have only appeared in a handful of other sets. If I missed anything new, let me know in the comments. I have some good news for all you sticker haters out there: Almost all the decals in this set are printed, and the only one that is a sticker, the barcode/star pattern on the yellow round 2x2 tile, is already pre-applied like in the other Mario sets! There is a large assortment of printed 1x1 tiles, the printing of which is impressively detailed. Figures It’s no secret that many Nintendo fans have been clamoring for proper Super Mario minifigures ever since LEGO acquired the license but so far all the Mario figures have been brick-built ones at a different scale. This set is no different as it comes with a slew of microscale brick-built representations of the characters similar to the ones in the LEGO Cuusoo Minecraft sets. Unlike the Minecraft figures, however, they made the odd stylistic decision not to print eyes on any of the characters (except for Mr. I for obvious reasons). Even the Bowser sliding puzzle in the previous picture doesn’t have eyes. Let’s take a closer look at them, starting with the good guys: Mario, Princess Peach, and Yoshi. The only one out of the three that has any kind of printing is Mario with his iconic mustache. They are all very recognizable despite the lack of detail. I always like it when designers can pull off a minimalistic design like that. It reminds me of the figures from LEGO’s old “IMAGINE” ad campaign. Still, I kind of wish they would have given Peach just a bit of detail as she looks a little plain next to the others, be it her lips or some features of her dress or something. Also, I’m not sure the part used for Mario’s hat was the best choice. It’s a bit large and looks as if someone had pulled Mario’s hat over his eyes. Or maybe Cappy is swallowing him?! Oh wait, wrong game. Yoshi looks good for the most part, although I wish they could have incorporated some white into his color scheme. Next we have the neutral characters: a Lakitu Bro, mama penguin and baby penguin. The penguins are not much different from other brick-built penguins that have appeared in many sets over the years, but you know what they say about things that aint broken. The Lakitu Bro has a simple yet clever design for his cloud that even includes his little camera. Lastly, we have the enemies: Mr. I, Big Bully, King Bob-omb, and a Chain Chomp. King Bob-omb is easily the best-looking character in the set as he is not blocky like a lot of the others and looks very accurate except for his lack of arms and eyes. The use of that new wheel piece for his body is perfect. The only downside to him is that he is stuck to the Bob-omb battlefield ground. I had to disassemble him and loosely stack the pieces here for this picture. Big Bully on the other hand just might be the worst figure as he just looks like a brick with horns. He should have been round like the others and some indication of his green feet would have been nice too, although I’m not sure how they could have achieved that with legal building techniques. Mr. I and Chain Chomp are fine – again, except for the odd lack of eyes on Chain Chomp. Actually, there is one more secret figure included in the set! The designers intended it to be a surprise for you to find during the build, hence why it isn’t in any of the official images of the set, so I will put it in spoiler tags. If you want to see it, click below, otherwise skip to the build section. The Build It’s time to get building! Here we goooo! First, you build the inner structure of the block, then the back panel. I struggled a bit putting on the rubber bands that hold the back panel up as they get stretched to their limit. Hopefully they won’t snap any time soon. There is a gold star like the power stars that Mario collects in the game placed inside the structure above the purple tile. It has no purpose and is no longer visible once the build is finished; it’s just a neat easter egg included by the designers for you to discover during the build which is pretty neat. Next, you build the front panel. As I mentioned before, there is not much repetition in the build since the construction of the front and back are completely different despite them looking the same from the outside. Never judge a block by its cover! After that, you can put the block aside for a while as most of the rest of the build is the top panel with all the microscale vignettes on it. You start building each vignette by building the base, then the scenery, then attach it to the rest of the build. Each vignette is very different, but all of them are constructed very intricately. I like how going from a big, rough support structure to such small, detailed scenes makes the build feel like it is getting more challenging as you go. Once the whole top section is complete, you just drop it into the block from above. The last step is to build the side panels which are identical, so unfortunately you end the build with some repetition, but it’s not too bad. Spare Parts There are tons of little 1x1 bits left over after the build, including extras of a lot of the printed tiles and other new/rare parts! Since there is an extra mustache plate, you can build a second Mario out of the spare parts, one that looks closer to the big LEGO Mario. Alternatively, you could also build his brother Luigi, even if poor Luigi was never in Super Mario 64. The Complete Set Yeahoo! The build is finished! The completed block looks sooo smooooth! Except for on the question marks, no stud is to be seen, and the rounded edges and corners really add to the smooth feel. They even managed to cover up all the transforming functions very well. Usually, you only see such large, tiled surfaces on MOCs and it looks fantastic. It looks so accurate to the ? Block in the games that it’s not much different from any other replica of it. The only difference is those studs on the question marks which give them some nice texture and remind you that this is indeed still a LEGO set. The block looks great from all sides – except for the bottom where it’s just a big hole. It looks dark and ugly and makes the block hard to hold up from the bottom. This is not a huge issue and I understand why they made it this way as you will likely not see the block from this angle very often and it makes easy to access the interior of the block to fix any potential mechanical errors, but I still wish they would have made this part of it a bit more sightly. Once unfolded, the block becomes a great display stand for the four microscale maps. If you thought the block looked too boring before, it definitely becomes more interesting in this form! Let’s take a closer look at each of the micro-builds, starting with the first level and the hub world of the game, Peach’s Castle, which fittingly hovers over all the others. There is lots of nice part usage here such as the cattle horns as flags, the moldy ice cream scoops as trees, and the telescope as the warp pipe through which Mario enters the game. The castle itself looks nice and accurate, although it’s a shame there is no inverted version of those 2x2 wedges they used for the turret roofs that they could have used for the underside of the turrets instead of the cheese slopes. And in case you’re wondering, no, unfortunately Mario does not fit through the castle entrance as it is one plate too short. The backside of the castle is not so interesting as there is only a small tile indicating a backdoor, although to be fair, I don’t think there is much back there in the game either. The only fun detail is Yoshi hiding behind the tower at the top where you can meet him after you beat the game. The next level (if we’re going by the order in which you visit them in the game) is Bob-omb Battlefield. This is probably my favorite of the micro-vignettes as it is sprawling with details and it really feels like they managed to recreate most of the map in this little 14x14 space. The cannons, the bridges, the trees, the tree stumps, the patches of yellow flowers, the floating island with the red coins box; it’s all there. They even managed to include one of the cannon balls that roll around behind the gray bridge using a microphone piece. There are no secret hidden areas or play features in this vignette, although you can aim the cannons vertically. They even included the little nook you can use as a shortcut to teleport to the top of the mountain where you fight King Bob-omb. Next up is Lethal Lava Land which is mistakenly named Lethal Lava Trouble in the description of the set. There is a fair amount of detail here as well even though part of the transforming mechanism takes up a lot of this space. The printed platform tiles and the Bowser sliding puzzle really add to the authenticity. This is also the only level with a physical representation of one of the power stars that Mario collects. Lastly, there is Cool, Cool Mountain. I don’t think it’s all that cool, though, since it looks a bit plain compared to the others. That’s not to say that it’s bad however! The designers managed to represent most of the level fairly faithfully. They included the log cabin at the foot of the mountain, the wooden bridge suspended over the abyss next to the cabin, the top and bottom halves of the snowman that Mario has to unite, and even the ropes of the ski lift. I just wish they would have included some face printing for the snowman, even if it’s just the mouth. On the back of the mountain, you can see the snow slide leading down from the small cabin at the top as well as the penguin and her baby that Mario has to return to her. Play Features The last few 18+ sets that I reviewed didn’t have many play features, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this set has more than expected! Of course, the main play feature is the transforming function. It is very simple and works as smooth as the block looks. To reveal the vignettes, instead of punching the block from below like Mario, you push down from the top. The vignettes flip up, and once they’re on top, you give Peach’s Castle a little push which will cause it to swing back, pushing down the side vignettes in the process, and that’s it. Pretty easy, although once the vignettes get to the top, it doesn’t stop, so you need to balance it a bit before you push it open. I wish they would have added a stopper so that they don’t turn too far. To fold them back in, you just pull the castle forward again, flip up the sides to hold the castle in place, and push the whole thing back. Both of these motions work so smoothly and flawlessly, it feels very satisfying to do, so you may find yourself transforming the block over and over. Every time it flips, the back panel of the block gets pushed open by the edges of the side vignettes and gets pulled closed again by the rubber bands inside. Brilliant. You can see it all working in the video below. Some of the vignettes have a hidden interior! The entire front section of Peach’s castle can be removed to reveal the entrance hall. It features the paintings that serve as portals to the three other levels in the set which is a nice touch, even though in the game those paintings weren’t actually in the entrance hall, but locked behind doors. In case you didn’t know, the story of Super Mario 64 is that Bowser trapped the inhabitants of the castle in paintings, so Mario has to jump into them, fight enemies like sentient bombs, and collect power stars to power the doors of the castle and free all the little mushroom people. The Mario world is weird, yo. You can also remove a chunk of the back of the Cool, Cool Mountain to reveal the ice slide inside the mountain that Mario slides down to win a race with a penguin so that he can get a power star from him. Again, Mario is weird. Lethal Lava Land has different play features. The volcano and its surrounding low-poly ring are built on top of a turntable, so they can spin like in the game. There is also the log that Mario has to roll to get to one of the power stars which is attached to a rail so that you can push it back and forth. The following animation shows the two features in action. There are a couple more features which were teased on the box, but the designers wanted these to be a surprise, so I will put them in spoilers too in case you want to discover them yourself. But that’s not all! Even though this set is a completely different scale, it works with the electronic LEGO Mario and Luigi figures. You can use one of them to go on a hunt for 10 power stars hidden around the set by scanning the barcode inside Peach’s Castle, then scanning certain parts of the vignettes. There are clues where to find each star at the beginning of the instructions booklet. Some of the hints are fairly obvious while others you need to be familiar with Super Mario 64 to get them. Unfortunately I don’t have either of these figures, so I can’t test it out for you, but I’ll let you figure it out for yourself. I’m not into the “regular” Mario sets, but it’s pretty cool that they make them compatible with other Mario sets like this to expand your play experience. Ratings Design: Great looking, accurate, and very unique design with lots of great detail in the vignettes. Build: Fun build with nice surprises that gets more and more intricate but ends on a bit of repetition. Playability: Transformation works great and all the vignettes have some kind of play feature, except the Bob-omb Battlefield. Figures: Nice minimalistic approach; most are recognizable, although some could have been better and had eyes. Parts: Lots of new/rare parts, everything is printed. Price: $170 for 2064 pieces is a pretty good deal, especially for a licensed set. Overall: Honestly, I am hard-pressed to find any faults in this set. It’s a fun build with lots of good parts and a great looking result that even has several play features. It’s a set unlike any other and makes for a nice piece of nostalgic gaming memorabilia as well as a detailed display piece. Like with the Diagon Alley set, it was a nice surprise to find features in the set that were not advertised. My only gripes with the set such as the figures or the bottom of the block are mostly just nitpicking. It may not be the minifig scale set everyone’s been asking for, but it's an unexpected and innovative set that we didn't even know we wanted which is even better, so I applaud the designers for that. If you’re a Super Mario fan, you will enjoy this set. If not, you will probably still enjoy the unique design. Thank you for reading and thanks to Lego for sending me this set to review. It will be available on October 1. What do you think of the set? Let me know in the comments and vote in the poll above. To conclude this review, I will leave you with some wise words from Batman: Some days you just can’t get rid of a Bob-omb.