Just in time for Mario Day, Lego has unveiled a new expansion set for its lineup of Super Mario starter sets. This is a 1,321-piece kit themed after Dry Bowser’s Castle, and it’ll be available through Lego for $109.99 with an August 1 release date. Some of the unique elements of this particular expansion set (other than Dry Bowser) include an imprisoned purple Toadstool, a fiery Marmaargh creature, and a Bone Goomba.
It’s designed to be used with other parts from existing Lego Super Mario sets, however it doesn’t come with a Lego Mario, Luigi, or Peach, any of which are necessary to play with some of the interactive elements of the set. You’ll also need one of their respective starter kits.
While you wait for release day, you can start collecting Lego Super Mario pieces to get the most out of the new set. Currently, purchases made on qualifying Super Mario-themed products through the Lego store earn double VIP points through March 12. Lego VIP members get early access to limited-edition Lego sets, exclusive discounts, and can earn VIP points, which can be redeemed for discounts and exclusive Lego sets. Becoming a Lego VIP member is free, and can capable of paying dividends if you invest heavily in Lego. For instance, the Lego Lord of the Rings: Rivendell set was available to VIP members to pre-order three days before it opened to the general public.
But first, an explanation on how these kits work.
How do Lego Super Mario sets work?
Lego’s Super Mario play sets blend the customizability of Lego and combine it with some clever tech. Mario, Luigi, and Peach figures contain a code reader, an accelerometer to detect movement, a small screen, and a speaker. When they interact with a code (by stomping on Goombas, going into big, green pipes — you know, Mario stuff), you’ll be treated to familiar sights and sounds from the Mario universe. You end up with an engaging build-and-play experience that feels like a little like a real-life version of the Super Mario Maker game.
While you can tinker with each set to build unique courses, certain elements of each course require you to follow specific instructions through the Lego Super Mario app. The app also allows you to share your particular course with others and see what others have made as well.
If you’re still a little confused about how Lego Super Mario works, check out our overview of the starter set and see Nintendo’s official video below.
Lego Super Mario starter sets and expansions
If you’re looking to dive into the world of Lego Super Mario, there are already several starter sets that include everything you need to get the most out of the upcoming Dry Bowser Castle set.
If you’re in the market for less interactive (but still cool) versions of your favorite characters from the Mushroom Kingdom, Lego also offers a 2,807-piece model of Bowser for $269.99. The Mighty Bowser set is almost a foot tall when assembled, is poseable, and can even shoot fireballs from his mouth (no, really!).
There’s also a pretty cool diorama-style Question Mark Block for $199.99. The Question Mark Block is 2,064 individual pieces, and the set cleverly flips open to reveal several miniature replicas of environments from Super Mario 64.