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The Lego NES Is the Coolest Lego Set of 2021

It's a fitting homage to one of the greatest consoles of all time.

Go ahead. Fight us. But the original Nintendo NES console is still the best Nintendo console. Yes, we may have the gloriously portable Nintendo Switch or the even more portable Switch Lite. We’re not here to deny you those pleasures. But the original Nintendo is the predecessor of today’s consoles, the OG, and the Lego Nintendo entertainment system pays fitting tribute to it. Not only is it a standout adult Lego set, which it absolutely is; the Lego NES is an equally engaging Lego set for kids.

A brief history lesson for those who forgot what came before the Xbox and the Sony Playstation. The original Nintendo Entertainment System was released in the ’80s and revitalized the video game industry; it had a slew of groundbreaking games still played today, including Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. Few inventions change the world of play. This one did.

And now, a whole new generation can get to know it thanks to Lego’s brilliant take on it. The best Lego set is one that keeps a kid (or adult) busy for a few hours. It’s both intricate and sophisticated, complex and fun. It’s something you want to display for posterity (OK, maybe a few months, but still). It’s something you brag about to your friends because dammit, you just put thousands of tiny bricks together to build something magical.

This 2,646-piece Lego set is a super-cool history lesson for gamers.

At 2,646 pieces, the Lego NES is something you take on when you have a weekend to spare, but it’s well designed, fun to put together, and contains hidden Easter eggs that Nintendo fans will love. When you’re done, you end up with a console that has a surprisingly functional spring-loaded mechanism; a Game Pak cartridge that fits inside; a controller with a connecting cable and plug; and a 1980s-style TV. The set is not life-size, but it is to scale and is substantial enough to be satisfying. 

In short, the thing looks uncannily real. When you’re done putting it together, you can put the buildable Game Pak cartridge into the console, as though you were playing a real game, and then can plug in and tap the buttons on the controller. The classic Super Mario Bros. game that’s on “screen” actually plays, in a sense, by manual scroll.

If you want to take it to the next level, you can spring for the Lego Super Mario Starter Course set, place Mario on top of the TV, and watch him react to what happens on screen. Seriously.

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