Every since the LEGO® Super Mario theme was introduced we’ve been treated to a number of larger scale sets aimed at adult builders. These have included a LEGO recreation of the Nintendo Entertainment System, a large ‘?’ Block filled with Mario 64 scenes and most recently an imposing brick-built Mighty Bowser. This year’s offering may not be as big or intricate compared to those sets but it still offers something unique and new from the LEGO Mario theme. In fact, the set is inspired by another of Mario’s foes – the pipe-dwelling botanical beast – a Piranha Plant. I’ve managed to get my hands on the set earlier than expected so here’s a closer look at what could be one of the last few releases from the LEGO Super Mario theme.
Please note this set was not provided by the LEGO Group. I purchased it after finding it on sale early.
Set Name: Piranha Plant | Set Number: 71426 | Pieces: 540 | Theme: Super Mario
RRP: £57.99/$59.99/64.99€ | Number of Bags: Bags x 6 | Instructions: Paper booklet + Builder App | Stickers: N/A | Minifigures: N/A | Insiders QR: Yes
Availability: LEGO Stores, LEGO Online & LEGO retailers from November 6th
The Piranha Plant is one of Mario’s oldest enemies, first appearing in the original Super Mario Bros. game back in the mid-80s. The fearsome plant has been lurking in pipes, waiting to pop out ever since. Most recently, the Piranha Plants have a truly amazing role in Super Mario Bros. Wonder. The instruction booklet gives a brief outline of the Piranha Plants’ history and the set’s creation.
The set is built in three stages – the pipe pot, the stark and the head of the Piranha Plant. The pot is styled after the iconic warp pipes dotted around numerous Mario games. Its core hides a surprisingly busy arrangement of bricks, this is to provide not only an anchor for the Piranha Plant to stand in but also to house a feature in which a pair of 3×3 round tiles, printed to look like the coins collected by Mario. These can be dropped in the top of the pot and then there’s a 2×3 green tile which pops open a flap in the bottom of the pipe pot. It’s a fun feature, but I’d have much rather liked to have seen an Action Brick included somewhere in the set, as this is the first Super Mario set to lack one.
With the pot complete, the next section is the green stalk of the plant. This merely slots into the pot with no connection point. Despite just sitting in the 2×2 gap within the pot, it’s perfectly stable and the section it sits in can be slightly tilted to help pose the plant. The stalk is quite simple but also features a pair of leaves. These can also be angled in different ways to help bring the Piranha Plant to life.
Finally, it’s time to tackle the head section. This is not as complex as you would expect it to be. The small section which forms the inside area of the mouth is as complex as it gets, as this needs to feature the teeth, both domed sections of the head and be able to connect to the stalk.
The way the Piranha Plant’s bumper-like lips are done is very clever and they also look great plus they are perfectly scaled with the rest of the plant. The outer shell of the Piranha Plant’s head is created from a mix of dome panels and larger quarter domed sections, which include white spot print detail. The white print on the red surface is a little washed out but not as bad as I’ve seen in other sets or minifigures. The head is quite a weighty section, so you are a little limited by how you can pose it, but there is enough movement between both the head and the pot to show it off nicely.
The Piranha Plant might not be as big or complex as other non-expansion Mario sets but it’s still an impressive set. It would also have been nice if the set featured an Action Brick to provide some sort of continuation with previous sets. Despite that, it’s a great set which makes an impressive display piece either alongside other Mario sets or better still with some of the Botanical Collection sets. The LEGO Super Mario Piranha Plant set will be available from November 6th.