LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure review

LEGO Super Mario gets festive in 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure, which serves up one of the theme’s biggest surprises: a small set with fun features and few missed opportunities.

Releasing at the ideal time of the year for its contents, 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure is a surprisingly good LEGO Super Mario model, offering a fun playset and just enough compatibility with the app to satisfy almost every LEGO Super Mario enthusiast.

Calling back to classic games in the franchise while respecting modern moments, 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure is one LEGO Super Mario set that you shouldn’t miss out on.

— LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure set details —

Theme: LEGO Super Mario Set name: 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure Release: December 1, 2023

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Price: £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.99 Pieces: 228 Characters: 3

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— LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure build —

LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure‘s build is deceptively simple, but filled with more than we’d expect from an icy cave. The main section – the cave itself – has a pair of fish stored on the left for the penguin family to feed on. This adds an appreciated narrative opportunity to this section.

The shaping of the cave and its roof has been captured with larger elements but in an appealing fashion that makes the model enjoyable to build and big enough to add significant height to custom courses, at least at this price point.

The cave is home to the first action tag with an icon of the larger penguin. This feature is not currently working in the app at the time of writing, but it’s not hard to guess what it will do – greeting the big bird. Above, a second action tag is present for the smaller penguin, which is working and is suitably adorable.

A small snowy area is provided with a penguin snow sculpture in a smaller cave and a tree on top. This section isn’t going to sell anyone on the set but it’s nice to see what is essentially a smaller version of the main model captured with so few pieces, and a miniature penguin to boot.

The most interesting build in 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure by far is the combination ice rink and ramp, but only in one of the two modes. When used as a ramp, this feature is both parts fun and slightly unpredictable as Mario occasionally keels over at the end of the short journey.

This is done via the provided sledge, which annoyingly doesn’t use an action tag. This is the set’s only missed opportunity for an app feature that could have easily been borrowed from other motion-based play features, but it’s a big one. Despite this, it adds a level of risk to the LEGO Super Mario courses, similar to other models near this price point, and you earn a few coins from the motion alone.

Unfortunately, as an ice rink, the ramp is a lot less interesting and leaves the unsightly base structure to the side unused. The option of a secondary purpose for it is appreciated but it’s undoubtedly going to be spending the vast majority of the time as a ramp – and for good reason.

— LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure characters —

The characters are a highlight of 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure, with one exclusive figure that we’ve been waiting on for a long time. Ever since the debut of the Baby Penguin figure in 71402 Character Packs – Series 4, we’ve only needed the parent penguin to recreate a certain fan-favourite activity from Super Mario 64: dropping the smaller penguin off the level.

For better or for worse, this unique and morally dubious sequence is now ready to be remade in LEGO with the debut of the bigger penguin in 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure. The build is nothing spectacular but it looks great when next to the baby penguin, and its exclusivity to this set is good to see, considering its price of £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.99.

We’ve seen the smaller penguin before but for those who missed out on 71402 Character Packs – Series 4, 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure is your latest chance to pick it up.

The final character is a surprising inclusion, consisting of a normal Goomba – save for one small but mighty detail. This Goomba is dressed for the cold weather with a Santa hat, reminding us of the franchise’s relatively recent embrace of the festive season, now in LEGO form. The option to switch out the Goomba’s hat for the standard tile topper is great too, and this character also has the model’s third action tag.

— LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure price —

For £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.99, there’s not a lot to complain about with 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure. The exclusive character (and another with an exclusive hat), three action tags, fun physical play features and big build make this set one of the biggest surprises from LEGO Super Mario as of late.

— LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure pictures —

— LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure pros and cons —

We weren’t expecting a lot from 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure, but suffice to say that this set offers anything but the cold shoulder. With its focus on the physical build, a few action tags and the sledge (which still should have had a fourth action tag), the 2024 LEGO Super Mario model is just plain fun.

Add to that the exclusive characters (though one is just a Goomba in a Santa hat) and it’s a recipe for success. It’s going to be tough to say no to it for the generous price of £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.99 too, though those already invested in LEGO Super Mario will benefit the most from this build. Of course, anyone with fond memories of penguins and a cliff in Super Mario 64 already has every reason they need to pick up 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure.

71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure pros71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure cons
Exclusive characters Why no action tag on the sledge?
Substantial build that adds height to coursesThe ice rink leaves something to be desired
Great value for the price

This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

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— Alternatives to LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure —

The best alternative to 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure is the soon-to-retire 71415 Ice Mario Suit and Frozen World with another kind of penguin character, a Goomba, an ice rink and other snow-based features as well as the Power-Up suit. However, it’s worth noting the retired 71402 Character Packs – Series 4 was the debut of the Baby Penguin figure too, and we should mention 2024’s 71429 Nabbit at Toad’s Shop, which comes in at the same price but has far less exclusive content.

— LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Adventure FAQs —

How long does it take to build LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure?

It only took us 22 minutes to build 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure, but we spent just as much time immediately after playing with the model with the not-included Mario figure. Keep in mind that physical instructions are now included with LEGO Super Mario sets too.

How many pieces are in LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure?

There are 228 pieces in 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure, including some larger elements that help expand the size of the model drastically.

How big is LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure?

When in the same configuration as suggested in the instructions, LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure measures 9cm tall, 22cm wide and 12cm deep.

How much does LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Adventure cost?

You can pick up 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure on December 1, 2023 in the US or January 1, 2024 in the UK and Europe for £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.99.

Author Profile

Jack Yates
Jack Yates
LEGO has been a part of my life ever since I was young. It all started when my brother passed down 7657 AT-ST to me. It’s guided me through my early years, through school and eventually through my degree in journalism. I still have all my collection proudly on display, including my many NINJAGO sets, my favourite of all the LEGO Group’s themes. Outside of Brick Fanatics I am an avid gamer and enjoy a good game of Dungeons & Dragons.

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Jack Yates

LEGO has been a part of my life ever since I was young. It all started when my brother passed down 7657 AT-ST to me. It’s guided me through my early years, through school and eventually through my degree in journalism. I still have all my collection proudly on display, including my many NINJAGO sets, my favourite of all the LEGO Group’s themes. Outside of Brick Fanatics I am an avid gamer and enjoy a good game of Dungeons & Dragons.

One thought on “LEGO Super Mario 71430 Penguin Family Snow Adventure review

  • 29/11/2023 at 13:34
    Permalink

    With the way the sled(ge) has a tile on it, I would not be surprised if LEGO Mario/Luigi/Peach will react to it after scanning one of the other action tiles, with a similar activation method as the NES.

    Reply

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