What are the chances of a LEGO Super Mario movie theme?
As more information emerges on Illumination’s Super Mario movie, we’re speculating about the potential of an official LEGO tie-in.
One of 2023’s most highly-anticipated movies appears to star one of video games’ greatest stars. The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a lavish animated reimagining of the Super Mario franchise, with Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser and many more game characters appearing in it. The movie’s second trailer has recently appeared, greatly expanding the movie’s universe in the process.
As such, there’s clear potential for some LEGO sets to accompany the movie’s release. But with that release getting ever closer, how likely is it that such sets will emerge?
Right off the bat, there’s clear precedent for a Mario movie theme – as the LEGO Group has created several product ranges inspired by animated movie releases. The Angry Birds Movie, Trolls World Tour and Minions: The Rise of Gru all earned small but respectable LEGO product ranges, and introduced bold new character designs in the process. LEGO Angry Birds sets included brand new character moulds, for instance, while LEGO Trolls sets riffed on the standard minifigure design with new head and hair elements.
As such, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that a LEGO Mario Movie theme is on the cards. While most characters in such a theme would probably be minifigures (to the approval of LEGO fans), characters like Donkey Kong and Bowser – that don’t quite fit the minifigure template – might receive new character moulds to better capture their appearance.
The movie itself also offers plenty of subject matter for LEGO sets. Looking purely at the new trailer we’ve got the showdown between Mario and Donkey Kong, Peach’s castle, Bowser’s Koopa army and even Mario’s go-kart to recreate in LEGO form. In essence, the movie itself presents few barriers to being recreated in a LEGO set.
The key barrier here is – naturally – the LEGO Super Mario theme we’ve already got. LEGO Super Mario dramatically shook up our idea of what a LEGO theme could do, but it’s proven very popular over the last few years. The theme’s expansion has allowed us to play as Mario, Luigi and Peach, and recreate levels from across the Super Mario franchise. It’s even dabbled in spinoffs like Luigi’s Mansion, suggesting the theme is both versatile and resilient.
As such, the LEGO Group might feel that the existing LEGO Super Mario theme scratches moviegoers’ itch for LEGO Mario products. Many of the movie’s characters are (or have been) available in LEGO form via the theme, arguably making a dedicated movie range redundant in the process. That would mean we wouldn’t get any official Mario minifigures – a particular draw for older LEGO customers – but that seems to be a compromise the LEGO Group is willing to make.
That said, it is possible for radically different takes on an IP to coexist in LEGO form. An example of this idea is the LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme, which ran from 2012 to 2014. While most of these sets took their cues from the CGI animated series running at the time, a few took inspiration from Jonathan Liebesman’s live-action movie – which offered a very different take on the heroes in a half-shell. Each iteration of the turtles received bespoke head and shell elements, suggesting the LEGO Group is willing to diversify in the name of accuracy.
As such, there’s strong arguments for both the existence and nonexistence of a LEGO Mario Movie product collection. But with the movie debuting in April 2023, we probably don’t have to wait long to find out either way. In the meantime you can check out the LEGO Super Mario range on LEGO.com – or learn about 2023’s upcoming LEGO Super Mario releases instead.
(Header image: Universal Pictures Canada)
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