The iconic tool of the Luigi’s Mansion series, the Poltergust 3000, is only included in one of the three LEGO Super Mario 2022 sets based on the spin-off video games, meaning that there is essentially a second starter set needed to get going with LEGO Luigi’s Mansion.
Considering the main and additional contents of 71397 Luigi’s Mansion Lab and Poltergust, is there enough to justify the potential extra cost, or is this second starter set not as essential as it seems?
— Set details —
Price: £21.99 / $29.99 / €24.99 Pieces: 179 Minifigures: 0
— Build —
Before delving into the Poltergust 3000, there are plenty of other notable components to the smallest LEGO Luigi’s Mansion model to explore. These play into the lab portion of the set’s name, from tools to devices.
The inclusion of hand-held accessories marks a first for the theme, and allows extra opportunities for display and play with the included characters, rather than having them as simply static objects to feature in your courses.
The first of these is a shelf with two containers of liquids from the wider Super Mario world. The water and poison can be scanned using LEGO Luigi, acting as an experiment befitting of this lab set. The other device includes two levers, only one of which needs to be moved to access the hidden coin scanning point inside it, adding another interactive element to use.
The meat of the content in 71397 Luigi’s Mansion Lab and Poltergust comes in the form of the iconic tool wielded by Luigi throughout the series. The Poltergust is represented in bricks using two new pieces, including a brand new pair of overalls with a built-in button. The design of the vacuum cleaner is captured excellently thanks to the wheels and specialised elements, and an extra light attachment is even included on the display stand.
The button on the pocket of the overalls is nothing short of genius from the LEGO Super Mario design team, and adds an extra layer of gameplay by pushing the metallic pins in the figure that allow it to recognise different costumes. You’ll know that the Poltergust has been activated by a swirling display on the central screen, but be quick as it doesn’t stay on for long. One strategy might be to continue mashing the button until the ghoul is defeated.
Once it’s activated, Luigi or Mario can scan the ghosts and collect the coins. Attempting to capture their foes without using the tool very briefly stuns them, but that might take you a moment to figure out, as the instructions don’t make it immediately clear that the button needs to be pressed to tackle ghosts.
We can only imagine the possibilities that this element could bring for LEGO Super Mario, with another spin-off game in the franchise including a similar back attachment. That’s only speculation, though it speaks to the creativity of the brick-built Poltergust.
— Characters —
One ghost is included in 71397 Luigi’s Mansion Lab and Poltergust, sporting a yellow design with a cheeky grin. The generic design is named as a gold ghost, the first one that Luigi ever meets in the series and befitting of the ideal introductory set to the subtheme.
Having an extra ghoul to capture with the featured Poltergust is appreciated, and the gameplay to do so involves activating the tool via the pocket button before scanning their code to capture them after a few hits. This makes the LEGO Super Mario gameplay feel more involved than just scanning an enemy and moving on.
The other included character is Professor E. Gadd, who invents the Poltergust and is deserving of his place in this set. The LEGO designers have recreated the character even down to the wisp of white hair atop his head, which is recreated in the same style as the Toads in the main LEGO Super Mario sets.
These two exclusive characters help add to the appeal of 71397 Luigi’s Mansion Lab and Poltergust and will assist you in completing the main cast of Luigi’s Mansion in brick-built form. To finish Luigi’s allies, you might also consider 71399 Luigi’s Mansion Entryway for Polterpup.
— Price —
The value on offer in 71397 Luigi’s Mansion Lab and Poltergust varies between regions, with the UK and European online store listing the set with a cost of £21.99 / €24.99. At that price, the additional gameplay starter course for Luigi’s Mansion presents a decent amount of content, but is not exactly essential to the LEGO Luigi’s Mansion experience.
In the US, the set is priced at $29.99, with such a high cost compared to other regions being simply too high to justify the contents – especially considering that no electronic components are included. You may be able to find the value in the digital gameplay experience provided by the LEGO Poltergust, but for the US, the 179 physical elements of this model are arguably not worth full price. Best wait for a sale.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
71397 Luigi’s Mansion Lab and Poltergust is a great, but not essential, add-on to the LEGO Super Mario and Luigi’s Mansion experiences – at least at the time of writing. With only a few enemies to capture with the Poltergust in the three currently-available sets, this set is only ideal to those in the UK and Europe who plan to get at least one other LEGO Luigi’s Mansion model.
Anyone in the US will want to wait for a discount to get their hands on 71397 Luigi’s Mansion Lab and Poltergust, as the high price is not quite reflective of the gameplay that it provides. The quality of the overall digital experience is solid, however, with an extra layer of interactivity added to LEGO Mario or Luigi thanks to the new button on the Poltergust.
For those familiar with the spin-off series of games, 71397 Luigi’s Mansion Lab and Poltergust includes plenty of references and iconic characters to be worth a place in your collection. Even those new to Luigi’s Mansion may find something to enjoy here, but only if you place enough value on the added gameplay element the Poltergust provides to outweigh the asking price in your region.
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.