Lego Super Mario The Mighty Bowser review: Bonding building for you and a buddy

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MY Mighty Bowser from Super Mario will never shoot fireballs from his mouth.

His head turns satisfyingly when I push the secret panel, but an orange Lego fireball will not emerge.


The Bowser model is surprisingly complex.Credit: Lego

This is because after spending approximately 3 hours, assembling and disassembling the head, I never quite got the fiddly Lego mechanism to work. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

When the PR company reached out to me asking if I’d like to try my hands at the new Super Mario Lego set, I jumped at the chance to lay my hands on this luxury product.

While reviewing video games is my bread and butter, I’m no stranger to a construction kit. I even have nanoblock Pokéballs as the light switches in my bathroom.

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The box, roughly the size of my outstretched arms, arrived one gloomy Saturday morning and I immediately called my father over to help me construct it.

My dad is about as dadly as you can get. He’s a tinkerer, doing everything dad-wise in my house from plumbing my sink, to building me a wardrobe.

Despite being almost 70, if there’s a dad job to do in the house, my dad is the dad you want on your team.

I’d built an Eevee figure of not incomparable size last year, and gave my dad what I thought was a generous estimate of two hours.

I was hilariously wrong on this point; the whole kit took the two of us closer to 10 hours to build, but I was right about who I chose to construct it with.

My father and I get on exceedingly well, and much like IKEA furniture, I recommend a minimum of an exceedingly good relationship with someone in order to try and build this.

We bonded over the building, finding a seamless rhythm of me collecting and organising the parts next needed, and him putting it all together.

I would construct sub-pieces and hand them over to be attached to the main figure.

When my father was called home for his supper, I continued on alone, but it really wasn’t the same as building in a pair.

However, I did wake up late Sunday morning, to find my dad had broken into my house and begun construction on the shell alone, so perhaps he would disagree with me.

The body is filled with complex Lego mechanisms which move the various parts, and things are bound to be overlooked, requiring reassembly.

Despite its impressive size, standing at almost 30cm tall, The Mighty Bowser is still your standard Lego experience with a lot more steps.

You will still lose bits in the carpet, assemble it incorrectly, and have to scratch your head figuring out where it all went wrong.

The instruction manual is very clear, and sets out the whole thing over its 555 steps to completion, alongside a nice history of the Nintendo character at the start.

However, despite the hefty £230 price tag, there were still a couple of frustrations.

Rarely, the diagram would have a piece on it that was not included in the instructions and you had to figure it out for yourself.

One piece was missing from my kit, and unfortunately it was on Bowser’s nose for everyone to see. 

I fixed this with a nail file, some extra bits and double-sided tape, but ultimately it’s not a perfect match.

Some parts have to be fit together with ball joints or other pins, and sometimes it just didn’t fit.

One of these times was the aforementioned head. Another was the knees which I easily solved by removing some pieces that were continuously getting in the way, at no detriment to the overall model.

As for my head woes, the head is an incredibly complex piece, which fits together with a spinning wheel and a spring-loaded Lego that’s supposed to shoot out the fireball.

This was incredibly tricky to put together, with pieces continuously springing off, and once finished, I realised the spring-loaded block was in backwards.

I deconstructed the whole thing and started again in earnest. However, I soon realised why I had placed the thing in backwards in the first place.

It really did not fit the way it was supposed to, and as I tried to attach the head back on, bits would ping off into the cavity of the body never to be seen again.

These could be replaced with some of the extras, again without really affecting the overall look.

There is the distinct possibility that I am not very good at Lego, and that a person, much more delicate that I, could put it all together like Da Vinci placing brush strokes on the Mona Lisa.

When the head was finally back together, I opened Bowser’s gaping maw and placed the fireball in the slot, only for the head to explode under the pressure it placed on the spring.

I put it back together, and now my Bowser stands tall, just without the power to burst into flames. At least not the way Lego

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intended.Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.

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