...By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Lego has teased its latest collaboration with Nintendo’s Donkey Kong franchise on its official Twitter account.
The teaser images depict members of the Donkey Kong family in chunky plastic-brick form, similar to those of Mario, Luigi, and Bowser.
In a short clip that accompanies the tweet, viewers can catch a glimpse of the recognisable Kong family members: Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, Funky Kong, and Cranky Kong.
These figures are not minifigures but larger characters that can interact with various Lego sets from the Mushroom Kingdom, much like the Mario sets.
Previous releases have demonstrated that these new figures can be combined with other sets to create larger video game-style obstacle courses.
Unlike the Lego Mario figure, which has electronic features such as moving eyes and sound effects, the Donkey Kong figures are static models that activate a response when placed near their electronic counterparts.
Lego typically teases new products a few days before an official unveiling, so pricing and availability announcements are expected soon.
If these are full expansion sets, prices are expected to range from £40 to £115.
Targeting Gamers of All Ages
Although Lego’s Mario kits are primarily aimed at younger fans, there is evidence that the company is targeting gamers of a certain age, similar to its sets paying homage to the Nintendo Entertainment System and Atari 2600.
Recently, a blurry image of a possible Lego Pac-Man arcade cabinet surfaced with a rumored release date of June.
This suggests that Lego may be expanding its gaming-themed sets beyond Mario to include classic video game franchises that appeal to older gamers.
Analysis and Commentary
The collaboration between Lego and Nintendo’s Donkey Kong franchise is an exciting development for fans of both brands.
By introducing characters from the Donkey Kong universe, Lego can expand its range of playable characters and create more complex obstacle courses.
The chunky plastic-brick form of the characters is consistent with the Mario sets, indicating that they are designed to be used together.
The use of static models that activate a response when placed near their electronic counterparts is an interesting choice.
This feature allows for greater interactivity between the physical and digital worlds and makes the sets feel more like a video game.
It will be interesting to see how Lego incorporates this feature into the obstacle courses and how it will affect gameplay.
Lego’s decision to expand its gaming-themed sets beyond Mario to include classic video game franchises such as Pac-Man is a smart move.
It appeals to older gamers who have fond memories of these games and may be looking for a way to relive their childhood.
It also broadens the appeal of Lego sets beyond children and collectors to include gamers of all ages.
It will be fascinating to see what other gaming franchises Lego will collaborate with in the future.