It’s now official, and irrefutable: Lego is now not only for kids. This has all the time been the case, after all, however lately the corporate itself has began to embrace this reality. First there was ‘Creator Knowledgeable’, a line of bigger, extra sophisticated and costly units. Then got here adult-driven packaging, signaled by smooth black packing containers and a advertising marketing campaign that gleefully declares ‘Adults Welcome’. Like lots of the most effective youngsters’ toys, Lego is for youths first – however is completely good for adults, too.
The Lego Group’s newest foray into the world of units aimed toward these hurtling in the direction of their center age at alarming velocity is about 10306, the Atari 2600. That is precisely what you assume it’s – an nearly however not fairly real-life scale mannequin of one of the important consoles in gaming historical past, relationship all the best way again to 1982.
Reality be informed, the 2600 is sort of a bit earlier than my time (my first console was a Mega Drive), however I’m however positively squarely on this set’s audience: a online game nerd who additionally loves and collects complex-scale Lego, with an appreciation for the artistry of the older online game consoles. I imply, the machine has a wooden grain end, for goodness sake. You simply don’t get that any extra.
As a constructing undertaking, Lego’s 2600 is a splendid little expertise. Weighing in at $239.99 / £209.99 for 2532 items, it’s a big set, and the form of undertaking that’ll take you a short while to get via. I do assume the worth is on the costly facet for what the core of the set is – however I’ll come again to that in a second.
First off, although, what concerning the bulk of the set? The 2600 console itself is wonderful, as is the intelligent brick-built joystick controller. There’s some neat constructing methods used all through, and an excellent mixture of orange and brown bricks helps to create the long-lasting wooden grain on the entrance of the console. Logos and iconography on the console are dealt with completely with prints – no stickers in sight on the console itself. This can be a main win.
There’s pretty, clicky switches for issues like the sport choose and on/off switches, which makes the completed mannequin really feel a bit of tactile. Just like the Lego Nintendo Leisure System, the Atari can even take brick-built sport cartridges, which slot in simply as with the actual factor. This can be a mannequin at the start, however there’s a playable factor to it I admire.
Hidden just below the hood of the 2600’s physique is a cute little easter egg. Pull the principle physique of the machine in the direction of you and up flips a tiny Nineteen Eighties diorama – a period-appropriate front room. There’s a wired phone, a 2600 and CRT TV operating Asteroids, a poster referencing Indiana Jones by way of long-retired traditional Lego line Adventurers, a VHS tape, growth field, and a Lego minifigure who lives there. It’s a cute addition, and drives residence the purpose of the set: hardcore 80s nostalgia.
It’s nice. My slight reservations about value are unrelated to the principle console, however extra to the extras. Along with the console and joystick, the Lego Atari set consists of three sport cartridges and a mini shelf to retailer them in. As well as, every cartridge builds out to a diorama for every sport – so the Asteroids cart can function a separate construct of a spaceship and exploding area rocks, for example. The cartridge artwork is achieved by way of stickers, as on the NES.
These facet builds really really feel a bit of superfluous, and that is the place the set loses me only a contact. Inside baseball for a second right here – the best way Lego units are designed is the idea will get signed off first, earlier than a design, and that features a value bracket. In honesty, that feels prefer it’s the perpetrator right here: the designer was given a finances and closing retail value for the Atari 2600, however after constructing out the console and controller design got here in beneath finances. So dioramas and cartridge instances get added to buff out the fee to match as much as the deliberate retail value – however these components finally really feel tacked-on.
With the Lego NES, the massive CRT TV that got here with it made sense as a part of the set and felt like a rewarding construct and show piece in itself – much less so with these cartridges and particularly so with the cart storage tower – which is predicated off an actual Atari product but in addition feels utterly superfluous.
With that mentioned, it’s troublesome to argue an excessive amount of towards the worth of this set. As soon as constructed, it’s a powerful, nostalgia-stoking construct – and the form of factor you’d be proud to have displayed.
That’s grownup Lego at its greatest – an interesting, brain-teasing construct, and a mannequin value displaying on the finish. At this, the Atari 2600 is completely sufficient. It joins the NES as a beautiful show piece for retro players. With Nintendo and Atari performed, there’s just one factor for it – it’s time for a Sega console. After which a PS1. Are you listening, Lego?