Sometimes you just have to treat yourself. With so many terrible things going on in the world, I knew spending quality personal time away from my computer, phones, tablets, and the internet would be a healthy escape.
That’s why I have no regrets blowing $230 (more like $250 with tax) on the 2,646-piece Lego Nintendo Entertainment set. The gorgeous brick replica of Nintendo’s first home gaming console took almost 6.5 hours to complete and it was worth every penny.
Assembling the Lego NES brought me back to my childhood. A simpler time when games came on huge cartridges (and you probably blew on them even though that didn’t really do anything); graphics were bright, pixelated, and fuzzy (but lovable) on a CRT; and there was no internet to suck me down a rabbit hole or to help beat a level for that matter. Back then, it was just me and my toys. And I felt that unbridled joy again unboxing and building this set.
For over six hours, I hunched over a table, paging through 500+ pages of instructions split between two manuals, laying brick on top of brick until the boxy NES came to life. First, the dark gray bottom half. Then the internal spring mechanism for popping up the cartridge. And finally, the faithfully replicated composite ports (the red audio and video ports — remember those?) and controller ports.
You can watch a timelapse of me building the whole set below.
The controller was next and then the old-school mini CRT, complete with cabinet legs. Honestly, it was the best way to spend a Saturday and the cathartic destresser I needed. The amount of detail that Lego put into this set is truly stunning. The Lego set doesn't just look like Nintendo's console, it actually works. There are some parts that really annoyed me — the sections that required numerous repetition — but aside from those, the Lego NES is superb and easily the best toy I've seen come out this year. I really can't stop popping off the top of the TV set to look at the gears that make the Mario level spin.
I'll stop talking now because I know you're here for photos of the build process. So here you go!