Making of the Lego Nintendo Entertainment System

Lego takes the 80s gaming nostalgia to the next level with this brick-based Nintendo Entertainment System. Right up until its release, my wife and I debated the merits of purchasing this set. As you can see, logic and reasoning won out.

Come along as Steff and I build the Lego NES!

Inside the box contained over 20 baggies of blocks holding over 2,600 pieces. This would easily be the largest Lego project Steff and I have ever taken on.

The box also contained two large manuals for its two major components: the NES and the TV. There’s some nice historical content within each, but we mostly spent our time flipping through the pages, working through hundreds of steps.

Between the two, the set recommends that you build the NES first. By virtue of how it was packed in the box, we started with the TV instead.

Here’s a peek at some of the mechanics underneath the TV. A series of gears are used to drive the moving screen.

Easily the coolest part of the project, you’re tasked with creating a looping track of world 1-1. Though we followed the instructions, one could get creative and design their own levels too!

Once fully-built, the level looks like this. You’ll then stand it up, hook the two ends together, and then connect it to the crank mechanism in the TV. Once it’s all put together, it looks like Mario is running and jumping through the world!

Alright, time to move onto the not-as-cool (but still cool) NES.

The NES doesn’t have as many moving parts, but there is some magic on the inside. Most notably, it has a cartridge slot that behaves very similarly to the one on the NES. The “springiness” of it doesn’t have the same feel, but it essentially functions in the same way, as the cartridge locks in when pressed down. Neat!

Two controller ports are present on its face, though you only get to build one controller. Nevertheless, it does attach and detach from the console itself without being locked in with the same grip as traditional Lego pieces.

At the rear and side of the console are all of the A/V ports one would expect.

There it is! Only the cartridge and controller remain.

Building the game cartridge was a piece of cake. However, you’ll want to make sure you place the stickers on right the first time. It would be a shame to mess this step up!

Though it would be great to keep the cartridge on display, odds are you’ll place it within the NES itself. No shame in that!

Here’s a peek at a work-in-progress controller. Note that the cable length is really short. Roughly a foot long, if not a bit less. It does detach from the console fairly easily, though its locked into the controller itself pretty tightly.

After about 10.5 hours, Steff and I completed the build! Though it’s cost-prohibitive for us to do many of these big builds (assuming we ever do one of this magnitude again). That being said, we had a blast building it, and are truly impressed with how well it replicates the classic experience. If you’ve got the money to spend  – and the patience to wait while it’s on back-order – we highly recommend it!

Last but not least, some glamour shots!

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4 thoughts on “Making of the Lego Nintendo Entertainment System

  1. Kariyanine September 1, 2020 / 9:48 PM

    It’s an awesome set. Great job on getting it together!

    • Jett September 1, 2020 / 10:02 PM

      Thanks! Do you happen to have the set too?

      • Kariyanine September 2, 2020 / 11:35 AM

        Not yet. I should have bought it when it first went on sale because now it’s been tough to find at a reasonable price. 😦

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