Lego’s new 2650-piece brick-built Pac-Man arcade cab will drive you dotty
First, there was the Lego NES. Then we got a Lego Atari 2600. Now, an arcade legend is set to join Lego’s retrogaming line-up with the Lego Pac-Man Arcade Machine set.
This collaboration between Lego and Pac-Man owners Bandai Namco nets you a take on the famous yellow arcade cab. Although rather than attempting to mirror the NES and Atari Lego consoles and directly recreate a version of a stand-up arcade unit, the teams working on this kit went in a different direction.
Once built, you get something akin to a desktop unit, along with a slew of add-ons that attempt to channel the spirit of the original arcade machine. Purists might balk, but this does mean you end up with a 32cm high model that has an awful lot more character and interactivity than Lego could have provided on slavishly recreating a full-size arcade cab in brick form.
Lego Pac-Man ain’t afraid of no ghost
Primarily, in choosing this form factor, Lego has been able to make the screen far bigger than it otherwise would have been – and add a measure of interactivity. You of course still can’t play an actual game of Pac-Man on the Lego set. But in a nod to the Lego NES, there’s a crank handle, which provides a simulation of characters scooting about the maze.
Beyond that, there are brick-built takes on Pac-Man and ghosts Blinky and Clyde that can sit upon the cab, which rotate when the crank is used. Lego Pac-Man never gets to catch the ghosts, but perhaps everyone gets so dizzy that their ongoing dispute no-longer matters.
And the surprises don’t end there. Prod a button on the front and you light up the coin slot. Spin the cab around and you can remove its rear panel, to reveal the machine’s innards – and a vignette of a minifig playing a pint-sized Pac-Man arcade unit.
The Lego Pac-Man Arcade Machine set will be available on June 1st. You can order it now for $269.99/£229.99. Lego adds that fans near London might also want to head to the Leicester Square store on 10 and 11 June, where folks will be building gigantic Pac-Man and Lego ghost models. You’ll even get to take home a mini Lego retrogaming arcade, assuming Pac-Man hasn’t eaten them all. (Or while stocks last. Whichever.)