Home

 › 

Products

 › 

Reviews

 › 

The 5 Best Lego Mario Sets

game boy platformers

The 5 Best Lego Mario Sets

Key Points

  • Lego Mario sets include iconic characters like Mario, Donkey Kong, Peach, Luigi, and Bowser.
  • The LEGO Super Mario Nintendo Entertainment System set features a miniature NES console, controller, game cartridge, and a dynamic TV.
  • The Mighty Bowser set is a 2,807-piece statue with posable limbs and hidden features.
  • Mario Adventures Starter Course offers a unique building experience for kids with interactive games.
  • The Question Mark Block set pays homage to Super Mario 64 with hidden scenes and a foldable design.
  • Our choice for the #1 Best Overall Lego Mario set is the LEGO Super Mario Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • You can pick up a Lego Mario set at most big-box stores, and they make splendid gifts for kids and adults alike.
  • Lego Mario sets are not only fun to build and play with, but they also make impressive display pieces.
  • When shopping for a Lego Mario set, it is important to consider the age of the person you are buying it for and your budget. 

Mario is easily the most well-known video game character of all time, and Lego is now making sets based on him. But Lego’s sets aren’t limited to only the Italian plumber and are instead centered around many of Nintendo’s popular characters and franchises. Some others include Donkey Kong, Peach, Luigi, and even Bowser.

One of the great things about the Lego Mario series is that there is something for every type of Lego fan. From the toy sets that use the Mario Starter Courses to models like Bowser, there is a great variety. Additionally, the Mario Starter courses offer an affordable toy with plenty of room for expandability. But equally important is that there are Lego sets that span much of Nintendo’s long history.

So, after carefully analyzing all the current Lego Mario sets, here are the best ones you can get in 2023 below.

#1 Best Overall Lego Mario Set: LEGO Super Mario Nintendo Entertainment System

Best for Video Game Fans
LEGO Super Mario Nintendo Entertainment System
$319.99
  • Features interactive elements including handle-operating scrolling screen
  • Authentically detailed based on Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Combines with other LEGO Mario sets
  • Includes illustrated booklet on creation of NES console
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/04/2024 04:16 pm GMT

The best overall Lego Mario set is the LEGO Super Mario Nintendo Entertainment System. What makes this unique is that it isn’t one large build. Instead, it is two large builds that are actually split between two instruction manuals. The Nintendo Entertainment System is set number 71374 and comes with 2,646 pieces for an MSRP of $269.99.

With this set, you not only get a miniature version of the NES console, but you also get a controller, a Super Mario Bros. game cartridge, and a TV. What makes this set really stand out is how dynamic it is. Lego could have easily made this set like some of their other displays, but they instead added working elements to both the console and the TV.

The console is a faithful recreation, packing in all the buttons and inputs of the NES. Plus, the inside also captures the realism of the console’s internals that many never got to see. The green plates resemble the console’s PCB board, and it even has a working cartridge slot. You can lift the flap on the front and slide the game cartridge inside. Best of all, you can push the cartridge down to lock it in.

However, the TV packs in some of the coolest features of the set. This tube TV looks like it is right out of the 1980s, with working knobs and even an antenna. Further, turning the crank on the side will blow your mind as the screen changes to recreate the first level in Super Mario Bros. This is easily the best Lego Mario set to date, and you can pull off a plate on the top of the TV to reveal a barcode for the Mario Starter Course.

Check out the LEGO Super Mario Nintendo Entertainment System and see if it is the perfect fit for your collection.

Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Multiple unique builds, including moving partsIt is one of the more expensive Lego sets
Perfect set for fans of the original Super Mario Bros. gameYou only get one controller, even though there are two slots

#2 Best for Lego Statue Collectors: The Mighty Bowser

LEGO Collectors' Pick
LEGO Super Mario The Mighty Bowser 71411
$269.79
  • Includes a battle platform for Bowser
  • Features fully jointed limbs. Place Bowser in the perfect pose.
  • The battle platform includes an action area for use with the Super Mario LEGO Starter Courses (sold separately)
  • Size: 12.5 inches / 32cm
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/05/2024 04:09 am GMT

The best Mario set to display on your shelf is The Mighty Bowser. This massive 2,807-piece set is a beautiful statue of Mario’s iconic foe, Bowser. The set looks great from all sides, and you will certainly appreciate the attention to detail on his shell. But besides just the statue of Bowser, there is also a nice, albeit simple, platform for him to stand on.

Speaking of standing, Bowser is over twelve inches tall, making a pretty large Lego set considering both piece count and physical size. However, he also comes at a high price, as his MSRP is $269.99. Overall, the price per piece is not bad, but this build isn’t for the weak-hearted. Models like Bowser are very complicated and can often get confusing or repetitive.

Fortunately, Bowser has a nice variety of colors, revitalizing what would otherwise be a tedious project. There are also some hidden features in the Bowser build. For instance, he is posable, with his arms, hands, tail, jaw, and legs all being movable. Bowser’s head does lock in place, but you can also move it by pressing a hidden button in his shell.

Additionally, there is a POW block from the original Mario Bros. arcade game hidden under one of the posts on the base. Bowser also has a special ability, allowing him to shoot fire sticks from his mouth with another hidden button. There is also a hidden barcode in a slot in the front of the build that will interact with the Mario Starter Courses.

Check out the Mighty Bowser and see if it is the perfect fit for your collection.

Pros and Cons
ProsCons
A beautiful adaptation that includes lots of colorsThis is a very expensive model set
Bowser’s base adds a nice touch of detailOffers little in the way of play, with the exception of shooting fire

#3 Best for Kids: Mario Adventures Starter Course

Best Interactive
LEGO Super Mario Adventures Starter Course Set 71360
$47.99
  • Features LCD lights and classic Mario sounds
  • Compatible with all other Super Mario sets
  • Interactive opportunities with the downloadable app
  • Easy build instructions
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/04/2024 03:46 pm GMT

The best set for kids and builders of all ages has to be the Mario Adventures Starter Course. All the sets we’ve covered so far are designed for adults, and the reality is that Lego is for everyone. The Mario Starter Course offers a unique building experience that lets you create your own Mario level any way you want and then play through it.

The Mario Starter Course is set number 71360 and includes 231 pieces. But you don’t have to use all of those pieces in your course. The physical size of the set will vary depending on how you assemble it. To take full advantage of the Mario Adventure Starter Course, you will need a mobile phone or tablet to download the Lego Super Mario app onto.

Not only does the app contain assembly instructions, but it also has games that you can play. The included Mario figure connects to your device via Bluetooth in order to keep track of points. But you can also play without a mobile device. Once turned on, Mario has a barcode reader, which you will see as a bright light.

Mario can pick up the colored Lego tile underneath him and interact with it. For instance, standing on a red tile represents fire. The barcodes throughout also set off different interactive features. It is important to remember that the Starter Course is only a small piece of the Lego Super Mario sets. You can purchase expansion packs, or even other Starter Courses, including Peach and Luigi.

Check out the Super Mario Adventures Starter Course and see if it is the perfect fit for your collection.

Peach Kids LEGO Set
LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Peach Starter Course 71403
  • Includes interactive figures with color sensors and facial LCD screens
  • Features Action blocks
  • Integrates with LEGO's Super Mario app
  • Can connect with the Mario and Luigi figures from the Adventures series (sold separately)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Luigi Kids LEGO Set
LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Luigi Starter Course 71387
$47.00
  • Includes interactive figures with color sensors and LCD facial displays
  • App integration with LEGO's Super Mario App
  • Can be used with Mario and Peach from the Adventures series (sold separately)
  • Features several action blocks
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/05/2024 04:15 am GMT
Pros and Cons
ProsCons
One of the most affordable Lego Mario setsRequires a phone or tablet to take advantage of all features
Plenty of fun games to play when connected to a mobile deviceNot good for displaying, as it contains many disjointed pieces

#4 Best for Super Mario 64 Fans: Question Mark Block

A SUPER Good Time
LEGO Super Mario 64 Question Mark Block 71395
$217.99
  • 25th anniversary release
  • 10 microfigures included
  • Four micro levels
  • 2,064-piece LEGO set
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/05/2024 04:09 am GMT

Fans of the Nintendo 64 will adore the LEGO Super Mario Question Mark Block as it faithfully recreates one of the most iconic Mario games. Moreso, the yellow question mark blocks are a symbol of Mario games going back to the NES. Lego had the bright idea of taking this unique icon of Mario games and packing in some hidden scenes.

The Question Mark Block is set number 71395, and it comes with 2,064 pieces with an MSRP of $199. It is surprisingly large, measuring seven inches square. From the outside, the Question Mark Block looks like an impressive and stylish build. It uses flat tiles for the yellow but then incorporates raised studded plates for the question marks.

All five visible sides look identical, making it great to display, even when all sides are exposed. However, the magic really happens when you tap on the top of the block. Peach’s castle rises alongside three other levels from the game. All the scenes are on a very small scale, but they are still able to capture many details from each level.

In the castle courtyard, there is even a camera and a tiny Mario. On the right, you will see a recreation of Bob-omb Battlefield; the middle contains Lethal Lava Trouble; and on the Left is Cool Cool Mountain. On the back, you will find a hidden scene with Bowser that resembles Super Mario 64’s ultimate battle. There is even a barcode to scan with your Lego Mario figure.

Check out the LEGO Super Mario Question Mark Block and see if it is the perfect fit for your collection.

Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Pay homage to one of the best Mario games of all timeMicroscale scenes do not allow for much detail
Can be folded up as just a block, or you can leave it open to show off the four scenesA niche product that will only appeal to gamers who played Super Mario 64

#5 Best for Donkey Kong Fans: Donkey Kong’s Tree House

Donkey Kong Fan Favorite
LEGO Super Mario Donkey Kong’s Tree House Expansion Set 71424 Collectible
$53.90
  • Includes both Donkey Kong and Cranky Kong figures
  • Can be used with Mario, Peach, and Luigi LEGO figures (sold separately)
  • Instructions available on LEGO's App for Super Mario
  • Size: 7.5 x 18 x 6.5 inches (19 x 46 x 17 cm)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/05/2024 04:15 am GMT

The best Mario set for Donkey Kong fans has to be Donkey Kong’s Tree House. Many people forget that the Italian plumber’s first appearance was actually in the arcade game Donkey Kong. Since then, Mario became the face of Nintendo, but Donkey Kong also remains a popular character, and Lego finally decided to give him his own set.

Donkey Kong’s Tree House is one of the most unique Mario sets because it fits in with the other play sets, but it is only an expansion pack. Note that the set doesn’t come out until August 1, 2023, but you can pre-order it now. The Tree House is only 555 pieces, with an MSRP of $59.99. As with other Mario Adventure sets, there aren’t definable dimensions because you can modify it for your play style.

The set includes Donkey Kong and Cranky Kong, but it still relies on a Starter Course. One of the three Starter characters can then ride on Donkey Kong’s back. But the main selling point of this set is that it finally brings Donkey Kong into Lego form. Additionally, his tree house has some nice details that aren’t found in the other Mario Course sets.

Check out Donkey Kong’s Tree House and see if it is the perfect fit for your collection.

Pros and Cons
ProsCons
First Mario set to include Donkey KongRequires a Starter Course to use all the features
Great build even if you don’t have a Starter CourseHigh MSRP considering it is only an expansion set

How to Pick the Best Lego Mario Sets: Step by Step

When choosing a Lego Mario set, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. 

  • Age Range
  • Number of Pieces
  • Price
  • Retirement Date

Let’s review each of these criteria in more detail.

Age Range

If you are buying a Lego set for someone, then the first thing you should look at is the age range. This information is printed on the front of every Lego box. While it isn’t set in stone, it will help guide you in purchasing a set that is age appropriate. For instance, there are sets designed for young children which have larger pieces, while other sets are targeted toward older audiences and use small pieces.

Number of Pieces

The number of pieces is important for several reasons. First, it plays into the appropriate age range of the set. Second, it will help give you an idea of how long the set will take to put together. Everyone takes different amounts of time, but sets in the thousands of pieces will probably take a couple of days. Finally, the number of pieces can help establish a value based on the set’s price.

Price

How much you are willing to spend on a Lego set is a troublesome question that only you know the answer to. The reality is you can spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on these plastic toys. For many people, they are simply not worth the cost, especially considering that the expensive sets rarely go on sale. Most Lego collectors try to prioritize themes, while others will put a strong emphasis on the price per piece.

Retirement Date

Let’s face it, Lego sets are expensive, but they usually go up even higher in value once retired. Therefore, you will want to prioritize purchasing sets that will retire sooner. There is no set formula for when Lego retires their sets, and sometimes there isn’t much notice. But sets that have been out the longest are usually the first to retire. However, the expansion courses have typically only been staying on store shelves for one year.

What to Know Before Buying a Lego Mario Set

The most important thing you should know before buying a Lego Mario set is that certain sets, like the Starter Courses and their expansion packs, require a device to run the Lego Mario app. So, if you are looking for something to get your kids away from technology for a while, then you may want to skip those sets.

Unfortunately, the other Lego sets that don’t utilize technology are quite large. Therefore, your options for kids’ sets would be limited. Additionally, the Starter Course sets are only staying out for about one year from the time they release to their retirement. While the Starter Courses and their expansions are really popular, don’t overlook how great the other Lego Mario sets are.

Using a Lego Mario Set: What It’s Like

Lego Mario sets like the Nintendo Entertainment System, and The Mighty Bowser are pretty standard builds. But they do employ some unique building techniques that you won’t find in any other set. For instance, the simulated screen that you create by forming a loop of Lego bricks is truly one of a kind and is also very convincing.

The mechanic used by the Question Mark Block is also unique as it seems impossible that all four scenes can possibly fold into the block. Lego uses some pretty ingenious methods to make all the pieces come out as intended. Of course, building these sets is only half the fun. While these sets really aren’t designed for play, you will undoubtedly want to show everyone the cool motions these sets have.

If you are interested in something that is a little more fun to play with, then you will want to consider the Mario Starter Courses. Most of the fun with these sets doesn’t center around building a specific model but instead on creating your own course and then playing it. No matter what type of Lego Mario set you buy, you are sure to get lots of fun out of it!

Summary Table

Ranked Lego Mario SetPiecesMSRP
#1 LEGO Super Mario Nintendo Entertainment System2,646$269.99
#2 The Mighty Bowser2,807$269.99
#3 Mario Adventures Starter Course231N/A
#4 Question Mark Block2,064$199.00
#5 Donkey Kong’s Tree House555$59.99

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any Lego Mario minifigures?

Lego has released some Mario minifigures in their blind packs, but these mostly included ancillary characters and did not include core characters like Mario or Luigi.

Can you play with the Mario Starter Course without a mobile device?

The starter courses do not come with instructions, so you will need a mobile device for that. However, once set up, the characters do have limited functionality without using the Lego Mario app.

Can you change out the scenes in the Nintendo Entertainment System set?

Officially no, you only get enough pieces to create one scene based on the first level of Super Mario Bros. However, you could always rearrange the pieces to recreate your favorite level.

Does The Mighty Bowser Move?

Yes, there are hidden buttons on his back that let you control his head movements. Additionally, there is a trigger that opens Bowser’s mouth and when pulled all the way, makes him shoot a fireball.

Is Donkey Kong considered a Starter Course?

No, there are only three Starter Courses with Mario, Luigi, and Peach. While Donkey Kong does not have electronics inside him, he is proportional to Mario and the other characters used in the Starter Courses.

To top