The trend of brick-built retro gaming continues on June 1st with the release of the LEGO®️ Icons PAC-MAN (10323) Arcade Set. The LEGO®️ Group is partnering with Bandai Namco to recreate the classic machine that took the arcade world by storm. Today’s release date also marks the 43rd anniversary of the game’s reveal – May 22nd, 1980. The classic arcade is not something you find too regularly these days. But like most pop culture, the nostalgia for all that retro goodness is strong and well, pretty lucrative. It’s no exception with The LEGO®️ Group. This is the third such retro game set to date following the Nintendo Entertainment System (71374) in 2020 and the Atari 2600 (10306) in 2022. From the official press release:
After 40 years of being a part of pop culture worldwide through games, TV shows, music and more, the LEGO Group has collaborated with Bandai Namco to bring the 80s classic back in brick form. This collaboration led to the unique discovery that PAC-MAN’s famous yellow colour was inspired by the LEGO Group’s signature colour.
- SET #: 10323
- THEME: ICONS
- COST: $349.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 2650
- MINIFIGURES: 1
- VIP RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2023
- GENERAL RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2023
- COST/BRICK: $0.13 (good value)
- DIMENSIONS: 32 cm tall x 25 cm wide x 17 cm deep
The Land of Fruit and Ghosts
I’m not 100% sure on this, but I don’t think I have ever played PAC-MAN in an arcade. Growing up I went to my share of arcades. The late 80’s and early 90’s were still thick with them at my local malls. But even if you have never played it, you know of it – it is such an iconic bit of gaming and pop culture. This latest set looks great – there is no mistaking it for anything else. That brilliant (and apparently inspiring) yellow colour is bold and awesome. I particularly love the video screen with it’s iconic maze pattern created with printed tiles. Blue borders make for a the perfect 8-bit details and I think many a MOC maker will love to get their hands on those tiles. From the official press release:
“A cultural icon for the past 40 years, it was a delight to bring PAC-MAN to brick life. We are always looking for new and exciting ways to bring classic gaming experiences to life. Our team of talented designers worked tirelessly to capture the essence of the beloved PAC-MAN arcade machine in brick form, from PAC-MAN himself to the colourful, maze-like environment he inhabits. Every detail was carefully considered and crafted, resulting in a one-of-a-kind LEGO creation that captures the magic of the original game while adding a playful new twist and a couple of Easter eggs – in true video game style.Sven Franic, LEGO Designer
Like the prior gaming sets, PAC-MAN features interactive elements and easter eggs. The back panel opens up to reveal a smaller vignette of a female minifigure playing PAC-MAN on an arcade. In addition to that you can position larger brick-built versions of PAC-MAN and the ghosts Blinky and Clyde on the top of the cabinet where they can rotate. Did you know the ghosts had names?? Wild. The screen also recreates some of the classic munching play. Best of all (I think) is the inclusion of a light brick to illuminate the coin slot. Tiny icons on the 1×1 round tiles look pretty adorable too – perfect for adding some pizazz to a DOTS bracelet.
The PAC-MAN arcade machine is pretty dope. I’m a big fan of nostalgic brick-building despite not having purchased the NES or Atari. But I do appreciate the great design and features in this set. Pricing is of course, still the biggest hurdle. Although it feels steep given the piece count, it is still at a fairly decent cost/brick (comparatively). The press release provides a few bits of PAC-MAN trivia that needs sharing:
- The character shape is based on a pizza with a slice missing.
- The game was released in Japan on June 29, 1980 – before being made available in the rest of the world.
- Buckner & Garcia released the hit single “PAC-MAN Fever”
,which went as high as 9th place on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in March 1982.
- In 1993, Billy Mitchell of Florida became the first person to ever achieve the game’s perfect score of 3,333,360 points. In order to achieve a perfect score, the player would have to clear all 256 stages without a single miss, and consume all PAC-DOTs, fruits, and ghosts (consume 4 ghosts with each POWER PELLET).
- In recognition of PAC-MAN’s 1980 release, where it installed 293,822 arcade units within 7 years, the Guinness World Records acknowledged the game as the “Most Successful Coin-Operated Game” in the world.
Now what do yo all think? Are you or were you big arcade goers? Did you play the original arcade game? Do you have the other retro gaming console sets? Have you ever eaten a ghost in self-defense? Comment below and let us know all your thoughts. Thanks as always for reading and until next time, keep on brickin’. 🧱
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