Having seemingly exhausted 40 years worth of games starring a certain heroic plumber, Lego is now looking to draw inspiration from other adjacent Nintendo franchises for new sets to add to the Lego Super Mario collection, starting with Donkey Kong and all of his Kong kin.
Although the world was first introduced to both Mario (then known as Jumpman) and Donkey Kong in the 1981 arcade hit of the same name, it would be the plumber who would go on to become one of the most famous video game characters of all time. Donkey Kong was more or less forgotten after his initial arcade outing, until Rare—the game developer behind GoldenEye 007 for the N64—released the side-scrolling platformer, Donkey Kong Country, back in 1994.
The game breathed new life into the aging Super Nintendo with pre-rendered 3D graphics that looked like what gamers expected from next-generation consoles, not a 16-bit system, and it brought Donkey Kong, now sporting a flashy red tie, back into the spotlight as a hero instead of a villain. The character has since become a Nintendo mainstay, and this Summer, will be the latest addition to the Lego Super Mario collection.
Lego Donkey Kong’s Tree House Expansion Set
Donkey Kong is joined by the aging Cranky Kong—the primate equivalent of a boomer—in the 555-piece, $60, Donkey Kong’s Tree House Expansion Set which includes a buildable house and accessories like a TV, radio, conga drums, and a hammock. Unfortunately, unlike Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach, DK is strictly a brick-build creation, and doesn’t include the interactive sensors or an LCD display.
Lego Diddy Kong’s Mine Cart Ride Expansion Set
The largest addition to the Lego Super Mario collection is the 1,157-piece, $110, Diddy Kong’s Mine Cart Ride Expansion Set which includes buildable versions of both Diddy Kong and the impossibly cool Funky Kong, a short section of rideable mine cart track that can break apart, a Mole Miner, and a Snaggle shark.
Lego Dixie Kong’s Jungle Jam Expansion Set
Still struggling to get the DK Rap out of your head? The 174-piece, $27, Dixie Kong’s Jungle Jam Expansion Set might help get another earworm stuck in your head as the Lego Super Mario, Luigi, and Peach interactive figures can join Dixie Kong, and Squawks the parrot on a small stage and rock out.
Lego Rambi the Rhino Expansion Set
The smallest of the new Lego Super Mario sets is the 106-piece, $11, Rambi the Rhino Expansion Set which includes Donkey Kong’s main source of transportation in the jungle (besides vines): a rhinoceros that can plow through baddies and obstacles like a bulldozer.
All of the new Lego Super Mario Donkey Kong expansion sets will be available starting on August 1 from Lego’s website, as well as its brick and mortar stores around the world.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.
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