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LEGO Super Mario Bowser's Castle Boss Battle build & review

LEGO Super Mario Bowser's Castle Boss Battle build & review

I recently sat down over the last weekend and built the LEGO Super Mario Bowser's Castle Boss Battle set.

JohnnyChugs

So, during the pandemic, LEGO Super Mario came out, right? I picked up the Starter Set and a few more because I was stuck at home, have always enjoyed the idea of LEGOs, and had plenty of time on my hands. The Bowser's Castle Boss Battle set actually came out a while back, but it was easily the biggest of the bunch by far at the time (1010 pieces - the Starter Set is 238). I just kind of sat on it for a while because I didn't have the space to build it. Now, recently, I do, so I did. As a major Bowser fan, I'd like to share what I built and how it compares to the rest of my LEGO Mario experience so far.

The Set

The Bowser Castle set contains the following: An entrance pedestal, front castle wall setup with turrets, a little fireball Podoboo character and platform setup, a tower and seesaw platform obstacle with a Dry Bones character, a tower and spinning mechanism obstacle with a Boo character, a bridge with various moving mechanisms and item boxes, a giant mecha Bowser with several moving parts and swinging arms, and a buildable big, bad Bowser himself.

The set came in an arrangement of 11 packages containing either entire sections or parts of the props listed above. I built it over the course of about 7-8 hours with instructions from the mobile LEGO Super Mario app, but I was also pretty casual and took my time with it. One thing I will say, there are only a handful of pieces with replacements or extra, so you'd do well to keep track of anything lest you lose a piece you need for any part of the build.

The build

I really liked the progression of this set. It has you build from the very outside starting pedestal, to the castle walls, to the tower obstacles, to the bridge and base for the Mecha Bowser, to the Mecha Bowser itself, and finally Bowser. If you go by the numbers, it always feels like you're building the next coolest thing in the set.

There's one surprising exception. The altogether greatest highlight of this build was not Bowser, though building him was fun. It was the Mecha Bowser. Seriously, it was like building a Gundam, only it's a giant Bowser, and you build a lot of mechanisms that form the foundation of this part. When you finally put the Mecha Bowser components together and get to see where things are headed, it's a great feeling of realization. The arms swing up and down and actually affect the bridge below. The only thing I felt missing was I wish the Mecha Bowser's mouth articulated like roars or something.

Bowser himself is great, but just a little disappointing to me. His shell, head, and feet are fun to build and his arms articulate for some posing, but he has no midsection. Bowser is a bulky fella from head to toe. I think they could have given LEGO Bowser more of a belly. The hands are also kind of disappointing. He has a white knuckle piece on each hand that is just rounded out and hollow instead of claws. Meh. He has sharp pointies for his feet claws. They should have given him similar claw pieces for his hands. Still, he's a pretty good build otherwise and a great opposite build to the LEGO Mario figure.

Set creativity and cohesion

There are things about this set that are both the best of the LEGO Super Mario series and go against its core philosophy. LEGO Super Mario is like Super Mario Maker. Most of the sets have been props and obstacles that can be arranged and mixed into your existing LEGO Mario sets to build your unique LEGO levels. The Bowser's Castle Boss Battle set feels more like a self-contained set piece or a supermassive prop. It all fits together to form a very thought-out environment in a way the other sets don't.

It's not that I don't think that certain props of the Bowser's Castle set couldn't be mixed into the other LEGO Mario sets. You can easily put the turret, wall, and tower obstacles with your other level building if you wanted. The bridge and Mecha Bowser is one solid piece though. You can't break that apart and I don't think you'd want to. Still as a whole, I think it's the flashiest set I've build from the LEGO Mario Series so far and it will now be lurking prominently in the background with the rest of my knickknacks during streams.

Cool castle, super rad Mecha Bowser, and a pretty okay LEGO Bowser... all-in-all, a pretty satisfying build. This set runs $99.99 from the LEGO store and doesn't include Mario or Luigi. You'll need them from their respective Starter sets to do interactive LEGO Mario stuff.

Pros

More than 3x the pieces of the LEGO Mario Starter kit

Very cool props

7-10 hour build time

A hugely cohesive setpiece

Mecha Bowser is a blast to build

A fantastically modular shelf knickknack for fans

Cons

$100 on top of LEGO Mario Starter Set

Very few spare pieces

Bowser himself is a slightly disappointing bulid

Less mix-and-match props than other LEGO Mario sets

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 19, 2021 9:00 PM

    I built the LEGO Super Mario Bowser Castle. Here's my review.

    Read more: LEGO Super Mario Bowser's Castle Boss Battle build & review

    • reply
      August 19, 2021 10:37 PM

      Very cool Johnny

      I watched my sons put together Venom and Carnage heads.

    • reply
      August 19, 2021 10:56 PM

      That set looks like a blast. We have some of the Mario sets but not that one. It’s not bad mixing em up and making different courses.

      My favorite sets the kids have built are probably mechs. Hulk Buster Armour, The Mechs from the Ninjago Movie, I just love giant robot things. But they have tons of cool different sets. Lego up to my neck over here.

      • reply
        August 20, 2021 1:10 AM

        I dabbled a lot when I was way younger, but never got anything all that complex. These LEGO Super Mario sets finally got me to revisit the hobby because the interactivity just looked like a blast when I was cooped up last year.

    • reply
      August 20, 2021 6:53 AM

      This looks dope. I was never much of a Lego guy, but if they drop a Pokemon collection in a similar style to this, that may change lol

    • reply
      August 20, 2021 7:20 AM

      7-10hrs? I built this for my kid in a few. The bowser is annoying because he breaks apart so easily. Sometimes the bridge shaking thing doesn't work super well but I agree the castle is usually pretty solid. The 2 middle towers on either side are kinda in pointless positions. No reason yo go to both of them in a level. Maybe put the exit off one? Nice to have I guess.

      • reply
        August 20, 2021 10:50 AM

        My times are pretty fluid. I was pretty casual about the whole thing, but it took me two lengthy evenings to do it all.

        Agreed on Bowser though. When I tried to snap his shell on, I bopped his head off and had to redo some internal pieces.

        As for the towers, yeah, I think it makes for a more cohesive "castle look" but it's not really a level design setup by default.

    • reply
      August 20, 2021 8:37 AM

      I bought the whole series 3 set for the kiddo and we will dole it out for holidays and special occasions throughout the year. Love lego Mario. We’ve built them all except for Monty Mole which we will never get (too rare).

      I agree about Bowser. His shell comes off too easily and he’s fairly brittle.

      My son’s new goal is to get 999 coins on a course he builds. Lol.

      • reply
        August 20, 2021 10:51 AM

        If your kiddo ever manages to make a level in which he can gather 999 coins, I'd love to see an upload of that layout. Sounds extremely ambitious!

    • reply
      August 20, 2021 8:59 AM

      My boss bought my kid the 6k piece harry potter castle.
      http://chattypics.com/files/shackbrowseUpload_6q22swz579.jpg
      http://chattypics.com/files/shackbrowseUpload_t4epaa2ytj.jpg

      It's coming along! Things gonna be massive, lots left to go

      • reply
        August 20, 2021 10:52 AM

        Oh dang! The internals on that tower setup look really cool.

    • reply
      August 20, 2021 6:29 PM

      Nice Review TJ!

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