An AFOL. I love talking about, creating and playing with LEGO bricks.
Today we will be taking a closer look at the Tanooki Mario Power-Up Pack set number 71385. This set came out in 2021, has 13 pieces, and was designed for people 6 and up.
The Tanooki suit was first introduced in Super Mario Brothers 3. The suit is very similar to the Racoon suit that lets players tail whip an enemy instead of jumping on them and uses the tail to slowly fall to the ground. Unlike the Racoon suit, the Tanooki suit was uncommon and had the ability to have players turn to a statue so you could hide from enemies. There were even some power-ups that allowed flight. The costume is based on the tanukis. In Japanese mythology, this creature could use leaves to shape-shift and loved to cause chaos.
These Power-Up Packs do not come with the Mario, but are useless without the interactive LEGO Mario Character. So, this review will assume you have the character or are planning to get the character and this Power-Up Pack at the same time.
The ability to fly through the air and turn into a statue are left to the builder's imagination. For the digital LEGO game, it’s all about the tail whip. By twisting this character around or rapidly tilting him from side to side you can accumulate A LOT of coins. If you’re in need of in game coins, you will want to get this power-up pack.
The physical Tanooki suit looks great. For most people, the Racoon and Tanooki Mario are the same. However, Racoon Mario has his usual plumber clothes on but a raccoon tail sticking out the back and ears on his standard hat. Tanooki Mario is in a full animal costume, with none of his regular outfit showing. The dark brown overalls have a light brown half circle on the belly area. This offers some nice contracts to the front. The back has the striped tail used to wack enemies or fly though the sky printed on. The hat piece is the same one used for the Cat Mario Power-Up Pack that came out the previous year. This time its in shades of brown, instead of yellow. Since the costume is the same color as Mario’s hair, it appears that the costume fits over Mario like a hood. This is a better representation of the video game, than if it were just a hat. This was probably more of a lucky coincidence than planned design by LEGO. When the tanooki suit is put on, a leaf appears on the display screen. This is a nice reference to the item collected to give Mario these powers in the game.
The stand is very basic. This is my personal belief, but these stands seem like LEGO is just throwing a few extra pieces into a set so people don’t feel as bad about spending 10 dollars. I’m sure most of the cost is in producing these large unique pieces to interact with the digital Mario…and licensing fees. But even at 13 pieces, you’re still spending a little less than a dollar per LEGO piece. That being said, I do like how the 2X2 round brick and tile with center stud makes it look like the hat is sitting on a tree stump. The leaf pieces with flowers add to the forest illusion.
I don’t think this set is worth paying full price for. However, the costume looks great on the Mario character piece and the ability to rack up coins in game play make it one of the better LEGO Power-Up Packs. If you find this set on sale, it might be worth picking up and adding to your LEGO Super Mario collection.
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