LEGO continues to mine the nostalgia of the majority of the FBTB staff with their announcement of the 10306 Atari® 2600 set. I don’t know if two sets is enough to solidify an official “theme,” but adult-focused LEGO Icons series seems to certainly have a particular target in mind with the things they release. Between the Nintendo Entertainment System, the anniversary Space and Castle sets, and all the various sitcom sets, there’s no end to the things they can touch. Weighing in at 2532 pieces, and $239.99, they also have declared war on our wallets and shelf space.
Not going to lie, this set, more than anything else they’ve announced or previewed since… well, the Nintendo Entertainment System, has me excited. The Atari was the first video game console I ever played. The NES was the first one I ever got to own (though I did almost have an Atari 5200… though why I didn’t isn’t the mot fun story for me), but I spent my very young years playing that gawd awful E.T. game, the equally gawd awful Indiana Jones game, Pitfall, Adventure, and so many other games with my cousin when we were both very, very young.
The look of this set is absolutely perfect. The faux-wood plastic shell, the switches, the little grill. Everything about it is just wonderful. In much the same way that the NES captured the early days with the TV (I really should finish the review of that set), this is just missing that annoying little RF switch box that you had to screw on to the back of the console and the back of your TV.
What really sets this set apart, though, is the addition of multiple build modes that allow you to build little vignettes for the three games that are included (the game that made the console, Pac-Man, isn’t owned by Atari, so… it’s not here). Ironically, each display in block form is vastly higher resolution and quality than those games ever were, but they still look lovely. If you want to keep them in their cartridge form, you get a small shelf to store them, a reminder that video game accessories have always been a thing.
The console also opens to feature a display of a room that anyone who grew up in the late 70s or 80s immediately recognizes. Wood paneling as far as the eye can see, posters and stickers, and just so many little touches. The variable display elements make this a lovely shelf piece that hits all the touchpoints that a set like this does.
10306 Atari® 2600 will be up for sale on August 1st, and no word if there’s a preorder window or anything for VIP members. Weighing in at 2532 pieces and including one minifigure, it’s sure to hit the feels (and wallets) of 40-something LEGO fans everywhere that remember the days before and after the console crash. If LEGO is smart, there will be a follow up with the paddles and additional cartridges. Because everyone knows that this isn’t complete until it also has a Combat cart in there.