Pac-Man Arcade is the latest retro-themed set from Lego. Designer Sven Franic has talked about its ingenious mechanical maze.
Lego’s made a few retro-themed sets in the past, including a chunky Atari 2600 and an adorable Nintendo Entertainment System complete with CRT television.
The Danish firm’s latest nostalgia-based set is inspired by Namco’s 1980 classic, Pac-Man. Once again, there are some ingenious ideas packed into this 2651-piece set; it’s based on the look of the original game’s arcade cabinet, with a light-up coin slot and ball-topped joystick sprouting from the main panel.
The really clever bit, though, is the crank on the side, which makes the little Pac-Man and ghost characters in the maze move around. The designer behind the set is Sven Franic, who’s talked a bit about its design on Lego’s website.
“I would say 70% of the whole set development was devoted just to that mechanism,” Sven writes. “We developed a new chain element so that we can just attach these little characters to the side of it. There’s a little black chain that goes around inside with several functions connected all working together.”
There are some other pleasing touches, too, such as a pair of larger Pac-Man characters at the top of the cabinet that flip around at the press of a button. Opening up the back of the cabinet, meanwhile, reveals an 80-style minifigure playing a tiny Pac-Man coin-op.
All of this plastic engineering ingenuity comes at a cost, of course: the Pac-Man Arcade set will eventually retail for £229.99 – placing it on a par with the similarly complex NES set. With over 2,500 pieces to assemble, it should at least keep you busy for a while, though.
Oh, and as part of the set’s announcement, Lego has also put out a little advert on Twitter, in which the cabinet is put through its paces in a very posh-looking house…
Chomp your way back to the 80's with the new LEGO Icons PAC-MAN Arcade! Ready! Build! Play! pic.twitter.com/ZlvhV5KLVc
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) May 22, 2023