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Lego’s new Pac-Man arcade set makes the old new again

The revealed build even kinda works!

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Lego Pac-Man arcade set sitting in a blue-walled room on a desk Photo: Lego
Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Pac-Man’s battle royale game may be shutting down, but the spherical yellow dot-chomper’s legacy lives on — now in Lego form.

Lego announced on Monday that Pac-Man would get the brick treatment in a brand-new arcade set. The build emulates a classic arcade machine, complete with Pac-Man’s classic maze, a joystick, and a coin slot (but don’t worry: no real quarters are required to enjoy). The set also comes with a miniature diorama of an ’80s gamer dominating the arcade and a larger set of Pac-Man, Blinky, and Clyde to adorn the cabinet. A crank on the machine will also let builders simulate the gameplay.

Lego is no stranger to nostalgia plays, with upcoming sets covering Batman Returns, the Indiana Jones movies, and the king of side-scrolling himself, Mario, but the Pac-Man set is an interesting twist on the format — both a loving ode to the Pac-Man character and design as well as the arcade experience. Fans of Lego’s recent Nintendo Entertainment System and Atari 2600 redux will likely jump at this.

Close up on the Lego Pac-Man’s joystick
Close up on the Lego gamer diorama with mini pac-man arcade
the back of the Pac-Man Lego set cabinet Photos: Lego

“We are always looking for new and exciting ways to bring classic gaming experiences to life,” Sven Franic, Lego designer said in a news release. “Our team of talented designers worked tirelessly to capture the essence of the beloved PAC-MAN arcade machine in brick form, from PAC-MAN himself to the colourful, maze-like environment he inhabits. Every detail was carefully considered and crafted, resulting in a one-of-a-kind LEGO creation that captures the magic of the original game while adding a playful new twist and a couple of Easter eggs — in true video game style. We are thrilled to share this incredible build with the world and cannot wait to see the joy it brings to fans of all ages.”

Lego timed its announcement to the 43rd anniversary of the game; Pac-Man (or Puck Man as it was known) was first released in May 22, 1980, by Namco (now Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc). Years later, the little guy is still recognizable to new generations of gamers, even if they aren’t meeting him and his wife Pac-Mom (née Ms. Pac-Man) in local pizza shops. Times change, but Pac-Man remains.

Lego’s Pac-Man Arcade set retails for $269.99. VIP Early Access to the set begins on June 1, with general preorders opening on June 4.

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