LEGO Super Mario has taken over our household and it’s time for the Princess Peach starter course and Yoshi’s Gift House! Following my review of the Mario starter course, I went out over the holidays and picked up a lot more sets. I picked up costumes, the Bowser Airship (which has since been discontinued,) and the two sets (LEGO Super Mario Princess Peach starter course and Yoshi’s Gift House) that I am reviewing for you today. Just like last time, my daughter is taking on the heavy lifting with building and providing her thoughts as the builder and target audience for these sets.
LEGO Super Mario building logistics
As a reminder, while these sets come with Quick Start guides, they do not come with detailed building instructions. For this, you’ll need to download the LEGO Super Mario app on a smartphone or tablet. My personal preference for kids is to use a tablet if they have access to one. It’s easier to utilize the 360 rotating views in the app for piece placement, and the in-app activities are easier to do on a bigger screen.
I’m also a fan of building this on a carpeted floor if that’s an option. There are a lot of small pieces in these builds, and it’s just easier to manage them all when they’re not sliding around on a slick surface. I’d recommend that once built, you play on a table or flat surface since it can be tough to fasten some of the playsets together.
You’ll need 2 AAA batteries (not included) and a small Phillips head screwdriver for Princess Peach. Everything in Yoshi’s Gift House is controlled manually and Yoshi is not a live/interactive character, so nothing additional is required.
Unboxing the LEGO Super Mario Peach starter course
This starter course is 354 pieces broken off into seven bags. You can use the app to guide you through step-by-step. All you have to do is connect Princess Peach to your device via Bluetooth and do the firmware update. Once that’s done, the starter course will automatically appear in your app as selectable. Tapping on it will open up the step-by-step instructions.
Let the app guide you through building this all piece by piece. You can touch and rotate each instruction 360 degrees to ensure you build it all in the right place and side.
Peach can recognize her environment, similarly to the Mario and Luigi starter course figures. She has a camera on her underside that reacts to different coloured terrains and element codes. Stepping on green LEGO is recognized as grass, red as fire, blue as water, brown as earthy ground, and beige/yellow as desert. She’ll react to coded elements appropriately based on what they are.
This set also features various platforms: a start pipe, a goal pole, a lava bubble, a question block, a gift box, Lemmy Koopa, and Yellow Toad. In case you’re curious, regular Toad has his own set, and Bowser and Toadette come with the Peach’s Castle set expansion.
Some really fun elements to play with
The most fun part of these sets are the unique buildable environments, and this set is no exception. Aside from the Super Mario characters, there are things that I got to see being built for the first time in my LEGO playing life, like a swing set and an apple. All of these come with their own readable element code, which the main characters can interact with. In addition to the electronic interaction, the gift box can pop open if Peach jumps on it and you can even give gifts to Toad.
Once you’ve set things up, you’ll be able to take them and create your own unique courses, which you can time and collect coins through the LEGO Super Mario app. The app keeps track of your lifetime progress and coins and has a handful of other different activities and games that can be played outside of the LEGO building.
If you own another starter course and have another main character figure, they also interact with each other if you turn them on next to each other. For example, Mario and Peach say hello to each other when in close proximity and you can then use them to play your created levels in two-player mode!
This set took us about 2 hours total between the build itself (1h 20 min) and a lot of play testing. This is a really tough set for young kids. It might be a harder set for adults because of the number of small pieces, but the smooth contours on many pieces mean that it’s far more difficult for mistakes to be pulled apart and reset. Thankfully, the 360 views break everything down piece by piece which means that mistakes will be minimized, but I was surprised at how complex this was for an ages 6+ build. This set also came with the most extra pieces I’d ever seen. In all, I’d say we must have packed 25-30 extra pieces back into the little Princess Peach starter box for safekeeping.
Final thoughts on LEGO Super Mario Peach starter course
The LEGO Super Mario Peach starter course is definitely much more difficult than the Mario one, but it’s definitely worth it. The Mario starter course feels fairly basic and cookie-cutter in comparison to the interactive elements that you get with Peach. The gift box, apple, and swing are all really cool! Lemmy might not be the most exciting Koopaling (and the lack of his signature ball is an unfortunate omission), but everything else definitely makes up for it. While I would say that the age 6+ on the Mario box is accurate, this one will require some parental supervision for a child that young.
Let’s move on to Yoshi’s Gift House!
Putting together Yoshi’s Gift House
Yoshi’s Gift House consists of 4 bags and 254 pieces. Yoshi’s Gift House sort of mimics the look of Yoshi’s house in Super Mario World. It has the mailbox and trees along with his nametag. There are 2 trees where you can perch apples, one of which has a trap door to drop it from the top.
This one took my daughter about an hour to build, stopping along the way to play with some of the interactive elements. There aren’t as many difficult and small pieces as there were with Princess Peach and there are some really unique pieces that go with this one. Just like the Peach set, there is a gift box and a red apple, but there is also a green apple and Yoshi’s entranceway that you can interact with. The apples can sit on tree perches that you can knock down, and the enemy included with this one is a Monty Mole. On the right side of the set, there is a rotating platform where if you interact with another element beforehand, it will play the P-Switch song while you spin on it. In other words, there are a lot of neat elements you can add to any adventure world that you create.
The verdict on Yoshi’s Gift House is that it is a lot easier to build, but a lot harder to keep stuck together in one row. You don’t have to follow the exact structure on the box, but the bottom adjoining pieces (in our box anyway) are really slick and come apart easily. I think we’re going to keep most elements separate anyway and build out courses with them in different places.
Both of these sets are great, but my slight bias for Yoshi (he’s my favourite Nintendo character) leads me toward that set, while Charlotte picks Princess Peach.
LEGO has discontinued some Mario sets
LEGO announced last summer that they were discontinuing some of the Mario sets, and while you can still find a couple of them out in the wild, they’re slowly selling out. Bowser’s Airship, for example, which you’ll see in the box in our video is now discontinued, but you can still get Dorrie’s Beachfront Expansion and Luigi’s Mansion Lab, which are also no longer manufactured.
On that note, Yoshi’s Gift House is scheduled to be discontinued by the end of 2023, so it’s best that you pick it up before it goes. I’m assuming that there will be more sets to come this spring and summer with the movie coming out, so that could be why so many sets are going out of print. I doubt the starter courses will ever be discontinued though, so you should be good there.
The LEGO Super Mario Princess Peach starter course and Yoshi’s Gift House, along with the Mario starter course and a lot of other supplementary sets are now available at Best Buy and online at BestBuy.ca