That’s right, LEGO continues to tug at the heartstrings of adult builders with a new set that lets you build a replica of the Atari’s Video Computer System, so you can relive those yonder days of playing Breakout, Space Invaders, and Missile Command with wide-eyed awe and wonder. Whether you’re one of those people who lived through that, a retro gamer who can appreciate having a display replica of the OG cartridge-based game console, or just a LEGO fan who finds this gorgeous model a worthy weekend challenge, this set should make for a fun building project.
The LEGO Icons Atari 2600 is a recreation of the four-switch version of the hit game console, which was produced starting 1980, replacing the initial six-switch release from 1977. Why that one? Mostly, because that was the time that the Atari really broke out, buoyed largely by Space Invaders, which gave potential buyers the decisive reason get off the fence and pick up a unit. Basically, it’s the likely model most people will have owned, so it only makes sense to use that as basis when immortalizing the console in LEGO bricks.
It does a pretty faithful recreation, reproducing everything from the wood paneling out front and the row of four operational switches to the cartridge slot at the top center and the wired joystick controller. Seriously, you can probably mistake it for the real thing if the wood section looked just a little less plastic.
The LEGO Icons Atari 2600 includes three buildable replica cartridges, namely Asteroids, Adventure, and Centipede, all with matching graphics and dimensions sized to slot flush into the slot on the console. It also comes with a cartridge holder to store them whenever you’re not playing, making this feel like a real miniature setup straight out of 1980. Just to add a unique element to the whole thing, you can slide the front section of the console to reveal a mini-diorama of some kid playing Atari in his mom’s basement, which, let’s be honest, was probably a common scene back when the console originally came out.
The set, by the way, comes with 2,352 pieces, so it should make for an engaging build, whether you have a couple hours a day or an entire weekend to devote to recreating the console that brought gaming to everyone’s living room. The main console measures 14 x 3 x 8.5 inches (width x height x depth), too, making for an excellent display piece to show off across shelves, side tables, and media cabinets.
The LEGO Icons Atari 2600 comes out August 1st, priced at $239.99.