The LEGO PAC-MAN Arcade set is over 2,600 pieces, comes with one mini figure, one light brick, and takes around about four to six hours to build, putting it up there with one of the longer “video game” sets on the market right now.
I do recommend, that only adults build this one because it is a little bit intricate at times, making it difficult to keep focus, but if you do keep focus and keep on building, you will be very happy that you did.
Set Design & Features
The top section is what I would call the “warmup set” and it’s the first section that you begin with. This takes about 30 minutes or so and fits in two or three bags.
This features Blinky and Clyde, and you have a button at the bottom, that when pressed will spin them into ghost form.
I think this is a really cool warmup piece and tt doesn’t take too long to build. It gives you a look at what’s to come in terms of the colourings, characters and how the set is in terms of playability.
There’s a good reason why I compare this to the Lego NES set. Both have playable screens, and they both use the same turning mechanic, which is located on the side of the LEGO PAC-MAN Arcade set.
It’s a little kind of rotating arm that you spin and that will basically move and wiggle different functions on the screen.
When you twist the arm, PAC-MAN and co will move around the screen fluidly, chasing each other, just like in the video game.
The cherry also twists, making it look more delicious than ever, and Clyde who is locked behind the gate will also move as if he’s raging to get out.
With my previous Lego NES set, it was a little bit clunky, and if you spin too quickly you’ll often hear cracking or the mechanism stops completely. But not on the LEGO PAC-MAN set, this thing is incredibly smooth.
I feel like Lego has taken some time to improve on that from their previous sets.
On the bottom section you have your controls, with the infamous joystick taking my attention the most.
The joystick itself is a very high quality build, and because it attaches to a lot of durable rubber parts underneath I can be very heavy handed with it and it won’t feel like it’s going to break.
Moving across, you have your buttons, and one of these actually activates the light brick on the inside, which gives it that nostalgic feel and kind of gives the overall set a high quality premium touch.
It uses a window with a sticker on the front to give it that glowing look, and the light brick is red, so they didn’t need to do any colouring on the window to give it an authentic look.
The bottom is where most of the playability features are and then on the back you have an easter egg as well, which features a mini scene of a minifigure adding a coin to a PAC-MAN arcade cabinet.
They even add in a gumball machine and a bin! How cool is that?
Was it fun to build?
Now let’s talk about my building experience.
Is this a fun set? Absolutely.
But it has its peaks and troughs in terms of build enjoyment. The first spinning mini set is a great warmup and it eases you in to the start of the cabinet, which gets you to build the base, you find yourself building the joystick mechanics and you add in the light brick, all is well!
The most cumbersome part was the actual PAC-MAN game and its mechanics. There was a section where I had to create 64 PAC-DOTS, which are the food, and each PAC-DOT required three separate parts to build… let’s just say my fingers were close to bleeding.
This part was so repetitive and time consuming that I took a break three times, and finally I had to cry out to my girlfriend to help me.
This was the worst part of the build experience in my opinion, only because of how long it took, and it felt like i wasn’t getting anywhere.
Then lastly, once you have conquered the middle section, you then finish off the walls, you add your PACMAN sign, and then you finish it off with the mini-scene that goes into the back of the arcade cabinet.
But with that pain and time consuming PAC-DOT making out the way, It does give you some kind of overwhelming joy when it’s completed. And for me, this is one of my favourite “video game” LEGO sets of all time.
I love it. It’s a really good size. It’s got some weight to it and there’s just so much playability with it. It’s going on my display shelf for a very, very long time.
LEGO have done incredibly well with the LEGO PAC-MAN Arcade set and the designer should be very proud. It’s one of the best LEGO sets to buy this Christmas!
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A 31 year old British fella that’s had a Gameboy ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and has created a YouTube channel with 260,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.