Relive Your Retro Gaming Glory Days with the New Lego Atari 2600

As someone who grew up in the early days of home video game consoles, I still have fond memories of long hours spent in front of the woodgrain-finish Atari 2600 my parents got me for Christmas in 1980. Now thanks to Lego, I can finally bring back some of that retro gaming magic in the form of a new 2,532 piece building set faithfully recreating the iconic Atari console.

Allow me, a fellow nostalgic gamer, to give you an in-depth tour of why this blast from the past in brick form is worth adding to your Lego collection.

The Legacy of the Groundbreaking Atari 2600

First released in September 1977, the Atari 2600 (originally the Atari Video Computer System or VCS) pioneered the concept of interchangeable cartridge-based home video games. It became ubiquitous in households throughout the late 70s and early 80s. The Atari 2600 was many kids‘ first introduction to the magical potential of video games thanks to genre-defining hits like Space Invaders, Pitfall!, and River Raid.

With its simple joystick controller and iconic faux woodgrain finish, the Atari 2600 became forever ingrained as a symbol of the golden early years of home gaming. It laid the foundation for future console designs we know and love today from Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft.

Bring Back the Nostalgia in Brick Form

Lego‘s new Atari 2600 set allows grown-up gamers like myself to recreate one of the most nostalgia-inducing tech products ever in impressively accurate brick-built form. Getting to rebuild that iconic midnight black casing and wood panel front with my own hands promises to be a blast from the past.

Being able to display minifigure-scale cartridges of beloved Atari titles like Asteroids and Adventure alongside the console captures the thrill of building up an impressive game library. I can already picture showcasing my brick Atari on my office shelf right next to framed photos of high score victory screenshots.

Atari 2600 Lego Set Box Contents:

  • 2,532 Lego pieces
  • Instruction manual
  • Authentic replicas of 3 classic game cartridges
  • Mini brick versions of games in action
  • Cartridge storage stand
  • Joystick controller
  • Console interior playroom scene

For fellow children of the late 70s/early 80s, getting to literally reconstruct the iconic Atari 2600, cartridges and all, promises to satisfy our most intense nostalgia cravings in tangible brick and plastic form factor.

Every Last Detail Perfectly Captured

As an avid retro console collector myself, I can confidently say Lego absolutely nailed recreating the Atari 2600 design template with this set. All of the signature visual elements of the front face are accounted for:

Real Atari 2600Lego Atari 2600
Raised ridged lines
Six red switches for game selection
Faux woodgrain front panel
"Atari 2600" logo
Two controller ports
Recessed cartridge slot

The simple yet iconic joystick controller, which introduced a generation to using their thumbs as primary game input devices, has also been faithfully replicated right down to the bright red fire button atop the stick.

Seeing classic cartridges for games like Asteroids and Adventure rendered in miniature plastic complete with cover box art instantly transports me back to the excitement of blowing my lawn mowing money at the local Pizza Hut-turned-video rental store.

Hidden Surprise Scene Adds Play Value

But the pièce de résistance that cements this set‘s must-have status for Atari fans is the hidden interior playroom scene tucked away just under the slide-forward woodgrain front face. Here a Lego minifigure clad in an Atari t-shirt plays away on the very same console model you just finished assembling while seated in front of an 80s-style wood-paneled tube TV.

The attention to detail filling out the rest of the tiny playable diorama is simply astonishing. No 80s gaming den would be complete without a boombox, band posters, a VCR, towering wooden cabinet housing a large stereo system, and of course the omnipresent shag carpet. The entire display looks like it was lifted directly from my childhood family room circa 1985.

Building and displaying this single 15 cubic inch diorama allowing me to recreate my glory days gaming away entire summer vacations on the Atari 2600 promises to provide countless hours of enjoyment on its own. The fact it comes bundled with the 2,500+ piece console recreation at no extra charge makes this a package no nostalgic Atari fan should pass up!

A Worthwhile Brick-Built Investment for Nostalgic Gamers

At a $239.99 price point, the Lego Atari 2600 set represents a substantial but worthwhile investment for adult fans with both an affinity for Lego building and fond memories of the pioneering console that kicked off an enduring home gaming tradition.

Considering the immense nostalgia payoff, display potential, and the sheer impressiveness of Lego‘s execution on recreating the Atari in such loving detail, I gladly make this a 5/5 star recommended purchase. Just make sure to clear a prominent area on your office shelf, right next to your retro console collection centerpieces, before settling in to assemble this one!

For me, part of the magic of building Lego sets as an adult lies in being able to recreate treasured items from my youth that shaped who I am today. This Atari 2600 set builds up all that nostalgic childhood joy we Gen X/elder Millennials associate with pioneering console gaming into one delightful brick-based package. I hope my personal enthusiasm for reliving retro gaming glory days through this Lego set helps you decide if it deserves a spot in your home collection!

Let me know in the comments if this blast from the past convinces you to bring home the Atari 2600 in Lego form too. And please Lego, for my next nostalgia trip, can we get a brick-built Sega Genesis? I have some Sonic the Hedgehog high score records I‘m still pretty proud of to this day…

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