28 April 2021

LEGO® Super Mario review: 71383 Wiggler's Poison Swamp

Nicolas Geeraert, a UK-based builder and former contestant in LEGO® Masters, is our special guest reviewer today. He's taking a look at the parts in the 2021 LEGO Super Mario set 71383 Wiggler’s Poison Swamp. Buying this £34.99 / US$39.99 / 39.99€ set? Consider using our affiliate links: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. New Elementary may get a commission. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.


Alongside the Character Pack Series 2, a series of LEGO® Super Mario sets was released at the start of 2021 including 71383 Wiggler’s Poison Swamp. This is my first experience with the Super Mario sets, and so the lack of a Mario figure prevented me from reviewing the gameplay, but that should not spoil the fun. The set brings some great new parts and recolours, with a new SNOT element as the highlight.


I started by laying out all 374 elements. In terms of colour palette, the set is dominated by the presence of dark purple and yellow, alongside a more neutral palette of browns and greys.

Building 71383 Wiggler’s Poison Swamp

Growing up in the 1980s, I remember being in awe of the revolutionary Nintendo console and its flagship game, Super Mario Bros. However, as a kid I never owned a console and thus I confess that my knowledge of the Super Mario universe is somewhat limited. Luckily, unlike the ‘80s, I can now look up the backstory of the video game using the internet.

Overall, I had fun building the 71383 Wiggler’s Poison Swamp. The poison swamp is part of the Soda Jungle theme from the video game. Aimed at a younger audience, the building experience is relatively simple and straightforward. The final build consists of a series of modules that can be arranged in a number of ways, one of which is shown above.

Three brick built characters are included in the set: a Goomba, a Koopa Paratroopa and a Wiggler, which is the caterpillar-like creature. In the absence of a Super Mario figure, I created one to assist me in demonstrating one of the play features.


Mario can be made to slide the little cart back and forth. This causes the wiggler to start swirling, which in turn releases the bridge for Mario to cross. It is a nice feature, and I imagine it would be fun for the target age group.

Building techniques in 71383


The segments of the wiggler are constructed using three double jumpers in Bright Yellow/ Yellow (6228602 | 34103) and some clever snot techniques. 


Each segment is then hooked to the next one using a Bright Orange/ Orange Plate 1 x 2 with Arm Up (6338911 / 88072), sandwiched between two Yellow Plates 2 x 3 with Hole (4188313 | 3176).


Although the final wiggler is less rounded than the source material, it is an elegant build. Unlike the segments of the main body, the head is not supported underneath, which causes the head of the wiggler to droop a little. Although the head is intended to rest on a base plate, I would imagine that kids may want to play with it on its own, thus the sagging seemed to indicate a minor design flaw.


Another notable technique was the meshing of a 4x4 splat gear (6252371 | 35443) with a series of Mixel ball joints, each ball being distanced 1 ½ plate apart by alternating between 22890 and 14417. It creates an interesting System version of a Technic Gear meshing with a Technic Gear Rack 1 x 4 (3743).

We already knew the gears could be adapted to function as linear actuators, however at New Elementary we hadn’t seen this particular technique. It is a nice demonstration how new elements are designed to fit into aspects of the existing system. 

New parts

The current series of LEGO Super Mario sets has given us a novel SNOT bracket, Bracket 1 x 1 - 1 x 2 Inverted (73825) coming here in two colours: 10 in Yellow (6330893) and 2 in Dark Stone Grey/ Dark Bluish Gray (6336390). It is shown below right.


Comparing the new SNOT bracket with some of the existing ones, the new inverted bracket provides a nice addition to the family. A series of other ‘upward’ brackets (in Black) and ‘downward’ brackets (in Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Grey) are shown for comparison. 

Comparing the downward and upward brackets, there clearly is scope to extend the family of downward brackets as well. In the current set, the new brackets are used to expand a wider bracket (a 1 x 2 – 2 x 2) in both the wiggler and the cart. However, it definitely also opens up a number of possibilities for SNOT work in MOCs. I imagine this will be a popular element.


The set also contains a number of recoloured parts. The Plate Special 1 x 2 with Arm Up is new in Bright Orange/ Orange (6338911 | 88072). The part is now available in more than 10 colours.

A range of elements have been recoloured in Medium Lilac/ Dark Purple:

  • 2x Tile 8 x 16 with Bottom Tubes in Dark Purple (6327865 | 90498)
  • 3x Plate Round Corners 4 x 8 x 2/3 Half Circle with Reduced Knobs in Dark Purple (6330926 | 73832)
  • 3x Plate 2 x 12 in Dark Purple (6338909 | 2445)
  • 1x Plate Round Corners 6 x 6 x 2/3 Circle with Reduced Knobs (6326550 | 66789)
  • 4x Plate Round Corners 4 x 4 x 2/3 Circle with Reduced Knobs (6334094 | 66792), which previously appeared in the Character Packs


The wiggler brings two further new elements. 4x Feet 2 x 3 x 2/3 with 6 Studs on Top are new in Bright Reddish Violet/ Magenta (6330892 | 66859). Somewhat to my surprise the Flower with 7 Thick Petals and Pin appears in White for the first time (6338913 | 32606), and a single flower is provided. 

Printed parts and barcodes in 71383 Wiggler’s Poison Swamp


The set also contains a number of printed parts as shown here, some of which are new and unique:

  • 2x Brick 1 x 2 in Bright Blue/ Blue with Star with Eyes (6334673 | 3004pr0064)
  • 1x Brick 1 x 2 in Bright Yellow/ Yellow with Oval Eyes Print (6334678 | 3004pr0066)
  • 1x Tile 2 x 2 in Dark Orange with Goomba Face looking left (6308955 | 3068bpr9899)

Some of the ubiquitous barcodes are also included: 

  • 1x Plate 4 x 4 x 2/3 with round corners in Reddish Brown with raft and a Barcode (6339043 | 66792pr0105)
  • 1x 2x2 Tile 2 x 2 in Bright Red/ Red with Para-Koopa and a barcode (6338156 | 3068bpr9901)
  • 1x 2x2 Tile 2 x 2 in Bright Yellow/ Yellow with two arrows and a barcode (6339042 | 3068bpr9900)

The Tile 2 x 2 in Bright Blue/ Blue with star and a barcode (6315998) and Tile 2 x 2 in Dark Orange with Goomba and barcode (6315663 | 3068bpr9978) are not new, having appeared in the first wave of Super Mario.

I imagine we may see some of these barcodes eventually making their way in Mindstorms MOCs.

Conclusion

71383 Wiggler’s Poison Swamp continues expanding the universe of LEGO Super Mario. Some of the play functions will definitely appeal to younger fans. More importantly, this set also heralds the arrival of a new bracket piece, which will be particularly useful for SNOT work in MOCs.

If you're buying from LEGO.com, consider using our affiliate links: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. New Elementary may get a commission. 

READ MORE: The LEGO® Brickheadz Minions reviewed: 40420 Gru & 40421 Belle Bottom

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9 comments:

  1. The best thing in this set is... your Mario figure moc !

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I wonder if it could get a cap, otherwise than the official caps (which might be the wrong size anyway).

      Maybe it's possible to build something around these parts...

      https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=30350bpb112#T=P&C=5

      https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=2540#T=P&C=5

      https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=48336#T=P&C=5

      Delete
  2. Good review! I quite liked this set. I'd thought of a lot of ways to make Wiggler in this theme (most of them smaller) but they all lacked that most crucial quality—his wiggles. I'm not the biggest fan of how chunky the head on this one looks but as far as play value is concerned, he's amazing.

    The 4x8 half circle pieces in this set (really more of a half square with rounded corners) are a great addition to the lineup of Mario parts, and this set is the first to really show off how useful they can be when it comes to adapting a larger base to the modular format of these sets. This set is also the one that best shows off the hazardous nature of the Soda Jungle biome, in my opinion—in most of the other sets there's not enough uncovered poison to really stand in Mario's way, but here the poison is so vast that it really pays off to use Wiggler as a "bridge".

    The Paratroopa and Goomba figures here both appear in other sets as well. I still need to get a regular (green-shelled and -shoed) Koopa Troopa from some of last year's sets. Once I have an extra pair of green shoes, though, I plan to use the eyes, arms, and nose of this Paratroopa to make a yellow Yoshi!

    An interesting change from last year is that many "blocks" Mario can scan (including the star block in this set) are made of two 1x2 bricks instead of one 2x2 brick. A minor change, but one that makes the pieces ever so slightly more versatile since you only need one brick of thickness to use them in a MOC instead of two.

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  3. I don't own any of the Mario sets, but I can review the gameplay quite easily: Like the real video game, once you've run out of lives, watching the demo play isn't all that exciting...

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  4. I won't deny that the new brackets are useful because I've already used them in MOCs, however brackets & other SNOT solutions that clone brands have are SO MUCH better than Lego's :(
    I built another Chinese set yesterday and was blown away by how much more clever their system was. Quality wasn't there (but close enough), but the -system- (better brackets, better slopes, better tiles, more small parts/less compound parts, even better minifigs [quite ironic]) is like made for MOCers, not just kids, I loved it.
    Meanwhile with Lego we get new brackets that no one really asked for. Good to take but that's all it is, IMHO.
    Would love the inovation of other brands combined with Lego's quality. (this said, I've also noticed some parts like brackets again, or 1/4 round tiles, were better as clones)

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  5. I think the Bar with Mechanical Clip 48729b is in white for the first time in this set too. On bricklink, that's the only set that has that piece in white.

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    Replies
    1. Yes and no - at the same time as this set, it also appeared in 71380. So yes, Nicolas could have mentioned it but I guess since we mentioned it in the 71380 review he left it out? By the way, it's also in the new Darth Vader helmet! BL is one of the least reliable sources for checking new parts in sets because the inventories take much longer to be added than Rebrickable or Brickset.

      Delete
    2. I don't have any experience with Rebrickable, but Brickset inventories suffer random "adjustments" as the official inventories change on the LEGO website. They may start out accurate, but I recently looked up part 32554, and while Bricklink shows that it came in nine colors across 40 sets and two clocks, the Brickset inventory now shows that it only came in two colors across ten sets. I've submitted an inventory correction before, and Huw told me that because of the way the inventories are harvested from the LEGO site, he has no control over their content. If they make a change on the official LEGO inventory, it screws it up on Brickset the next time it refreshes. So, if you're relying solely on Brickset's database, you could be misled into thinking a part has been introduced in a new color when all that happened is the data showing it previously existed was lost somewhere along the way.

      On the flip side, Bricklink inventories are compiled by hand, so errors are not unknown, such as the same part being added twice because someone didn't realize it was already in the catalog, or colors being misidentified.

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    3. This is one of the major reasons we moved to RB as primary source, and for our regular lists of new parts. RB has the advantages of harvesting LEGO.com followed by a pretty reliable adjustment process by hand.

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