As a Gen-Xer, Donkey Kong and I go way back. When I first met him, he was the ruthless villain in one of my earliest video games. I spent many hours trying to reach the platform he was standing on to save Princess Peach. Later, he showed up in a lot more video games. In some of them, you could play as him, like Super Smash Brothers.
So when Lego introduced their Super Mario line, I knew the appearance of Lego Donkey Kong would be pretty close behind. I was excited to see the release of Donkey Kong’s Treehouse because I knew that Lego would do a great job of bringing Donkey Kong into the world of Lego. And I was right; they did a great job.
Today, we look at one of the add-on sets to the Lego Super Mario Donkey Kong’s Treehouse 71424. The set contains 555 pieces and retails for $79.99 Canadian. Let’s have a look to see what’s inside the set, what we can build with it, and how much fun it is.
Lego Donkey Kong's Treehouse 74124
As follow-up to their Super Mario Line, Lego does a great job of capturing the essence of a nostalgic favorite with Donkey Kong’s Treehouse set.
- Great character models.
- The building is well-made and compact.
- Fun to build and play with.
- Maybe a little short for Donkey Kong.
Opening the Set
You’ll find four bags with pieces and a quick-start instruction set when you open the box. If you don’t already own one of the Lego Super Mario starter sets, you won’t be able to use some of the electronic features. I recommend picking up one of the three starter sets that Lego currently sells. You’ll also need to download the LEGO Super Mario app. Do this before you start anything, as downloading the app might take a while. If you’re building Donkey Kong Lego tree with your kids, consider downloading that app and having everything ready to roll before you open this set. That way, you’ll minimize the downtime.
New Instruction Model
The Lego Super Mario sets rely on the app to provide the building instructions. In some ways, this is an excellent and unique way of enhancing the building experience. It gives very straightforward instructions for newer builders, and you can see things exactly where you need to put them. The set breaks down the instructions very straightforwardly. On the other hand, if you’re a faster builder, you may find the pace too slow, having to move forward in the instructions by tapping the screen after every step. If that’s the case, you can download an instruction PDF directly to your tablet from the Lego website. Simply go to lego.com, look up the set you’re after, and there should be a link to download building instructions on the right-hand side.
The First Bags
Okay, before we get started here, Full disclosure: I didn’t build this entire set myself. When my 19-year-old son saw the box of Lego super Mario donkey king set, he became so excited that he practically demanded that he get to build it instead. How could I refuse? The two of us spent an afternoon putting the set together, laughing, joking, and having a great time. And what could be better than that?
The first bag allows you to build Donkey Kong himself and his cart. Donkey Kong is built solidly and ingeniously. Very few custom pieces are used to create the look, apart from a couple of printed pieces and molded hand and foot pieces. There’s also a tie with the letters DK printed on fabric. Donkey Kong looks excellent; you couldn’t ask for a better model. It’s close to perfect.
The second and third bags focus on building Lego Donkey Kong’s treehouse, with the second bag being the platform and connective net, and the third is the walls and trees. The floor of the Treehouse contains a trapdoor/launcher feature that we’ll talk about in a bit. The fourth bag is Cranky Kong, a couple of trees, and some really lovely Bongo drums.
As this is a slightly more advanced set, a few steps along the way might be trickier. If you follow the instructions, you should have no problem putting this together. It took us a little time, but there were no steps where we needed clarification or were confused about how to proceed.
Cranky Kong was also an interesting build as most of the front of his beard and face are built as a sub-build and inserted into the rest of the figure, allowing for an interesting-looking model.
Playing with the Set
Once we had everything together, it was time to try all the features. We picked up our starter Princess Peach Bluetooth piece, logged into the app, and started playing. Princess Peach can interact with many characters or places within the set, creating sounds familiar to anyone who has played the Super Mario games. This is a pretty neat feature and one that will go a long way, especially with younger builders. We enjoyed the launch feature that’s built into the main building. It had to be strong enough to move such a large figure, and it did so very well. The only minor complaint is that the doorway is barely tall enough to allow Donkey Kong Lego to move through it, so if it were a little taller, things might be easier to deal with.
Overall Thoughts on the Set
This donkey Kong Lego set costs $79.99, and at that price point, you’re looking for something that’s a little on the special side. Donkey Kong’s Treehouse delivers. As I mentioned, the figures are fantastic; the building someone well put together it and compact enough to display on a shelf without giving up much room. The Bluetooth feature with the code reading tiles is still clever and used effectively here. As someone who builds a lot of tropical MOCs (My Own Creations,) I liked the banana bunch piece as well as the singular palm fronds. I see myself using a lot of those in the future.
Older fans and fans of Super Mario will like this set because of the nostalgia it brings and how well-made it is. Younger builders will also really like it as it allows them to expand their Super Mario World and provides a bit of a challenge in terms of building.
Overall review: Lego Donkey Kong’s Treehouse 74124
Lego Donkey Kong’s Treehouse is a winner from start to finish. There’s enough building there that you’ll feel like you got your money’s worth. You’ll have a good time building it, you’ll enjoy the attention to detail that the Lego designers have put into this set, and you’ll have a great Donkey Kong figure to show for it at the end. If you have younger builders in the house, you’ll have a great time building this set with them, helping them out at the trickier parts, and playing with it when you’re done. After all these years, it’s great to see that Donkey Kong has come through once again.
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