In the world of video games, it’s hard to find a more iconic figure than Pac-Man. Released into arcades on May 22, 1980, you navigate a series of mazes, trying to eat all the dots, power pellets, fruits, and other items all while avoiding the four ghosts Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde.
Not only did the arcade classic spawn several sequel games and animated television shows, but it has also been referenced over and over again in pop culture, as in this scene from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2:
Some deep-cut trivia about Pac-Man becomes the titular character’s go-to pickup line in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World:
What Is LEGO Icons PAC-MAN Arcade?
LEGO Icons PAC-MAN Arcade, set number 10323, is a 2,651-piece kit that includes just one Minifigure, but you also will build reproductions of not only Pac-Man but also Blinky and Clyde. It is a fairly challenging set, as evidenced by the 18+ rating.
The set retails for $269.99 and is available now on the LEGO webstore or in LEGO brick-and-mortar stores.
Unpacking LEGO Icons PAC-MAN Arcade
The build for the LEGO Icons PAC-MAN arcade includes 23 numbered bags, as well as an additional bag of components and a couple of grid boards. And while there are some specially screen-printed bricks unique to this set, you will also be using some colorful stickers while assembling.
There’s only one instruction booklet included, which also includes information not just on the development of the PAC-MAN set, but also provides a history of the development of the original video game.
LEGO Icons PAC-MAN Arcade – The Build
You can download a PDF of the instruction manual here.
The first two stages of the build are devoted to making the Pac-Man display.
With the first bag, you’ll be making the stand for the display. This includes the mechanics you’ll need to change the display from the ghosts chasing Pac-Man to a powered-up Pac-Man chasing the ghosts. Note the small pieces that have been screen-printed with images of Pac-Man and the four ghosts.
The second bag will find you assembling Pac-Man, Blinky, and Clyde. The ghosts are double-sided to represent their transformation when Pac-Man eats a power pellet.
And here’s the display stand in action:
The rest of the bags are devoted to recreating the Pac-Man arcade cabinet. Well, at least the top part of the arcade cabinet. Reproducing an arcade cabinet in its entirety would not only be a massive set but would also be a fairly tedious build. And the build of the LEGO Icons PAC-MAN Arcade is definitely far from tedious!
It’s with stages 3 and 4 that you get your battery-powered effect: a light-up, translucent coin slot brick.
It’s also with stage 4 that the game’s console is taking shape.
The next few stages focus on building up the structure of the cabinet, along with the early parts of the mechanism that will control the animated game screen.
Midway through the build, starting at stage 7, is when things start to get a bit more challenging. This is where you will be putting together that game screen I just mentioned. You’ll want to slow things down a bit with this part of the build to make sure that you get everything built correctly. You’re not only recreating the maze here but using gears and chains to create the animated elements of the video screen.
Here’s what the screen should look like when completed:
Once the screen is complete, it’s slotted into place. From there, the rest of the cabinet is assembled, including the removable back panel.
With the cabinet assembled, you can operate the video screen animation, via the crank on the side:
While the PAC-MAN Arcade is fully assembled at this point, you still have one last bit to do: assemble your mini Pac-Man arcade cabinet and diorama! This is where the Minifigure will come in.
The Pac-Man mini diorama can be displayed alongside the arcade cabinet, or you can install it as a hidden feature inside of the cabinet, where it will be revealed when you remove the back panel:
It’s a fun little detail. Removing the back panel also allows you to see the working mechanisms that move Pac-Man and the ghosts around on the screen.
Finally, you can either place the display stand alongside the cabinet, or it will rest securely at the top.
All the cabinet is missing now are some sound effects! Thankfully, those are easy enough to find online.
LEGO Icons PAC-MAN Arcade – Final Thoughts
Wow, what a fun build! Part of me really wanted to assemble the LEGO Icons PAC-MAN Arcade all in one day, but sadly, adulting does get in the way of fun sometimes.
There are a lot of clever mechanisms in this kit, which both make it a more challenging build and make it more enjoyable. This is definitely not one that you’ll be building with your kids unless they are very good at details. The whole design of the “video screen” is fairly complex, and you’ll want to take great care to make sure it’s assembled correctly, otherwise, it won’t end up working. Thankfully, I spent the extra time on that section of the assembly, so that wasn’t an issue.
I did find it unusual that you end up turning the crank towards you rather than away to work the motion of the maze, but I figured that’s just a little quirk of the set.
There were a couple of small errors in the instruction manual, such as the one you can see below which shows a discrepancy between the written number of bricks used, and the ones shown in the illustration. When in doubt, always go with the illustration.
LEGO definitely has another hit on its hands with the Icons PAC-MAN Arcade. I’d previously built the Atari 2600 set, which is also a very enjoyable build with some great nostalgic elements. But the moving mechanisms of the video screen with this kit really bring it to a whole different level. I’m hoping that LEGO continues to explore retro gaming with their sets, as I’d love to see some more arcade cabinet reproductions take their place alongside Pac-Man. And as they’ve already been making other Nintendo kits, maybe it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see a Donkey Kong cabinet on my shelf in the not-too-distant future.
If you’re interested in the LEGO Icons PAC-MAN Arcade, you can purchase it here.
Click That Brick!
Click That Brick! is a look at LEGO building sets that appeal to the geek in all of us. I’ll be bringing you previews and reviews of various LEGO sets, such as the LEGO Batcave Shadow Box. So be sure to keep your eyeballs peeled for more great LEGO content here on GeekDad.
LEGO provided an Icons PAC-MAN Arcade set for evaluation, but had no input into this review.