LEGO Designer Revives the Iconic Pac-Man – Find Out How!

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Alright, let’s dive into the fascinating world of LEGO design with a special feature on the LEGO Pac-Man Arcade cabinet. This unique LEGO set is not just a static display piece; it’s a kinetic sculpture that captures the magic of the iconic 80s arcade game.

Sven, a LEGO designer, was integral in designing this product. Growing up in the 80s and early 90s, Pac-Man was a standout game for him, characterized by its bright colors and engaging gameplay. Bringing these memorable characters to life in LEGO form was an exciting task for Sven.

The LEGO Pac-Man Arcade cabinet closely mimics the motion of the original game characters. By turning a crank, you can watch Pac-Man, Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde move in patterns reminiscent of the game. The design is based on an old chain element from the 1978 LEGO Technic system, and Sven’s team added another chain link element to attach the characters sideways. The mechanism of this motion can be seen when you open the back of the arcade.

The biggest challenge in the design process was creating the illusion of the characters moving around sharp corners when they were actually moving around a radius. This was achieved using LEGO Technic gears and specialized plates. The characters can make corners without getting stuck thanks to their round cylinders.

The arcade cabinet also features a coin slot that illuminates when a button is pressed and a scoreboard where different scores can be selected. In addition, there are brick-built versions of Blinky and Clyde chasing Pac-Man on a stand. When a button is pressed, these characters rotate into their scared mode, and Pac-Man becomes the chaser.

The joystick on the cabinet mimics the motion of a real joystick using rubber link elements. This is an innovative use of these elements, which the designers had never dreamed of using in this way. The maze is composed of printed tile elements in various sizes, which capture the iconic blue border of the Pac-Man maze.

Notably, the set includes a tiny surprise hidden in the back—a vignette of a minifigure playing a mini version of the arcade cabinet in an 80s style arcade setting. The minifigure is dressed in a jacket with a Pacman lapel pin and a t-shirt featuring Pinky. The choice of a female minifigure was intentional, as Pac-Man was one of the first games to have a large appeal to women, thanks to its non-violent nature.

The LEGO Pac-Man Arcade cabinet is a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those who grew up in the 80s and 90s. It’s a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of LEGO designers who continue to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with these beloved bricks. Whether you’re a fan of LEGO, Pac-Man, or both, this kinetic sculpture is sure to bring joy and a touch of retro charm to your collection.

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