Super Nintendo Transformers
Google Drive link with instructions and parts list for the controller and cartridge robots
Originally started in 2020, this is my set of custom LEGO Super Nintendo Transformers: a console named Super Famitron, a cartridge called Polybius, and two gorilla controllers named Simian Kong and Primal Kong. I’ve been creating original video game Transformers since late 2011, and this is currently the newest addition to the team! You might remember my LEGO Nintendo 64 Transformers from 2013: This particular set is a spiritual successor to the aforementioned creations, and uses similar but more elaborate functionalities.
The main robot [Super Famitron] is absolutely massive and despite his articulated design, he has trouble standing up when in robot form. However unlike previous LEGO video game consoles of mine, the cartridge slot actually has a spring-loaded trap door for inserting game cartridges. Also the power buttons slide up and down, the dark grey eject button can reciprocate as well.
Super Famitron was wrought with many engineering obstacles when building, such as the functionality of the eject button, the transformation cycle of the two legs, and of course the reciprocating cartridge slot. As mentioned in the video, the cartridge slot functions by a Technic shock absorber in the middle which is anchored to the base. On both sides of the flap are Technic pins to allow smooth rotation with little friction. When the flap is pressed down, it snaps back in place with use of the Technic spring. The power and reset buttons were originally meant to trigger a small red LED, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make a functional electronic circuit within the robot’s legs. Instead, the two purple buttons slide up and down in thin tracks of LEGO plates and tiles.
This is Polybius, the game cartridge robot of my LEGO Super Nintendo project. This particular component was built first, long before the two controllers and console. It’s rectangular shape was easy to make transform and its design phase was rather fluid. The only real challenge was making the head fold behind the body. The labels were designed by me in Adobe Illustrator using vector shapes and text of a parody of the fictional Polybius arcade machine. After building the MOC, I printed out high-res glossy labels and attached them with water-soluble glue.
Polybius is nearly the exact same size and thickness of a real SNES game, and when developing it I tested its size compared to an actual game cartridge, and it even fits within the slot of a real SNES console.
After making the game cartridge Polybius, I moved onto making a fluid controller design which would transform into a robot as well. I wanted one controller to transform into a robot and another one to change into a gun, but I decided to streamline things and just make both controllers transform into the same robot design, albeit with different colors. I settled on gorillas as a nod to Donkey Kong Country. To test the transformation cycles and functionality of the controllers, I built prototypes with various colors like yellow and white with the available pieces I had at the time, then used the base design to manufacture two separate models.
Simian Kong uses a purple button color scheme like that of a traditional SNES controller:
Primal Kong uses a multicolored button scheme like that of a Famicom controller: