LEGO's new Atari 2600 kit comes with joystick, games

Building the Atari 2600 model set. (Photo via LEGO Group)

LEGOs and video games both became playroom staples in the 1980s. So it just makes sense for LEGO to release a buildable brick model of the iconic Atari 2600 video game console.

LEGO announced details of the new set on Tuesday. In addition to the classic black and faux wood-grain console – the four-switch VCS/2600 model, which slides open to reveal a "a pop-up scene from an 80’s gaming room" – the kit also includes a model joystick controller that moves just like the original, as well as three video game cartridges in brick format: Asteroids, Adventure, and Centipede.

Yes, you can slide the cartridges into the console. When not in "use," they can be stored in a buildable case or even built into mini versions of the games themselves.

"I recall spending hours and hours in front of the TV, absolutely amazed that I could play arcade games in my own home," set designer Chris McVeigh said in a release about the kit. "This is why it has been such an incredible experience to bring two icons together, Atari and LEGO, in this awesome set."

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Cartridges can be put into the slot, just like the real console. (Photo via LEGO Group)

The new Atari set goes on sale August 1 with a suggested price of $240. It clocks in at just under – you guessed it – 2,600 pieces.

What was the Atari 2600?

If you played video games at home in the early 1980s, there’s a good chance you were using an Atari 2600. After its debut in 1977, it became the first widely successful home video game system thanks, in part, to its use of swappable game cartridges.

The 8-bit graphics and basic controllers seem antiquated today, but millions of kids around the world got their first taste of gaming by playing hits like Space Invaders, Missile Command, Pac-Man, Asteroids, and Pitfall.

By the late 1980s, the 2600 was supplanted by Nintendo’s NES console, which itself was brickified by LEGO last year.

The Office LEGO set

Fans of the TV show ‘The Office’ can now build their own version of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch, complete with many Easter eggs from the series. LEGO announced the 1,164-piece tribute set last week.

The idea was submitted by amateur builder Jaijai Lewis, and was accepted by LEGO based in part on fan votes through the LEGO Ideas platform.

"Overall, I worked on this project for nearly seven years. I used behind-the-scenes photos, set blueprints and re-watched the show as references for my designs," he said. "It was a lot of fun to recreate classic moments from the show over the years."

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Pam's busy reception desk. (Photo via LEGO Group)

The set includes 15 minifigures – everyone from Jim and Pam to Toby Flenderson (sorry, Michael) – and, of course, icons like the ‘World’s Best Boss’ mug and Dwight’s stapler stuck in gelatin.

The ‘Office’ set is available through Walmart for $120.

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This story was reported from Tampa, Fla.