If you’ve ever looked at Etsy, browsed /r/gaming, or been to any video game or comic book convention, you’ve seen Perler beads turned into sprite art. After all, Perler beads are an ideal canvas for pixel-based crafts. Each bead is a pixel you arrange on a pinboard, then a quick press with an iron fuses them together into a single plastic sprite of Mario, Mega Man, Sonic, or any other character you like from the 8- or 16-bit era.
Until now, they’ve all been unofficial craft projects made out of stock Perler or Perler-like beads in whatever colors come closest to the palette of the video game you want to turn into a piece of plastic art. Nintendo and Perler have come together to make some of those sprite projects official. Perler showed off its upcoming lines of Nintendo-branded bead kits at Toy Fair this weekend.
Currently, Perler’s Nintendo sets span across three classic games: The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES and Super Mario World on the SNES. I would have loved a Link to the Past line as well, but it’s still a pretty excellent trio to start with.
The Super Mario Bros. 3 line is by far Perler’s biggest. Perler will offer the Mario Deluxe Kit with 4,000 beads, a pegboard, and 13 different projects. There’s a Super Mario Bros. 3 pattern pad with 60 different sprite projects, a tub of 5,000 Perler beads in the Mario palette, and ten different individual starter kits of 275 beads, a pegboard, and a sprite design like Mario, Super Star, Boo, Bullet Bill, and Cheep Cheep.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.