Buying a classic game console like a Gamecube online is always a bit of a gamble. Even if it arrives in perfect working order, there’s a chance the rest of the console could look like it was handled by a rage-filled toddler. Restoring retro hardware is a time-consuming process, but as YouTuber Peter Knetter demonstrates, you can always take a shortcut and just rebuild a console’s externals using LEGO.
It was just last week that another YouTube channel dedicated to retro gaming hardware demonstrated the versatility and usefulness of LEGO as a hardware restoration tool by rebuilding a Game Boy Advance SP’s housing from LEGO bricks. The build even preserved the GBA SP’s folding hinge, but with the final product covered in protruding Lego studs, it didn’t look terribly comfortable to hold for longer gaming sessions.
As with Retro Stash Repairs’s GBA SP rebuild, Knetter wasn’t able to rebuild the Nintendo GameCube’s electronics using plastic bricks. As complex as LEGO has gotten over the years, even the electronic components from its now defunct robotics building kits aren’t powerful enough to recreate the 22-year-old console.
To make the blue (LEGO doesn’t make enough purple pieces for this build to be colour-accurate) LEGO GameCube functional, Knetter transferred the guts from a real GameCube inside it, which was a fairly trivial transplant given the LEGO hardware is slightly larger than the original.
A working LEGO Gamecube controller
What didn’t turn out as well was Knetter’s attempt to recreate the GameCube’s excellent gamepads from plastic bricks. Although they set out to build a completely self-contained matching controller with all of the electronics stuffed inside it, what they ended up with was an original GameCube controller with a LEGO facelift on the front, including buttons, joysticks, and a d-pad all made from LEGO pieces. It works, but as with the LEGO GBA SP, it looks incredibly uncomfortable to hold, and seems ready to fall apart under the slightest of stress. Unlike the nearly indestructible NES gamepads, this controller definitely won’t survive a rage-induced toss across the room.