The “coin block” is one of those iconic sights from Super Mario Bros. In this Cubeecraft board you can even see it as one of the very recognizable images in the game. Bruno Pasquini of Bruno Games put his design skills to the test by creating a coin block of his own. By the way, it also works. Yes, he’s managed to craft a coin block in its familiar question-mark-adorned glory which manages to spit out a coin and make a sound when struck from below. Even better, he’s given instructions on how to create your own!
The box itself is made of sturdy cardboard, but it’s what’s inside that really makes this so amazing. An MP3 player is used to provide the familiar chime the block makes when spewing out a coin. A servo does the physical work, and two circuit boards are created to control everything. There’s also a mount on the back which allows the box to slide up slightly when hit, just like in the games. With each hit, the mechanism pops a coin out from the tube inside, and is reloaded with a new one. The coin is spit upward and the MP3 plays its pre-set sound file to go along with the action. I’m not sure if it will continue feeding out coins at the speed Mario can coax the blocks into, but the fact that this works is amazing enough. You could even keep something like this by your front door; if you need some change on the way out, a punch or two to the coin block should do the trick. Clearly, this project takes quite a bit of work, not only in assembling but also in finding the right components.
If you’re a seriously die-hard Mario fan, however, this is likely a project you’re willing to undertake. It’s also a lot less painful than punching your fist into a cube of brick, if you want to feel like Mario. For more interactive Mario Bros. fan projects, check out this Super Mario Kinect Hack or this Transforming Mario Hoodie.