The Many Kolors of Koopa
Choosing which LEGO colour to use when building old video game sprites is not as easy as you might think. Take our friend Koopa Troopa for example. There are at least three viable options to choose as his skin colour, each having their own pros and cons.
Classic LEGO Yellow is often the most popular choice when building LEGO Koopa, partly because yellow is a readily available colour, so you probably already have the bricks to build one. Also most modern Mario games actually do have Koopa as yellow, however in the classic games he was more of an orange/tan colour.
Yellow does work, but for me it tends to look a bit too yellow and is not entirely accurate to the original sprite.
Orange is not an overly used choice amongst fans for representing LEGO Koopa, but it is the colour of choice for me so far. Why? Let’s have a closer look at the original Koopa sprite:
Not a bad match, although the original Koopa almost seems to be a bit more tan than orange. Now let's have a closer look at the Koopa's skin colour on its own:
Hello! Is that orange I see? It would seem that the skin colour is actually more of an orange, however when used in his sprite with the greens and whites, the orange is less obvious and looks more tan. This is just another fascinating way in which the miracle of colours can trick us when we least suspect it.
Also don't forget that Mario has the same skin colour as Koopa. Does that mean LEGO Mario should be orange as well? (answer: of course not, if Mario was orange he would look like a slappa from Snog Marry Avoid)
Tan bricks are not as common as yellow, but they provide a more accurate representation of skin colours, such as Mario’s face, than yellow. In Super Mario Brothers though, Koopa’s skin is the same colour as Mario’s, so if you use tan for Mario should you also use tan for Koopa? You can see this effect in the LEGO Super Mario Videos, however when creating real life LEGO Koopa models, there was something a bit off about the tan colour.
But enough from me, what do you think LEGO Mario?
Looks like LEGO Mario is too busy being chased by Koopas to care what colour they are!
So we have Tan, Yellow and Orange Koopas. Which is your favourite?