The Lego bricks your kids are playing with are pretty much the same as the ones you had as a kid, but the Lego sets you can buy them are way different. The best Lego sets hit the sweet spot of being both challenging and engaging. There are tons of options, from Harry Potter and Star Wars sets to fan-submitted models that the company wisely decided to put into production.
We parents love Legos because they foster creativity and group play when kids build together, are endlessly modular, and are the original STEM toys. Kids explore symmetry, balance, stability, shapes, and sizes as they build castles, boats, cars, or treehouses. And when kids mess up and skip a step, they have to logically think about what went wrong and analyze what they need to do to fix the damn thing.
The company releases new sets every year and retires others. Much of what you choose is based on your kids’ specific interests, but some sets, like those below, stand the test of time.
The Best Lego Sets for Beginners
A 200-piece set that’s ideal for kids in kindergarten and first grade. It’s something they see in real life, and the set itself is engaging as hell.
A must-own for Toy Story fans, this set even includes a Forky minifigure.
Kids four and up build a recreational vehicle with chassis, removable roof, interior with a bed, and toilet and sink. They had us at toilet and sink. The set comes with Jessie, Forky and Rex figures.
Most Marvel Lego sets are pretty intricate, but here's one younger kids can easily manage.
Kids who love Marvel (which is basically all kids) build Black Panther’s bike, which also launches missiles. Yes missiles.
Aimed at slightly older kids, this townhouse is nevertheless a three-in-one building win for younger kids.
Ideal for group play, this set lets kids build a townhouse toy store, which can be rebuilt into a flower shop, which can be rebuild into a cake shop. Creator sets are whimsical, offbeat, and just plain fun.
You get three sets for the price of one, and having built it, we can attest that kids absolutely love it.
It’s a solid Lego set starter kit, clocking in at 233 pieces, and you get three creatures out of it. You start with a fire-breathing dragon that then can be transformed into a spider or a troll. The instructions are easy to follow, which is a bonus.
The Best Lego Sets for Advanced Builders
The iconic X-Wing starfighter from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gets the Lego treatment it deserves.
At 700+ pieces, this set isn’t for the faint of heart. But those who dig Star Wars will be into this set, which has an opening cockpit, space for R2-D2, adjustable wings for cruise and attack mode, and retractable landing gear because safety first, of course.
A glorious addition to Lego's already glorious skyline architecture collection.
Another set with 700+ pieces, this one is meant for master builders who can devote the focus and time needed to make this thing. But when you’re done, you have the Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel, Dubai Frame and The Dubai Fountain on display.
Some Lego sets are truly random, in the best sense, and this one is a standout.
With 404 pieces, this set is manageable. Plus, there’s really no solid reason to build your very own sailboat, except that it’s hella fun to do. It has moving sails, dagger boards, and a rudder.
Kids nine and older can build a pirate roller coast with shark carriages, ticket booth, water drop and cool pirate-themed props.
Kids can dream up their very own amusement park with this working roller coaster. There’s even a cotton candy machine for the ultimate fairground experience.
This Star Wars Lego set lets kids build an AT-AP Walker vehicle with cockpit, articulated legs and aiming turret with a spring-loaded shooter.
Get ready for serious battle with this AT-AP Walker, which features articulated legs and retractable third leg. The set includes Chewbacca, Clone Commander Gree and a Kashyyyk Clone Trooper, plus two Kashyyyk Battle Droid figures.
So you're raising the next Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid? Then invest in this singular Paris skyline Lego set, featuring a magnificent collection of the French city's most famous landmarks.
C’est magnifique! This Lego set includes the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, Tour Montparnasse, Grand Palais, Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, grass and tree areas and a decorative Paris display plate. It’s great for kids 12 and up, and can be combined with other cityscapes for one magnificent global skyline.
Great for older kids, this set has a modular lab that can be combined and stacked in many different ways. The set includes a rotating podium with two robotic arms for Tony Stark to get suited up as Iron Man.
Fans of the Avengers films broadly and Tony Stark in particular will dig this set, which includes a posable Igor Suit mech with minifigure cockpit, a posable mobile robot and six minifigures. It’s a solid homage to Iron Man.
This retro '60s set of wheels makes for one hugely entertaining and eye-catching Lego set.
Pros: Truly, what’s not to love about this Lego set, which features a slew of authentic ’60s details, including curved fenders, hubcaps, round headlights, wing-mounted turn signals, surfer accessories, opening hood, trunk and doors? It’s iconic, and the surfing gear is removable. It’s 1167 pieces, so definitely a better fit for experienced builders or older kids.
It seems that the vast majority of Lego sets nowadays are branded, but clever designs like this 379-piece VW-esque surfer van are a great reminder that the company can still churn out amazing, original designs.
It’s a surfer van, but not just a surfer van. Because it’s part of Lego’s Creator line, kids get two other sets of instructions, in this case a lifeguard tower and a beach buggy. That means more fun for them and a better value for parents.
This set, officially licensed by NASA, is a one meter-tall replica of the Apollo Saturn V rocket, the ship that got the human race to the moon. It has three sections that can detach, simulating how the real thing intentionally came apart after liftoff.
This set has 1,969 pieces (think about it), and it comes with replicas of the lunar lander and command service module that were also part of the Apollo V mission. It looks great displayed horizontally or vertically, and it comes with a crew of three astronaut minifigures.
It's not as impressive as the immense, complete Hogwarts set, but this 878-piece Great Hall is plenty complex for most kids.
There are some great details included in this kit, from house banners, staircases that move, and a few different classrooms. You can combine it with the Whomping Willow for a more complete Hogwarts experience.
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