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. 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, are endlessly modular, and for the most part, don’t make noise.
It’s a dizzying array of choices, and not all sets are created equal. Our favorites cover a variety of themes, both licensed and original. They’re all fun to both build and well-designed, so kids can play with their completed models even after they finish the last page of the instructions.
Here are some of our favorite Lego sets to buy now.
Kids can build the Lego Movie buggy, and then stay busy opening the doors and hood. It also has an exploding buildable base.
Pros: If your kid is a fan of the Lego movies, this is a must-have set for you. Aimed at kids eight and older, the buggy features huge wheels and suspension. You can fight the enemy with a crossbow and crowbar.
Cons: If you’re not a fan of the movies, keep reading.
You might have heard of that tiny, little, underperforming Avengers franchise. Meet the latest and greatest Lego release, featuring 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.
Pros: 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.
Cons: Based on reviews, it may be too easy for the master builders out there.
This set features two characters from the team-based action game, including a buildable version of Reinhardt’s huge and hugely impressive Rocket Hammer.
Pros: Kids who love the Overwatch video game will go nuts for this 455-piece set, which includes tank heroes D.Va and Reinhardt, and minifigure versions of each character that can go inside the large toys.
Cons: If you’re not into Overwatch, keep reading.
You get three sets for the price of one, and having built it, we can attest that kids absolutely love it.
Pros: 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.
Cons: No cons, except don’t lose any pieces or you’ll be limited to one creature only.
Everyone likes a ship in a bottle, and while not quite as impressive from a construction standpoint, this brick-based version is a worthy take on the classic. The clear pieces that make up the bottle feel like magic, and the Leviathan (that's the name of the ship) inside is extremely cool.
Pros: Along with the bottle itself, this 962-piece Lego set comes with a build-it-yourself stand that makes displaying this model a joy. We’re also huge fans of using small translucent blue pieces to mimic what water looks like.
Cons: Once it’s built, there’s not a ton that kids can do with this Lego set, so it’s not a great fit for kids who like to constantly play with their Legos.
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.
Cons: If you’re not into cars, this set isn’t for you.
Sometimes the best Lego sets come from the best designers in the business, but sometimes it's the sets that let kids hone their own design skills that they love the most. This is the latter, a 518-piece set that kids who love Minecraft can use to bring their digital dreams into physical reality.
Pros: There are plenty of pieces for kids to experiment with, but there are also instructions included for eight different smaller models, making this a pretty versatile set and a great way to get your kid to stop playing Minecraft all day.
Cons: There’s no instructions for a massive build that takes advantage of the entire set, so don’t expect to get a showstopper out of this set despite its relatively high price tag.
The price and complexity of this kit mean it's not exactly great for kids, but the attention and care put into designing it mean there's lots for adult Lego builders (and older kids who have been very, very good) to love about this 3,599-piece set, designed in concert with the folks who designed the actual Bugatti Chiron.
Pros: Details taken straight from the car — a key that raises and lowers the rear wing, an eight-speed gearbox, an engine with moving parts — make this Lego set a can’t miss for sports car enthusiasts. It also comes with a collector’s book for a true luxury experience.
Cons: The price is obviously a big factor when considering this set, and the complexity of the build means it’s not great for everyone, no matter how much they love Lego sets.
One of the most iconic vehicles in the Star Wars saga gets the Lego treatment it deserves, a 1,376-piece kit that includes five minifigures. The walker itself has posable legs and head, a cockpit that opens, shooters with spring-loaded ammo, and ammo stores at the side.
Pros: There are lots of minifigures (with accessories) and plenty of interactive features to keep kids entertained well after building is done on this Lego set.
Cons: If we had the choice, we’d rather this set be modeled off the epic battle on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, the film that burned these slow, massive walkers into our memories forever.
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.
Pros: 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.
Cons: It would be nice if you could build a complete beach set at once, but there are only enough pieces to build one set of instructions at once.
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.
Pros: 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.
Cons: The decidedly retro feel of this set might not appeal to every kid, but if that means you get to build it yourself it might not be the worst thing in the world.
It's not as impressive as the immense, complete Hogwarts set, but this 878-piece Great Hall is plenty complex for most kids.
Pros: 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.
Cons: If your kid is a superfan of both Legos and Harry Potter, it might be worth it to bite the bullet and get the complete Hogwarts set.
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