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Ever since LEGOs burst onto the scene in the U.S. in the 1960s, they have been a hugely popular brand of children's toy.
The brightly colored building blocks certainly have a number of adult enthusiasts, too!
If you’ve shopped around at all, you’ve likely noticed that there are a huge range of LEGO sets available. You can build everything from princess castles to the Death Star to whatever your imagination dictates.
In fact, you can find so many different LEGO sets that choosing the best one can feel a bit like a mind-boggling conundrum.
If you're struggling to decide which LEGO set is best, either for yourself or a giftee, you've come to the right place!
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Read on for our full guide to LEGO sets. We’ll tell you what you need to know about LEGOs and how to pick the best one for your needs.
For our top recommendations, please see our favorite five LEGO sets featured in the matrix above.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
LEGO City Trains Cargo Train Building Toy
The LEGO City Cargo Train Toy is an 888-piece set featuring a cargo train, various carriages, a train track, a forklift, a truck, minifigures, and a crane with hook to load up the carriages. Not only is it great fun to build, kids will enjoy hours of entertainment playing with their creation once it has been constructed. Although suitable for ages six and up, some younger builders may need help constructing the City Cargo Train Toy set.
Not only are LEGOs fun to play with, they offer a range of educational benefits for kids. Let's examine some of the benefits of playing with LEGOs:
Playing with LEGOs promotes fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Kids can gain problem solving and mathematical thinking skills from building LEGO creations.
LEGOs stimulate the imagination. You can craft just about anything with them.
Children learn how to follow instructions and the importance of completing steps in the correct order.
Playing LEGOs with others can help develop teamwork and communication skills, as children need to be able to explain problems and potential solutions.
The sense of accomplishment a child gets from completing a LEGO project can help build self-esteem.
Playing with LEGOs helps children learn how to persevere when things don't go right the first time.
There are many "themes" in the LEGO world. Here are some of the most popular themes available.
These sets consist of assorted bricks for general use.
These sets focus on buildings and landmarks.
When choosing a LEGO set, consider the color selection, particularly if you're purchasing a Classic set or other set you can use to build your own creations. Some people like bright LEGO bricks, whereas others prefer a more muted selection.
Made by LEGO, Duplos are larger bricks for younger children.
This hugely popular LEGO theme features many different Star Wars-themed sets.
These sets are character-driven and focus on friendship.
You can find LEGO sets that span a wide range of themes and fan bases. There are gender-neutral LEGO sets that focus on bricks and building rather than characters, such as the Classic, Creator, and Ideas-themed sets. There are other sets that feel quite gendered, such as the Friends, Disney Princess, and Speed Champions-themed sets. In short, there is a LEGO set for everyone.
These LEGO sets focus on aspects of city life.
These are advanced LEGO sets that feature moving parts.
These sets are for creating and coding real moving robots with motors.
LEGO Technics sets are advanced sets that focus on engineering and pneumatics. They’re perfect for children and young people who want a challenging LEGO set.
These unique LEGO sets are designed to build a specific item or items.
These are LEGO sets featuring a range of Disney Princess characters and settings.
These are community-created and supported sets with the true LEGO enthusiast in mind.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
LEGO Disney Arendelle Castle Celebration
Easy Does It
This Disney Princess LEGO set for ages six to 12 is perfect for all the Frozen fans out there. People who have constructed this set remark that it's easy to put together, though many kids at the lower end of the suggested age range will need some adult assistance. Once constructed, it acts as a mini Frozen play set with Anna, Elsa, and Olaf minifigures included, plus three Snowgies.
The following questions focus on the person who will be playing with the LEGO set. The answers to these questions may help you decide which set is best.
With all the different LEGO themes available, it's worth asking yourself where the builder’s interests lie before you make your purchase.
For instance, if you're buying LEGOs for someone who loves Star Wars, you can find a large number of LEGO sets in the Star Wars range.
Think about how versatile your chosen LEGO set is. Can it be used to create a range of builds, or do the pieces limit the builder to creating only what's outlined in the official instructions?
Some people prefer a LEGO set with a strict set of instructions to follow, whereas others like to build whatever strikes their fancy.
LEGO Classic sets contain a variety of bricks that can be used in different ways – perfect for the builder who prefers to follow her imagination.
The majority of LEGO sets have instructions to follow. However, in many cases, the pieces could still be used to make other things, particularly if the builder already has a large LEGO collection.
Do you know someone who is is interested in robotics? LEGO Boost and Mindstorms sets allow the builder to create his or her own working LEGO robots.
Some builders love a challenging LEGO set that takes days or even weeks to construct. Others would prefer to be done within 30 minutes to an hour.
Often, you can get an idea of how long the set would take to build by looking at the number of pieces included. Basic sets might contain a few hundred pieces, which an older or more skilled LEGO builder could probably finish in 20 to 30 minutes.
The largest LEGO sets of all contain more than 7,000 pieces; even a skilled builder would need more than 24 hours to complete one of these mammoth sets.
If you’re buying LEGOs for a younger child, it's probably best to stick to a set of just a few hundred pieces – unless the child is advanced for his age or will be receiving adult assistance.
How much do LEGOs cost? The answer to that question varies depending on several factors, including the number of pieces in the set, the theme, and the complexity of the set.
Small LEGO sets with less than 100 pieces start at about $5 to $10.
Medium LEGO sets with 200 to 500 pieces cost roughly $25 to $75.
Large LEGO sets with 500 to 1,000 pieces usually cost $60 to $150,
Extra-large LEGO sets with 1,000 pieces are often priced between $100 and $500. Rare or collectible LEGO sets that have been discontinued can sometimes command several thousand dollars.
Licensed LEGO sets – Star Wars, Ghostbusters, LEGO Batman, and so on – often cost slightly more per brick than non-licensed LEGO sets.
While you can find many excellent LEGO sets where the builder follows instructions to construct something specific, most kids love to invent their own LEGO creations, too. A Classic or Creator LEGO set probably wouldn’t go amiss, especially for a child just starting his LEGO collection.
If you have multiple LEGO sets at home, it's best to store them separately if possible. Otherwise, the pieces get mixed together, and it is very hard to find the right bricks when trying to construct each set.
Kids love LEGOs, but many adults collect them, too. You might be surprised to know it's a better investment than gold.
You can buy LEGO bricks individually, but LEGO sets generally offer a better value for your investment.
Q. What age group are LEGO sets suitable for?
A. Different LEGO sets are suitable for different age groups. At the lower end, Duplo sets are suitable for children as young as 18 months. Most children move on to regular-size LEGOs at around age five, but it’s still wise to choose more basic sets at this age. (For instance, LEGO sets with a Juniors theme are good for five-year-olds.)
Some sets are quite complex and would be too tricky for younger LEGO fans to complete without adult help. Check the specs of the LEGO set you're considering, and look at the recommended age range.
Q. Do LEGO sets come with minifigures?
A. Minifigures, also known as LEGO people, are popular with many kids – especially those who like to play with their creations once built. Many LEGO sets include minifigures in the box, but not all do. If the inclusion of minifigures is important to you, check the product specs before buying.
Q. What if I need individual parts to create something particular? Or what if I lose a part?
A. Even if you buy a LEGO set, you may choose to take it apart and construct something else with it. And yes, there's the chance that you could lose some vital bricks over time. The good news is, you can buy bricks individually from the Pick a Brick section of LEGO's official website.
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