598 pieces. Stands 10 inches tall. Assemble 5 pieces of iconic NYC architecture, including The Statue of Liberty and Chrysler Building. Includes companion history booklet.
Expensive. A fairly difficult model.
At just one foot high, this faithful recreation can slip onto most desks or bookshelves. The 321-piece kit looks amazing as a replica of the 1889 World’s Fair centerpiece. Sure to draw approving looks from young and old.
Not as challenging as some kits, but a good starter set.
This 5,923-piece set brings the 17th Century landmark to life with amazing detail. Features sweeping arches, central dome, balconies and decorative finials. Terrific display piece and one of LEGO’s most challenging sets.
Expensive and definitely for expert builders.
With 1,685 pieces, this impressive replica towers more than 17” high. Features statue, crown, golden torch and highly detailed pedestal. Recommended for builders age 16 and up.
The face does not have much detail.
LEGO is a hugely iconic toy, loved by people young and old. As you get older, however, you might long for some more sophisticated options — enter LEGO Architecture sets.
Letting you recreate some of the world's most famous buildings or invent architectural beauties of your own, these sets are a grown-up LEGO-lover's dream. The question is: which LEGO Architecture set is right for you? Are you interested in American architecture or do you prefer the old-time charm of British buildings? Do you want a quick, easy set you can build in an hour or two or something more challenging?
If you think you’re ready to pick one out, read on for our in-depth guide to LEGO Architecture sets and recommendations. Soon, you’ll be following in the footsteps of Frank Lloyd Wright and James Hoban, albeit on a smaller scale.
LEGO sets come in a range of "themes," and architecture is one of these. In other words, not every LEGO set featuring a building is a LEGO Architecture set, only those that belong to the architecture theme are. You'll know which belong to this theme, as they'll have "LEGO Architecture" written on the packaging. Within the architecture theme, there are a few subthemes, or collections, such as Landmark Buildings and the Skyline Collection.
Are you buying for yourself or for a child? If the latter, look carefully at the minimum age of any LEGO Architecture sets you're considering. While you can find some simple sets designed for children ages ten and up, the majority of LEGO Architecture sets are recommended for people ages 12 and up — or even 16 plus. These minimum age recommendations are generally based on how difficult the sets are, rather than any safety concerns, since tweens and teens are unlikely to swallow tiny LEGO pieces or jam them up their noses. As such, you can take these age recommendations with a grain of salt. If your 10-year-old is a LEGO whizz, for example, she'll probably manage just fine with a LEGO Architecture set for 12 and up.
Number of pieces
LEGO Architecture sets tend to be on the larger side. Still, they can range in size from a few hundred pieces to a few thousand. If you want a fairly easy LEGO Architecture set that you can finish within a few hours, at most, look for a model with between 300 and 600 pieces. If you're looking for a challenging set that might take a full day or a few evenings to complete, opt for a set with around 2,000 to 3,000 pieces. Of course, everyone builds LEGO at their own pace, so these times are merely guidelines.
Before purchasing a LEGO Architecture set, it's worth checking the overall dimensions when completed. This is particularly important if you plan to keep it assembled and display it, perhaps on a LEGO table. Some sets are so large that you might have trouble finding somewhere they will fit. Others are much smaller than they look from the pictures, so you could be disappointed if you're expecting something grand and imposing.
Although you can often get a rough idea of how large a finished LEGO set will be from the number of pieces, it can be misleading, since some sets have a huge number of tiny pieces, whereas others have fewer pieces but many of those pieces are extra-large ones. The only way of knowing the exact dimensions is to check the product description.
The majority of LEGO Architecture sets are aimed at older LEGO fans, so they tend to be more difficult to assemble than your average LEGO set. You may find they have more pieces, troublesome smaller pieces, or more complex instructions than LEGO sets designed for younger children. As a rule, you can guess the difficulty of a LEGO Architecture set by checking the minimum age recommendation. Those recommended for ages 16 and up are generally more complex than those recommended for ages 12 and up, for instance.
How much do you need to spend on a LEGO Architecture set? Prices generally vary depending on the overall size and complexity of the set. The most inexpensive LEGO Architecture sets generally have between 300 and 600 pieces and cost roughly $30 to $50. Mid-priced LEGO Architecture sets have roughly 600 to 1,000 pieces and cost in the $50 to $100 range. The most expensive LEGO Architecture sets feature somewhere in the region of 1,000 to 3,000 pieces (though occasionally more) and cost approximately $100 to $350. That said, these prices only hold true when a set is still in production. Some LEGO Architecture sets become highly collectible once they've been discontinued and fetch over $1,000.
Decide whether you want to recreate famous buildings or create your own. Most options are to recreate existing landmarks, but LEGO Architecture studio sets contain a range of bricks and an architecture guide for making your own buildings.
Consider who you're buying for. It's simpler if you’re choosing a LEGO Architecture set for yourself, but if you're buying one as a gift, you must consider the age, interests, and skill level of the gift-receiver. There's no point buying a set featuring the Great Wall of China for someone who's only interested in modern architecture, for instance.
Think about whether you'll want to display your LEGO Architecture set when it's completed. If so, you can buy special LEGO display cases, or pick a shelf or surface where it's unlikely to get knocked or disturbed.
Double-check the LEGO Architecture set you're buying is genuine. There are fakes out there, and they can be convincing. Buying from a trusted retailer will help.
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