Lego sets have been among the most popular children’s toys worldwide since The Lego Group introduced them in 1949. In fact, the sets have such a loyal fanbase that The Lego Group became the most profitable toymaker in 2021. One of the reasons for the company’s continued success is that it’s branched out into creating Lego sets aimed at adults. The best Lego sets for adults are generally more intricate and can require hours of concentration to complete. The upside is that you’re left with a physical document of your work, and you’ve probably spent fewer hours staring at a screen. If you haven’t assembled one of the best Lego sets since childhood, it’s time to set aside some time and a spot on your table.
— Best Overall: Lego Ideas Tree House
— Best Budget: Lego Ideas “Seinfeld” Building Kit
— Best For Gamers: Lego Nintendo Entertainment System
— Best For “Star Wars” Fans: Lego “Star Wars” Ultimate Millennium Falcon
— Best For Musicians: Lego Ideas Fender Stratocaster
How We Picked the Best Lego Sets for Adults
Lego sets for adults aren’t fundamentally different from the ones aimed at kids: You start out with a bunch of separate pieces, follow step-by-step instructions, and slowly bring a cool-looking structure to life. Since that’s the case, our guide to the best Lego sets for adults is fairly subjective. Lego has an entire section of its site dedicated to these sets called “Adults Welcome,” and we highly encourage you to check it out after seeing our recommendations. Our goal is to showcase a thorough cross-section of Lego sets that are compelling enough to hold an adult’s attention, and appeal to their interests.
Design: Many Lego sets meant for adults are a collaboration between the toymaker and an iconic brand. Lego sets have such prestige that it’s allowed the company to partner with the likes of Nintendo, Disney, NBC, Fender, and Adidas and the company has spawned some imitators. Lego sets are designed to be displayed once they’re complete, and our guide reflects the coolest-looking Lego sets for adults that are currently available. Lego routinely releases sets through new and existing partners.
Size: Lego sets for adults can get incredibly intricate, which may mean you’ll end up with a bigger design. We’re cognizant of the fact that you may not have a lot of space to assemble or display your creation, so we’ve made sure the Lego sets in our guide are roughly one foot tall, wide, or deep depending on the design.
Number Of Pieces: Most of the Lego sets we’re recommending have around 1,000 pieces, though one tops out at over 7,000.
Limited Editions: One of the downsides to Lego’s collaborations with other brands is the fact that many of its more difficult sets are only available in limited quantities. After a while, Lego will “retire” these sets, and you won’t be able to get them anymore. The bottom line is that if you see a Lego set you’re interested in, you should grab it while you can.
The Best Lego Sets for Adults: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Lego Set for Adults Overall: Lego Ideas Tree House
Why It Made The Cut: This is one of the first Lego sets to incorporate bricks made from sustainable materials, which perfectly match its tree house theme.
— 3,036 pieces
— 14 inches tall x 10 inches wide
— Ages 16+
— Made from sustainable materials
— Bundled with a bag for storing pieces
— Not too tall
— Somewhat generic design
— Many parts made of plastic
This is the only Lego set that isn’t a collaboration between The Lego Group and an outside company. Instead, the Tree House is part of the Lego Ideas initiative, which allows people to design and submit unique ideas to the company. The unique idea behind this Lego Set was to match its treehouse design with sustainable materials.
While many of the Lego Tree House‘s bricks are made out of plastic, the tree’s leaves and base are made out of sustainably made materials. The Lego Group says 185 bricks in this set are made from these materials. That’s only about 6 percent of the total bricks that comprise the Lego Tree House set, but it’s a start. Our favorite element of this Lego set is the inclusion of both green, brown, and yellow leaves. This allows you to switch the scene from spring to autumn very easily.
While the tree itself is the star in this set, other elements (like the treehouse and picnic table), make it feel more lively. Little elements, like the lanterns, telescope, and candles are especially cool. Lego won’t fully reach its sustainability goals for a few years, but we can’t help but recommend the Tree House set for adults who want to encourage The Lego Group to stay on course.
Best Budget: Lego Ideas “Seinfeld” Building Kit
Why It Made The Cut: Most Lego sets cost well over $100, but this one, modeled after a location from Seinfeld, falls well below that threshold without sacrificing quality.
— 1,326 Pieces
— 15 inches tall x 10.3 inches wide
— Ages 18+
— A faithful recreation of Jerry Seinfeld’s TV apartment
— Breaks the fourth wall
— Conversation piece
— The scene feels a little cramped
— The standup section can feel a little out of place
“Seinfeld” is one of the most successful television series of all time, and this Lego set does an impressive job of showcasing its best-known location: Jerry’s apartment. The set includes all four principal characters, plus Newman. Small details, like the Superman sticker on Jerry’s fridge, cereal boxes in his cupboard, and other small nods to specific episodes are scattered throughout the scene.
The “Seinfeld” set also includes a separate scene of Jerry standing in front of a brick wall. Episodes from the first seven seasons of “Seinfeld” began with Jerry doing a standup bit in a club that relates to that show’s plot. Our favorite part about this Lego set is the fact that it breaks the fourth wall. There are stage lights and cameras mounted to the top of the Jerry’s apartment set, and a boom microphone designed to sit in front of it. Lego sets typically evoke fantasies, but we appreciate this one’s nod to reality.
Best For Gamers: Lego Nintendo Entertainment System
Why It Made The Cut: This Lego allows you to actually “play” a snippet of the first level from the original Super Mario Bros. game released on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
— 2,646 pieces
— 22.9 inches tall x 18.9-inches wide
— Ages 18+
— This set includes the game console, controller, cartridge, and TV
— Once assembled, the game is interactive
— Nostalgia for gamers
— Playing through the game requires you to manually twist a crank
— The fully assembled set requires a fair bit of space
Nintendo has been notoriously skittish about partnering with other companies following some disastrous experiences in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but it made an exception for The Lego Group.
This Lego set allows you to build a replica of the original Nintendo Entertainment system, complete with a controller, “Super Mario Bros.” cartridge, and CRT TV displaying the game in action. The image on the screen is actually a faithful recreation of a section from the game’s first level. Amazingly, the controller actually plugs into a port on the Nintendo console, and the system has a functioning cartridge slot, which can open and close.
You can even scroll the game’s screen by turning a crank built into the side of the machine, allowing Mario to collect power-ups and jump on enemies. It’s almost a shame that you can’t play games on this machine. If you enjoy video games, or know somebody who does, we can’t imagine a better Lego set than this.
Best Lego “Star Wars” Set: Lego “Star Wars” Ultimate Millennium Falcon
Why It Made The Cut: The Lego Company’s Ultimate Millennium Falcon is by far the most intricate Lego set we have ever seen, and a stunning showpiece once completed.
— 7,541 pieces
— 33-inches wide, 22-inches tall
— Ages 16+
— Incredibly faithful to the original design
— Impressive final product
— Very large once assembled
Lego sets are constantly evolving and becoming more intricate, but we’re willing to say this one recreating “Star Wars”‘ Millennium Falcon is definitive. Every satellite, defense mechanism, exhaust pipe, and character is fully accounted for. You’ll be able to install Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke, Leia, Rey, Poe, or Finn into the pilot’s seat of the craft that made the kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.
You’ll need to set aside a lot of time and space to assemble this Lego set, as constructing the Millennium Falcon involves building it from the inside out. You probably won’t see the inside of the ship very often, but you can rest assured that its internal design is an exact replica of the original. Naturally, you can pop off certain parts of the Falcon to reveal rooms where the included characters can live.
The sheer magnitude of the LEGO “Star Wars” Ultimate Millennium Falcon blows our minds, although we’re a little wary of how big the model is once it’s assembled. If you’re a fan of “Star Wars,” and have the room, this set is a no-brainer. Then you can build your collection with the best Lego “Star Wars” sets.
Best For Musicians: Lego Ideas Fender Stratocaster
Why It Made The Cut: The Lego Company’s Stratocaster set is a compact recreation of an iconic guitar and amp pairing used by many popular musicians.
— 1,074 pieces
— 4 inches tall, 14 inches wide
— Ages 16+
— The set includes all the gear a musician would need to play a gig
— Not too big
— Easy assembly
— Not as intricate as other Lego sets
Most famous musicians have a Fender guitar somewhere in their collection, and this Lego set based on a 1970s Stratocaster illustrates why. Rather than dedicating the entire set to an ultra-detailed guitar, The Lego Company decided to bundle the plastic instrument with an amp, cable, foot pedal, stand, picks, and a strap. You can even swap out its faceplate to alternate between a red and black appearance.
As a musician, I like how much thought was put into this set, although it’s not quite as detailed as some other ones we’re recommending. On the flip side, that makes it easier to assemble. This is also the smallest Lego set in our guide, and it’s perfect for displaying on a desk. If The Lego Company had included a mic stand, gig bag, or other accouterments, it would’ve made this set feel a little more definitive. That said, this Lego set still looks really cool, and is a fun option if you like to play music.
Things to Consider Before Buying Lego Sets for Adults
Storing pieces: If you’re assembling a complicated Lego set, there’s a good chance it’ll take you multiple sessions to complete it. You can keep your Lego bricks in any plastic bag while you work, but The Lego Group offers an assortment of storage options for you to consider. We’re especially fond of the containers shaped like a Lego character’s head, or a giant Lego brick. These storage options are a lot harder to misplace than a generic bag.
Lego VIP: If you order Lego sets from Lego.com, and sign up for a free Lego VIP account, your purchases will automatically earn you VIP points. These points can be redeemed for exclusive rewards on Lego.com. Lego VIP account holders will also get early access to exclusive sets and monthly promotions.
Sustainability: Traditionally, the pieces in Lego sets have been made out of plastic, but The Lego Company has committed to making them out of sustainable materials by 2030. The company will move to exclusively using sustainable packaging by 2025. If you’re uninterested in keeping a Lego set once it’s complete, you can ship the bricks back to The Lego Company as part of its Replay initiative. This ensures the bricks won’t be collecting dust in your closet, or sitting in a landfill.
Q: What happens if a Lego piece is missing from my set?
If a piece from your new Lego set is missing, broken, or lost, you can report it to the company to get a replacement. To get the fastest response, Lego asks that you include the piece’s part number, which is located in the set’s instructions. It notes that bricks and pieces can take up to six weeks to get delivered.
Q: What happens if I misplace the directions to my Lego set?
Lego provides free digital instructions to all of its sets on their product page. These instructions are available in the PDF format, and can be downloaded an unlimited number of times without requiring you to sign up for an account. Once downloaded, you can view a set’s instructions on your digital device, or print them out to have a hard copy.
Q: Can I buy individual bricks to create my own set?
Yes. Lego has a section called pick-a-brick that allows you to buy individual Lego bricks for custom creations. This section is currently being updated, and will be back online shortly.
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Final Thoughts on Lego Sets for Adults
The Lego Group is one of the few companies that’s made a concerted effort to appeal to people of all ages without feeling like it’s pandering. Instead of playing off the nostalgia many people have from building sets as kids, the company is constantly releasing new ones that have appeal regardless of your age or how your interests have changed. Impressively, The Lego Group has maintained — or even grown — in popularity in the advent of video games and other electronics. Any of the Lego sets above will provide hours of entertainment without you having to worry about when something needs to be charged.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.