Think about it.
Have you ever heard of ANYONE being upset about getting a Lego set for a gift?
Even in this age of all-electronic-and-screen, all-the-time, the best Lego sets are still craved after by kids and adults alike. There is something to a Lego set. Whether it’s because of the reputation for a high-quality experience from box to the finished kit, or how much fun it is to build and rebuild with a mix of Lego brick sets – it’s just a birthday or Christmas gift that has stood the test of time.
One issue is: just what Lego set should you get? There are ALOT of sets available – and the vast majority are good. It’s sometimes harder to see those Lego sets that rise above the rest.
Our team has spent over 85 hours (so far) researching the best lego sets for in different categories. I know my wife is sick of hearing me talk about Legos! Since there is no one kind of “greatest” kit, we’ve pulled together all of our work into this list. We are confident you will find one to bring joy to yourself or loved one for years to come.
The Best Lego Sets In 2021
Best Overall Lego Set: LEGO Creator Expert James Bond Aston Martin DB5 10262 Building Kit (1295 Pieces)
Your favorite teen or adult will thank you for getting them this Lego Creator Expert set – whether or not they are a fan of the James Bond series.
Ever since it was introduced in 2018, Lego enthusiasts and movie fans alike have been raving about how the Lego Creator Expert James Bond Aston Martin DB5 is one of the best lego sets you can buy in build. It is true in nearly every detail to the original 1964 Aston Martin DB5 used in six separate James Bond movies – starting in Goldfinger in 1964 and ending in Spectre in 2015.
Let’s start with the gadgets. It has everything! I don’t want to spoil it for you – the instruction manual redacts most of these features until the last moment before you build them – but if you want some examples of the features in this set click to expand:
- Ejection seat: Pull back on the rear bumper to open the roof and send the passenger seat airborne.
- Dash-hidden radar tracker? Yep.
- Deployable rear-window bulletproof screen.
- Front-facing machine guns? Just pull back on the gearstick.
- Tyre-scythes, revolving license plates…I could go on!
Under the hood, you’ll find a straight-6 engine in brick form. The car lines are surprisingly close to the sleek elegance of the original sports car – considering this is made of mostly 90-degree angle pieces. This kit is really an engineering masterpiece.
This isn’t a creator set for kids – this is really made for adults. I’d say any car lovers old enough to drive could enjoy the challenge (and reward) of putting together the James Bond Aston Martin DB5 on their own.
Buy it and you’ll see why it’s our choice for Overall Best Lego Set in 2021.
Dimensions: Just over 3” (10cm) high, 13” (34cm) long and 4” (12cm) wide
Lego Technic kits are generally my personal favorite type of Lego sets. I like the advanced, real-life functions that are the calling-card of these kits.
But they are usually complicated. That makes it harder to find a good Technic starter kit for kids, to introduce them to the product line at their own pace.
The Lego Technic Catamaran set fills that void nicely. It’s only slightly over 400 pieces so it won’t take all day to build – well within the attention span of the average kid. Lego recommends this set for kids aged 8 and up – that seems reasonable to me. It will go smoother with some adults nearby for occasional assistance.
That doesn’t mean it is short on features or fun. For starters, like most Technic sets – it’s a 2 in 1 kit. You get instructions on how to build both a catamaran sailboat and a race power boat – the latter being available online. There are some unique pieces in the kit that will be great for making your own creations later as well.
Now to the fun: Both of these boats float. It’s the first Technic boat to float – the other ones are just for display. It’s pretty impressive when you put it in the bathtub since it’s about a foot tall off the waterline. Just like a real boat, you’ll need to make sure to press the pontoon parts together well and follow all the instructions to avoid taking on some water.
It’s a great way to learn how a modern catamaran actually works. The rudder has links for steering and the dagger boards can be lowered and raised for stability.
The Lego Technic Catamaran is the best Lego Technic set for kids because it’s fun yet not overwhelming. It’s new in 2020 so most likely your child doesn’t already have this kit – a bonus when shopping for Christmas or birthday gifts. Compared to other Technic sets, it’s very reasonably priced as well.
Pieces: This is a 404 piece set.
Dimensions: 10.32 x 15.04 x 2.78 inches
Want to see more sets like this? Check out our list of The Best Lego Technic Sets Including Top Pick – Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron
Best Lego Harry Potter Set: Lego Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall
Our other writers and editors are waaay more into Harry Potter than I am, so when they emphatically recommended the Hogwarts Great hall as the Best Harry Potter Lego set ever I asked them “Why?”
Oh boy. In retrospect, I should have packed a lunch. Harry Potter fans are a passionate bunch. Here’s a sample of reasons you’ll want this set from the notes I took.
It’s the only Lego playset to feature a buildable Great Hall and a tower. The Hall has all the items that you’d expect to find, based on the movie. All the tables, seats, house banners and food you remember from the books are there. Even something as small as the fireplace is meticulously replicated in Lego form. The tower has four stories of fun – including a movable Grand Staircase and a roosting spot for Fawkes.
You get 10 minifigures from the movie along with buildable Basilisk and Fawkes creatures. When it’s time to visit Hogwarts Castle, put the students in the boat with the hanging lantern and send them on their way.
Frankly, I don’t know half of what I just wrote means. I do trust their advice, however. If my coworkers say it’s among the best Lego sets, I’ll believe them. The Lego Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall was a winner at the 2019 Toy of The Year awards, so my coworkers aren’t alone in loving this kit. It’s a great choice for teenagers in the driving age range – 16 years old and up.
Dimensions: 14″ x 11″ x 7″
Best Lego Set For Architectural Challenge: LEGO Architecture Statue of Liberty 21042 Building Kit
The Lego Architecture Statue of Liberty set is equal parts iconic landmark and modernist sculpture – yet unmistakable as the symbol of freedom that has welcomed visitors to New York and America for generations. Yet don’t let the minimalist appearance fool you – it is among the best lego sets for those looking for a challenge.
At a closer glance – and as you build this Lego Architecture kit – you’ll notice just how many sand green pieces there are that are similar yet different in size. You’ll need to concentrate on the Lego build at hand to build the Statue of Liberty’s flowing robes correctly on the first try. There is so much attention to detail you’ll need to be on your toes to finish this in one straight go.
Some people don’t like Lady Liberty’s face (or lack thereof) – but when you are done you’ll see how it fits in the style of the set. It makes for a great display piece. You’ll be proud to put the Lego Architecture Statue of Liberty on your shelf or mantle – not just for the set itself but for the work you put into it.
Dimensions: The completed statue is a bit over 17” (44cm) tall, 5” (14cm) wide, and 5” (14cm) deep
For adults and patient teens ages 16 and up.
Looking for more of the best Lego sets for wannabe architects? Check out our list of The Best Lego Architecture Sets Including Top Pick – Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron
New For 2020 – Best Lego City Model For Young Kids: LEGO City Ice-Cream Truck 60253, Cool Building Set for Kids
Not every Lego set has to be so difficult you want to alert the press when you are done. Some of the best lego sets at their heart are just fun toys to play with. Kids ages 5 and up with only basic building skills can put together this “cool” Lego Ice Cream truck and be playing in no time!
Builders can use either the paper instructions included in the box or use the Lego Life app for interactive real-time guidance. Every kid loves minifigures – and this kit doesn’t disappoint. The Lego set includes a dog, skateboarder (with a separate skateboard), or ice-cream lady.
While it’s fun to play with on its own, the ice cream truck fits well into any towns you may have built with other Lego City sets. Playtime is only limited by your kid’s imagination.
Depending on how strong your child’s “stick game” is these days, they might need help attaching them to the various bricks in this kit.
Dimensions: 4″ x 5″ x 2″ when built
Best For Freestyle Creative Lego Play: LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box 10698 Build Your Own Creative Toys, Kids Building Kit
Sometimes the best lego set isn’t a “set” at all!
Inside this big Lego-shaped box you’ll find this set comes with nearly 800 pieces in 33 different colors. Kids and adults ages 4 and up can use these bricks to top-off other sets, build the suggested mini-sets included in the instructions, or use their own imagination and engineering prowess to come up with their own creation.
Want to build a house or a bookstore? Sure!
While you get a great number of “normal” Legos, this set includes windows, wheels, and doors along with 2 green baseplates.
Pieces: This is a 790 piece set.
Best Lego Creator Set in 2021: LEGO Creator 3in1 Townhouse Toy Store 31105, Cool Buildable Toy for Kids Building Kit
The Lego Creator sets have all the fun and detail of the Creator Expert line, but with less challenge – making them suitable for kids and younger teens. Your 8 to 15-year-old will find the Lego Creator 3 in 1 Townhouse to be amongst the best Lego sets to receive as a Christmas gift in 2020.
Which building challenge to tackle first – the townhouse toy store, the cake shop with a Lego workshop, or a flower shop with a built-in skylight? There are instructions for all three in this set. All the buildings connect to other Lego Creator sets you may have to create a Lego street.
Pieces: This is a 554 piece set.
Dimensions: The Toy Store is 7″ high, 5″ wide, and 3″ deep.
This is the third AT-AP Star Wars model Lego has released and in our opinion the best. The Lego Star Wars AT-AP is built with ease of play over screen accuracy in mind. That makes a great choice as a gift for your kid that is a Star Wars fan.
This set comes with 3 LEGO Star Wars Lego minifigures plus an additional 2 Kashyyyk Battle Droid LEGO figures. You can play with Chewbacca (without Han Solo of course), Clone Commander Gree, and a Kashyyyk Clone Trooper. The 2-minifigure cockpit is quite impressive. It’s accessible from both the top and sides, yet still is able to maintain a high level of detail. It’s what sets this apart from the previous AT-AP Lego sets.
You can find much bigger and daunting Lego Star Wars kits – like the UCS Millennium Falcon at over 7500 pieces. That’s a great set for adults with time and patience on their hands. But for day-to-day fun play, the AT-AP can’t be beaten.
Dimensions: 9″ x 11″ x 5″
Best Lego Star Wars Set For Adults: The Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator
I like Star Wars. I’m not a fanatic, and in the hands of Disney I’m pretty sure I’ll never love it.
But man oh man…I have always dreamed of having my own Lego Imperial Star Destroyer toy since I was a little boy. Even more than the Darth Vader’s Death Star (come on -who wants to fly a moon?) the ISD is the Lego replica I wanted to see come to fruition.
So when I saw LEGO had re-released an updated version of the destroyer from the opening scenes of Star Wars: A New Hope, I was excited. Turns out, Lego hit another home run.
Clear out some space to build this set. It’s ginormous. It’s the right proportions at over 3′ long and 2′ wide, but that’s bigger than you think.
As you’d expect from a Lego Star Wars set, there is high attention to detail throughout. You’ve got a scale model of the Tantive IV – the ship R2 D2, C3Po, and Princeless Leia were one when she was captured. At scale, it looks tiny next to this destroyer. The bridge tower is realistic, with the twin deflector shields they look like a radar dish) and a tilting tractor beam antenna built-in. The engine exhausts are enormous – but you’ll be pleased with the detailed work.
It should be obvious, but this is not a beginner kit! You’ll need plenty of time and patience to put together the 4700+ pieces. But the feeling of accomplishment when you are done – man, that’s priceless.
The Star Wars Lego Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator is a kit from the Ultimate Collector Series. It fixes many of the complaints from the previous ISD – mainly there is no overall bowing in this kit, and you can transport it without worrying it’ll pull a Skylab and fall apart all over your living room.
At over 43″ long, this is a large model you’ll proudly rest on the included display stand for years to come. Just make sure you have a sturdy shelf; this beast weighs in at over 30 pounds! The included display plate is a nice touch.
Best Space Lego Set: LEGO Ideas International Space Station
The Lego Ideas line was created by the Lego group to bring to life customer suggestions for products. As more adults have taken up Lego sets as a hobby, the Ideas line has exploded in popularity.
With outstanding Lego sets such as the Lego Ideas International Space Station, it’s not surprising. This Lego set was designed by Lego fan Christoph Ruge – and he did a fine job! This kit is a replica of the International Space Station (ISS). You can see the attention to detail with cool features like a “docking” space shuttle and a robotic arm for retrieving and launching satellites. It’s a must have for those interested in space exploration.
You get a good amount of pieces (864) for the price. The eight movable solar panels and arrays are impressive and will be fun for future creative play. The two minifigure astronauts can be sent on spacewalks – or for the darker-minded of us, to re-enanct the 2013 movie Gravity.
This isn’t a toy – it’s a bit fragile so you will have pieces fall off if you move it too much. Those Legos could be your “realistic” space debris if you want, but I wouldn’t recommend it. While it’s not for play, it sure does look nice on display on the included stand!
Dimensions: 7″ x 12″ x 19″
Great Gift For Friends Fans: LEGO Ideas 21319 Central Perk Building Kit
Rejoice! You can now live your lifelong dream of having a Lego minifgure Phoebe play guitar and sing “Smelly Cat” at the Central Perk coffee shop in the privacy of your own home! “Smelly cat, smelly cat…what are they feeding you?” (join in!)
That might not be your dream, but until I saw this Lego set I didn’t even imagine it could be a thing. But the more I looked into it, the more I realized I actually wanted it. As mentioned above, the concepts behind the Lego Ideas sets are created by Lego enthusiasts. For the 25th anniversary of the TV sitcom Friends, Lego introduced the Central Perk Building Kit upon a fan suggestion. Frankly, it’s frightening the level of detail you’ll find in this set. From Rachel’s serving tray to Gunther’s broom it’s all here.
You’ll get seven minifigures – the six main characters plus Gunther. The seating area is true-to-form. Items include the couch, armchair and two chairs that you remember from the show. You can remove them from the inside area to make for easier play. There’s a stage for Phoebe to perform her songs. I could go on and on – but if it was in the original Central Perk set, it’s likely in this Lego kit.
This set is very much intended to be played with, but it will look good as a display piece too. Your kids might not have grown up watching Friends, but after they see this set they might get into reruns in syndication.
Dimensions: 4″ x 11″ x 8″
Best Avengers Lego Set: LEGO Marvel Avengers Iron Man Hall of Armor
The Lego Marvel Avengers Iron Man Hall Of Armor is a wonderful Lego set for young Tony Stark wannabe’s. It’s a quick build so children can go from box to playing in an hour or three depending on their skill level.
Kids can play with the modular lab that included six minifigures – four separate Iron Man models (including MK1) plus 2 Outriders. These kits stack, so if you want to make a larger armory you can simply buy another one and have it place on top of the old one.
I thought the rotating podium with the posable robotic arms was a nice touch – true to the Iron Man series. You also get an Igor Suit mech which is tons of fun to play with. There are hours and hours of replay value with this kit for any Avengers aficionado 7 years old and up.
Dimensions: 5″ x 13″ x 6″
The Lego City Mobile Command Center is a great addition to any Lego City collection. It’s a great Lego set for kids that love to play cops and robbers.
Any good police playset includes numerous action figures and vehicles. This Lego kit does as well. You get male and female police officers and criminals, along with a cool police dog and all the accessories. On the vehicle front, you can build the Command Center Truck, an ATV for the crooks, and a police motorcycle to chase them down. There’s plenty of material here for pretend chase play.
The actual command center is fun to play with as well. There’s a monitoring room with screens, a satellite dish to keep open communication links with the police station, and plenty of access to play areas through a roof that opens and side doors.
Combine this with other Lego City kits, and the fun multiplies. If your son or daughter is into public safety, this is a great set for them.
Dimensions: 4″ x 9″ x 2″
For Those Up on Pop Culture: The Upside Down from Stranger Things
While some might say I live an internet-connected version of hermit life, even I know about the popularity of the Netflix series Stranger Things. This Lego model has two worlds in one. It brings Hawkins and the Upside Down to your house. You’ll be able to play with all your favorite characters from the TV show. Lego group has thrown in a special Demogorgon minifgure for your troubles as well.
This is a beefy set with nearly 2300 pieces. It’s meant for teenagers and adults to enjoy. it’s unique in that it’s meant to be flipped – you can play in the real world and the Upside Down.
Dimensions: 12″ x 17″ x 8″
Any other Lego sets you’d think belong on the list? Maybe something like the Taj Mahal or the Imperial Star Destroyer?