As everyone from kids to artists knows, Lego is only limited by your imagination. And Lego’s designers have big imaginations if the size of many current sets is anything to go by. This update to our long-standing guide of the best large Lego sets adds 15 new corkers.
Many of these sets are flagships. Each of them has 1000 pieces or more and is available to buy. All of them are of the kind you’ll immediately want in your mitts. Let’s brick on!
Brick-built cars and vehicles
On hearing the word ‘Lego’, you might think of dinky oddly proportioned cars you shove a minifig inside of. Guess again. Lego’s Porsche 911 (1458 pieces, £149.99) reimagines an icon in fine form. It has all the classic curves, angled headlamps and very brown seats.
Ford Mustang (1471 pieces, £149.99) is a stunning replica of the 1960s US muscle car. It can be customised as well, with a supercharger, ducktail spoiler and beefy exhaust.
Vespa 125 (1106 pieces, £89.99) is just the ticket for anyone who prefers zooming about on two wheels rather than four. There’s a kickstand and working steering to fiddle with as you gleefully shout “Ciao!”
Taking brick-built vehicles in a more fantastical direction, Ghostbusters ECTO-1 (2352 pieces, £209.99) is the most impressive Lego ECTO-1 to date. The end result is a detailed 47cm long converted 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance with moving ghost sniffer, extendable rear gunner seat, working steering wheel and authentic logos.
If your movie vehicle desires are more gothic in nature, there’s always Batman. Batmobile Tumbler (2049 pieces, £229.99) reimagines the imposing jet black military vehicle that debuted in Batman Begins. (It’s suitably described in the script as a “cross between a Lamborghini Countach and a Humvee”.)
Back to the Future Time Machine (1360 pieces, £169.99) nets you a scale model of Doc Brown’s souped-up De Lorean. You can mod it into the second film’s hover form, or add the hood-mounted circuit board from Part III. Just don’t zoom it along at 88mph, or it’ll disappear in a blaze of timey-wimey glory.
Want something more quintessentially British? Then try Titanic (9090 pieces, £589.99). This gargantuan set faithfully recreates the legendary ship. Gawp at a tiny grand staircase! Mess about with propellers to turn the piston engines! Just don’t let your kid smash it into a homemade ‘iceberg’ or you’ll get that sinking feeling as dozens of parts disappear from view.
Star Wars Lego
The Star Wars theme brought Lego back from the brink during its darkest days. It remains a cash generator. Still, the sets are great. R2-D2 (2314 pieces, £209.99) is “the kit you’re looking for” – if you’re into droids. When complete, it’s a 12in tall bleepy robot, with hidden compartments, a retractable leg, and a tiny mini-me that goes on a stand.
Want to get your swoosh on? Millennium Falcon (7541 pieces, £734.99) is an 83cm-long monster jam-packed with details. You even get two sets of minifigs to pop in the cockpit and beyond. Fans of The Clone Wars can further bolster their fleet with Republic Gunship (3292 pieces, £344.99).
The Razor Crest (6187 pieces, £519.99) gives us a gigantic take on the hero’s ship from The Mandalorian, along with a handful of minifigs and a brick-built Blurrg. As a bonus, [spoiler alert] chuck the ship at a wall and you’ll get a Lego take on how it ended up in the show.
Want to unleash your inner Sith instead? AT-AT (6785 pieces, £734.99) is an eye-popping take on the stompy war machine, with room inside for 40 minifigs and four speeder bikes. To Lego Luke Skywalker’s relief, Lego only initially supplies four minifigs and two bikes, though. Phew!
Lego space sets
Since 1978, Star Wars has spent plenty of time going PEW! PEW! PEW! in outer space, but Lego’s own Space theme debuted just a year later. Galaxy Explorer (1254 pieces, £89.99) is a love letter to those halcyon days. It pays homage to its 1970s namesake, but has a radically more sophisticated design. You do get an old-school robot and set of classic astronauts though.
Lego’s keen interest in space predates even Star Wars, however, as evidenced by Space Rocket, from way back in 1964. Naturally, modern sets ramp up the realism significantly. You’ll be over the moon with NASA Space Shuttle Discovery (2354 pieces, £169.99), based on the April 1990 STS-31 mission that deployed Hubble. And NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander (1087 pieces, £89.99) is a beautiful centrepiece that comprises the Apollo 11 lunar lander, a crater and astronaut minifigs making a giant leap for Legokind.
Microscale Lego buildings
The earliest Lego sets focussed on buildings, but today’s incarnations are considerably more elaborate than anything Lego founder Ole Kirk Christiansen and chums dreamed up.
For example, Colosseum (9036 pieces, £474.99) takes Lego architecture to new levels, reimagining the Roman landmark in a frankly ridiculous 9036 bricks. At the time of release, no Lego set had ever had more. Nor had one had so many authentic Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns, for that matter…
The Great Pyramid of Giza (1476 pieces, £119.99) imagines how the structure originally appeared, with a smooth limestone finish. Lift that off and you get a scene of the pyramid under construction. Spin the model round to gawp at a cross section – and immediately realise you only get half a pyramid. (Shove it against a wall. No-one will notice.)
Plenty of other famous landmarks grace the Architecture line. When heading north of 999 bricks, our top picks beyond pointy buildings in Egypt are the gorgeous Taj Mahal (2022 pieces, £104.99) with its brick-built dome and sarcophagus elements, the colossal Eiffel Tower (10,001 pieces, £554.99) and the endearingly blocky Statue of Liberty (1685 pieces, £89.99) – even if it looks like someone’s ironed her face.
Movie and TV show Lego sets
1999 saw the first Lego products based on movies and TV shows. The range has grown since then – sometimes to a stunning and broadly literal degree. Daily Bugle (3772 pieces, £299.99) is huge. It crams in a wealth of Marvel history within an 82cm tall building and whopping 25 minifigs. Your fingers will be rougher than Sandman’s when you’re done.
Sanctum Sanctorum (2708 pieces, £214.99) is less imposing, but still peppered with details like portals for Gargantos to burst through and gateway panels to slide around. It also conforms to the modular building spec, and so fits well within a typical Lego city.
Finally, The Guardians’ Ship (1901 pieces, £139.99) is a breathtaking MCU kit that feels like the kind of thing that was once reserved only for Star Wars. An adjustable stand lets you show the ship off for any angle, and you can easily access the interior to mess around with the gang and discover Lego Groot loitering and playing video games.
Other big Lego sets have you build characters and play out key scenes from classic films. The most memorable has to be T. rex Breakout (1212 pieces, £89.99). You get jeeps and characters from the original Jurassic Park, along with an ominously broken fence and a hungry T. rex.
Harry Potter Lego is big – and Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition (3010 pieces, £259.99) is one of the biggest sets. It puts gigantic castles aside for a gorgeous brick-built Hedwig. He sits atop Lego takes on the Golden Snitch, potion bottles, and Harry’s specs.
Home Alone (3955 pieces, £259.99) provides a house full of booby traps for Lego Kevin McCallister to thwart the Lego Wet Bandits. (Kevin should have just stolen their shoes and peppered the floor with Lego in the original film. That would have had the bad guys flee to safety.)
The rivalry between Lego and Hasbro makes the conflict between Autobots and Decepticons look like a minor tiff. Yet somehow we got Optimus Prime (1508 pieces, £159.99). He transforms. He has a glowy laser axe to wave around. And we desperately hope he’ll soon have a Lego Soundwave, Megatron or Starscream to battle.
Elsewhere in telly land, two famous sit-coms have had the brick treatment. The Friends Apartments (2048 pieces, £159.99) gives you the chance to yell “could this Lego set be any more 1990s?” until everyone demands you stop. And The Office (1164 pieces, £104.99) lets you echo the US version’s Michael Scott: “Sometimes I’ll start a Lego set and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.”
Video game Lego sets
Speaking of games, having perhaps once feared it would be replaced by them, Lego’s decided to assimilate them. Nintendo Entertainment System (2646 pieces, £229.99) is the spit of Nintendo’s 8-bit console and includes a controller, cartridge and working cartridge slot. Astonishingly, the tiny TV set has a crank that when turned animates a 2D Mario on a brick-built scrolling screen.
The Mighty Bowser (2807 pieces, £229.99) recreates a Mario foe in eye-popping brick-built form. He’s a chonky one and likely to make Lego Super Mario flee in terror. Speaking of which, said Mario can be connected to the NES, whereupon he’ll react to what’s happening on screen. (You can find him in the Lego Mario starter pack.) But he’ll probably be happier taking on all-comers in Peach’s Castle Expansion Set (1216 pieces, £114.99), which also makes a great display piece.
Much as we love the NES, the Atari 2600 arguably kickstarted home gaming. Atari 2600 (1680 pieces, £209.99) gives you blocky takes on the console, joystick and carts. Ironically, you also get less blocky takes than the console offered for three famous titles, which are recreated as dinky vignettes.
Elsewhere in gaming land, Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck (1222 pieces, £79.99) takes Lego into new territory. This gorgeous design should prove arresting even for people who aren’t familiar with the highly regarded action RPG.
And then there’s Sonic the Hedgehog – Green Hill Zone (1125 pieces, £69.99), which features a blue hedgehog almost any gamer will recognise. With its ‘pixelated’ design and famous loop, this bolt from the blue harks back to the earliest days of the speedy hero, and features several enemies to stomp on.
Lego sets for minifigs
Everything changed for Lego in 1978 when the minifig rocked up. Sets were suddenly built to house them, rather than merely echo real-world buildings and transport. And with larger sets come far more ambitious builds.
The City of Lanterns (2187 pieces, £119.99) is from Lego’s Chinese theme, Monkie Kid. It’s vibrant and bonkers, from the colourful characters and signs to the little sky train that trundles around its middle. Ninjago City Gardens (5685 pieces, £299.99) takes things further. This absurdly tall set is packed with rooms that include an ice cream shop, a noodle house and a museum.
Viking Ship and the Midgard Serpent (1192 pieces, £104.99) takes to the sea, with a stunning longship and angry sea serpent. And, yes, those are horns on the helmets. If you want 100% historical accuracy, you’re looking at the wrong toy. And are a dullard.
Lion Knights’ Castle (4514 pieces, £344.99) does for the classic Castle theme what Galaxy Explorer does for Space. This beautiful set packs in tons of detail, can be folded to make an enclosed structure, and includes ways for forest folk to sneak into the castle and pilfer bling.
Medieval Blacksmith (2164 pieces, £159.99) also takes you far back in time. It’s a stunning set with its glowing coals, medieval feast, and two knights with stabby weapons that suggest the blacksmith should probably think twice about putting his prices up for the third time this week.
Heading into the present, Lego’s modular series has since 2007 let you build a detailed street scene on a shelf. Each model is a wonderfully realised layered affair, with plenty of surprises. Boutique Hotel (3066 pieces, £199.99) is the latest, and experiments with an angular building design never before seen in an official Lego set.
Some buildings are geared more towards fun, bringing blocky takes on fairground and theme parks to your home. Scare the wits out of your minifigs with the 68cm-high Haunted House (3231 pieces, £259.99). Inside, there’s a free-fall lift ride, spooky ghosts, and a brick-built pipe organ. Then have them struggle to keep down their lunch by leaving them on Loop Coaster (3756 pieces, £344.99) until their yellow faces turn a fetching shade of green.
Finally, head to Medieval Castle (1426 pieces, £89.99). You might argue that’s a historical theme like the bigger castle set mentioned earlier, and not a theme park one – until you spot the cartoon dragon.
Technic sets to challenge you
Standard Lego bricks give you a warm fuzzy nostalgic glow. But grown up model-makers might fancy something a bit more technical. That’s where Lego’s Technic line comes in.
Cat D11 Bulldozer (3854 pieces, £429.99) is a monster of a set in every sense. When complete, it’s over 57cm long and you can control its blade, ripper and ladder with an app – and spend hours clearing up that pile of Lego pieces you ’accidentally’ dropped on the floor. (See: this one’s a legitimate investment!)
Need additional help on your work site? Then grab Heavy-Duty Tow Truck (2017 pieces, £159.99) with its rotating crane arm and pneumatic functions. Or build a model geared to assistance of a very different kind, with Airbus H175 Rescue Helicopter (2001 pieces, £179.99).
Got more of a need for speed than a need for emulating the construction industry? In that case, put your foot down and get hold of Ferrari Daytona SP3 (3778 pieces, £389.99). When it’s built, you can play with the car’s butterfly doors and gearbox, detach the roof to turn the car into a targa, zoom the thing along a worktop while screaming VROOOOOOM when no-one’s watching, and look on in horror as you accidentally smash it into a wall.
For racing thrills of a different kind, McLaren Formula 1 Race Car (1432 pieces, £169.99) nets you a vibrant F1 car when you reach the finish line, while BMW M 1000 RR (1920 pieces, £214.99) is the biggest Technic motorcycle to date, with whopping tyres, a three-speed gearbox, and a fancy stand to plonk the thing on so it doesn’t fall over.
And Lego for grown-ups…
Whether you’ve got one of these sets or a dozen, someone at some point will scoff. “Toys?” they’ll say. “Really? At your age?” At which point, you can direct them towards Lego’s range of display pieces.
Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night (2316 pieces, £149.99) ambitiously attempts to mimic the famous painting’s swirling brushstrokes. A 3D effect brings the scene to life as a minifig van Gogh looks on and mulls that it’s a good job minifigs don’t have ears.
World Map (11695 pieces, £214.99) holds the record for most pieces in a Lego set, although most of them are the same. It’ll drive you dotty as you press down thousands of discs in a build that’s more like painting by numbers. Squint from a distance, though, and the finished article does resemble a map – and being Lego, it’s endlessly customisable.
Continuing Lego’s obsession with turning real-world items into Lego, presumably with an end game that you’ll eventually buy a full-size Lego house to store them in, there’s now Fender Stratocaster (1074 pieces, £104.99) and Typewriter (2079 pieces, £214.99). The former invites you to brick out with a little guitar, tiny amp and dinky stomp box. The latter has a working carriage and keys, but, alas, no way to type an actual letter on the thing.
Lego even thinks you should say it with flowers – Lego flowers, that is. The top of the range set in that line is Bird of Paradise (1173 pieces, £89.99). As ever, it looks great. But probably don’t give a bunch to your other half as a means of apologising when they discover you just bought everything else on this list.