“Adults welcome,” Lego declared — as it started seriously expanding the average size, price, and detail of its sets beyond anything we’d seen before. Like fellow toymakers, Lego has realized: the greatest generation of brick-loving kids is now old enough to open their bank accounts wide.
The result has been a non-stop parade of some of the most impressive Lego sets ever made — and the return of classic themes like Space, Castle and Pirates. Also, a lot of intriguing nostalgia-inducing partnerships with the likes of Nintendo and Polaroid.
This June, Michael Keaton will don Batman’s cape and cowl for the first time in 30 years with The Flash. Equally exciting in my humble opinion: Lego is commemorating the occasion with a truly incredible Batcave set partly based on 1992’s Batman Returns.Read Article >
It’s called the Lego Batcave Shadowbox, and that’s because it’s designed to be both a toy and a display piece for your shelf: the space-saving diorama swings open to reveal an entire cave playset with the spacious, suspended-over-a-pit feeling I associate with Batman’s lair.
For the past few years, Lego has been releasing a collection of intricate, affordable sets for adults who want a touch of green in their lives without pruning or watering, like the Lego Bonsai Tree, Orchid, and Succulents. Now, there’s a Mario set fit to join them.Read Article >
Lego’s just introduced the Lego Super Mario Piranha Plant, a $60, 540-piece set that looks absolutely fantastic without breaking the bank. It kinda-sorta is a bank, too: you can hide at least a couple coins inside! Two Mario coins come with the set.
Aug 30The best price yet on Lego’s awesome Back to the Future DeLorean set.
Lego did the DeLorean right in 2022 — with light-up flux capacitor, wheels that flip into hover mode, a tiny Mr. Fusion with a banana to throw inside, and much much more.
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Aug 21Scan your Lego for (potentially) thousands of dollars in Lego points.
Lego VIP is now “Lego Insiders,” unifying other accounts in the process. It’s still a free signup to get first dibs on new sets and collect points.
But now, you can get points for existing sets — just 20 per instruction manual QR code you scan with your phone, which seems a tad stingy — and there’s an AR treasure hunt where you can scan a brick to potentially win $9,000 worth (in nine countries), tho it’s not working for me right now.
It’s been 20 years since the final flight of one of the most beautiful planes ever made — the supersonic Concorde — and you’ll soon be able to buy one in Lego form.Read Article >
The $200 Lego Icons Concorde is nearly three and a half feet long, has a 17-inch (43cm) wingspan, and three neat tricks up its sleeve. Not only does it capture many of the real plane’s iconic curves, but it’s also got an incredible Lego mechanism hidden inside to raise and lower its landing gear with a twist of the tail cone on the end.
Aug 1Lego, do the right thing: sell this amazing bicycle with working drivetrain and brakes.
On July 7th, SleepyCow’s bike finally hit 10,000 supporters on Lego Ideas, which means Lego’s gotta decide whether to produce it. While most Ideas are based on existing IP, we do get some mechanical gems like the Typewriter or working Fresnel lighthouse.
Jul 13The Internet Archive is hosting instructions for thousands of Lego sets.
Did you know you can freely download instructions for loads of Lego? The Lego Group has its own searchbox, and the Internet Archive now hosts an easily browsable backup of 6,854 sets (via Hacker News).
Neither has my childhood favs yet, but Lego’s scanning in new instructions all the time — you can already recreate the Black Seas Barracuda or the valuable Cloud City sets. Bricklink fan designs have downloadable instructions too.LEGO Building Instructions
Jun 29Last chance to vote on these limited-edition Lego sets.
Papa wants an Exoplanet Explorer to go along with the reimagined OG spaceship. You’ll help me out, right? Or maybe a literal sub sandwich shop. Or a working desk fan. Or an amazing arcade. Or a gorgeous train station. You’ve got till 12PM PT June 30th to vote on your fan-designed favs.
Here are the previous winners.
Jun 14Lego remade the Eldorado Fortress from 1989.
This was one of my “sets that got away,” so I’m overjoyed it’s coming back — particularly now it’s composed of several modular islands with their own secret underground passages instead of a single rigid baseplate. (You can “unfold” it kind of like the Lion Knights’ Castle.)
- Go vote on new Lego sets?
The second round of voting in Lego’s 2023 BrickLink Designer Program has just begun, meaning another chance for you to help Lego pick five fan-designed sets to produce. Fingers crossed for the Sub Sandwich Shop to shine this time! I would also happily own a Galactic Medical Transport or this mobile-home-on-a-big-rig, though.
- Lego Hocus Pocus.
The latest fan design to become an official Lego set: The Sanderson Sisters’ cottage from Hocus Pocus. It’s a little less spacious than the original Lego Ideas submission, but still sure to put a spell on a certain persuasion of grown-up ‘90s kids! It’s $230, coming July 4th. Yes, Mary can fly the vacuum.
Lego’s last Mars Rover was a little simplistic (pdf) — so I’m glad to see that the new Lego Technic NASA Mars Rover Perseverance, just announced today for $100, puts more of the real rover’s engineering front and center.Read Article >
With the flick of a lever, the rover’s iconic six-wheel suspension spins a set of ball-tipped gears — to turn four of its wheels inward so you can spin the entire craft 360-degrees. You can switch back and forth between that 360-degree mode and a normal driving mode, much like you can see in the NASA JPL video here:
Lego has announced a new premium set based on 1980s arcade classic Pac-Man. The 2,650-piece set is designed to recreate a Pac-Man arcade cabinet, complete with an illuminating coin-slot, four-way joystick, and a mechanical chase.Read Article >
There’s a crank on the side of the cabinet which you can turn to move the characters around the game’s maze, and the set comes with a diorama of a figurine playing a smaller version of the arcade cabinet. On top of the cabinet sit rotating versions of Pac-Man and the ghosts Blinky and Clyde.
Today, five Lego fans are experiencing a dream come true — Lego will turn their design into an official limited-edition Lego set and pay them 5 percent of the proceeds when the sets go up for preorder (limit 20,000 each) in February 2024.Read Article >
Here are the sets that the internet (and Lego’s panel of judges) have chosen to produce:
May 2This Lego bus is also a food truck that’s also a flying turtle.
Lego Dreamzzz is one of the most imaginative series of sets the company’s come up with in a while. (I’m also partial to the school-bus-turned-spaceship and nightmare shark pirate ship.) They’re all tie-ins for a new Lego show coming May 15th to Netflix, Amazon, and streaming to YouTube for free. The sets won’t arrive till August.
Donkey Kong has been around as long as Mario himself, but this August will be the first time he’s officially appeared in Lego form — on August 1st, the Danish toymaker is adding four Lego Donkey Kong sets to the ever-widening Lego Super Mario lineup.Read Article >
They aren’t filled with ladders, hammers, and fireballs like the original arcade game, mind; these sets are straight out of Donkey Kong Country, with the gorilla’s relatives along for the ride.
Lego has made another fan toy dream come true: its new Sonic The Hedgehog sets actually let you send Sonic spinning through an entire miniature level.Read Article >
This isn’t the first time Sonic has been recreated in Lego form — we got a picture-perfect recreation of Green Hill Zone in 2021 that’ll look great on a bookshelf and a tie-in for the Lego Dimensions video game in 2016. But if you want a playset like Lego’s Mario line, that’s just now happening for the very first time.
Nick Lever, video editor and Lego Masters Australia finalist, has recreated the original Nintendo Game Boy in bricks — and with such droolworthy depth that I hereby petition Lego to make it into an official set.Read Article >
It’s just 364 pieces, only 115 different parts, most of them common enough you can find ‘em dirt cheap. Almost every recognizable facet of the Game Boy is represented, from the angled rice-grain Start / Select buttons to the distinctive tint of the screen — achieved here by placing lime green tiles underneath a trans-blue window.
This is the third time we’ve seen the T-65 X-Wing Starfighter in brick form, and it’s Lego’s most detailed yet. The 1,949-piece X-Wing costs $239.99 and joins the other sets in the Lego Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series, which include the behemoths that are the 7,541-piece UCS Millennium Falcon and the 6,785-piece UCS AT-AT.Read Article >
Equipped with 4L4 fusial thrust engines and the KX9 laser cannons, the design of Lego’s latest UCS X-Wing kit doesn’t deviate much from its previous iterations. However, it does feature several hundred more pieces when compared to the 1,304-piece X-Wing set released in 2000 and the 1,559-piece one from 2013. The new X-Wing measures 10.5 inches in height and 21.5 inches in length once complete.
Mar 30You’ve got less than 24 hours to vote for the next fan-designed Lego sets.
Personally, I’m pulling for:
The Sub Sandwich Shop, this tricky Japanese castle, an incredibly detailed Victorian home, a working mini golf course, this Space Museum (for Lego Space), a badass Boogie Boombox, a simple Snack Shack that reminds me of Hawaii, and this decadent Parisian Street.Bricklink Designer Program
Mar 8And speaking of Lego...
Today’s the day you can begin voting in Lego’s BrickLink Designer Program, where 375 designs are competing for the chance to become a limited-edition Lego set and earn their fan designers 5 percent of sales. Here are a few of my very early favs!BrickLink Designer Program
Feb 23Five days left to design an official Lego set.
I told you about the Bricklink Designer Program in January, but this weekend is your last. February 28th is the deadline to submit your design to be judged by peers and by Lego. You can make tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars if your design is one of the five winners.
Lego teased a collaboration with BTS earlier this month and, needless to say, the fans had questions. Would the set come with photo cards? Will Jimin play with it on a livestream? Does this mean we’ll see BTS in the next Lego Movie?Read Article >
We don’t have all the answers to those questions yet (although I need an answer on the Lego Movie stat). We have, however, finally gotten our first glimpse of this highly anticipated Lego set, which (fairly accurately) replicates the set of the “Dynamite” music video, complete with mini-figs of the seven group members.