What Are The Best Lego Sets You Can Buy Right Now? (2020)
Lego sets are among the best toys for your child because they foster both creative play and rule-based play. With Lego, your child will learn how to follow instructions, how to use their imagination, and how to leave painful little blocks lying around everywhere in your house.
But how do you know which Lego sets are the best for your child? Are all Lego sets created equal? In this article, we’ll help you sidestep the issues with many Lego toys and set your child up with the Lego toys that they need to have fun and learn about the world.
- 2020 Lego Set Reviews
- Our #1 Choice – LEGO City ATV Race Team 60148 Best Toy
- Our #2 Choice – LEGO Ninjago Movie Master Falls 70608 Building Kit (312 Piece)
- Our #3 Choice – LEGO Architecture New York City 21028, Skyline Collection, Building Blocks
- Our #4 Choice – LEGO City Police High-speed Chase 60138 Building Toy
- Our #5 Choice – LEGO Ninjago Movie Destiny’s Bounty 70618 (2295 Piece)
- Our #6 Choice – LEGO CREATOR Apollo 11 Lunar Lander (1087 Piece)
- Our #7 Choice – LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express 75955 (801 Piece)
- Our #8 Choice – LEGO IDEAS Ship in a Bottle 21313 (962 Piece)
- What To Look For In Lego Sets
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What Skills Will My Child Learn From Lego Sets?
- What Are The Best Lego Sets For Creative Play?
- What Is The Best Way To Use Lego Sets?
2020 Lego Set Reviews
Our #1 Choice – LEGO City ATV Race Team 60148 Best Toy
The LEGO City ATV Race Team 60148 Best Toy is a relatively small lego set that focuses on giving your child a handful of great vehicles to construct. Once the vehicles are constructed, your child will enjoy playing with them in a variety of different scenarios.
- High build quality
- Great for automobile lovers
- Fun aesthetic
- May be too simple
The best thing about lego sets is that your child can create their toys. This set is no exception. Your child will be able to build a cool pickup truck, its trailer hitch, and a pair of ATVs. Your child will also be able to build something that looks suspiciously like a keg of beer which rides on the trailer.
As far as sets go, this set is not very complex because it is designed to be built once or twice then used as a toy. If your child loves truck toys, this set is a winner. If your child enjoys the building aspect of legos the most, you may want to look elsewhere.
The only issue with this set is that some children will find it very easy to build.
Our #2 Choice – LEGO Ninjago Movie Master Falls 70608 Building Kit (312 Piece)
The LEGO Ninjago Movie Master Falls 70608 Building Kit (312 Piece) is an aesthetically pleasing lego set which may be a great entry into a larger themed lego panorama.
- Excellent piece to transition between two lego landscapes
- Gorgeous figurines
- Looks great once constructed
- Awkward size which hints at other areas that aren’t included
With this lego set, your child will get the ability to construct a jungle temple — or its entrance, at least.
As a complete set, this set is a bit of an oddity. You would assume that there was an additional part of the set which featured either the temple beyond the archway or the jungle beyond the moat.
Nonetheless, the set is attractive on its own, even if it isn’t very challenging to build. The lego people that come with the set are perhaps the strongest aspect of the set. There are two ninjas, a dastardly skeleton, and a man who is presumably a ninja master.
These little figurines are extremely detailed, and they will be great for your child to play with. If your child has other thematically appropriate lego sets, this set will be an excellent addition. If you are looking for a major building project for your child, you may want to keep looking.
Our #3 Choice – LEGO Architecture New York City 21028, Skyline Collection, Building Blocks
The LEGO Architecture New York City 21028, Skyline Collection, Building Blocks is an intermediate-level lego set which will create some skyscrapers for your child to include in their lego city.
- Beautiful buildings of New York City
- Easy to assemble
- May be too easy for many lego lovers
What’s more iconic than the skyline of New York City? With this kit, your child can recreate the big apple in lego with a minimal amount of effort. The set offers five buildings, including the Flatiron, the Chrysler building, the Empire State Building, and One World Trade Center.
With the set, you’ll get a guidebook discussing the history and construction of each of the five buildings. This adds a minor element of education to the set.
As far as constructing the set goes, your child will not find these structures difficult. The final result will be scaled somewhat oddly for use with other lego sets, but they will make great sets to show off to visitors.
The buildings of this set are thematically united, but they are still a bit difficult to unite into one play environment without a lot of other lego sets helping out.
Our #4 Choice – LEGO City Police High-speed Chase 60138 Building Toy
The LEGO City Police High-speed Chase 60138 Building Toy is a great set for children who love cars and helicopters with a law enforcement twist.
- Great helicopter
- Medium intensity assembly
- Three separate vehicles
- Cars aren’t very fun to assemble
This set has a police helicopter, a police car, and a car owned by robbers. Likewise, there are several police officers and a single surly-looking criminal included in the set.
The strength of this set is its helicopter. The helicopter is fairly complex to assemble considering how few pieces it has, and it makes for a great toy which your child can use in many of their other lego adventures.
The cars and the roadblock are the weak points of the set. The cars are nearly identical in their construction, and, while your child will enjoy playing with them, are considerably less advanced than many other comparable lego vehicles.
If your child has a city set already made, the elements of this set will be a great addition to add some extra play power. If your child is looking for a helicopter lego, this set might be a good choice.
As a first lego set in a city-to-be, this set is a bit lacking, however. Nonetheless, your children who love the police will love this set.
Our #5 Choice – LEGO Ninjago Movie Destiny’s Bounty 70618 (2295 Piece)
The LEGO Ninjago Movie Destiny’s Bounty 70618 (2295 Piece) is a deluxe lego set with a gorgeous aesthetic and an extensive number of play opportunities for the right builder.
- Extremely pretty
- Many different play scenarios
- Great display piece
- May be too intense for some lego fans
With over 2200 pieces, this is not a lego set for beginners. The huge and beautiful ship may not be very big, but it requires an extensive amount of very careful construction. The result is a beautiful ship that will be a display piece or a robust play piece in your child’s lego arsenal.
The ship has three sails, three decks, and seven crewmen. Your child can play through situations ranging from casual fishing to ninja battles.
The crewmen are a significant part of the ship’s beauty; there’s a ninja master, a bowman, and five different ninjas with different weapons and armor. All of the figurines are extremely detailed, much like the appearance of the final product itself.
If your child is an enthusiast for legos that fit into an East-Asian theme, this ship will be their crown jewel. The price of the ship may make you balk, but for a special occasion, it’s the perfect gift.
You won’t need to purchase any other lego sets to make this set ready to build. It will, however, take your child at least a few sessions of building before they are done, so it may not be the best for younger children.
Our #6 Choice – LEGO CREATOR Apollo 11 Lunar Lander (1087 Piece)
The LEGO CREATOR Apollo 11 Lunar Lander 10266 (1087 Piece) is a LEGO set for an older child, collector, or a child who is interested in space exploration. This set is part of LEGO’s tribute to real life heroes.
- Features real life heroes
- Many different play scenarios
- Awesome display piece
- Difficult to find
LEGO rates this set for individuals ages 16 and up, which means it’s a pretty intense set to build. You could buy this for your younger child if you know they are dedicated to building or they enjoy display pieces and creative play.
It’s a great piece for kids who are interested in space or history, but it can also be a fun way to open up conversations with your child about those topics. This set features two astronaut mini-figurines along with a multifaceted building experience.
The Eagle Lunar Lander replica in this set features both ascent and descent stages to add even more opportunities for play.
Our #7 Choice – LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express 75955 (801 Piece)
The LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express 75955 (801 Piece) is a fantasy lego set with plenty of play opportunities for builders who are excited about the wizarding world.
- Multifaceted building opportunity
- Five mini-figures and two additional figures
- Works in conjunction with other LEGO Harry Potter sets and all regular LEGO sets
- Theme may not appeal to everyone
- No tracks or additional train cars included in the set
Although this set comes with more than 800 pieces, it is relatively easy to build for beginners. You’ll build both the Hogwarts Express and Platform 9 and ¾ for this set, which adds additional play scenarios. The set also comes with mini-figures of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Remus, and the Trolley Witch.
In addition to the mini-figures, you’ll find dementor and scabbers figures, so there are plenty of opportunities to replay iconic scenes from the Harry Potter movies.
This is a set that can appeal to both young kids and adults. It can work as part of a collection for an avid Harry Potter fan or along with other dissimilar LEGO sets for a child who is interested in all aspects of the LEGO universe. The versatility of the set is a big selling point.
The only bummer is what the set doesn’t come with: tracks. If you’re buying it as a way to play train, then you might be disappointed when you open the box and don’t find tracks or many train cars included.
Our #8 Choice – LEGO IDEAS Ship in a Bottle 21313 (962 Piece)
The LEGO IDEAS Ship in a Bottle 21313 (962 Piece) is a unique set with a beautiful aesthetic that could be a perfect idea for a collector or a child who wants the thrill of the build and a great display piece for their room.
- Gorgeous display piece
- Perfect for builders of all skill levels
- Excellent display piece
- Very few play opportunities
You can build the bottle, ship, and display stand in this ship in a bottle set. Although it has over 900 pieces, this set isn’t so hard that a fairly new LEGO builder would find it overwhelming.
The set can appeal to children of all ages, and is especially impressive for kids who are already beginning their collections or want a display piece to show off to their friends.
The downside here is that the set isn’t great for play after the build is complete. You could take the ship out of the bottle to play, but that might not appeal to all builders.
What To Look For In Lego Sets
When picking lego sets for your child, you need to be attentive to a handful of factors.
First, the lego set needs to be at the right level of complexity for your child’s interests. Not every child wants to take a deep dive into a multi-thousand-piece lego set all of the time. Some children would rather have the joy of constructing a smaller toy or vehicle from legos.
Picking the set of the right complexity isn’t too hard, fortunately. You probably have a good feeling for your child’s level of involvement with legos. You don’t necessarily have to purchase a massive set for the lego enthusiast, however.
The other thing you need to think about when purchasing legos is how the set you are purchasing will work with your child’s other lego sets. Your child’s lego sets are not necessarily meant to be used to construct massive playscapes, but, if that’s your child’s thing, a small addition could be as welcome as a large addition.
You don’t need to enforce thematic consistency on your child’s lego sets, but be aware of it. If your child has only Star Wars legos and you get her something that is totally out of the theme, it might get tossed aside.
You don’t need to worry about the durability or build quality of lego toys, thankfully. The injection molding for all official lego-branded toys is the highest quality in the world for molding of that type.
Likewise, the lego company prides itself on perfection. Any kind of aberration in the legos will be refunded to you free of cost. Your child likely cares little about these things, however, so focus on finding them a set which is of the correct complexity and theme.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Skills Will My Child Learn From Lego Sets?
Lego sets are great for teaching your child how to follow instructions and how to connect intermediate concepts into a larger whole. With lego sets, your child will need to plan out their next actions in accordance with the instructions.
They can choose to skip ahead and solve minor problems as they go along, or they can choose to do things by the book. On the whole, lego sets will encourage your child to be precise in their actions rather than improvisational.
The improvisational aspect comes from when your child has finished building the sets, and then decides to recombine them in new formats based on their imagination.
Lego sets are also intended predominantly for independent play. Your child will be left to their devices when it comes to creating the result they want. They will be encouraged to identify and correct problems alone.
If your children end up asking you for help, they will learn that your ability to help them is limited to reading the instructions and trying to piece things together in the way that it indicates.
This is extremely important, as it shows them that adults are people too, and that other people are not necessarily going to be able to solve a problem better than they can.
Early and extensive play with legos will produce independent children who are willing to try to solve problems with the resources they have at hand rather than giving up and finding an adult.
What Are The Best Lego Sets For Creative Play?
The best lego sets for creative play are those which create settings for your child to conduct other play.
This means that the lego sets which create areas tend to be better for imaginative play than those which create characters or vehicles. These other lego sets are not bad for creative play per se, but they do a lot of the work for your child.
Creating an entire environment leaves it up to your child to create a story within that environment.
Creating stories is essential for creative play. Luckily, legos tend to be great at letting your child create a story independently. Generally, the more realistic the lego set, the worse it will be for creative play.
Likewise, the most complex lego sets can sometimes become overwhelming in their demands for your child to follow instructions in a way that can crimp creativity. This is not always the case, but be aware that instruction-following and creative thinking are two entirely separate modes of thought.
What Is The Best Way To Use Lego Sets?
Lego sets are more for fun than they are for education or skill-building. While your child can certainly pick up some good skills while playing with their legos, there is a finite utility to gain.
Lego sets are the best when your child can deeply engage with them on their terms. In other words, lego sets are best for your child to use independently of your oversight. Don’t be afraid to let your child construct a world to play in.