Lego is perhaps one of the only toys that needs no introduction, being one of the most popular kids’ brands in the entire world. If you have a kid anywhere between the ages of 3 and 18, there is a good chance that there are a few of those classic plastic Lego bricks rolling around on your carpet somewhere.
If your kid is one of the many who has come down with the Lego Fever, then as a parent you are going to need to get ahead of the curve in terms of keeping them challenged and engaged.
We’ve looked at hundreds of different Lego kits in an effort to narrow it down for our readers. What we’ve come up with is a review of the Top 16 Deluxe Lego kits, chosen for their difficulty, piece count, and in some cases, their rare and collectible nature.
After that, we’ll share some tips for the prospective shopper based on what we’ve learned as well as a few recommendations for the shopper-in-a-hurry.
The largest space ship in the Star Wars galaxy is now one of the largest Lego kits around. A full 3000+ piece set allows kids of all ages to reconstruct the evil Empire’s flagship craft, all in a way that is super faithful to the source material. A beautiful display stand is the perfect way to highlight the accomplishment of finishing the build, and a set of five different exclusive Lego minifigures is reason enough for some collectors to order this right away. With a removable center-section panel, kids will be able to access the command module, putting themselves in control of a realistic starship.
One of the fastest ships in the galaxy is now making its way into homes worldwide in the form of one of the coolest new Lego sets of the year. This ultra-deluxe Millennium Falcon Lego Model from the popular Star Wars saga of films features a whopping 7,541 pieces … enough to keep even the most dedicated brick-stacker busy for weeks. Included in the set is a group of detailed minifigures from all the different movies, from Hand Solo and Chewbacca to Rei and Finn. With detailed removable panels and a super-detailed interior compartment, this model doubles as a really fun playset that your kid will keep wanting to come back to.
There aren’t a whole lot of famous clock towers in the world, so it is no surprise that London’s Big Ben is the most popular one in the world. This expert-level building set offers a unique challenge to even the experienced Lego builder, but also can provide a real sense of achievement when complete. The details on this kit are kind of ridiculous … in fact, when fully assembled, you can hardly tell that it is made out of Legos. Not interested in building the historical model? Use the included exclusive pieces and design something that’s entirely of your own creation.
In what is probably one of the most popular building kits of all time, the Lego Death Star Kit offers 260 degrees of galactic play space with lots of rooms, tons of figurines, and more than a few exclusive pieces that cannot be found in any other kit. What makes it even more special is the fact that Lego stopped making this kit years ago, and in fact, we are pretty impressed to have found a small stash of these on Amazon. With all the other Lego Star Wars ships that our kid probably has, this is the perfect gift for the young Jedi in your life looking to take on the Empire.
This fully-functioning fairground classic features some of the coolest Lego pieces around, from the cute lemonade stand to the tiny ticket booth. A real working roller coaster allows kids to take their Lego mini-figures on the ride of their lives. The unique challenge with building a roller coaster will keep Lego fans engaged and occupied for days or even weeks at a time, and the uber-collector will appreciate having something this exciting to add to their growing Lego town. The kit is 4,124 pieces … one of the larger and more intricate Lego kits on our list.
It is known as one of the world’s great architectural masterpieces, and for good reason. The Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic buildings of human history, and is sure to remain that way for the foreseeable future. It is no surprise then that the building’s corresponding Lego kit would be considered ‘expert’ level. This 2,989 piece kit will take more than just a few hours to put together, even if your kid is an experienced Lego creator. The super-sturdy construction allows it to be moved without risking any damage, and the serious Lego collector will be interested in the included 48” x 48” blue baseplate … a piece that cannot be found in any other Lego kit thus far.
The next generation of architecturally-inspired Lego kits has arrived, and we have to say, we’re more than a little bit impressed. While the famous Taj Mahal doesn’t seem like the kind of building that would be even possible to create with Legos, this kit is in fact one of the most authentic-looking buildings in the entire Lego kingdom. Intricate archways, ornate domes, and highly-detailed decorative touches come together to recreate India’s most famous landmark, a place that all of your kid’s Lego figurines are going to want to pay a visit to.
No matter how old your child is, there is a pretty solid chance that they are a fan of the classic fantasy-epic Harry Potter series of books and movies. If that’s the case, then perhaps you need no introduction to Hogwarts, the magically-focused castle that is at the center of the story. This highly detailed 6000+ piece set is going to be a challenge for most Lego builders, but the instructions are clear enough that even younger kids will be able to take a crack at it. With figurines that represent the four magical houses of Hogwarts, your kid will be able to choose their allegiance and jump into the magical world of Harry Potter.
If the Parisians are known for anything, it is their appreciation of the delicate, the beautiful, and the impressive. The iconic Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable structures in the modern world, so it is no surprise that Lego enthusiasts have been clamoring for it to be turned into a kit for some time. Now, an impressive 1:300 scale kit is available from Lego, allowing kids to experience the true impressive nature of the tower’s construction for themselves. With 3,428 pieces and a design that is based on the tower’s original blueprints, this is a great challenge for both Lego and architecture enthusiasts alike.
America’s architectural monument to one if its greatest Presidents has now become one of the most highly sought-after Lego kits on the market, and for good reason. This is a highly-detailed, true-to-life recreation of the Lincoln Memorial, right down to the smooth marble-type surfaces and roman-style stone pillars. The removable roof allows kids to step inside the world they have created, bringing their Lego figurines in to look at a statue of Lincoln himself. Part of the Lego Architecture & Landmark Series, this is a must-have for the architecturally-minded.
There are only a few structures on the planet that are immediately recognizable, and without a doubt, the London Tower Bridge is one of them. Now available in a hyper realistic Lego building set, the London Tower Bridge is more accessible than ever. Lego lovers are going to appreciate the one-of-a-kind bricks that are available in this 4,295-piece set, but the really winner here is the real working drawbridge that can turn any Lego play session into an unforgettable experience. The miniature Lego vehicles included here cannot be found anywhere else, and include a red double-decker bus and an iconic black taxi cab.
What we have here is hands down the most detailed and true-to-form architectural masterpieces to ever grace the Lego universe. The Make & Create Café Corner utilized real-life construction techniques and styles to provide a model that is simultaneously playful and realistic. This 2,056 piece set utilized ultra-rare Lego blocks and exclusive mini-figures that will have the serious collector drooling, but it is the modular nature of the design that is most impressive. Built in three connectable pieces, the Café Corner can be opened up for a look at the building’s luxurious interior, or packed into separate pieces for transport and storage.
We cannot begin to explain just how charming the Old Fishing Store Lego play kit is. With one of the most unique designs on our list, this model manages to delight on and entirely new level, providing the style and substance needed for a good Lego adventure. With both an accessible office and a cool lookout tower, your child will be able to run their very own seaside business, the perfect way to serve the expanding Lego community that is already growing in your kid’s playroom. The included Old Captain minifigure also happens to be one of our all-time favorites!
The 1983 blockbuster film The Empire Strikes Back opens with one of the most memorable battle sequences of all time. Now, all the action and adventure of the movies can be faithfully recreated by your Star Wars-loving kid with the Assault On Hoth Lego play kit. With over 2000 pieces and a number of exclusive Lego mini-figures, this is a kit that would please any Lego enthusiast, not just the space-fans. The coolest part in our opinion is the spring-loaded battle cannons, allowing for realistic laser-blast action that is sure to destroy any Rebel Base in its path.
In what has become one of the most iconic opening scenes in the history of cinema, a lone star-ship makes its way across a starry black sky, being pursued by the massive & evil forces of the Galactic Empire. That rebel ship is now available in super-detailed Lego form, complete with all of the figurine characters that made Star Wars: A New Hope so memorable. This kit has 1,768 pieces, and will lead to endless hours of construction fun whether or not your kid wants to follow the directions. The coolest thing about this ship is the detachable escape pods … a detail straight from the movies that any Star Wars loving kid is going to appreciate.
No Lego city will ever be safe without a place to keep the bad guys, and what better place to do it than the super-deluxe City Police Prison Island construction set from Lego. Because all Lego kits are fully compatible with one another, this Police Station will fit perfectly into any existing Lego collection, or serve as creative fodder for unique creations straight from your child’s imagination. There are only 754 pieces to this kit, making it one of the more easily-constructed models on our list. But don’t get too cocky … there are a lot of details to this kit that will keep the builder occupied for a long time.
How To Shop For Expert-Level Lego Kits: A 2021 Buying Guide
Because of their charming nature and easy-to-use design, Lego blocks have become one of the most popular toys in the world, lauded for their ability to awaken and sustain a child’s creative instincts. Every Lego block can connect to one another, giving children full access to the cities and kingdoms inside of their head before they even reach 5 years old.
But what happens when the young Lego-builder starts to hone their craft? Newer, larger, and more intricate construction kits are the only way to please the budding Lego connoisseur.
The Lego kits and playsets on our list represent some of the most intricate, challenging, and rare Lego sets in existence, and although they might come with a hefty price, they represent the best-of-the-best of the Lego universe. If you’re thinking about investing in one of the more expensive and collectible Lego playsets like the ones presented here, then it wouldn’t hurt to arm yourself with a few pointers before diving in to the ‘shopping’ tab on your browser.
Like any other toy, Lego kits are going to come with an age recommendation printed clearly on the front of the box. While not a hard and fast rule by any means, this recommended age is a pretty good system to go by if you are unsure how easy or challenging a kit is going to be for your kid.
Remember, there is a delicate balance when it comes to challenging your kid’s skills. If something is not challenging, it will not engage their minds. If it is too challenging, they are more likely to abandon it and not go back. The sense of satisfaction of completing a Lego build is what makes the process so much fun, so pay attention to your child’s current play habits to get a better idea of what kind of kit they are going to want.
The number of pieces in each set is another stat that is always listed on the front of the box. Like jigsaw puzzles, it is generally followed and believed that the more pieces there are, the more difficult the set is going to be to complete. While this is true most of the time, there are some exceptions to the rule, such as some of the Expert Series Lego kits.
The same is true of price. While more pieces can sometimes mean a higher cost, some of the more exclusive 3000+ piece kits can be significantly more expensive than their 6000+ piece counterparts.
One of the things that Lego has done extremely well in the last few years is focus a lot of time, attention, and resources on designing and releasing a series of hyper-realistic architectural building kits, each one modeled after real-life counterparts, like the Big Ben Clock Tower or the Taj Mahal.
Because of their true-to-life design, these kits tend to be more complicated and detailed than the movie & TV-based kits. For this reason they often have higher age recommendations, though there are plenty of younger Lego builders out there who would appreciate the increased challenge.
For obvious reasons these kits are also a great gift idea for any kid who is interested in architecture and construction, not just the ones who are already into Legos.
Franchise-Based Lego Kits
The other type of Lego kit that we feature on our list are the fantastic recreations of ultra-popular pop culture franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter. The creative and spectacular nature of these movies makes them a natural fit for the Lego universe, allowing kids to enter their favorite make-believe worlds in a way that they have not experienced before.
The other thing about movies like Star Wars is that they have developed a very passionate collecting fan base … kids and adults alike who can’t help but try to amass the biggest collection of fun and cool Star Wars toys. For this reasons, some playsets have become more sought after than others, leading to some ultra-rare kits that can be hard to find.
If your kid already has a Star Wars toy collection, you can bet that they are going to appreciate one of these more unique galactic play sets, if for no other reason than to make their collection more impressive.
Rare & Discontinued Lego Kits
A few of the Lego kits on our list have been listed as ‘discontinued’, which means that Lego is not making them anymore. However, since there is apparently a few of these sealed kits remaining, they have become ‘rare’ in the eyes of many collectors, and therefore tend to be a little more expensive.
For the young Lego aficionado, one of these discontinued kits is a great way to add to their collection in a way that they are sure to appreciate. In addition, these kinds of kits are only likely to go up in value as they become harder and harder to find.
Exclusive Figurines & Pieces
One of the coolest things about the Lego world is that every piece can interact with one another, leading to the creation of massive, intricate, and interactive worlds that kids can jump in and out of as often as they would like. Inhabiting the world is the iconic Lego Minifigure, the ‘people’ of the Lego world that really bring it to life.
There are literally thousands of different minifigures to collect, which is one of the reasons that Lego collecting has become so popular among kids.
Many of the Lego building sets that we review here feature minifigures that you cannot get anywhere else, which makes them more valuable to collectors and enthusiasts. In addition, it allows kids to populate their Lego adventures in all sorts of different ways, making friends with Pirates, Space Knights, Robots, and lots, lots more.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Q: What makes some of these Lego kits so much more expensive?
A: When you think of Legos, those little plastic building blocks, it can be hard to imagine why some kits cost so much more than others. The reason that the premium kits on our list are prices higher comes down to a couple of factors, including piece count, exclusivity, and rarity. Some kits are expensive simply because there is a lot of bricks included. Others get their value by being highly complicated and intricate, such as the Taj Majal.
Q: How can I tell if a kit is too difficult for my child?
A: While the age recommendation that is printed on the front of every Lego box is a great starting point for choosing a gift for your child, it is not always accurate. Some kids develop at different rates than others, and more importantly, some kids are just more interested in Legos than others.
The best way to decide what level of difficulty to shoot for is to start with a simple Lego kit, and simply observe how long it takes them to complete it and how engaged they were with the process. You don’t want it to be too easy, nor too difficult.
However one of the great things about Legos is that your kid doesn’t have to follow the directions. If a kit is too complicated for them to complete according to the instructions, you can always encourage them to simply build whatever they want. You can save the instructions for a time when they are more prepared for the challenge.
Snapping It Together: The Best Expensive Lego Kits For The Young Enthusiast
If you’ve gotten this far, then it means that you are absolutely dedicated to find the perfect Lego kit for your kid, and the more simplistic, low-piece kits are simply not cutting it anymore. With what you learned above, it is now possible to make an informed decision on which kit is really going to make your kid’s day (or week, or month, depending on the difficulty level).
But if you just want to take our word for it, we are happy to offer a few recommendations. The best Lego kit for the young Star Wars fan is most definitely the Millennium Falcon Building Kit. This is the most popular space ship in pop culture, and is sure to keep even the experienced Lego builder occupied and engaged for dozens of hours.
The young architects in your life will need something a bit more true-to-life, and fortunately, we’ve got just the thing. The Expert Level Sydney Opera House Building Kit is one of the more advanced kits that we looked at, but it is also one of the most realistic. It also includes an exclusive 48” x 48” blue baseplate, which apparently is something of a hot-ticket item in the Lego world.