The Best Lego Kits: According to the CNET Staff Who Built Them The Best Lego Kits: According to the CNET Staff Who Built Them
Lego has been enchanting people of all ages for over 90 years, though they started out as wood pieces not plastic.  When I first... The Best Lego Kits: According to the CNET Staff Who Built Them

Lego has been enchanting people of all ages for over 90 years, though they started out as wood pieces not plastic. 

When I first got my taste of the brick-building craze in 1989, my dad bought a 2-by-2-by-2 foot box full of assorted Lego pieces. It wasn’t a real set, but it included hundreds of random blocks that I sorted into tubs before building everything I could think of. I was nine years old, so all I could think of was Transformers. Still, it was amazing.

Here at CNET we love making all kinds of Lego sets so we wanted to share our favorites with you. Most of them are ones we have made ourselves or with our children, while some are sets we crave but don’t yet own. All of them are brilliant, though, so dive in and see if you can find your next build.

Stephen Shankland / CNET

I build a lot of Lego sets with my kid, and he surprised me by picking this one out instead of something more predictable like a Lego car. We had a good time putting it together, though, talking about the various echeveria varieties described in the instruction books, and sharing the creations with his friends. I generally prefer the mechanical Legos — rack and pinion steering, suspension, gears and that sort of thing — but the succulents set was a refreshingly organic alternative.

An added bonus: These make tasteful and interesting centerpieces for tables, bookshelves and mantlepieces, which is probably one reason this botanicals kit is billed as an “adult” set. You can even reconfigure the nine modules in different ways for different arrangements.

— Stephen Shankland

You’re receiving price alerts for LEGO Icons Succulents 10309 Artificial Plants Set for Adults, Valentines Day Gifts, Home Décor, Creative Gift Idea (771 Pieces)

James Bricknell / CNET

This was a random find for me from Target, and I’ll be honest, I was more excited about it than perhaps a 42-year-old man should have been. My daughter and I got a huge kick out of it though, and we spent about 4 hours building it.

The details are excellent. From the season 1 outfits and hairstyles on the mini-figs to Chandler’s Dell laptop (complete with a Lego logo), everything reminds you of the show. I also love that it’s the set of Central Perk, not a recreation of the fictional cafe, so it has movie lighting and a lifted area to make everything more visible. Next, we’re buying the two apartments to make it a matching set.

— James Bricknell


When my kids were younger, they had all sorts of Lego sets — the pirate ship and Hogwarts Castle from Harry Potter — provided many hours of entertainment. But they were already grown up by the time Lego released the Women of Nasa as part of the ever-expanding series of Women in Science Minifigures

That series now includes female scientists, aerospace engineers, astronauts, oceanographers, a geochemist and a paleontologist. These sets often sell out, which is great to hear. Girls, boys and everyone else should be aware of the trailblazers and contributions of women in our society, so kudos to Legos for embracing the idea. 

— Connie Guglielmo

You’re receiving price alerts for LEGO Ideas 21312 Women of NASA (231 Pieces)

Light Your Bricks

One of my favorite places on the planet is the Bonsai Garden in the Huntington Library, which is also where I first saw the Lego Bonsai Tree kit. This is a nice little kit that lets you easily switch between a green tree and a flowering tree, so the kit can change with the seasons.

This kit is so popular there are also third-party lighting kits for this build, allowing you to turn this kit into a fantastic, eye-catching piece of art to display in your home.

— Russell Holly 

You’re receiving price alerts for Lego Icons Bonsai Tree, set 10281

Steven Musil

From my son, Justin, who was 11 when he constructed the set: 

“What I like best about the ISS is it’s so big, and it includes a Space Shuttle you can pretend is docking at the ISS. It was a challenging set to build, and I like that the solar panels move. I like how NASA helped build a place where humans can live in space and look down on us on Earth.”

— Steven and Justin Musil

You’re receiving price alerts for LEGO Ideas International Space Station 21321 Building Kit, Adult LEGO Set for Display (864 Pieces)

Danielle Ramirez

Our 6-year-old son has a deep passion for Lego and “bad guys.” He absolutely lost his mind when he saw this Thanos set at Target. (it was $10 at the time of purchase and is now selling on Amazon for $27.76.) He’d previously completed Spider-Man and Thor from the same collection, both of which were a bit challenging for him to handle on his own. 

The Thanos build was less challenging than Spider-Man, which will go down in history as one of the most annoying sets I’ve ever had to help with, but it still required a little assistance from me. I appreciated that Lego didn’t simply make the gauntlet one large piece but that it resembles the real one as much as possible. Including the stones.

— Danielle Ramirez 

You’re receiving price alerts for LEGO Marvel Avengers Thanos Mech 76141 Cool Action Building Toy for Kids with Mech Figure Thanos Minifigure (152 Pieces)

Lego versions of the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro and Aston Martin Vantage cars

Lego versions of the Aston Martin Vantage, left, and Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Lego FAQ

Lego is the company name for the Lego Group but did you know it’s actually an abbreviation? Lego is an amalgamation of the Danish words “leg” and “godt” which, when used in a sentence means “play well” in English.

While the Lego Group says the correct pluralization of Lego is Lego, people in the US tend to use the term legos to identify more than one Lego brick. Lego brick and Lego sets are the preferred terms in most countries, but it’s a regional choice as to which one you use. 

Personally, I think there are two ways of saying the plural version: Lego, or the wrong way. 

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