Lego has been captivating the minds of kids and kids at heart for over 80 years. The Danish toy company has come a long way since its humbling beginnings when wooden toys were made in a small shop in Billund, Denmark. Today, Lego is one of the most popular toys, and the last ten years in particular have been very good for the company. This is the golden age of Lego. Just about any pop culture phenomenon you can think of has had accompanying Lego sets whether it’s a cartoon, video game or blockbuster movie franchise.
In the last ten years Lego has acquired the licenses to a number of famous properties. Lego no longer makes only generic building sets based on cities, trains and pirates. Now Lego makes sets based on Star Wars, The Simpsons, Jurassic World, Minecraft and so much more. Here is a look at the ten coolest Lego themes. Which one is your favorite?
10. Back To The Future
There has only been one Back To The Future Lego set so far, but there is the possibility for more to be made. The Lego DeLorean time machine came with a minifigure of Marty McfFy and one of Doc Brown. This Lego Ideas set even had the famous gull wing doors and a mini flux capacitor. The set is now retired, but Lego recently released Back to the Future Lego expansion packs for the new Lego Dimensions video game.
Other Back to The Future models have been submitted to the Lego Ideas site – which makes Lego sets based on fan suggestions and designs. The team responsible for the original DeLorean time machine design also submitted a build of Doc Brown’s steam engine time machine, which was featured in Back To The Future III. Here’s hoping that set makes it to stores, too.
9. Harry Potter
Lego has produced more than 50 sets based on the Harry Potter franchise during the theatrical run of the film franchise. The license is currently discontinued, but with the new Harry Potter spin off on the way, perhaps we might see more Harry Potter themed sets in the future.
Lego made a number of different sets based on the Hogwarts Castle. Many of these sets had near or over 1,000 pieces. The 2010 version of Hogwarts was a staggering 1,290 pieces. Sets based on the quidditch field, Diagon alley, Grignotts banks, and the Hogwarts Express were also produced over the years.
8. Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings sets proved to be so popular that Lego store exclusive collectors sets were made based on the Lord of the Rings movies. The tower of Orthanc was one of the most impressive sets. The set contained over 2,000 pieces that could be used to create Saruman’s hideout and a buildable Treebeard.
Lego fans got to recreate epic battle scenes with the Helm’s Deep set. With the release of the Hobbit films, Lego produced sets based on those movies, too. A Lego hobbit house complete with mini pots and pans and a tiny garden was one of the more interesting sets based on the Hobbit movies.
7. The Lego Movie
When rumblings of a movie based on Lego hit the Internet, the original response was largely negative. Many thought the idea was stupid. How could a movie based on a toy be any good? It turns out the naysayers were wrong because The Lego Movie was a smash hit both critically and financially. So, naturally Lego would make Lego sets based on The Lego Movie.
Fans got to recreate their favorite scenes from the film with set like Emmet’s double-decker couch and Benny’s spaceship. A Lego store exclusive set of Metalbeard’s Sea Cow was by far the most impressive set in the line.
6. DC Superheroes
In 2006, Lego started making Batman themed sets, but the line was cancelled after only a couple of years. After a short hiatus the line returned in 2012, and eventually it was expanded to include other DC Comics heroes such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, the Teen Titans and numerous other members of the Justice League.
Sets based on DC movies like The Dark Knight, Man of Steel and The Dark Knight Rises have been made, and next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will feature at least three Lego sets.
5. Jurassic World
Fans have wanted Lego dinosaurs for years. Lego has had many dinosaur themes over the years, but the recent procurement of the Jurassic World license saw the release of six sets based on the year’s biggest movie. The sets were fairly expensive because each one featured a molded dinosaur figure. The cost to produce figures like this drives up the cost of Lego sets considerably.
Despite the prices though, fans still wanted to have a Lego T-Rex and Indominus rex so they could reenact the epic final battle from the summer smash. The largest set featured the Indominus rex, a gyrosphere and a holding pen for the genetically modified dinosaur.
4. Marvel Superheroes
Lego has been making sets based on Marvel characters as far back as 2002 when a few sets based on Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man movie was released. Lego eventually lost the rights to make Marvel construction sets to Mega Blocks, but in 2012 Lego got the license back and now makes sets based on Ultimate Spider-Man, The Avengers movies, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy.
The most stunning Lego marvel set is by far the Lego helicarrier from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Avengers this collector’s editions set even has an option to add motors and lights to make the set even more realistic (these complements are sold separately, of course).
So far Lego has released just one Ghostbusters set – the iconic Ecto 1. This was also a Lego ideas set, but it has sold so well that Lego is going to be making more sets based on the franchise. Next year will see the release of Lego dimensions Ghostbusters packs, as well as an insane $350 USD collector’s set of the Ghostbusters firehouse.
Lego also has plans to release a few sets based on Paul Feig’s all female Ghostbusters reboot due out next summer. There is no word on what the sets based on the new Ghostbusters film will be, but a new Ecto 1 and headquarters are likely possibilities. Rumor has it that the new Ghostbusters headquarters will be a Chinese restaurant, which would make a great build for Lego fans.
2. The Simpsons
With the recent celebration of The Simpsons 25th anniversary, Lego thought it would be a good idea to make sets based on everyone’s favorite Springfieldians. Two gigantic collector’s sets have been released so far. The Simpsons house and Kwik-E-Mart both related for $200 USD and feature over 2,000 pieces each.
Because the number of characters in The Simpsons is in the thousands, Lego even produced two sets of collectible blind bag mini-figures. A total of 24 collectible Simpsons minifigures were released in addition to the minifigures that came with the sets.
1. Star Wars
The granddaddy of all Lego themes is of course, Star Wars. Lego has released hundreds of sets and thousands of mini-figures based on the Star Wars universe. The theme has been around since 1999, and since that time multiple versions of different sets have been released. There have been 4 Slave 1s released to date and 5 Millennium Falcons.
One of the most popular Lego Star Wars sets was the Lego Death Star playset. The set features over 3,000 pieces and retails for 400 USD. Currently, Force Awakens Lego sets are flying off shelves at stores across the world. The Star Wars license is set to expire in 2020, but it would be very unlikely if Lego did not re-up its contract with Disney to make Star Wars sets for decades to come.