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12 best DUPLO® sets for 2021

If there’s one sure-fire way of keeping your preschooler entertained without a screen, then LEGO® DUPLO® is it. From trains and trucks to playhouses and parties, our carefully constructed selection features the best LEGO DUPLO sets to keep kids captivated.

By Louise Cole | Last updated Oct 20, 2021

Family playing with Lego Duplo

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In a time when the mind-blowing choice of toddler toys continues to expand and technology is ever-present, there’s one old favourite that little ones still repeatedly reach for: LEGO DUPLO. Delighting young children for more than 50 years, these simple, safe and vibrant bricks let kids’ imaginations run wild with endless possibilities.

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With no right or wrong way to play, they’re quite literally the building blocks of learning, being both fun and educational. Playing with DUPLO develops fine motor skills and can even help your child get to grips with alphabet and numbers.

Exactly twice the size of conventional LEGO pieces, chunkier DUPLO bricks pose no swallow risk for teething tots plus they’re less fiddly for little hands to hold, with another bonus being that they fit perfectly with their smaller LEGO counterparts once your toddler is old enough to play with both block types.

While DUPLO themes, characters and colours have evolved over its five-decade lifetime, the basic concept remains the same – to encourage creativity and excite young minds. So we’ve scoured the Mumsnet forums and countless consumer reviews to discover which DUPLO sets children are playing with and parents recommend.

Here are the best LEGO DUPLO sets for 2021.

1. Best overall DUPLO set: LEGO DUPLO Classic Deluxe Brick Box with Toy Storage

DUPLO classic deluxe brick box

Buy now from Smyths Toys

“We have about six sets of DUPLO. The items my four- and two-year-olds play with the most are the cars, windows and doors, animal figures and people.” PerditaNitt

“I kept a big DUPLO box and the grandchildren have loved playing with it.” Knittingnanny

This versatile boxful of fun is a firm favourite the world over – and it’s easy to see why. Offering the most scope for creativity and having no theme, your child can build almost anything they can think of, plus the pieces can be combined with other DUPLO sets.

Containing an ample assortment of blocks in a rainbow of vibrant and pastel shades, this toy is aimed at inquisitive toddlers aged 18 months-plus and is ideal for both boys and girls, particularly those new to DUPLO sets.

With accessories including a car, swing, slide, window and flowers, arguably the best part is the trio of cute figures – a pair of people and an adorable dog.

Even better, when your little one has finished their colourful creations, the bricks can easily be placed back inside the sturdy storage box.

Reasons to buy

  • Lots of pieces and colours
  • Ideal for number play
  • Easy to store

Key specs 

  • Age: 18 months+
  • Pieces: 85
  • Set number: 10914

2. Best budget DUPLO set: LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train Toy for Toddlers

DUPLO my first number train

Buy now from Smyths Toys

“[Get] the DUPLO train with numbers on.” BadgertheBodger

All aboard! Parents of tiny train enthusiasts will be on the right track with this rail-inspired toy. Introducing toddlers to counting and the basics of how to click DUPLO pieces together, it’s the perfect set for budget-conscious mums and dads.

There are moving wheels on the carriages and on the engine itself, which has a removable roof so that one of the three friendly figures included can drive the train.

We particularly love the rainbow colour sequence that will help kids put the numbers in the correct order, but aren’t so keen on the lack of a number 10 – there being a zero instead that could prove confusing for little learners. Nevertheless, next stop: quiet contentment. 

Reasons to buy

  • Affordable
  • Aids numerical learning

Key specs

  • Age: 18 months+
  • Pieces: 23
  • Set number: 10954

3. Best first DUPLO set: LEGO DUPLO My First Alphabet Truck Education Set

DUPLO alphabet truck

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“DS2 will be three soon and is really into his letters. He loves the DUPLO alphabet truck.” Legomania

Get a load of this irresistible little lorry that’ll familiarise your toddler with the nuts and bolts of the alphabet. Kids will enjoy mixing up the letter blocks to spell out words or names, as well as stacking them on the transportation trailer in alphabetical order.

While pernickety parents won’t like the fact that only 24 of the 26 bricks can fit neatly onto the back, this battery-free, moveable truck comes with a brightly-coloured ABC poster so that kids can match up the letters or which can be hung in your little one’s bedroom.

Also included are a boy, girl and teddy bear to join in the fun.

Reasons to buy

  • Teaches ABCs
  • Colourful poster included
  • Helps to improve fine motor skils

Key specs

  • Age: 18 months+
  • Pieces: 36
  • Set number: 10915

4. Best DUPLO set for 18-month-olds: LEGO DUPLO Classic Brick Box with Toy Storage

DUPLO classic brick box

Buy now from Smyths Toys

“My son makes fabulous DUPLO creations that he likes to show off and say: ‘I made it by myself!’” FartnissEverbeans 

The smaller sibling of our ‘best overall’ DUPLO set, this dumpy version may contain fewer bricks but provides just as much opportunity to be creative. While it comes with no step-by-step instructions, we see this as a plus point as half the fun of this toy is seeing the end result of your toddler’s imagination. Pictures are provided for inspiration, however.

Easy to assemble and with plenty of combo options, this makes an ideal introductory DUPLO kit or entertaining gift at a reasonable price. Two characters, a car and numbered bricks are included, plus other accessories.

Reasons to buy

  • Perfect for first-timers
  • Gender-neutral

Key specs

  • Age: 18 months+
  • Pieces: 65
  • Set number: 10913

5. Best DUPLO set for dino enthusiasts: LEGO DUPLO Jurassic World T-Rex and Triceratops Dinosaur Breakout Toy

DUPLO jurassic world dinosaur breakout toy

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“[There are] some [DUPLO] dinosaur or vehicle sets.” Grooticle

Dinosaur devotees will adore this ‘roarsome’ Jurassic World DUPLO set that features a tyrannosaurus rex and baby triceratops, as well as lead character Owen – plus his speedy motorbike – from the film.

While this set can be assembled fairly quickly, it’s the role-play aspect that’ll keep kids engaged, with them undertaking a daring rescue mission after the escaped T-Rex bursts through the high-voltage fencing and main entrance archway.

Although your own little monster is about 10 years too young to watch the movie in question, countless positive reviews show that this action-packed toy has unisex appeal and is unlikely to become extinct anytime soon.

Reasons to buy

  • T-Rex’s mouth opens and shuts
  • Action-packed
  • Encourage open-ended play

Key specs

  • Age: 2+
  • Pieces: 36
  • Set number: 10939

6. Best family-orientated DUPLO set: LEGO DUPLO Town Family Camping Van Adventure Set

DUPLO family camping set

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“DUPLO is lovely and gets great value in terms of years of use.” Littlemissnutcracker 

Camping never gets old, so pitching up next is this timeless set that comes complete with camper van, fabric tent and canoe so that your little one can take a virtual trip to an activity-packed forest.

Four figures are included – a man, woman, boy and girl – three of whom will fit in the van, which has a removable roof for easy access. All can partake in a singalong and cuppa around the campfire with the help of the guitar, kettle and other accessories.

Playing out such outdoorsy adventures will teach your preschooler about the importance of quality family time and the biggest bonus of this camping kit? The tent’s simple to set up and the whole experience remains enjoyable even when the rain’s lashing down outside.

Reasons to buy

  • Family of figures plus squirrel included
  • Moving camper van that opens
  • Can be enjoyed by the whole family

Key specs 

  • Age: 2+
  • Pieces: 30
  • Set number: 10946

7. Best DUPLO set for two-year-olds: LEGO DUPLO Town Modular Playhouse 3-in-1 Set

DUPLO Town modular playhouse

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“My daughter is about 22 months but she loves DUPLO and has done for a few months. I have older children, so we already had lots of it in the house!” mistermagpie

The impressive DUPLO Town Modular Playhouse Set offers triple the fun of a regular dollhouse as it can be rebuilt into three different dwellings: a large family home, single-level house or multi-storey tower block. Budding builders or architects will enjoy building something different every time.

While this toddler-friendly toy may be the priciest in our roundup, it’s also one of the most versatile. It’ll delight both boys and girls with its big neutral-coloured blocks and small but realistic details – such as opening drawers, a well-equipped kitchen and diminutive rocking horse – and teaches little ones about everyday life at home.

Easily accessible and provided with Mum, Dad and child figures, there’s also a pet dog and sweet teddy bear to play with. Its only drawback is the lack of a storage container.  

Reasons to buy 

  • Various configurations
  • Teaches about home life

Key specs

  • Age: 2+
  • Pieces: 129
  • Set number: 10929

8. Best DUPLO set for superhero fans: LEGO DUPLO DC Super Heroes DC Batman Batcave

DUPLO DC Superheroes Batman Batcave

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“He often plays with DUPLO Superheroes.” Bikingbear

Winging its way into our selection next is this superhero set centred around Batman’s Batcave. Along with figures of the man himself and his sidekick, Robin, there’s also one villain The Joker who’ll be no match for Batman and his high-speed iconic Batmobile, which also comes in the box.

With a jail that has an opening and closing gate, your two-year-old will have no trouble coming up with an appropriate storyline for their pretend-play, though it’s highly likely to involve putting The Joker where he belongs: behind bars.

Reasons to buy

  • Catch-me-if-you-can excitement
  • Batmobile vehicle included
  • Encourages problem-solving 

Key specs

  • Age: 2+
  • Pieces: 33
  • Set number: 10919

9. Best TV show-inspired DUPLO set: LEGO DUPLO Marvel Spider-Man Headquarters Building Toy

DUPLO Marvel Spider-Man headquarters toy

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“DUPLO Spider-Man. DS is almost five – we get the most play value out of DUPLO [sets] because [they’re] more robust for actual games.” SemiFeralDalek

If you’ve got any Spidey sense, you’ll already know that this toy will save the day whenever the dreaded boredom makes an entrance. Based on Disney+ TV show Spidey and His Amazing Friends, its trio of superhero figures – Spider-Man, Miles Morales and Ghost Spider – can work as a team on exciting make-believe adventures from Spider-Man HQ. 

Although this set provides only a basic build, with a fairly small number of blocks, preschoolers aged two and over will nevertheless appreciate the cool motorcycle, slippy slide and brick designed to resemble a pint-sized copy of the Daily Bugle.

Reasons to buy

  • Three superhero figures
  • Simple instructions

Key specs

  • Age: 2+ 
  • Pieces: 36
  • Set number: 10940

10. Best DUPLO set for universal appeal: LEGO DUPLO Town Space Shuttle Mission Rocket Toy

DUPLO town space shuttle toy

Buy now from Smyths Toys

“DS is desperate for the space shuttle.” EverybodysScaryEyed 

Aspiring astronauts will have a blast with this toy, which will send their developmental skills skyrocketing. Featuring a buildable space shuttle that opens, and a buggy complete with turning wheels and radar on top, this set will launch your little one into a universe of out-of-this-world exploratory missions.

Made for children aged two and over, we were pleased to discover that one of the two astronaut figures included is female, enhancing its toddler appeal. Any recipient of this absorbing toy is sure to be over the imaginary moon (and can even place their very own DUPLO flag on it).

Reasons to buy

  • Openable space shuttle
  • Male and female figures
  • Instructions include a picture story

Key specs

  • Age: 2+
  • Pieces: 23
  • Set number: 10944

11. Best interactive DUPLO set: LEGO DUPLO Town Fire Station Building Bricks Set

DUPLO town fire station

Buy now from Smyths Toys

“The fire engine set is popular here.” livingthegoodlife

This interactive fire station set will come to the rescue whenever things are getting heated or your toddler’s having a meltdown. The fab fire truck has an authentic vibe thanks to its siren and flashing lights, while a pair of firefighter figures – complete with uniforms and hard hats – are on hand to man the hydrant, hose, axe and extinguisher in any emergency situation.

Sure to spark any preschooler’s imagination, this toy isn’t focused solely on fun, as your child will learn all about the vital work of emergency crews as they act out real-life scenarios.

Other accessories include the station dog, an all-important ladder and a campfire to put out.

Reasons to buy

  • Sounds and lights
  • Encourages role play
  • Battery included

Key specs

  • Age: 2+
  • Pieces: 76
  • Set number: 10903

12. Best DUPLO set for celebrations: LEGO DUPLO Disney Minnie’s Birthday Party Set

DUPLO Minnie's birthday party set

Buy now from Smyths Toys

“At five, DD’s DUPLO still gets played with most days, even though she plays with LEGO too now.” BritInAus

Most toddlers love toys, parties and Disney, so when all three are combined the result is sure to be a hit with any young child – and this set’s cute pink car is the icing on its bumper buildable birthday cake.

It comes with everything needed to celebrate Minnie Mouse’s big day, with the venue comprising a table, chair and two decorated bricks for presents. There’s also an opening window and portrait tile for the wall, plus Figaro the cat is ready to get the festivities under way.

While the brick colours may not appeal to all kids, parents of those who want in on this birthday bash may struggle to drag them away from all the revelry.

Reasons to buy

  • Ideal for a birthday gift
  • Disney theme

Key specs

  • Age: 2-5
  • Pieces: 21
  • Set number: 10873

What age is LEGO DUPLO best for?

All preschoolers can enjoy playing with LEGO DUPLO from the time they’re around 18 months old right up until they’re aged four or five, by which time they’re likely to be ready to move on to regular-sized LEGO bricks. Many children take pleasure in playing with their DUPLO sets well after this, however.

Most of your child’s brain development happens by the time they go to school and DUPLO toys help to improve cognitive thinking, spatial reasoning and fine motor skills – with some sets even getting tots acquainted with the alphabet and counting to 10. The bricks also offer peace of mind for parents, being safe for younger children due to their chunky size.

Which LEGO DUPLO set is best?

The best DUPLO set is the LEGO DUPLO Classic Deluxe Brick Box with Toy Storage. Boasting thousands of five-star reviews from satisfied parents across the globe, this colourful collection of bricks offers limitless creative possibilities and cannot fail to occupy your toddler as a great alternative to electronic toys.

With a decent number of blocks and an array of fun accessories, this durable set is easy for little hands to click together and can be mixed and matched with all other DUPLO sets (and regular LEGO sets when they’re old enough).

We love the handy storage box and its unisex appeal and, while there are cheaper toys on the market, we believe that this one is worth the outlay for the peace and quiet it’s sure to bring.

A word of warning, however. This brilliant box is likely to prove so popular with both tiny tots and older kids that it’ll end up knocking around in your attic for a good few years, awaiting the attention of future generations. 

How we chose our recommendations 

We first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which LEGO DUPLO sets discerning Mumsnetters recommended and had bought themselves, noting their feedback. From there, we did some research across the wider web, consulting independent review sites and taking into account what customer reviews said about the products featured. 

We also talked to Smyths Toys about which they considered to be the best DUPLO sets and which were the top-sellers in their stores and online.

Having collated all that information, we picked the LEGO DUPLO sets we thought were worthy of taking the titles in an array of interest categories.

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What The LEGO Group has to say

Some skills are best learned outside of the classroom. Like the emotional skills that help youngsters start off in life as both happy and confident. That’s why LEGO DUPLO playsets are tailor-made for toddlers, to nurture their…

Resilience

It sounds strange, but failing to fit LEGO DUPLO bricks together is as valuable as succeeding. From first learning to click two bricks together to eventually building anything they can imagine, sticking with a challenge provides a BIG start for kids learning to never give up.

Self-expression

There’s no wrong way to play with DUPLO bricks. And once kids understand that, it opens a BIG world of possibilities for them to imagine, create and express their own stories through loveable themes, diverse characters and drool-worthy colours.  

Confidence 

Every time a kid finds solutions to challenges or boldly sets off on a brand-new story to tell, their confidence gets a BIG boost. Fortunately for them, DUPLO bricks offer a perfect way to develop and exhibit this confidence. And it all starts by clicking two bricks together…