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Best LEGO sets for kids: tried and tested by families

A brand-new box of LEGO bricks is guaranteed to put a smile on any child’s face - and most adults too. Here’s our pick of the best LEGO sets for kids, as recommended by parents.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated May 26, 2023

Children playing with Lego

LEGO toys never go out of fashion. They allow children to learn construction skills and spatial awareness, help them to read carefully and follow instructions, improve their fine motor skills, collaborate with friends and let their imaginations run wild.

With almost 90 years of history, keeping on top of what’s new in the world of LEGO can be mind-boggling. The internet is awash with new and improved LEGO sets, and even browsing one of the LEGO stores can feel a bit daunting. 

We took to the Mumsnet forums for honest LEGO recommendations from parents, scoured the virtual shelves and the wide selection of LEGO toys available, and consulted bestseller lists to bring you the very best LEGO sets you can buy right now, with something for every age and interest. 

Want more toy inspiration? Check out our guides to the best kids' tablets, best board games for kids and the best kids' cameras

Here are the best LEGO sets you can buy in 2023. 

Best LEGO sets for kids at a glance

1. Best overall LEGO set: LEGO 75979 Harry Potter Hedwig

LEGO Harry Potter Hedwig

RRP: £34.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 10+ | Number of pieces: 630 

What we like

  • Includes display stand 
  • Mechanical wings to create impressive ‘flight’ movements
  • The set comes with a Harry Potter mini-figure and a small Hedwig 
  • Realistic owl design

What we don’t like

  • Some reviewers say they had difficulty mastering the wing movement
  • May be too complex for younger Harry Potter fans

What Mumsnet users say

“LEGO is popular here too. Some of the Harry Potter LEGO sets are quite spectacular. We have the mechanical Hedwig (owl) which is really great to look at, play with and build.”  BeyondMyWits

“I’ve done the LEGO Hedwig. It’s a great build!” Marmite27

Our verdict 

Whether your child’s a Potter fan or not, Mumsnet parents and online reviewers can’t speak more highly of the Harry Potter LEGO range, with fun, interactive builds that offer the real 'wow' factor. While new Harry Potter sets are being released all the time, LEGO Harry Potter Hedwig never fails to be a hit with older children. 

More affordable than some of the larger Harry Potter LEGO sets, this super realistic owl not only comes on a sturdy display stand but includes mechanical wings that can even create realistic flight movements when the handle is turned.

While Hedwig takes patience and can be complex to build in parts, it’s certainly worth the effort. Hedwig sits at around 20cm tall with a wing span that spreads an impressive 35cm, making an attractive piece for your child to display long after the build is complete. 

2. Best budget LEGO set: LEGO 31128 Creator 3-in-1 Dolphin and Turtle to Seahorse

LEGO 31128 Creator 3-in-1 Dolphin and Turtle to Seahorse

RRP: £8.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 6+ | Number of pieces: 137

What we like

  • Smaller set ideal for younger children
  • Affordable price tag - great for gifts or as a stocking filler
  • 3-in-1 set with multiple builds to create
  • Includes display stand

What we don’t like

  • Some parts can be fiddly 
  • Children may not want to dismantle after completing the first design

What Mumsnet users say

“There are some fantastic LEGO sets under £30 out there. Have a look at the Creator 3-in-1 theme. A hugely popular one is the dinosaur (so popular it has been available for a few years now rather than being retired). There's a mini robot type thing that's only £9. The dolphin set is adorable.Needmorelego

Our verdict 

Offering excellent value for money, the LEGO Creator 3-in-1 sets make a great small gift or stocking filler for children who are ready to transition from LEGO DUPLO. Despite the small box, each set includes a variety of bricks that can be used to create one of three fun and engaging designs. 

There are many LEGO Creator themes to choose from, but this under-the-ocean set features three brightly coloured characters that are sure to be loved by children of all ages. Children will enjoy bringing these cute sea creatures to life - from a poseable dolphin and sea turtle with moving fins, to the seahorse with sea snail and finally the friendly fish with a cute crab friend.

We like the display stand that allows children to show off their creations, but the real benefit of this set is the variety. Once one build is complete, it can be taken apart and transformed into the next design. 

Read next: The best travel games to keep kids busy on the go

3. Best Star Wars LEGO set: LEGO 75328 Star Wars The Mandalorian Helmet Buildable Model Kit

LEGO 75328 Star Wars The Mandalorian Helmet Buildable Model Kit

RRP: £59.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 18+ | Number of pieces: 584

What we like

  • Great for Star Wars fans and collectors 
  • Fun designs to display
  • Iconic design

What we don’t like

  • Not the most colourful of builds
  • Only suitable for teens 
  • Some reviewers say they received damaged boxes (not ideal for collectors)

What Mumsnet users say

“The Star Wars/Mandalorian/Batman helmets look cool - between £45 and £60.” yoshiblue

“The Star Wars helmet heads are fun builds.” WhatWouldTheDoctorDo

Our verdict 

If you’re buying LEGO for a teenager (or even a LEGO-obsessed grown-up), these build-and-display Star Wars helmets are a great new addition to the LEGO range. The detailed helmet designs pay homage to Star Wars’ iconic bounty hunters, also including characters such as Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett and Darth Vadar. 

Due to their complex instructions and the lack of playability, these sets are aimed at ages 18+, but we think teens or skilled LEGO builders with a healthy dose of patience would also enjoy the challenge. 

While not the most colourful of sets, we love the attention to detail, with drum lacquered pieces helping to create the realistic sheen and metallic glisten of the armour. 

4. Best LEGO Technic set: LEGO 42140 Technic App-Controlled Transformation Vehicle

LEGO 42140 Technic App-Controlled Transformation Vehicle

RRP: £129.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 9+ | Number of pieces: 772

What we like

  • Fun interactive play once the build is complete
  • The app can be used to control movement 
  • The vehicle flips when hits a wall - transforming from blue to orange

What we don’t like

  • Costly
  • Requires app on mobile device or kids’ tablet to operate
  • Batteries not included 

What Mumsnet users say

“Remote control LEGO Technic is awesome. We used to build models and race them round the house.” Daftasabroom 

“My children have one very similar to this - a great toy that has been played with lots over the years. If you have two, they can race each other around obstacle courses” parietal

Our verdict 

If your child is showing an interest in STEM and STEM toys, the LEGO Technics range is a great way to introduce your child to engineering-based LEGO builds including wheels, motors and machinery.

With this app-controlled Transformation Vehicle, the build is just the beginning. Children will love creating the cockpit, suspension and tracks of this large double-sided vehicle, before using the LEGO CONTROL+ app on a compatible device to steer and complete fun challenges. 

Every time the vehicle hits a wall, the entire model will flip, switching between the blue racer and the orange exploration vehicle. You’ll need six AA batteries to power the motors and it’s worth noting that these can drain quite quickly, so we recommend you stock up to avoid disappointment. 

5. Best Marvel LEGO set: LEGO 76217 Marvel I am Groot Set, Baby Groot Buildable Toy

LEGO Marvel I am Groot Set, Baby Groot Buildable Toy 76217

RRP: £45 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 10+ | Number of pieces: 476

What we like

  • Fully jointed and poseable
  • Comes with a pretend cassette (for acting out dancing scene) 
  • Incredibly cute

What we don’t like

  • Some reviewers found pieces fell off when played with
  • Costly for the size 

What Mumsnet users say

“Son got Groot and Venom. He's beyond excited and Venom is currently sitting in my living room watching TV.” BryanAdamsLeftAnkle

“My 16-year-old got Groot [for Christmas]. There is a lot of LEGO in our house.” Afolnerd

Our verdict 

As Marvel characters go, Groot certainly takes the top spot for cuteness appeal. He first rose to fame in Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 before the release of his ‘I am Groot’ more recently on Disney+. 

This unique Groot LEGO set allows children to create their very own Groot character to play with and display. We love his big eyes and adorable smile and, with an included nameplate and replica cassette, he makes a fun bedroom accessory and desk buddy for children too. 

Once built, Groot is great fun to play with thanks to his pieces with folding joints. Children will love moving his limbs to replicate some of his iconic dance moves and poses. 

Read next: The best robot toys for tweens and teens 

6. Best Harry Potter LEGO Set: LEGO 76408 Harry Potter 12 Grimmauld Place Model Building Set

LEGO Harry Potter 76408 12 Grimmauld Place Model Building Set

RRP: £114.99 | Buy now from LEGO

Key specs

Age: 8+ | Number of pieces: 1083

What we like

  • Transforming design
  • Includes nine mini-figures of Harry Potter characters 
  • Great attention to detail 

What we don’t like

  • No Hermione in the set 
  • A fairly quick build for the cost
  • Some reviewers wish the house was bigger as can’t fit all mini-figures in at once

What Mumsnet users say

“My daughter had Grimmauld Place which is incredible - the houses on either side move to reveal number 12!” CJCreggsGoldfish

I got Grimmauld Place for Christmas (I hinted heavily). I have quite a lot of it. The detail is very clever. Grimmauld Place has extendable ears.” AdelaideRo 

Our verdict 

Choosing just one set from the extensive range of Harry Potter LEGO can be tough, with so many magical, detailed and unique designs to choose from. While it doesn’t come cheap, Mumsnet users and their children adore the transforming nature of this LEGO Grimmauld Place Set.

Just like in the books and films, Grimmauld Place transforms to reveal Number 12 - the secret headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix hidden between two traditional terraced houses. 

While some reviewers wish it was a little bigger, we love the double-sided play and attention to detail, with even Sirius’s family tree tapestry and the Extendable Ear making an appearance. There are nine mini-figures in the set including Harry, Ron, Sirius and Tonks, but we would have loved to see Hermione complete the fearless trio. 

7. Best Ninjago LEGO set: LEGO 71770 NINJAGO Zane's Golden Dragon Jet

LEGO 71770 NINJAGO Zane's Golden Dragon Jet

RRP: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 7+ | Number of pieces: 258

What we like

  • Transforming toy with extendable wings
  • Game play continues once the build is complete
  • Mini-figures fit inside the cockpit

What we don’t like

  • Relatively quick build time 

What Mumsnet users say

“My daughter loves the Ninjago sets and was quite happily building those types of sets from around [age] five with help then by herself from [age] six/seven other than really tricky bits.” FlamingoDust 

“LEGO Ninjago sets are brilliant.” Rainydaysandcake

Our verdict 

Ninjago is a LEGO fantasy world full of ninjas, dragons, vehicles and temples and has proven incredibly popular with young LEGO fans, who may also watch the TV series. The Ninjago sets come in a range of sizes from large playsets and dragons to more affordable character and vehicle sets.

We love Zane’s Golden Dragon Jet due to its extendable golden wings, opening cockpit and three mini-figures which can be used to play out flight and battles. It's robust enough to cope with energetic, hands-on play, with shiny metallic pieces that really stand out from the crowd. 

8. Best LEGO Minecraft set: LEGO 21244 Minecraft The Sword Outpost Building Toy

LEGO 21244 Minecraft The Sword

RRP: £39.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 8+ | Number of pieces: 427

What we like

  • Tower that collapses when the lever is pressed 
  • Include Sentinel Soldier and Guardian Warrior mini-figures
  • Compatible with other LEGO Minecraft sets to extend the fun 

What we don’t like

  • We wish the sword was double-sided for 360-degree play

What Mumsnet users say

“My son loves Minecraft, and to help him with finger dexterity and coordination he was bought a Minecraft kit for his birthday - he was so thrilled with the results it has pride of place in his bedroom.” ButterOllocks

“My eldest likes LEGO - mainly Minecraft. He also has Minecraft toys and Minecraft LEGO.”  Fatted

Our verdict 

Minecraft is incredibly popular with juniors and tweens - and with good reason. One of the most popular video games of all time, Mumsnet parents love that Minecraft is educational as well as entertaining, helping enhance children's problem-solving skills and creativity whilst they have fun.

Children can use these fully licensed LEGO sets to bring to life the stories from this block-based world - including building their own village, avoiding creepers and raiding dungeons. 

In this particular set, children can recreate the iconic LEGO Minecraft Sword base, before acting out scenes with the two mini-figures as they take on a battle with the skeleton and creeper. We like the two shooters which can be used to fire weapons at attacking mobs. Be careful the creeper doesn’t hit the lever or they’ll trigger an explosion that’ll destroy the tower.  

9. Best LEGO Friends set: LEGO 41727 Friends Dog Rescue Centre Pet Animal Playset

LEGO 41727 Friends Dog Rescue Centre Pet Animal Playset

RRP: £54.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 7+ | Number of pieces: 617

What we like

  • Diverse characters 
  • Great for animal lovers
  • Big enough for siblings or friends to play together 
  • Rooms can be rearranged for storytelling

What we don’t like

  • Children with older LEGO Friends sets may miss the original characters such as Mia and Andrea

What Mumsnet users say

“LEGO Friends have a great selection, such as a hair salon, bakery etc.” wednesday32

“I am a huge fan of LEGO Friends and am really excited about the reboot (they've retired the original five characters and got new ones).” Needmorelego

Mumsnet testers tried out the LEGO Friends Dog Rescue Centre with their children, and over 63% were very satisfied with the playset, with one tester sharing: "It was a lot of fun to build together. A great chance to spend some quality time together."

Our verdict 

LEGO Friends has always been a popular collection but recently went through an overhaul to introduce new diverse characters and locations to Heartlake City. With a real focus on animals, nature and, not surprisingly, friendship, these sets are great for creative storytelling, role play, and playtime with friends or siblings.

New for 2023, the LEGO Friends Dog Rescue Centre Playset includes a grooming station, exercise area, three mini-figures and three super cute pups, as well as fun obstacles and a slide to ensure these pets get some much-needed exercise. 

Children will love rearranging the areas as they bring their stories to life, using small accessories such as brushes, dog toys and medicine to care for their pets. 

Read next: Imaginative play ideas to try with your kids

10. Best LEGO car set: LEGO 42149 Technic Monster Jam Dragon Monster Truck Toy

LEGO 42149 Technic Monster Jam Dragon Monster Truck Toy

RRP: £13.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: 7+ | Number of pieces: 217

What we like

  • Affordable price tag
  • Pull-and-go motion 
  • Authentic Monster Truck design
  • Two vehicles in one set
  • Encourages active play and movement

What we don’t like

  • Your child is likely to want more trucks from the Monster Jam collection which could soon add up
  • May need significant floor space to get the most from play

What Mumsnet users say

“Looked on Amazon and found a monster truck LEGO that you build, and then pull back and it drives forward - very happy with this.” MeAndAutumnGoHandInHand

Our verdict 

If you’re child is obsessed with toy cars, trucks and vehicles, they’ll love these LEGO Technic sets, with authentic design vehicles that can perform tricks just like the ones in the Monster Jam arena.  

With a simple pull-back feature that will have it flying across the floor in seconds, the LEGO 42149 Technic Monster Jam Dragon Monster Truck Toy can easily convert between a Monster Jam Dragon Truck and a Crocodile Buggy to change the racing dynamic. 

With an affordable price point and easy-to-follow instructions for children aged seven and above, we like that this set encourages energetic active play, motivating children to get up off the sofa and let their imaginations run wild. 

11. Best LEGO City set: LEGO 60337 City Express Passenger Train Set

LEGO 60337 City Express Passenger Train Set

RRP: £139.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 7+ | Number of pieces: 764

What we like

  • Remote control movement with variable speed 
  • Working dimmable lights 
  • Includes six mini-figures 
  • Mini-figures can be added to dining or locomotive carriages 
  • Choice of remote or app-controlled movement 

What we don’t like

  • Costly
  • Uses a significant amount of batteries
  • The track itself is a fairly basic circuit  

What Mumsnet users say

“My train and LEGO-obsessed 12-year-old has it and plays with it constantly. Unlike some LEGO sets it functions well as an interactive toy so it’s not just about the build. Other posters are right though - you also need shares in Duracell!” AmeliaEarhart

“My 10-year-old has it. He got it last year. He still likes it. He builds it really quickly but is happy to dismantle it and do it again a few weeks later.” Coolyule 

Our verdict 

For a LEGO set that is hugely entertaining after the build is complete, this LEGO City Passenger Train Set is an excellent choice and comes well-rated by Mumsnet users and reviewers alike. 

Inside the large box, children will find everything they need to create an authentic railway playset, from a large locomotive train with carriages to a station platform, track and of course a variety of passengers. 

The fun doesn’t stop there, however, thanks to LEGO Powered Up technology, where children can control the lights, speed and motion of the locomotive using the included remote or a compatible mobile or tablet. It’s worth noting that this set needs a considerable amount of battery power - 10 AAA batteries in the engine alone - so it’s worth factoring in the running costs when considering the overall price.

12. Best LEGO set for teens: LEGO 10280 Icons Flower Bouquet Botanical Collection

LEGO 10280 Icons Flower Bouquet Botanicals Collection

RRP: £54.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 18+ | Number of pieces: 756

What we like

  • Includes 15 stems 
  • Poseable petals and leaves
  • Can rearrange and adjust stem lengths to suit your display 
  • Unique colours and shapes inspired by nature
  • The build is a calming and mindful activity 

What we don’t like

  • Costly
  • Some pieces can be a bit fiddly to attach

What Mumsnet users say

“The Botanicals sets are my favourite. I have the Bouquet, individual roses and the Orchid but am considering the Succulents for my birthday this year!” SugarCookieMonster 

“I have the Orchid (yet to build) and the sunflowers. You can get blue transparent LEGO bricks that make good water.” MartinReubyUnsungHero 

Our verdict 

The LEGO Botanicals range is a great way to add some colour to your home, with a range of floral sets that are surprisingly lifelike and made specifically for display purposes. 

The Icons Flower Bouquet features 15 individual stems with uniquely shaped pieces and colours inspired by nature, representing roses, snapdragons, poppies, asters, daisies and grasses. With poseable petals and leaves, you can tailor your stems to your vase or display, alternating the length of the stems as required. 

A great choice for teens and adults, building these sets provides a calm, mindful activity and, unlike real flowers, can be displayed and enjoyed forever. Mumsnet users have found the LEGO Botanicals range somewhat addictive, with other options such as Orchids, sunflowers and even a Bonsai tree to collect. 

What is the best LEGO set to buy in 2023? 

There’s so many new sets in the LEGO toys market this year, from new Harry Potter and Star Wars sets to new LEGO Friends sets and Creator builds. Which you go for depends very much on the age and stage of your child, so we’ve picked a best buy for every age.

For the seven-year-plus age group, the LEGO 71770 NINJAGO Zane's Golden Dragon Jet and LEGO 21244 Minecraft The Sword are great buys. They’ll gently encourage children towards real-world play when the pressure for screens is high by letting them build with their favourite computer game characters and play in an interactive way. 

For children aged nine and over, we think the LEGO 42140 Technic App Controlled Transformation Vehicle will offer more than enough to keep older kids occupied, with two vehicles in one and high energy, remote-controlled fun. 

For children aged 10 and above (and our recommendation for best overall LEGO set), the LEGO 75979 Harry Potter Hedwig is an affordable yet challenging set that is great to build and display with impressive realistic movements too. 

Read next: The best games consoles to buy this year

How we chose our recommendations

Anyone who’s a parent probably has a pretty good grasp on what makes the best LEGO sets, but when you’re trying to choose between (quite literally) thousands of products, nothing beats a bit of crowd-checking. 

We turned to the Mumsnet forums to find out which LEGO sets parents and their children had played with and rated. We were looking not just for stories of wide eyes and cheers on Christmas Day, but also feedback on value for money, how challenging the sets were, whether they offered enough in terms of play value once built, and opinions on the style and design of each one. 

We then researched which LEGO sets were the top sellers in stores and online, before weighing up customer reviews on various retailer sites including Amazon, Argos and John Lewis.

Why you should trust us 

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.