We love Lego. What could be more fun on a Sunday afternoon than piecing together thousands of tiny pieces to make a multicolour model of epic proportions?
Once you’ve finished helping the kids with their kits, though, you might well run out of blocky options.
Thankfully, we’ve trawled the halls of Lego HQ to unearth some bricktastic kits to add to your collection – from skyscrapers and superheroes to big diggers and rocket science.
Who says Lego’s not for adults?
These new sets have just hit the shelves and are sorely tempting our Lego trigger finger...
Lego Creator Volkswagen Beetle (£70)
Lego Creator Volkswagen Beetle
Stick a surfboard on the roof and pack some beers in the coolbox: this retro roller is a plastic throwback straight out of the 60s. Complete with authentic white-rimmed wheels, a 4-cylinder engine hiding in the trunk and an azure blue paint job that’ll take you straight back to the beach, this is no basic bug. Once you’ve assembled the 1000 pieces that make up the model, throw its tiny towel behind the tilting rear seat and you’re away.
Unique elements include a VW logo tile, round headlamps and funky fender elements, as well as interchangeable number plates – perfect for the indecisive. Protective builders can park it on a shelf but, if like us you’re a hippie at heart, it’s the perfect plaything to push around the living room rug to the sound of Sgt Pepper.
Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS (£250)
Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS
From one fine four-wheeler to another, this Lego Technic kit is a faithfully orange representation of the properly powerful Porsche 911 GT3 RS. OK, so it’s not quite as rapid as its race-bred namesake and its edges might be a little blockier than the smooth curves and fine lines of the original, but, with a working gearbox and moving engine pistons, it’s not short on detail. In fact, everything from the rims to the gear paddles has been given the Porsche precision treatment. There’s even a unique serial number hiding - where else? - in the glovebox.
With 2700 pieces to play with, it’s not a quickie to build – and, given that it’s delivered in special packaging complete with a collector’s book, this might be one to keep out of reach of sticky hands. At 57cm long you’ll also need to make a fair bit of storage space, but it’ll be worth it when you can say “my other car is a Porsche”.
Lego Technic Bucket Wheel Excavator (£180)
Lego Technic Bucket Wheel Excavator
Who doesn’t want a giant marble-munching machine made of plastic? Sure, it might not actually chew through rocks with the same consummate ease as its bigger mining brother, but it’ll scoop up layabout Lego, no sweat. Motor-driven belts and buckets put paid to back-breaking brick-shifting, whilst the boom can be raised and lowered for optimum chipping angles.
If you’re a fan of size, this set isn’t lacking – in fact, it’s the largest Lego Technic kit to date, with more than 3900 pieces making up its monstrous, 41cm-tall frame – whilst a dumper truck buddy is on hand to haul the processed pieces that come out of the other end. It might not be the start of a mining monopoly that’ll make you millions, but its spinning kit should doubtless see you occupied for hours.
Lego Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man: Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle (£90)
Lego Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man: Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle (£90)
Web-swinging action just got a table-top upgrade: this bridge-themed set is as much for players as builders, replete with trapdoors, exploding pillars and trash can catapults that’ll make easy work of a long afternoon. A menagerie of Minifigures means you can get your mates in on the action, too, with Spider-Man and Spider-Girl fending off the evil doings of Green Goblin, Kraven and more.
All sorts of surprises await the adventurous, including bad-guy-trapping nets and secret below-bridge lairs, whilst a police ATV and New York cab complete the diorama. There’s even a stud-shooting Goblin Glider, should your play-mates overstep the mark. If you like, you can wear your Spidey suit as you play with it.
Lego Architecture New York City (£40)
Lego Architecture New York City
Lego’s entire Architecture series is inspired by the detail-focussed finesse that drives the Kevin McClouds among us, and that’s very much the case with this New York City kit.
Distinctly not for kids – as the website will warn you – this stylishly subtle set portrays the changing shape of the Big Apple’s skyline on a single base, from the Statue of Liberty to a 26cm-high Empire State Building. It’s less about building something fun than having a scale desktop model to inspect for hours on end, but, for those of a design inclination, it’s a real doozy.
Lego Ideas Maze (£60)
Lego Ideas Maze
Straight from the mind of a Lego fan, this two-axis maze is a dose of traditional fun that’s as enjoyable to play with as it is to create. With the freedom to build routes as difficult as you like, a pair of handles helpfully makes maze control a cinch and, once you’ve mastered the standard setup, you can get funky with theming.
Star Wars meets Indiana Jones? Thanks to the universal buildability of the Lego universe, you can attach almost any parts of your existing collection to this tilting puzzle to make it even more interesting. Perennially losing your marbles? There’s even a travel lock container for those all important maze balls.
In the pipeline...
These future classics have been given the official stamp of approval and will be made into sets later this year...
Lego Ideas Caterham Super Seven (£TBA, due 2016)
Lego Ideas Caterham Super Seven
Another inspired idea sourced through the Lego Ideas platform – where inspired brick builders can suggest and submit their kit concepts – this scale model of the classic British kit car, the Caterham Seven, is yet to hit shelves, but it’s on its way. Having hit the magic 10,000 supporters mark, it was considered by Lego and, in March, was announced as the next set to be created. And, with that killer green and yellow livery, we can understand why.
Piece counts, pricing and release dates are all yet to be announced, but we’re darn excited to construct a dinky version of the definitive DIY drop-top for ourselves.
Lego Ideas Beatles Yellow Submarine (£TBA, due 2016)
Lego Ideas Beatles Yellow Submarine
If the Beetle above wasn’t enough to satisfy your craving for 60s nostalgia, this blocky reimagining of the famous foursome’s yolky underwater tub might be all you need.
Like the Caterham, this one’s still in production and, like love, you can’t buy it (yet). Still, if it follows the original Ideas submission, it’ll be something like 26cm in length and feature a proper propeller and rudder that’ll twist and steer – perfect for letting it be in the bathtub. It’s big enough for your Minifigs to spend a day in the life of a submariner and, if they’re lucky, that might just spot a walrus. Puns over.
Lego Ideas Apollo 11 Saturn-V (£TBA, due 2016)
Lego Ideas Apollo 11 Saturn-V
There’s no better way to re-live the historic moon landings of ‘69 than by building a metre-high model of the craft that got Armstrong and crew to our cheesy neighbour. Don’t go thinking this is some fixed build, either: each stage can be independently removed – from the main engine to the command module – just as the astronauts jettisoned them on their lunar quest. There are even the Lander and Orbiter that made the landings possible.
Still think the whole thing’s a conspiracy? At least once the model’s released you’ll be able to make stop-motion YouTube videos all about it.
In the balance...
Our blocky fingers are crossed that these ideas get the official nod from Lego's fearsome Review Board...
Lego Ideas Rey's Speeder (Not yet approved)
Lego Ideas Rey's Speeder
If The Force Awakens reignited your love of all things Star Wars, this rocket-red reincarnation of Rey’s desert speeder should have you feeling the Force all over again. Roughly 45cm long, it nails every detail – from the rusty edges to the bags of bits slung on the sides – as it perches proudly on its sandy stand.
This one’s still up for voting, with a little more than 6000 supporters so far, so if you’re keen on a desktop chunk of Awakens memorabilia you can build yourself, you’d better get voting.
Lego Ideas Particle Accelerator (Not yet approved)
Lego Ideas Particle Accelerator
This one’s already hit the 10,000 mark, meaning Lego is taking a look at it with a view to production. Here’s hoping it makes it to market, so we can channel our inner Cern scientist.
Things aren’t quite to scale, but – and here’s the fun part – it actually works. OK, so it doesn’t exactly collide particles in pursuit of life-changing molecular discovery, but it does employ a set of spinning wheels to launch a tiny Lego ball around an outer ring. Whether you want to explain the science to some interested kids, or you just like firing little bits of plastic in circular motion, this is something a bit different from your standard Lego set.