Snow might be the coolest medium for creative winter building, but no powder palace can survive the warmth that comes with spring.
For construction fun that lasts the year, Lego’s what you need – and there’s no shortage of ideas in this Christmas list: from iconic campervans and legendary guitars to typewriters, rockets and Nintendo nostalgia, these brick-built kits are sure to keep eager builders busy well into 2022.
The best bit? Whether you follow the instructions or assemble something using blueprints from your brain, your model won’t melt when it’s finished. It might be stood on by a grown-up, though.
Lego Home Alone House
Think Disney’s Home Alone reboot is a filthy animal? For a remake that’s more faithful to your festive memories, assemble this Lego version of the McCallister mansion. Comprised of 3955 pieces, the hefty home opens up to reveal cinematic scenes in each room – from Kevin’s solo party to Harry’s blowtorched bonce. Once you’ve built the booby-trapped abode, a cast of five minifigs – including the Wet Bandits and shovel-toting Old Man Marley – can be deployed to film your own miniature sequel.
Lego Super Mario 64 Question Mark Block
Mario’s long had a thing for blocks, which makes you wonder why it took so long for the plumber to swap pixels for bricks and hook up with Lego. Inspired by Super Mario 64 (25 this year), this 2064-piece Question Mark cube unfolds to reveal multiple levels from the N64 classic: Bob-omb Battlefield, Cool, Cool Mountain and Lethal Lava Land, with Princess Peach’s castle hidden in the middle. Wrap it up beneath the tree for a surprise within a surprise.
Given current intergalactic exchange rates, £700 won’t buy you enough credits to bribe your way out of a Stormtrooper traffic stop on Tattooine. But it will net you this sizeable scale model of the Empire’s walking weapon. With 6785 pieces, it might take a while to find the bricks you’re looking for. Once you do, you’ll be rewarded with a posable replica of the infamous AT-AT, complete with hooded Hoth Snowtroopers and a dangling Luke minifig doing his best to bring down your model. Which, come to think of it, is a good reason to whip out the miniature E-Web heavy repeating blaster. Rebel scum.
Lego Fender Stratocaster
A songwriting course might equip you with the building blocks to create a great riff, but only this Lego kit gives you the bricks to build your own Fender Stratocaster. No, you won’t get a killer lick out of its plastic parts, but with a moving whammy bar, twistable tuning pegs and a panel that can be removed to reveal the attached amp’s innards, it’s the perfect gifts for aspiring guitarists whose skills are clapped out rather than Clapton.
Lego Classic TV Series Batman Cowl
Nothing says old-school like a crime-fighting duo dressed as a lycra-clad bat and, err, a sidekick who forgot his trousers. Celebrate all that was hammy about the classic Batman TV series with this brick-built version of Bruce Wayne’s legendary vizard (complete with drawn-on eyebrows). Smaller and edgier than the original, the 372-piece set ships with a display stand and dinky information plaque – in case visiting villains don’t instantly recognise the Caped Crusader’s headgear, circa 1966.
Lego Christmas Penguin
Despite all of David Attenborough’s observations, it’s still unclear whether penguins celebrate Christmas. For a flapper that’s definitely festive, add this brick-built bird to your mantlepiece. Like the real seabird, this Pingu impersonator can’t fly, but you can move its wings. Still in doubt about its Yuletide credentials? A tiny tree and trio of presents should noot noot any apprehension.
Lego Volkswagen T2 Camper Van
December might not be the best time for a road trip, but it’s never too early to start planning for summer fun. This throwback camper should be all the inspiration you need for a groovy getaway. Styled like Volkswagen’s iconic T2 Camper, the mini mid-century machine comes equipped with countless authentic details – from a compact kitchen to a functioning fabric pop-top. Pick some of the bundled flower power decals, slide the side door shut and prepare for #VanLife like the Beatles are still big news.
Lego Camp Nou
Catching a home game at Camp Nou is bucket list stuff for countless football fans, but bagging FC Barcelona tickets is tricky. Build this miniature equivalent of the fabled stadium and, while you won’t witness any action on the tiny turf, you will get some sense of the place’s scale – especially as you attach the countless seat pieces which fill its blocky bleachers. Comprised of more than 5500 bricks, it’ll take far longer than 90 minutes to finish off this challenge – but Barça supporters are guaranteed to be the winners.
Lego Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition
A Reparo charm would have this spellbinding set assembled in a jiffy. Alas, the included wand is more brick-by-brick than swish-and-flick. Still, Muggles should have a magical time piecing together this ode to the wizarding world. From a Golden Snitch in flight to a customisable acceptance letter clutched in Hedwig’s talons, the assortment includes countless enchanting elements from the sorcery series. Just don’t try drinking the plastic Polyjuice Potion, unless you fancy taking the Knight Bus to see your GP.
Lego App-Controlled Cat D11 Bulldozer
Moving mounds of wrapping paper is no mean feat. For heavy-duty clearing assistance, assemble this beefy bulldozer. From adjustable tracks to a swivelling cab ladder, the detailed ’dozer features a number of functioning mechanisms which are faithful to the full-sized equivalent. Pair up with the Control+ app to steer the Cat, drop the ripper or raise and tilt the blade. With some 3854 pieces to rifle through, you’ll need to create a mess before you can clear one – but the made model will make light work of living room detritus.
Lego The Friends Apartments
Bingeing with friends might be a staple of the festive season, but binge-watching Friends is the cosiest way to spend those long winter nights. Celebrate the inner-city sitcom with this dinky domestic set. More affordable than any New York duplex, the neighbouring apartments come with everything you need to recreate your favourite scenes – from a foosball table and matching recliners to Joey’s turkey and Phoebe’s dollhouse. The nostalgic set also features replica studio lights, which might be all the hint your minifigs need to uncover their own Truman Show situation.
Like bricks hitting bricks, the classic click-clack of a typewriter is nothing if not distinctive. Nostalgic for the noise? Based on the machine used by Lego’s founder, Ole Kirk Kristiansen, this imitation letterpress lets you relive the Fifties office experience. Feed in a sheet of paper, then watch the carriage travel across the roller as you tap on working keys. The only thing it won’t do? Actually type anything: its spools are made of fabric.
Lego NASA Space Shuttle Discovery
Unlike Santa’s sleigh, Space Shuttle Discovery didn’t rely on Christmas cheer to defy the laws of gravity. Fuelled by science and liquid hydrogen, Discovery flew more missions than any other Shuttle. Celebrate this feat of aeronautical engineering by assembling a spaceship of your own. There’s no black hole behind its bay doors: the set also includes a scale model of the Hubble Telescope, which it can carry in the payload compartment – just like the real Discovery did back in 1990.
Old-school gaming was all about blocky visuals, so what better way to build an homage to Nintendo’s legendary 8-bit system than with little bricks? Once you’ve pieced together the grey-on-grey NES console, simply insert the buildable Game Pak, grab the life-sized controller and get your mate to turn the handle on the retro telly. Squint at Super Mario making his way along the pixellated level and you might just think you’re playing the real thing.
Lego Adidas Originals
Stepping on Lego bricks is more painful than any blister from a brand-new shoe. Luckily, this Adidas sneaker isn’t for sticking your hoof in. As cool as kicks come, the seminal Superstar took basketball courts by storm in the Seventies – and Lego’s take on the celebrated trainer wears its stripes with pride. Shipped in a shoebox, it features accurate graphics and actual laces. Buy one for hopping to the hoop – or pick up a pair for retro left and right.