As 2022 rapidly approaches, we’re kicking off our look back over the past year with a round-up of all the LEGO sets we reviewed in 2021.
A total of 159 sets went under the Brick Fanatics microscope this year – including early reviews of 2021 sets published in 2020, but not including early reviews of 2022 sets, which we’ve been publishing since October – across themes from Star Wars, Ideas and NINJAGO to Marvel, LEGO for Adults and Super Mario.
Whether you’ve missed any of those reviews or just want to revisit sets as the year draws to a close – maybe you’re whittling down your own top 10, or maybe you’re just doing some last-minute Christmas shopping – we’ve collected them all into one handy list.
Dive in below, and keep an eye on the site over the next couple of weeks as we look back on an incredible year for the LEGO Group, and look ahead to what 2022 could bring us…
It’s been a pretty quiet year for LEGO Architecture: only one set landed on shelves, offering a condensed and more space-friendly version of 10256 Taj Mahal. We rated it highly in our review, mainly for offsetting (to some degree) all the horrendous repetition of that Creator Expert re-release.
LEGO Art wasn’t quite as prolific in 2021 as we expected given the fanfare around its launch last August, but it does now boast the largest LEGO set of all time (by piece count) in 31203 World Map. We reviewed both that buildable mosaic and the first one inspired by the House of Mouse.
LEGO for Adults / Creator Expert
What a year it’s been for the theme formerly known as Creator Expert. It’s no secret that the LEGO Group has gone after the adult market in a big way in 2021, and this list is all the proof you need. We reviewed a total of 14 sets that now fall under the LEGO for Adults umbrella this year, and there’s barely a bum note among them.
10278 Police Station | review
10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van | review
10280 Flower Bouquet | review
10281 Bonsai Tree | review
10282 Adidas Originals Superstar | review
10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery | review
10284 Camp Nou – FC Barcelona | review
10289 Bird of Paradise | review
10290 Pickup Truck | review
10291 Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft | review
10292 The Friends Apartments | review
10293 Santa’s Visit | review
10295 Porsche 911 | review
77942 Fiat 500 | review
Batman / DC Super Heroes
With basically zero DC representation in cinemas in 2021 – at least in a way that was suitable for the LEGO Group’s target audience – the DC Super Heroes theme essentially dialled it in this year, evident nowhere more than in 76240 Batmobile Tumbler. The smaller Batmobiles are both pretty good, though.
The theme that just won’t quit continued its seasonal focus in 2021, while also expanding to encompass Minions and a new Pets subtheme.
40420 Gru, Stuart and Otto | review
40421 Belle Bottom, Kevin and Bob | review
40440 German Shepherd | review
40441 Shorthair Cats | review
40442 Goldfish | review
40443 Budgie | review
40466 Chinese New Year Pandas | review
Chinese Traditional Festival
The LEGO Group continued to knock it out of the park with its Chinese New Year sets in 2021 – or, more specifically, with 80107 Spring Lantern Festival. Its connectivity with the Modular Buildings Collection helps, but it’s also just a beautiful set in its own right.
It’s been a pretty good year for LEGO CITY, headlined by two major developments: buildable roads replacing traditional baseplates, and a menagerie of new moulded animals in its wildlife subtheme. We dove into both across our reviews.
Both of this year’s licensed Collectible Minifigures series were firsts for the blind-bagged characters, bringing Looney Tunes and Marvel into the fold – with brilliant results all around. We went forensic on all 24 minifigures across two in-depth reviews.
The LEGO Group’s new home of retro themes gave us our first proper LEGO castle in years in 31120 Medieval Castle, before getting experimental with recolours through 77940 and 77941 Mighty Dinosaurs. It’s still doing great things elsewhere, too.
For older fans, the stand-out LEGO Disney release in 2021 has undoubtedly been 40478 Mini Disney Castle, which shrinks down 71040 The Disney Castle to accommodate for smaller budgets and limited display space.
Friends has been consistently prolific for the past decade – can you believe it first launched in 2012? – and this year was no different. We got to grips with just one of those new sets, and it wasn’t without its merits.
The LEGO Harry Potter theme celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021 with a brand new modular Hogwarts, a cast of golden characters, collectible wizard cards and a beautiful new direct-to-consumer set. All in all, it’s been another magical year for Wizarding World fans.
76382 Hogwarts Moment: Transfiguration Class | review
76383 Hogwarts Moment: Potions Class | review
76384 Hogwarts Moment: Herbology Class | review
76385 Hogwarts Moment: Charms Class | review
76386 Hogwarts Polyjuice Potion Mistake | review
76387 Hogwarts Fluffy Encounter | review
76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit | review
76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets | review
76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition | review
73693 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger | review
73694 Fawkes, Dumbledore’s Phoenix | review
76395 Hogwarts First Flying Lesson | review
Was this the year of LEGO Ideas? From record-breaking reviews to its most prolific portfolio to date, nobody could really say otherwise. We tackled five of the six crowdsourced sets that hit shelves this year, and they’re basically all winners in our book.
With Jurassic World: Dominion delayed to 2022, the LEGO Group’s dino-centric theme had a relatively quiet year. Just four sets hit shelves in September, of which we’ve dissected three – and they’re not really the most inspiring products you’ll find on this list.
Between brand new character busts, Marvel Cinematic Universe sets, a giant golden glove and arguably its first Ultimate Collector Series set, LEGO Marvel has had quite the year. But even in the context of all that, the stand-out is surely still 76178 Daily Bugle, a towering skyscraper that also happens to be the theme’s biggest set of all time.
76155 In Arishem’s Shadow | review
76156 Rise of the Domo | review
76170 Iron Man vs. Thanos | review
76175 Attack on the Spider Lair | review
76178 Daily Bugle | review
76185 Spider-Man at the Sanctum Workshop | review
76187 Venom | review
76191 Infinity Gauntlet | review
76193 The Guardians’ Ship | review
76195 Spider-Man’s Drone Duel | review
76199 Carnage | review
76200 Bro Thor’s New Asgard | review
76201 Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper | review
Still chugging along as one of the LEGO Group’s most overlooked (and perhaps underrated) themes, Minecraft – which began life with LEGO CUUSOO, the precursor to Ideas – enjoyed another great 12 months in 2021, not least in 21169 The First Adventure.
Monkie Kid set the bar high in its first year on shelves, but to its credit, it kept the momentum going perfectly in 2021 with a diverse line-up of mechs, vehicles and location-based sets. We dove into two of the very best in our reviews.
Between its Seabound and Island subthemes, NINJAGO added an eclectic and colourful range of sets to its catalogue in 2021 – but the headline release has to be 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens, a belated (but very welcome) follow-up to the stunning NINJAGO City modular line-up.
71735 Tournament of Elements | review
71736 Boulder Blaster | review
71737 X-1 Ninja Charger | review
71738 Zane’s Titan Mech Battle | review
71741 NINJAGO City Gardens | review
71742 Overlord Dragon | review
71746 Jungle Dragon | review
71747 The Keepers’ Village | review
71748 Catamaran Sea Battle | review
Promotional / Exclusive
If you shopped at LEGO.com in 2021, chances are you picked up at least one of the very many freebies in this list. A couple of LEGO Store-exclusive sets – and one LEGO House-exclusive – also came our way this year.
30343 McLaren Elva | review
30387 Bob Minion with Robot Arms | review
30454 Shang-Chi and The Great Protector | review
40179 Personalised Mosaic Portrait | review
40417 Year of the Ox | review
40449 Easter Bunny’s Carrot House | review
40450 Amelia Earhart Tribute | review
40451 Tatooine Homestead | review
40452 Hogwarts Gryffindor Dorms | review
40460 Roses | review
40461 Tulips | review
40462 Valentine’s Brown Bear | review
40483 Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber | review
40484 Santa’s Front Yard | review
40485 FC Barcelona Celebration | review
40486 Adidas Originals Superstar | review
40487 Sailboat Adventure | review
40502 The Brick Moulding Machine | review
40516 Everyone Is Awesome | review
LEGO retro tin gift-with-purchase | review
76900 Koenigsegg Jesko | review
76901 Toyota GR Supra | review
76902 McLaren Elva | review
76903 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette | review
76904 Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster and 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A | review
76905 Ford GT Heritage Edition and Bronco R | review
From Ultimate Collector Series behemoths and adult-focused display sets to Microfighters and downsized ships, LEGO Star Wars had something for everyone in 2021. We tackled it all across 20 separate reviews, capped off with the enormous 75313 AT-AT.
75296 Darth Vader Meditation Chamber | review
75297 Resistance X-wing | review
75298 AT-AT vs Tauntaun Microfighters | review
75299 Trouble on Tatooine | review
75300 Imperial TIE Fighter | review
75301 Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing Fighter | review
75302 Imperial Shuttle | review
75304 Darth Vader Helmet | review
75305 Scout Trooper Helmet | review
75306 Imperial Probe Droid | review
75308 R2-D2 | review
75309 Republic Gunship | review
75310 Duel on Mandalore | review
75311 Imperial Armored Marauder | review
75312 Boba Fett’s Starship | review
75313 AT-AT | review
75314 The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle | review
75315 Imperial Light Cruiser | review
75316 Mandalorian Starfighter | review
75319 The Armorer’s Mandalorian Forge | review
LEGO Luigi joined the Super Mario line-up in 2021, bringing a brand new multiplayer experience with him. While we’re still keen to see a more traditional minifigure-drive range from the LEGO Group and Nintendo in future, we’re also fully on-board with the interactive sets by this point.
The LEGO Group’s most advanced building system got off to a great start in January with a brand new Ferrari, and didn’t really let up for the rest of the year.
42116 Skid Steer Loader | review
42117 Race Plane | review
42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger | review
42119 Monster Jam Max-D | review
42120 Rescue Hovercraft | review
42121 Heavy-Duty Excavator | review
42122 Jeep Wrangler | review
42123 McLaren Senna GTR | review
42124 Off-Road Buggy | review
42125 Ferrari 488 GTE AF CORSE #51 | review
42126 Ford F-150 Raptor | review
Perhaps the biggest non-starter for the LEGO Group in 2021, VIDIYO seemed doomed to fail right out of the gate, when third-party retailers began discounting sets on day one. It’s since been shelved while the LEGO Group works on new ideas with Universal Music Group, with a planned relaunch – perhaps as something completely different – in 2023.
43101 Bandmates | review
43107 HipHop Robot BeatBox | review
43109 Metal Dragon BeatBox | review
43110 Folk Fairy BeatBox | review
43111 Candy Castle Stage | review
43112 Robo HipHop Car | review
43113 K-Pawp Concert | review
43114 Punk Pirate Ship | review
43115 The Boombox | review