Over the last few years, the LEGO Group has begun to more explicitly court the adult LEGO fan. This idea has come across in a few different ways, from new LEGO for Adults branding to a number of sets with more serious subject matter.
Whatever you call it, LEGO sets for the serious builder have become a tradition in the LEGO line-up. As such, there’s plenty of data to draw upon when predicting future releases – so here’s what we expect to see from LEGO for Adults in the months ahead.
5 – A new large-scale vehicle
For some time, the LEGO Group has been producing detailed versions of classic cars. 10187 Volkswagen Beetle was one of the first examples to bear the Creator Expert branding, though older themes like Model Team also touched upon the concept. Several more examples have launched recently; 2021 alone has given us four new vehicles to add to our collections.
Given sets like this keep appearing, it’s safe to assume more will make an appearance next year. It’s likely that this vehicle will be licensed; car brands Volkswagen, Porsche and Fiat have all enjoyed representation in LEGO form this year. However, this isn’t assured: a late 2021 release was the generic 10290 Pickup Truck, which wasn’t based on any one particular brand.
Of course, cars aren’t the only thing being produced at this scale. 10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery also blasted off this year, continuing a long tradition of space-themed LEGO models. Other sets like 10294 Titanic suggest the LEGO Group is continuing to branch out, in terms of both subject matter and piece count.
As such, whether it has wheels, wings or rudders, we expect the selection of vehicles to keep expanding. A particular long shot is some kind of train – 10277 Crocodile Locomotive was a welcome addition, but has since left shelves. Luckily, there’s plenty of inspiration in this area; read our article on five iconic vehicles for more possible directions a LEGO set could go in.
4 – A new historical building
Many LEGO models tend to draw inspiration from the past rather than referencing it directly. The last few years have changed this by directly recreating famous landmarks from history.
The most recent example of this idea is the 2021 set 10284 Camp Nou – FC Barcelona, which recreates the stomping grounds of the city’s football team. Manchester United has also received a set in the form of 10272 Old Trafford – Manchester United. Reaching further into the past, 10276 Colosseum transports us back to Ancient Rome; more than 9,000 LEGO elements went into the finished model.
With other landmarks such as Big Ben and the Taj Mahal receiving LEGO versions at a larger scale, we expect a similar model to launch in 2022. Another sporting landmark seems likely, although something from further back in history may prove to have wider appeal.
3 – A new fairground ride
Fairground attractions have been a regular (if unevenly-spaced) presence in LEGO for Adults sets. Early examples of these sets were 10244 Fairground Mixer and 10247 Ferris Wheel, which launched in 2014 and 2015 respectively. More recently, 2020’s 10273 Haunted House took the concept in an unusual new direction, acting as a time capsule of ’90s and ’00s LEGO themes.
With the retirement of 10261 Roller Coaster, the time may be ripe for a new attraction in our fairgrounds. As ever there’s plenty to pick from, although the expectation of a certain price point (and piece count) may force the LEGO Group to get creative.
2 – A new botanical set
The Botanical Collection has proven an unexpected success in the LEGO for Adults range. These sets offer brick-built recreations of various flowers; the concept has even been explored at much cheaper price points across the LEGO Creator theme. The most recent example is 10289 Bird of Paradise, which also includes a plant pot for easier display.
The expanding selection of flowers means we expect a new product to arrive before long. While many products at this price point work as standalone items, we suspect a few LEGO fans are making multiple purchases in this theme.
1 – An unexpected new direction
One of the oddest releases of 2021 was 10282 Adidas Originals Superstar. This set recreates a famous running shoe from the Adidas product collection, and inspired a pair of promotional items. It was also without obvious precedent, making it a difficult set to anticipate.
As the LEGO Group continues to expand its audience, we suspect it will surprise us with something else unusual in 2022. A new streak of ambition and bold new directions for LEGO as a whole means something else that’s strange can’t be far off. And regardless of broader trends, that means it’s (happily) impossible to predict exactly where LEGO for Adults will go in 2022…