LEGO explains the difference between designing sets for adults and kids

The LEGO Star Wars design team explains the key difference in designing sets for adults, and why the 18+ tag opens up a world of possibilities.

The LEGO Group introduced its 18+ label in 2020 with 10273 Haunted House, simultaneously switching to black boxes across its LEGO for Adults range, which encompasses themes including Creator Expert, Star Wars, Marvel and more.

But while that’s first and foremost a marketing tactic, the company’s open embracing of its adult demographic has also allowed its designers to shake off limitations that apply to its regular portfolio. Speaking to Brick Fanatics earlier this year, LEGO Star Wars Creative Lead Jens Kronvold Frederiksen explained why designing 18+ sets – like 75296 Darth Vader Meditation Chamber – offers so much more artistic freedom.

“When building models that are age-marked for kids, there are quite a lot of limitations on what is possible to show in building instructions and so on,” Jens says. “With 18+, it’s almost like you can do whatever [you want]. Of course, there are rules and restrictions because we want to give a good building experience for both kids and adults, but the level of detail [increases]… and you can make it far more challenging when it is age-marked 18+.

LEGO Star Wars 75304 Darth Vader Helmet

“I just built 75304 Darth Vader Helmet, which was designed by Caesar [Soares], and I have to say it was really fun to build, because when creating the face you use small rods and sticks, and it’s still stable and it works. But it’s just something that we would never, ever be able to do in a set for children. That’s something that I think is the big difference.”

The latest list of rumoured LEGO Star Wars sets for 2022 includes three potential 18+ models in 75327 Luke Skywalker Helmet, 75328 The Mandalorian Helmet and 75341 Luke’s Landspeeder. At the moment, there’s no indication that any of the reported minifigure-scale sets will be marketed towards adults, like this year’s 75296 Darth Vader Meditation Chamber, but that could still change.

If you’re after a more immediate challenge, you can pick up the current range of LEGO Star Wars sets for adults – including the Helmet Collection’s 75277 Boba Fett Helmet and the Ultimate Collector Series’ 75309 Republic Gunship – at

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

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