As lockdown drags on and seems likely to be extended, Brick Fanatics picks out 10 sets to build whilst stuck at home
While lockdown LEGO building might seem like any other LEGO building, it isn’t. When going to work every day, then getting home, making dinner etcetera, it might be that a quick LEGO BrickHeadz set is perfect. Or a medium sized City, Friends or Hidden Side set. Perhaps a Star Wars or Harry Potter sets gets pulled out of the ‘to build’ pile.
But with so much more time spent at home, a bigger project is probably going to work better. Something that it is fun to spend an hour or two on a day, allowing for time for other activities – doing nothing but LEGO building during this period might lead to strange dreams – but providing a real sense of achievement at the end.
Brick Fanatics has picked out 10 sets that may be in your collection already, with a few newer ones that probably aren’t yet, which should provide a satisfying build during lockdown.
You know who you are. You got swept up in the excitement of the fastest hunk of junk getting the full Ultimate Collector Series treatment again and rushed out to buy it as soon as it was released. But where to put it? Is there really time to build it? Since then, it has been sat in the unopened box…
Well now is the time. The extra time at home that the lockdown is providing means not only is there time to put the behemoth together, but also time to find somewhere to display it. Take down a few of those other sets, rearrange some furniture, and spend a few weeks slowly building this beautiful model. Thanks to Disney+, it’s easier than ever to watch hundreds of hours of Star Wars stories in the background.
This is a Disney set that many will have overlooked, as 71040 The Disney Castle is undoubtedly the perfect LEGO Disney statement piece and 71044 Disney Train and Station is probably the perfect family set. 21317 Steamboat Willie not only pays homage to a historically important piece of animation though, it also provides a unique, attractive display piece thanks to its greyscale colour scheme. It’s a very clever build, too.
Which was the last modular building you purchased? This is one of the best from the last few years. While a garage might not seem like a perfect for for the street series, 10264 Corner Garage demonstrates the genius of the design team behind these sets as they give it an old-timey feel and all of the charm that is expected from these builds.
Packed with detail and interesting techniques, as fans expect from the Creator Expert buildings, this is a lovely set that will fill many hours with delightful building.
For contrast, pull out 10182 Café Corner from the loft, or wherever you keep the many LEGO sets that there isn’t space to display. While it is still a fantastic set and definitely a milestone one, the level of detail that is incorporated into models like 10264 demonstrates just how far this series has come over the past dozen years.
The specific set here is just a suggestion, although it is an impressive, well-conceived model. This lockdown is a great opportunity to try something new, and many fans still overlook Friends. As City seems to be skewing to younger fans, there is no better time to give Friends a try and see just how intricate some of these sets are. What’s more, the subject matter is often less dramatic than the police and fire sets that dominate the blue-boxed theme.
This is something of an outlier on the list as it is not a super time-consuming, large model. It is a great outlet for creativity though, as the box allows fans to build their own, unique LEGO BrickHeadz. What’s more, if you don’t own this retired product, BrickHeadz are super easy to replicate using bricks in your collection. For those who are not expert creative LEGO builders, BrickHeadz are a fun entry point that can be shared with family and flatmates.
While travel is limited right now, Creator Expert sets like 10258 London Bus offer a connection to the world outside and could be the perfect build for these lockdown days. While 10258 offers something quintessentially British, recently released 10271 Fiat 500 offers an Italian classic. 10262 James Bond Aston Martin DB5 is a set that shouldn’t be forgotten either, thanks to its delightful ejector seat function.
Here is another set that came along last year shortly after and shortly before many other excellent LEGO releases. Those who haven’t built it yet could do a lot worse than spent a few afternoons or evenings rewatching the last three seasons of Stranger Things on Netflix and putting together 75810 The Upside Down.
This is even a great way to get a spouse or flatmate involved in LEGO, as the two houses can be built simultaneously. What better way to get people involved in the hobby than when they are looking for things to do?
Any of the LEGO Lord of the Rings sets are worth digging out of that cupboard, but 10237 The Tower of Orthanc is the most impressive of the bunch. With so many wonderful minifigures and creatures, it was a theme that filled the wishes of many fans. There is no better time to revisit it than when there is plenty of time to really devour the build experience, then carefully set up some wonderful Middle Earth scenes.
If this set had not been released a few weeks ago, the advice would be to dig out those classic LEGO Pirates. But as fondly as we remember them, most of the sets are very quick builds that won’t satisfy the lockdown LEGO criteria of occupying a fair few hours. Thankfully, 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay does just that.
Not only is it a fun shipwreck island model, it converts into an updated, Creator Expert standard rendition of the Black Seas Barracuda. Once it is built, changing the configuration between the two takes some time and will allow you to change up the display – freshening up our surroundings is definitely helpful as the home becomes such a familiar place.
Graham was the BrickFanatics.com Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education.
Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.