The best Lego sets for adults in 2023

Lego sets for adults - Black Panther
(Image credit: Lego)

Putting together the best Lego sets for adults may have been one of our hardest tasks yet. There are so many incredible Lego sets, with diverse new themes added to the collection all the time, and because they're always excellent it's truly tricky to whittle the collection down to a shortlist. Building Lego isn't just a fun way to relax, it also makes for a perfect gift for birthdays, holidays or just-because. 

Over its long life, Lego has evolved its sets into super-sophisticated pieces of kit, which vary from complex film scenes, a range of vehicles and iconic architecture. Right here, we've chosen our favourite of the best Lego sets for adults, some of which might be suitable for older children and teenagers but, crucially, they are difficult enough that they'll provide entertainment for yourself, too. 

After something more specific? Check out our pick of the best Lego City sets, best Lego architecture sets, best Harry Potter Lego sets, or our best Lego space sets. For more fun at home, see our guide to the best jigsaw puzzles.

The best Lego sets for adults available now

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Lego Optimus Prime set product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

01. Optimus Prime Transformer Lego set

A Transformer Lego set with incredible features

Specifications

Set no: 10302
No of pieces: 1508
Age: 18+

Reasons to buy

+
Transforms into lorry
+
Brilliant for playing with
+
Solid model

Reasons to avoid

-
No knees
-
Feet don't stay together

This Lego set is a feat of engineering that actually transforms from Optimus Prime into a lorry after you'd built it – without any need for rebuilding. With 19 points of articulation, this is one of those rarer adult Lego sets that you'll actually want to play with rather than put nicely on display. Optimus Prime is 35cm tall, by the way, and comes with an accessories haul including an ion blaster, energon axe and jet pack.

The build process is gloriously fun, if slightly repetitive (he is symmetrical, after all) and it's a solid model. One gripe is that the accessories aren't super-stable when attaching, and another is that the robot doesn't have knees – and its feet don't stay together. But all in all, this is an excellent piece of kit, especially for a nostalgic Optimus Prime fan.

Lego Black Panther set product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

02. Wakanda Forever! Black Panther Lego set

The best Marvel Lego set in 2022

Specifications

Set no: 76215
No of pieces: 2961
Age: 18+

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive size and detail
+
Stunning colour 
+
A great display piece

Reasons to avoid

-
The hands can be tricky to get right

Marvel fans and movie buffs will be delighted with this Black Panther set, which is, frankly, enormous at 46cm tall – life-size, in fact. A definite display piece, the set is resplendent in shades of black and grey, and features the helmet and hands of Black Panther. The hands are removable and it comes with a display plaque, too.

Though reviews are positive, some builders have found the hands a let-down, upset that they don't close to make a fist. However, according to others, it is possible to close the articulated hands into a fist – you just have to work a bit harder at the final steps of the build. 

Lego Harry Potter - best Lego sets for adults

(Image credit: Lego)

03. Lego Diagon Alley

The best Harry Potter Lego set

Specifications

Set no: 75978
No of pieces: 5544
Age : 16+

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly detailed
+
14 minifigures included
+
4 different ways to build

Reasons to avoid

-
Not cheap
-
Harder to find nowadays

This epic Diagon Alley set is a must for Harry Potter fans. The incredibly detailed set includes Ollivander's wand shop, the Weasley Brothers' joke shop (which is as fun as you'd expect), the Quidditch supplies shop and Flourish & Blotts bookshop, the office of the Daily Prophet as well as an ice cream shop. It can be built in four different ways; our only disappointment is that there isn't a cauldron shop.

It doesn't come cheap, that's for sure, but it measures over a metre wide once complete and building it is bound to include hours of fun. There are also 14 minifigures included, including four new characters, such as Lucius Malfoy and Gilderoy Lockhart. 

nintendo Lego set product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

04. Lego Nintendo Entertainment System

The best Lego set for gamers

Specifications

Set no: 71374
No of pieces: 2646
Age : 18+

Reasons to buy

+
Nostalgic Lego set
+
Fun, functioning parts

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the brightest

If you like both Lego and gaming then this Lego Nintendo Entertainment System is a sure-fire win. It's certainly not the cheeriest of Lego sets, being mostly grey, but this authentic reproduction of the original console, controller and Game Pak cartridge, plus an '80s TV, is most definitely true to form. 

The coolest thing about this console set is that it actually works. Once built, insert the cartridge into the console, plug it in, tap the buttons on the controller and you're in business. Just turn the handle on the TV to make a little Mario move across the screen. You also get an extra Mario to sit on top of your TV, and he reacts to what's happening on screen. Whether you remember the original Super Mario or not, you've got to admit this setup is nifty. 

Haunted House Lego set product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

05. Lego Haunted House

This incredible spooky Lego mansion is filled with mystery

Specifications

Set no: 10273
No of pieces: 3231
Age : 18+

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible detail
+
Motorised components
+
Sturdy build

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey
-
A more challenging build

Enter if you dare! The Manor von Barron Haunted House is among the latest in Lego's Creator range. A spooky haunted theme park-style design, this incredible Lego set for adults is packed full of the most amazingly fine detail. Home to one of the world's greatest villains, this set is a nostalgic throwback to classic Lego adventure sets, featuring rare bricks and so ancient artefacts hidden throughout.

If you want to take this set to another level, you can motorise it with Powered Up, meaning the lights and various rides – including the working and dropping elevator – within the house can all be controlled by your smartphone. The organ is also one to look out for – an incredible piece of lego engineering.

The build is sturdy enough to support the set's open-up design. And stickers are nowhere to be found, with printed Lego pieces instead. For some this will be a welcome change, while others might miss this part of the building process. It's not the most expensive set on this list, but its still by no means cheap. However, for serious Lego fans, the build and overall design will make this latest creator set a very worthy investment. 

Lego land rover set product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

06. Lego Land Rover

This epic car Lego set is a feat of engineering

Specifications

Set no: 42110
No of pieces: 2573
Age: 11+

Reasons to buy

+
Amazing detail
+
Satisfyingly complex
+
Moving parts

Reasons to avoid

-
Some issues with the gearbox

Anyone who's into cars and how they work will absolutely love the Lego Land Rover set from the Lego Technic line. All the little details are included, including an extremely complicated gearbox, working steering and forward-folding seats. If you can't afford the real thing, then buy this instead. And if you can afford the real thing, then buy this as a replica to make you even more excited about the real deal.

This set was built in conjunction with Land Rover, and the 2,573 pieces should keep you busy for a while. It might be a little pricey, but when you consider the cost to piece ratio, and the amount of hours you'll spend making it, we think it's worth it.

Stranger Things Lego set product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

07. Lego Stranger Things: The Upside Down

Hands down, the best TV Lego set

Specifications

Set no: 75810
No of pieces: 2287
Age: 16+

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic detail
+
Lots of minifigures included
+
Light-up alphabet wall

Reasons to avoid

-
Tricky to move

Now, this is a retired set, so it's not that easy to grab anymore. But we've kept it in this list because you can still find it (on eBay, for example), and for die-hard fans you really can't do much better than this. It may be a bold claim to call this the best TV Lego set you can buy, especially if you're not a fan of Stranger Things (although we've yet to come across anyone who isn't). But we're sticking by it. And we'll tell you why.

For a start, the Lego team couldn't have chosen a better scene, opting for Joyce Byers' house in a design that features both the real and upside down worlds. In true Lego style, this 2,000+ piece set boasts the most intricate detail, including everything from tiny lava lamps in Will's room to the faded, slightly off colours of bricks that represent the terrifying alternate world he gets drawn in to. But probably the biggest highlight comes in the form of a recreated alphabet wall, which fans of the series will instantly recognise. 

The price tag might initially seem a little steep, and there's no doubt the Stranger Things association has bumped it up somewhat, but for true fans of Lego and the TV show this is a very worthy investment. The build is brilliant, just be mindful after making each world, the set has to be turned upside down, so ensuring everything is fixed together properly is vital if you don't want gravity to do any damage. Overall, an absolute delightful Lego set that you'll never get tired of looking at.

Lego Saturn Apollo V set product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

08. Lego NASA Apollo Saturn V

Go on your own space mission with this incredible Lego set

Specifications

Set no: 21309
No of pieces: 1969
Age: 14+

Reasons to buy

+
Great for sharing
+
Excellent detail
+
Minifigures included

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs room to display

If you're into space and rockets, then this incredible set is the one for you. Just in case you're wondering why this particular rocket has been immortalised in the famous little brick, between 1967 and 1973, the Apollo Saturn V took multiple missions beyond the limits of earth’s atmosphere and on 16 July, 1969 took the first manned mission to the moon.

This almost one meter-high (approximately 1:110 scale) model is built in a way to replicate the craft as much as possible. Just like the real-life rocket, it can break apart into three elements, with removable S-IC first and removable S-II second rocket stages, and removable S-IVB third rocket stage with the Apollo spacecraft and rescue rocket at the top. 

The set is made up of 1969 pieces – yes, the same year as the moon landing – with the three parts making this a brilliant set to share with other space and/or Lego lovers. 

Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

09. Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron

The best Lego set for petrol heads

Specifications

Set no: 42083
No of pieces: 3599
Age: 16+

Reasons to buy

+
Authentic replica
+
Includes collector's booklet
+
Complete with luxury packaging

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

This spectacular Lego Bugatti Chiron supercar is the perfect set for the car lovers and petrol heads among you. At over 3,500 pieces, this is an epic set, which features the most fine detail any super-car fan would wish to see.  

Developed in partnership with Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S, this hugely impressive set captures the essence of the impressive sports car perfectly. Including a wealth of luxurious features, the bricks for the Bugatti Chiron will enable you to build its aerodynamic bodywork with an active rear wing, logo clad spoked rims with low-profile tires, detailed brake discs and a W16 engine with moving pistons.

An 1:8 scale model also features a true-to-life duo-tone blue colour scheme, with a set of stickers for additional detailing. If all that wasn't enough, the set comes delivered in luxurious box packaging and includes a colour collector’s booklet with comprehensive building instructions.

This set is far from cheap, however when you add up the number of Lego pieces included, the detail, collector extras and luxury packaging, it actually offers good value for money. Lego has released a number of high-speed vehicle sets over the years, but if you're a supercar fan, they don't come better than this. 

Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

10. Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon

The force is strong with this epic Lego set

Specifications

Set no: 75257
No of pieces: 1353
Age: 9+

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable 
+
Authentic design
+
Lots of minifigures included

Reasons to avoid

-
Collector's edition is better

We couldn't do a list of the best Lego sets for adults without including a Lego Star Wars set. And if we're talking about the best, you can't get much better than the Millennium Falcon. Lego does an unbelievable collector's edition of this set, which, if you've got cashing burning a hole in your pocket, you can pick up here (opens in new tab). But aware not everyone has hundreds to spend on Lego, the company has also released this much more affordable model of the famous Star Wars ship. 

This version of the iconic Corellian freighter features an array of details Star Wars and Lego fans will love, including rotating top and bottom gun turrets, two spring-loaded shooters, a lowering ramp and an opening cockpit with space for two minifigures. Speaking of minifigures, this set also includes seven Lego Star Wars characters – Finn, Chewbacca, C-3PO, Lando Calrissian and Boolio, R2-D2 and D-O droid.

If the Falcon isn't top of your list, never fear, Lego has developed a huge amount of just as impressive Star Wars-inspired sets over the years, all of which you can find here (opens in new tab)

friends central perk product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

11. LEGO Ideas Central Perk Building Kit

The one where we build the hangout from Friends

Specifications

Set no: 21319
No of pieces: 1070
Age: 16+

Reasons to buy

+
Includes minifigures of the gang
+
Gunther's there, too
+
Has details Friends fans will love

Reasons to avoid

-
Rather small
-
Reports of missing pieces

Could we be any more eager to share the Central Perk Building Kit? This Friends-inspired set was released in 2019 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the show's debut. Among its 1,070 pieces are minifigures of our favourite Friends: Joey, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Ross, and Rachel. There's also a Gunther minifigure that can helm the counter or interact with the Friends crew.

What really stands out here are the details: Phoebe's guitar, Joey's pizza box, and Chandler's laptop, to name a few. There are also brick-built studio light rigs for that 'live audience' feel. Fully built this set is on the smaller side at 11cm high and 29cm wide, but it's still a fantastically detailed display piece that Friends fans can admire. 

LEGO Seasonal Elf Clubhouse product shot

(Image credit: Lego)

12. Lego Elf Clubhouse

The best Lego set for Christmas

Specifications

Set no: 10275
No of pieces: 1197
Age: 12+

Reasons to buy

+
Great set to share
+
Perfect Xmas present
+
Festive light

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be cheaper

Every year Lego releases a new Creator set at Christmas. The 2020 Elf clubhouse is one of the best Lego sets we've seen, and remains the best Christmas Lego set released so far. Guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit, this charming set would make a wonderful Christmas gift for the family to enjoy. 

The Elf Clubhouse design is a two-storey house, which comes complete with everything you'd expect to find in a place where Santa’s fun-loving elves enjoy their hard-earned time off. There's a kitchen, with the all-important waffle maker, a bedroom area and Christmas present wrapping station. 

It even has a rooftop telescope, Christmas tree and festive light for that warm Christmas glow. You'll also get three elves, a reindeer and sleigh – everything you need to really get into the festive spirit. 

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Alison Barretta

Alison is a freelance writer and editor from Philadelphia, USA. She's been sharing buying advice and retail news for over a decade. When she isn't hunting for deals, Alison can be found teaching/training in martial arts, fawning over skincare, and indulging in her quarantine-borne hobby: cooking. She has written for a number of publications including TechRadar, Forbes and Business Insider.