LEGO sets provide a terrifically challenging way to kill time. The challenges are endless, from the point of purchase to the finished product itself. Can you actually afford a big LEGO set? Can your patience handle the job of constructing it? Can you tell all the tiny bits apart? Can you resist a snooze on the sofa for long enough to finish the job? And, after all is said and done, can you find a spare inch of shelf space to proudly display the damn thing?
If you fancy really pushing your brick-based skills, you might want to check out these 16 truly tough sets, all of which are available on Amazon now…
Technic Motorized Excavator
For starters, this set consists of 1,123 pieces in the tricky Technic mold. On top of that, there’s an electronic element and lots of moving parts. Getting this baby to roll, twist, and excavate like it’s supposed to is no easy task. It also takes no less than 12 batteries to get the thing moving.
Technic Mobile Crane Mk II
Speaking of tough-to-tackle Technic kits, the Mobile Crane Mk II is hardly a cake walk either. This 2,606-piece set actually includes more than one challenge: It’s two models in one, allowing the builder to choose the big crane on the box or a couple of smaller ones. Again, moving pieces are involved as well as batteries. This is the type of set where one small mistake to could have you scratching your head for hours. What fun!
Ultimate Star Destroyer
Thanks to its 3,104 pieces, most of which are the exact same shade of grey, the Ultimate Collector’s Series version of the Imperial Star Destroyer is pure evil as a piece of design. The Emperor would be proud. It comes with a 16+ age tag, and isn’t for the feint of heart. And since it’s been discontinued for quite a while, it’s also impossibly expensive. This is one for the only the most die hard Star Wars fans.
This LEGO Creator incarnation of London’s Tower Bridge is an absolute beauty. And with it’s 4,287 pieces and moving parts (the bottom bit of the bridge opens up, of course), it’s definitely not a walk in the park. It does come with a cute little London bus, though, and promises one hell of a sense of achievement to any who manage to master it.
Again, this one looks very simple on the box, but once you’ve tried fiddling around with over 2,500 incredibly similar pieces, you’ll be ripping your hair out. The fact that the cockpit opens, the wings fold up and the cannons are meant to move does not make matters any easier. But wouldn’t a shuttle like this look lovely on your shelf?
Holy crap, is this one’s lovely. And although it might look fairly simple from this angle, it’s actually a properly challenging kit. It consists of 4,634 pieces, and it opens up on hinges to reveal a variety of rooms and staircases within. Once it’s built, though, there are hours of fun to be had. It’s like a ghoulish dolls house! Which is just what you were looking for, right?
Ultimate Millennium Falcon
The devil’s in the detail with this one. To build a Millennium Falcon this textured and detailed, you have to piece together 5,197 bricks. Other LEGO versions of the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy have been and gone over the years, but this is by far the most visually stunning. The price tag might stun you as well, since it’s a discontinued item…
Sacrebleu! Recreating this iconic French landmark in LEGO form takes 3,428 bricks. Most of them are titchy and gray. It’s a careful balancing act to get them all together without knocking the whole thing over, as well. This kit is aimed at ages 16 and up, and it’s a very precise and challenging project. Best of luck to anyone out there attempting it!
Here’s one for the hardcore Marvel fans out there: A loving LEGO translation of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s trademarked Helicarrier, which clocks in at 2,996 pieces and comes with 5 Minifigures, 3 microscale Quinjets, 3 fighter jets, a gasoline truck, 2 forklift trucks 2 runways, 4 road blockades, and 12 tiny Microfigures. None of them, sadly, are Phil Coulson.
Man, I really love this one. 1,137 pieces, 6 AA batteries (not included), a fair few quid, and several hours of your building time can combine to build a version of The Empire Strikes Back‘s iconic AT-AT that actually ruddy walks. Practical fun meets gorgeous design, and the result is a proper geeky treat.
Sydney Opera House
Another beautiful landmark in LEGO form here, thanks to the expert-level LEGO Creator range. This Sydney Opera House build measures up at 2,989 pieces. The shape of the building itself, with all its angled walls, makes this a hefty challenge even for a seasoned master builder.
Super Star Destroyer
At 3,152 pieces, this Super Star Destroyer is an even larger undertaking than the Ultimate Star Destroyer we listed earlier. And given the thinner design of this one, you could argue that it’s even more difficult to build. Again, the limited color palette makes picking the right pieces difficult, and the stark Imperial design makes the job at hand even harder.
Here’s another gem from the LEGO Creator line: A beautiful Taj Mahal build, which consists of a whopping 5,922 pieces. It’s designed for expert builders, and it measures up at 41cm tall by 51cm wide. As an added bonus, a lot of the bricks are unique to this kit, created just to bring this Indian icon to life in the best way possible.
Utinni!! 3,296 pieces make up this LEGO version of Star Wars’ Tatooine Sandcrawler, which really is a sight to behold. It has ramps, cranes and compartments that move, and it rolls around on tracks. It’s brilliantly detailed. And the plethora of Minifigures and droids add an extra layer of fun.
An absolute classic, the Grand Carousel consists of 3,263 pieces, and thanks to an in-built motor it can actually rotate. And it plays music while it does. It’s intended for aged 16 and up, and it would look great in any LEGO collection. Fun fact: It comes with an ultra rare extra large baseplate. What more motivation do you need?
Death Star II
LEGO kits don’t come much more difficult than this: the second Death Star consists of 3,417 pieces, plus it has a ‘half-finished’ state as its intended final look. Tough stuff! Once you’ve constructed this technological terror, you’ll want to put it in pride of place. Thankfully, it comes with a little stand to let you do just that.
Have you tried any of these LEGO sets? Or found another kit particularly challenging? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!