For many years when we think of kids construction toys, one word comes to mind: Lego. LEGO is a Danish toy company that was founded in 1930, and since 1949 they have been building the famous blocks we have all played with at some point in our childhood, or perhaps not so long ago.
These colored blocks come in a large variety of sizes and shapes such as the basic rectangular one, squares, round shapes, wheels and figurines in the shape of characters from movies or animals. The range of sets includes the most basic blocks, which is LEGO Classic, to all kinds of more complex constructions with themes like Avengers, The LEGO movie and Star Wars.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best LEGO models on the U.S. market
- 2.1 No. 1: LEGO DUPLO — Learn to Count (ages 1½ – 5)
- 2.2 No. 2: LEGO Classic — Medium Creative Brick Box Set (ages 4+)
- 2.3 No. 3: LEGO Creator — Mighty Dinosaurs (ages 7+)
- 2.4 No. 4: LEGO Marvel Avengers — Avengers Ultimate Quinjet (ages 8+)
- 2.5 No. 5: LEGO Ideas — Ship in a Bottle – Expert Building Kit (ages 12+)
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about LEGO Building Blocks
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- LEGO toys are suitable for children as young as 1 year old, this means there are larger pieces available to prevent them from being swallowed, such as LEGO DUPLO. LEGO can be played up until adulthood, by choosing more complex models and a very advanced number of pieces, such is the case of LEGO Creator Expert.
- There is such a wide variety of shapes and models of this well-known toy, so it is easily adaptable to the interests of your little ones (or yours!). Some of the top sellers are LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall, LEGO City Transport Train and LEGO Star Wars.
- LEGO is a company dedicated to the construction of toys and is known worldwide thanks to its famous product, the building blocks of bright colors. Today, they are made from bioplastics, so their material is derived from plant products.
Ranking: The best LEGO models on the U.S. market
If you are thinking of purchasing some LEGO building blocks, we have made a list of the best and most sold building block sets in North America today. Among these you will find the most basic blocks made for toddlers, to more advanced sets. You’ll find the right one according to the age and particular interests of your son or daughter
No. 1: LEGO DUPLO — Learn to Count (ages 1½ – 5)
This is the perfect started LEGO set for toddlers. Learning how to count is an important milestone in any child’s life, and now your preschooler can have fun playing and learning at the same time with this popular number train set from LEGO DUPLO. This number train set includes a buildable train engine head and three wagons, bricks decorated with the numbers 0 through 9, two child LEGO DUPLO figures, plus a cat figurine. Your toddler can build, take down, and rebuild the colorful number train building kit while role-playing with the DUPLO people and animal figures.
This educational toy kit helps your child with counting and number learning in a way that engages them in a fun activity. LEGO DUPLO toys encourage building skills and imagination through role play in toddlers and young children. Play sets contain large LEGOS which are designed to be safe against chocking hazards and easy for little hands to handle. The locomotive with the caboose attached measures over 3” (10cm) high, 14” (37cm) long and 2” (6cm) wide. This number train set includes 23 pieces and makes a great educational toy for 2, 3, 4 and 5 year old boys and girls.
No. 2: LEGO Classic — Medium Creative Brick Box Set (ages 4+)
This is the classic LEGO set that has inspired generations of open-ended creativity and play worldwide. Kids of all ages will spend hours engaging in pretend play with this medium-sized building kit. This build-your-own play toy allows kids to create trains or tiger toy figurines with this classic collection of LEGO bricks in 35 different colors. This creative toy for boys and girls includes windows, toy eyes, 18 tires and toy wheel rims that can be placed on a green baseplate for kids to role play and create form the ground up. Moreover, the container conveniently doubles as an extra prop os it can also be used as toy storage.
The great thing about this set is that kids can use their imagination to bring to life any building toy they want with these colorful toys, fostering kids playtime and building creativity throughout the process. Kids won’t have to stop the role play with just the LEGO Creative Brick playset as these building toys are compatible with all LEGO construction sets for extending creative play. In this creative kit with 484 pieces the green baseplate measures over 3” long and 6” wide; for boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 99 years old. This is a truly versatile set and a great addition to any existing LEGO collection.
No. 3: LEGO Creator — Mighty Dinosaurs (ages 7+)
This LEGO Creator set provides a unique build and play experience what begins to challenge young minds with more complex building tasks, testing their focus and dexterity. Kids can engage in creative play by building multiple green dinosaurs from this set of beige and dark-green bricks. Children will enjoy embarking on dinosaur adventures with this 3-in-1 dinosaur playset that transforms into 3 different dinosaurs – each dinosaur toy will create hours of pretend play for school-age kids. Like other LEGO sets, this set can be built together with all other original LEGO sets and LEGO building bricks for creative construction and extended play.
This kit is designed for children between the ages of 7-9 years old. Within the set, there a variety of dinosaur accessories included, such as bright orange eyes, possible joints and heads, large claws and an opening mouth with pointed teeth. Plus, dinosaur prey that comes in the form of a buildable rib cage. This dinosaur toy creates a T Rex that measures over 4” (11cm) tall, a Triceratops toy that measures over 3” (9cm) tall and a Pterodactyl that measures over 1” (4cm) high, 7” (18cm) long and 9” (25cm) wide. This is A great birthday or Christmas present for those kids interested in animals and who love to role play.
No. 4: LEGO Marvel Avengers — Avengers Ultimate Quinjet (ages 8+)
This large set comes with 838 pieces, with so many pieces, the building difficulty also increases. This detailed, weaponized Quinjet model opens up a world of LEGO adventures for young Marvel Avenger fans. It is a construction toy designed for action play as children will love creating their own role-play battles with iconic superheroes. This fun build and exciting play experience helps develop kids’ creative skills in the exciting Marvel Universe of superheroes and villains. This Marvel building toy is for boys and girls aged 8+ and for fans and big kids of all ages. It can be built together with all other original LEGO sets and LEGO bricks for extending creative play.
With this set your child can build the Avengers Ultimate Quinjet model, with an opening minifigure cockpit, passenger compartment, 2 stud shooters, fold-out 6-stud rapid shooter and a stud-shooting trike, then launch into battle. This superhero playset includes 6 minifigures: Black Widow, Hawkeye, Rocket and Thor, all with new Avengers team suit decoration, plus 2 Chitauri. The Ultimate Quinjet superhero vehicle measures over 4” (12cm) high, 15” (40cm) long and 11” (28cm) wide. This set is ideal for growing children who love to recreate exciting scenes from the Avengers comics and movies.
No. 5: LEGO Ideas — Ship in a Bottle – Expert Building Kit (ages 12+)
This is an experienced builder kit that is sure to challenge even the most avid LEGO enthusiasts. This nautical collectible building toy includes a display stand so builders can proudly show their creation. It also comes with an instruction booklet about the set’s fan creator and LEGO designers. This set has spared no details, the ship includes cannons, crow’s nest, masts, printed sail elements and more. Builders will love this miniature model ship build. Like all lego sets, LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle model building kit is compatible with all LEGO construction sets for creative building.
Builders of all ages will enjoy completing this advanced building set. This is the perfect model for older kids and adults who love miniature model ships. This expert model boat building set is built with 962 pieces and features a buildable cork and wax seal element, ship with a captain’s quarters, cannons, mast, crow’s nest, sails and flag, and a display stand with a nameplate. The bottle on stand measures over 3″ (10cm) high, 12” (31cm) wide and 3” (10cm) deep, Ship measures over 3″ (8cm) high, 5” (14cm) long and 1” (5cm) wide. This is the perfect gift for sailing fans and avid lego builders alike!
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about LEGO Building Blocks
Nowadays, everyone has probably heard the word “Lego”, or knows what this product is about or has even played with it a lot during their childhood. Nonetheless, if you are planning to buy it for your own children, there are a few important things that are probably good to know beforehand. The following section covers and explains all the basics of these famous little building blocks:
What is LEGO?
LEGO is a toy company that was created in Denmark in 1932. However it wasn’t until 1949 that they began to make their building blocks from plastic and thus creating their world-famous brightly colored building blocks made to encourage children’s creativity. The word “Lego” comes from Danish word “Leg godt”, which in English means “Play well”. Today they are the third largest toy manufacturer in the world and they’ve even begun creating more difficult blocks sets for adults called “Lego Creator Expert”.
What material are LEGO blocks made of?
Since 1949 the company LEGO had used plastic as the main source to build their toys. However, the company has continued to gradually evolved in order to achieve greater child safety by improving the composition of the blocks.
In 1964 they began to use ABS plastic, which is free of toxins and more resistant to high temperatures. Then, as of 2010 they have been working solely with bioplastics (plastics derived from vegetable products such as soya, corn or potato starch.) As a result, they have become are a very reliable and safe product for children.
What ages are LEGOs suitable for?
If we dive into the world of LEGO blocks, we can find an immense quantity of shapes and products, from the most basic models to the most elaborate and thematic sets. Therefore, depending on the model itself, you’ll find some can be recommended for younger ages and others right through to adulthood:
|From 1 to 2 years||These blocks are larger and do not contain small pieces that can be swallowed by toddlers. The colors are very bright and the constructions are characterized by their simplicity when assembled. You can build things like farms, small houses or animals, among many others.|
|From 3 to 5 years||In this case the constructions are a little more complicated and with a greater number of pieces and details. These are models like “Lego Juniors” and the basic style of building blocks.|
|From 6 to 8 years old||As the child’s interest grows and changes, this is where the thematic LEGO of superheroes from Marvel and DC, Disney and Ninjago come into play.|
|From 9 to 11 years||The skill that they have acquired from years of constructing allows them to build and use much more elaborate toys, with more complicated assemblies to allow kids to keep themselves entertained.|
|More than 12 years||Finally, there is the most advanced constructions, with a greater number of pieces. In this age bracket aside from the largest number of pieces and great detail, you can even find mechanisms and lighting included.|
What kind of Lego themes can we find?
As you have seen, the LEGO range is very wide and as age progresses there are new models that are increasingly elaborate. Below is a list of some of the most common types of Lego that can be purchased in the market:
- LEGO DUPLO
- LEGO Toy Story
- LEGO City
- LEGO Classic
- LEGO Disney
- LEGO Star Wars
- LEGO Marvel
- LEGO Juniors
- LEGO Jurassic World
- LEGO Technic
- LEGO Friends
- LEGO Creator
- LEGO Harry Potter
- LEGO Creator Expert
- LEGO Architecture
Should I play LEGO with my children?
Just as making group constructions can encourage and improve teamwork and cooperation, participating with your children in these actions can have some added benefits. Remember that LEGO is a product that is not only designed for children, but it can be enjoyed by adults to benefit from its relaxing effects. Don’t forget that these toys are also popular for being highly decorative and collectable.
When playing with your child with these building blocks, it is advisable to always let him or her have some autonomy and time to solve the problem themselves. Sometimes they will ask for your help to get something assembled, but in most other cases they will be able to do it on their own with a little patience. This is a great way for them to learn how to persevere and solve challenges while still being emotionally supported by you. .
What are the benefits of playing with LEGO?
Numerous studies and experts have shown that building games, such as LEGO, not only bring great cognitive and developmental benefits for children, but they are also a type of basic childhood game that is a rite of passage for kids. We have summarized the benefits of using building blocks such as LEGO in the list below:
- Hoanes spacial awareness: As the constructions become more complicated with age, they will need to use depth perception and distribution skills to build a small house for example.
- Improves fine motor skills: Kids must use their fingers with dexterity to hold the pieces.
- It helps to develop mathematical skills: To be able to construct something they must count pieces and organize multiple pieces.
- Encourages teamwork: There is nothing better than playing together to achieve an end such as building something you couldn’t build alone. The building process will help strengthen ties between children and help them acquire values of cooperation, communication, helpfulness and/or persistence.
- Encourages creativity: Children don’t just have to build one specific toy, but instead, they can build anything they want to imagine. The building process encourages self-esteem and self-confidence, as they must set a goal and strive to achieve it.
- It reduces stress: Building structures or scenes help kids relax whilst also being great fun.
- Improves concentration: Children must concentrate in order to be able to assemble the toy well and to then play with it.
The world of LEGO is very big and with so many models and themes, it is understandable that you could feel a bit overwhelmed and not really know what to choose. To find the right model, whether it is for your son or daughter as a present or for yourself, you should take into account the following purchasing criteria:
- Interests of the child
- Child’s age
- Special Editions
- Value for money
- Number of players
Interests of the child
The interests of the child should also have a bearing on the product selection. Of course,you always have the choice of opting for the LEGO Classic, which is a great option if we want to make a gift and don’t know much about the interests of the child. However, in North America today, there is a very large variety of LEGO themes and products to choose – This gives you the option to make the child extra excited giving them a set that relates to their interests. This will always result in more motivation to start building.
The beauty of LEGO is that it can literally become almost anything. If the child likes superheroes then there is LEGO Marvel and DC. If they like houses and buildings then there is LEGO Passenger Train. You can also find ninjas, animals, characters from movies, games, vehicles and buildings. As you may notice, you can make the gift even better if you know a little about the receiver’s interests.
Probably the most important and obvious aspect to consider before purchasing a LEGO building block model is the age of the child. As we have already discussed, the age of the child determines whether the toy is more or less complex, with a greater number of pieces being more suitable for older children or teenagers of course.
For example, when buying this LEGO for children from 1 to 2 years old there are the LEGO DUPLO models. For older children from 6 to 8 years old there is LEGO Disney, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Juniors or LEGO Friends to choose form. As for the older, more experienced builders, there is the LEGO Creator Expert series, LEGO Harry Potter or LEGO Architecture.
As has been mentioned before, the sets that have a defined theme can be better received by children. LEGO has numerous special editions in which it uses the same theme to create a variety of block sets. Some of the most famous themes available are Disney, Star Wars or Harry Potter.
It is also possible to find very limited editions which are hard to come by, but which every collector out there would like to have. For example the LEGO VOLKSWAGEN T1, the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE or the TAJ MAHAL collectors box sets. You can even buy specialized, limited edition figurines from different films like Batman or The Avengers.
Value for your money
When we look at the cost of LEGO, the quality-price ratio is considered very good, as there are models for all price ranges and pockets. For example, the medium classic brick box costs about $40 whilst a set with fewer pieces like the Dinosaur set is under $20.
Of course the sets with more pieces and a higher complexity tend to have a higher price. For example, Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Great Hall costs around $140. Keep in mind that you can even find constructions of around $230, such as the LEGO Technic Mack Anthem. This last one however, is not their most expensive model by any means.
Number of players
If you are going to buy a LEGO set, we would like to suggest getting one that can be played by more than just one person. This will encourage teamwork, collaboration and empathy.There is even a specialized set for adults called LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™, which is designed for creating a better working environment through the use of these blocks in company meetings.
If we’re asked to think of some of the world’s most famous toys, LEGO building blocks are definitely one of the first to come to mind. Some of the most purchased and valued sets at the moment on Amazon are the “Classic Creative Brick Box” or the “Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall”. Keep in mind all LEGO box sets are made to work with other sets.
By now you know that LEGO is only manufactured with bioplastics, so they are not harmful to health of children. There are toys for kids as young as 1 year old and the toys are then adapted to each developmental stage which presents great benefits to the development of all kids. Even though there are so many different types of block sets available, you must always take into account the age and interests of the child in order to buy the best one.
We hope you have found this information useful and that it has helped you buy the best of these classic and very versatile toys. You can share the article on your social networks and comment on your opinion below!
(Source of featured image: Ivanov: 55891654/ 123rf.com)