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Best New LEGO Set for Boys and Kids 2013 Review

Updated on August 21, 2013
LEGO Tower Bridge
LEGO Tower Bridge

Best LEGO Sets for Kids 2013 Review

As a young girl, I remember watching my brother build things from his Lego's and being amazed. When I was old enough to play with them myself, I loved the freedom I had with my creativity. I wasn't very good at building things without a model to follow, but I still had fun.

History of LEGOs

Lego's have been a household name since the late 40's, but these types of toys that were first made of wood, have been around for about one hundred years. Manufacturing began in Denmark by a carpenter, and toy maker, by the name of Ole Kirk Christiansen. One day, he decided to hold a contest with his employees to name his company; the prize was a delicious bottle of wine. By the end of the day he had "Legio", meaning "Legion of Toys", and "Lego", with a Danish meaning of "play well." Once "Lego" was decided upon, many years later, the company discovered that the world "Lego" in Latin also means, "I put together", or "I assemble."

When plastics became available during WWII, Lego purchased injection molding and their first modular toy was a truck that could be put together from little pieces, and taken apart again. With help from a British toy company, they were able to extend their patent on the blocks by being designed with a hollow plastic cube with four studs on the top. The 50's brought the company to make these toys in ways that where they would lock together better.

By the 60's the Lego Group was ready for sales in the US and Canada. What started out as simple building blocks, now contained wheels, rectangles, and corner pieces. However, the first real wow factor was in 1966 with the first released Lego train system. Along with all the pieces to build the train, was a 4.5 volt motor, battery box and rails. While continuing to expand and grow, Lego introduced the Duplo blocks. These are basically extra-large, baby friendly blocks that stack easily. I bought some for my first child in 1996 and still have them for my last child now.

The 70's brought Lego's Expert Series, which had different moving parts like levers, axles and gears. In that same decade, Minifigures brought more personalized fun to the towns and vehicles that were fun to build with Lego's. Today, you can find all sorts of customized sets to collect and build huge systems with. My favorites are the Harry Potter and Star Wars Lego sets, and I think I loved them more than my son ever did!

Lego building contests have been held all over the world, and there are even attractions in California, Germany, Malaysia and Canada called LegoLand, which are very popular for tourists. As of 1992, there were two different Guinness records that were set with a castle made from 400,000 Lego bricks in Sweden, and the other being a Lego train that was 596 yards long.

Answers to Odd LEGO Questions

Have any questions about LEGOs

Why do I have pieces leftover after building a set?

This used to bug me a lot and I would wonder where, and how, I forgot these pieces. Well, to answer this age-old question, some of the pieces weight so little that they cannot be measured by the scales in the factories during packaging. Based on statistics, Lego has determined which pieces are more likely to get lost and then include a few extras.

"Lego" versus "Lego's"

Those in Europe say the word in its singular form, while Americans say it in the plural form. Lego states that both ways are actually inaccurate. Since the word "Lego" is an adjective, it is not meant to be said by itself. The correct term is "Lego bricks", "Lego building", or "Lego products."

How many Lego's have ever been made?

As of a few years ago, 400 billion Lego bricks have been made since 1958. To give you a better idea of just how much that is, there are about 62 Lego bricks per person in the entire world. There are 36,000 pieces being molded every minute with 2.16 billion per year. That's a lot of piece!

Where do Lego bricks go to die?

With technology being as awesome as it is, the Lego group states that only 18 elements in every 1 million do not meet the company's standards. Any extra pieces that have been missing from other sets or damaged boxes from the sets are given for donation around the world to needy children.

What has been the worst, and best-selling Lego sets?

The worst seller was actually an action figure like those Lego brands tried sell called Galidor. They were so much different than regular Lego toys that consumers just didn't get it. The best set sold has been the Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System.

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LEGO Star Wars Tantive IVLEGO Mindstorms Black NXT BrickLEGO Pirate Code GameLEGO Creationary GameLEGO Creationary GameLEGO Duplo Legoville Deluxe Train SetLEGO Architecture White HouseLEGO Creator Volkswagen T1 Camper VanLEGO Creator Winter Toy ShopLEGO Friends Olivia's Tree HouseLEGO Friends City Park CafeLEGO Space Vermin VaporizerLEGO Chima Wakz Pack TrackerLEGO Ninjago Weapon PackLEGO The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyLEGO The Lord of the Rings Hobbit The Mines of MoriaLEGO Hero Factory FurnoLEGO Hero Factory SCORPIOLEGO Super Heroes Iron ManLEGO Super Heroes The BatcaveLEGO Ninja Turtles Turtle Lair AttackLEGO Star Wars Death Star LEGO Star Wars Millennium FalconLEGO City Cargo TrainLEGO Space CenterLEGO Space ShuttleLEGO Tower Bridge
LEGO Star Wars Tantive IV
LEGO Star Wars Tantive IV
LEGO Mindstorms Black NXT Brick
LEGO Mindstorms Black NXT Brick
LEGO Pirate Code Game
LEGO Pirate Code Game
LEGO Creationary Game
LEGO Creationary Game
LEGO Creationary Game
LEGO Creationary Game
LEGO Duplo Legoville Deluxe Train Set
LEGO Duplo Legoville Deluxe Train Set
LEGO Architecture White House
LEGO Architecture White House
LEGO Creator Volkswagen T1 Camper Van
LEGO Creator Volkswagen T1 Camper Van
LEGO Creator Winter Toy Shop
LEGO Creator Winter Toy Shop
LEGO Friends Olivia's Tree House
LEGO Friends Olivia's Tree House
LEGO Friends City Park Cafe
LEGO Friends City Park Cafe
LEGO Space Vermin Vaporizer
LEGO Space Vermin Vaporizer
LEGO Chima Wakz Pack Tracker
LEGO Chima Wakz Pack Tracker
LEGO Ninjago Weapon Pack
LEGO Ninjago Weapon Pack
LEGO The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
LEGO The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
LEGO The Lord of the Rings Hobbit The Mines of Moria
LEGO The Lord of the Rings Hobbit The Mines of Moria
LEGO Hero Factory Furno
LEGO Hero Factory Furno
LEGO Hero Factory SCORPIO
LEGO Hero Factory SCORPIO
LEGO Super Heroes Iron Man
LEGO Super Heroes Iron Man
LEGO Super Heroes The Batcave
LEGO Super Heroes The Batcave
LEGO Ninja Turtles Turtle Lair Attack
LEGO Ninja Turtles Turtle Lair Attack
LEGO Star Wars Death Star
LEGO Star Wars Death Star
LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon
LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon
LEGO City Cargo Train
LEGO City Cargo Train
LEGO Space Center
LEGO Space Center
LEGO Space Shuttle
LEGO Space Shuttle
LEGO Tower Bridge
LEGO Tower Bridge
5 stars for LEGO Tower Bridges

Top Rated LEGO Set for Kids 2013 Review

Best LEGO City Bridge Set

LEGO Tower Bridges

With the Lego City sets, you can create almost anything you can think of with a city theme. From construction equipment, to bridges and helicopters, you can have a full working mini-city right in your home. My favorite on this list is the LEGO Tower Bridge. This thing looks so when it is incorporated with other build Lego City sets. This Tower Bridge of London England is a landmark that has hovered over the River Thames since 1894.

This set offers you custom colors and elements with the towers and a drawbridge that can be opened and closed. It looks like it might be complicated to take apart, but it is made to be easily and quickly disassembled for easier transporting. You get 4 mini vehicles, a black London taxi, a red double decker bus, a yellow truck and a green car as well as all the other pieces of the bridge. This set includes 4,287 pieces in all. A trick to building this set is to build both towers at the same time; this way, all your pieces are together for that specific build and you can save time if you choose.

LEGO City Space Set

LEGO Space Shuttle & Space Center

Another Lego City set that has been a favorite in our home is the LEGO Space Shuttle with 208 pieces. This set includes an astronaut in a spacesuit, cargo bay doors that open and close, and a Canadian arm to catch and release the Hubble Space Telescope that is included. The telescope has 231 pieces of its own for building. You should keep in mind that this shuttle, while Lego sturdy, should be played with more delicately because it can fall apart if used too rigorously. What shuttle can get into space without a space station to send it off?

A great companion is the LEGO Space Center with 494 pieces. This includes 2 astronauts, an operator and a mechanic to see to all space shuttle duties. You can launch the rocket from the platform after loading the astronaut inside. Other items that come with this set include a countdown clock, a spacesuit, vehicle, fuel tank and a tool station.

Top Rated Kids LEGO City Train Set

LEGO City Passenger Train

Another great piece to add to the collection is the LEGO City Passenger Train with a battery box, motor, infrared receiver and an 8 channel, 7 speed infrared remote control that can control up to 8 different trains at the same time. You get a full circle of 16 curved tracks and 16 flexible tracks that will make up 4 straight ones if desired. You minifigures included are a train driver and 2 passengers. The train has an open control room access to the passenger car through the roof as well; it can hold up to 6 passengers.

Best Star Wars LEGO Set

LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon Set

Legos and Star Wars?! This is right up my alley, and I think my favorites for this category include the LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon set. We might as well start with the good guys, right? Designed after the escape scene in Episode IV: A New Hope, this classic set includes 6 minifigures of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, Princess Leia Organa and Darth Vader. I have been impressed with the amount of detail gone into this set for as realistic experience as you can get. With twin flick missiles, rotating laser cannons and a detachable cockpit cover, the old girl has a few tricks in her yet. The completed ship measures 15 inches wide and 4 inches tall so it is quite substantial. There are 1,254 pieces in this set and it will keep your child busy for many hours.

Death Star LEGO Set

LEGO Star Wars Death Star

Now, onto the bad guys. You can have oodles of fun reenacting scenes with both the Millennium and the LEGO Star Wars Death Star. I love all the moving parts and accessories that come with this set! The ship itself includes multiple decks, a control room, turrets that rotate, a hangar bay with a TIE fighter, tractor beam controls, the throne room, detention block, firing cannons, a conference chamber, a droid maintenance facility and the infamous Death Star superlaser. Wow! It is well worth your investment since it also includes 24 minifigures and droids that include all the main characters and then some, plus the trash compactor monster as well. When assembled, it measures 16" tall by 16.5" wide.

Best Star Wars LEGOs

LEGO Star Wars Ewok Attack

We can't possibly leave out the epic battle of the LEGO Star Wars Ewok Attack from our list, now can we? Hideout in the treetops of the forests of Endor and launch an attack on the Empire with stones and logs to pummel the intruders. The set includes a secret compartment to get away safely when the time is right. Included are Logray and Ewok warrior minifigures, and a scout trooper with a speeder bike. Other weapons include a spear, sling, and a bow that can be used to launch the stones, set a log trap and get away with a retractable ladder.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles LEGOs

LEGO Ninja Turtles Turtle Lair Attack

My favorite was Michelangelo with his fun loving attitude and way of enjoying life. With the LEGO Ninja Turtles Turtle Lair Attack, you can train all day to stay in shape for the event of an attack. Well, the attack comes straight to your front door so you must defend your home! Weapons included are 2 sai, 5 swords, a ninja star, a bladed bow staff and a wooden training staff. Once danger has been averted, you can go back to playing video games on the flatscreen TV, skateboarding on the ramp, and eating pizza. You also get 2 skateboards, some TNT, a trash can, lamp post, spiral staircase, ooze canisters, tools, spray cans and a fire hydrant. My favorite feature is the opening manhole cover to get into and out of the turtle lair. This set has 488 pieces.

Best Ninja Turtles LEGOs

Ninja Turtles Kraang Lab Escape

Another popular set is the Ninja Turtles Kraang Lab Escape scene. My favorite teenage cutie is trapped in a laser shield prison inside the lab. The pizza included can be used to make the foot soldier slip and fall, which then activates the explosion function on Mikey's cage. A fury of flick missiles, nunchucks and mace will ensue once battle has been joined. Other accessories include minifigures of Michelangelo, a foot soldier and The Kraag, with the prison featuring the explosion function, the Kraang's mech walker and the lifesaving pizza.

Super Hero LEGO Set 2013

LEGO Super Heroes Batcave

Our beloved Batman has his LEGO Super Heroes Batcave to go to for supplies, and rest. This cool set includes 689 pieces, which feature Bruce Wayne, Batman, Robin, Poison Ivy and Bane. Accessories included are the caves; Banees drill tank, Batcycle, handcuffs, binoculars and other miscellaneous weapons. I like the elevator that transforms Bruce into this bat alter ego on the way up. There is a holding cell for bad guys, flick missiles, computers and other items to use in your fight against the villains of Gotham City.

Iron Man LEGO Set

LEGO Super Heroes Iron Man

These figures are good additions to the other sets listed above. They often have very basic features, and need other Lego products to go with for a well-rounded day of play. I love LEGO Super Heroes Iron Man out of them all. Not because I'm a sappy girl who likes suave and rich men, but because it can be used with Captain America to build the much bigger Iron Patriot. This is a bendable figure with a blaster belt and included ammo.

Hero Factory LEGO Set

LEGO Hero Factory Scorpio

Hero Factory characters are robotic heroes that protect the galaxy from threats. These are similar to the Bionicle sets that you might have seen. But with Lego, we are keeping it in the family here. I think the LEGO Hero Factory Scorpio is a cool looking one. This giant scorpion makes a perfect villain for your child's play. It features a heavy spike plate armor that covers its body, with deadly pinchers, and tail shooter.

New Hero Factory Furno Set

LEGO Hero Factory Furno & Hero Factory Furno Bike

Good guy LEGO Hero Factory Furno, will need his trusty LEGO Hero Factory Furno Bike for some high-speed action with galaxy villains. The bike includes spinning rubber tires with tread, a working kickstand and flame art on the windshield. It's over 12" long and 6" tall. This set includes 165 pieces so it is quite easy to build. Weapons include dual plasma blasters to shoot from the bike while riding.

Best Lord of the Rings LEGO Set

LEGO The Lord of the Rings The Mines of Moria

One of the most intense scenes in the movie is the LEGO The Lord of the Rings The Mines of Moria, where swarming orcs and a cave troll beset upon our heroes. The set includes 6 minifigures of Pippin, Boromir, Gimli, Legolas and 2 orcs with large cave troll, and 2 skeletons. The weapons used to defeat this wave of evil include a chain, club, bow, double bladed axe, single bladed axe, small hobbit sword, shield and Boromir's sword. I love the hidden rooms with treasure, which the doors open and parts of the walls fall down for a realistic experience.

Top Rated Hobbit LEGO Set 2013

LEGO The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

For all encompassing play, consider the LEGO The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to add to your collection. This is actually a buildable game that can be played by 2-4 players. It will test your memory and let you live parts of the story at the same time. The goal is to find the missing dwarves that have been lost in Hobbiton. You can change the board up for a new challenge every time. The player that finds the most dwarves wins. It includes 389 pieces with 4 minifigures and 1 LEGO dice.

Ninjago LEGOs

LEGO Ninjago Venomari Shrine

Ninjago is home to both modern cities and ancient villages. With many themes, these sets have become very popular. One such theme is the LEGO Ninjago Venomari Shrine that Zane must go into to get an ancient staff with great powers. It can be dangerous though with the two mini-snakes that shoot out to bite him. I literally mean that they can be used as sneak attacks and launched into the air. Included in the set are Zane ZX the minifigure, 2 snakes, the staff and a silver sword. With only 86 pieces, this set is simple to build.

Ninjago LEGO Set

LEGO Ninjago Weapon Pack

Because the play with Ninjago is so detailed, you can opt for a LEGO Ninjago Weapon Pack that will aid you in battles to come. Play is used with characters and cards that can be used to affect the outcome of battles. With these sets, imagination is endless. It includes 2 LEGO minifigures, 2 spinners, 2 crowns, 2 LEGO bricks, shields, blades, fang blades, 2 golden weapons, 8 regular weapons, 2 character cards, 8 battle cards and enough LEGO bricks to build the starter arena.

LEGO Chima

LEGO Chima CHI Battles

The eleven tribes of Chima are at war, and these Lego sets will spur the imagination of your little soldiers at home. The LEGO Chima CHI Battles seem to be a popular one in this category. This one includes Longtooth and Wakz minifigures that have 2 weapons a piece. You also get a tree with a spinning top that can be detached, 2 ramps, 4 fang cones, a lion and wolf Speedorz, 2 rip cords, 2 power upz, 12 CHI and 10 gaming cards. The basis of the game is to be the first one to hit the spinning target and be the winner by knocking down the most fang cones.

LEGO Chima Set

LEGO Chima Wakz Pack Tracker

For the bigger Chima sets, check out the LEGO Chima Wakz Pack Tracker which gives you 3 minifigures of Wakz, Winzar, and Equila. This tracker features CHI, detailing in a wolf design, clawed wheels, biting jaws, a shooter, and fully functioning rear winch. Weaponry includes 2 CHI weapons and one standard. It assembles pretty easily and is fun to use, but I wish the tires were made with better tread. Overall though, it adds lots more play to my sons floor time with Legos.

Galaxy Squad LEGOs

LEGO Space Vermin Vaporizer

For space play, take a look at the LEGO Space Vermin Vaporizer. With 506 pieces, you will get a bit longer of build time than some other sets we've discussed thus far, but not so many pieces that it will take you days upon days to finish. This vehicle features everything you will need with a laboratory, computer, flick missiles, split function and big cannons. Weapons included are a sonic gun, 2 blasters, and an energy blade gun. I like that this set comes with two detachable vehicles for both mech and a battle buggy.

New Friends City LEGOs

LEGO Friends City Park Cafe

Finally, some Lego sets with feminine flair! These darling sets will be perfect for the little female builder in your life. I personally like the LEGO Friends City Park Cafe. You get two mini-dolls, which are Andrea and Marie. It is a full functioning cafe with a kitchen area, places to dine both inside and outside, a counter and cash register. I love that this can be built in different ways to give some variety to play. It's easy to change the floor plan or the décor anytime you choose. I love all the accessories it comes with to make it even more real like. These include money bricks, frying pan, spatula, muffin tins, mixer, utensils, baking tray, bowl, pie, and juice carton.

LEGOs for Girls

LEGO Friends Olivia's Tree House

Another popular set among little girls in the LEGO Friends Olivia's Tree House with 191 pieces. Of course you get Olivia for the doll included in the set, but she has her animal friends with her as well. These include her pet cat Maxie, 4 ladybirds, Goldie the bird with birdhouse, and 4 butterflies. With accessories like a milk carton, you can feed the cat. You also have a food dish, a flower pack, and a fish to take care of your cat as well. The telescope gives you the option of stargazing. My favorite feature is the hidden compartment and that it comes with folding ladders for fun.

Creator LEGO Sets

LEGO Creator Winter Toy Shop

These sets range from vehicles like trains and helicopters, to buildings and bridges. These are good for builders who don't want the added feature of minifigures to play with. However, there are some that still feature minifigures. I really like the LEGO Creator Winter Toy Shop. There are some other Creator winter sets that we have added to our collection; we bring them out every Christmas and enjoy putting them together with the family. We use these instead of ceramic Christmas village. There are 815 pieces in all with this set and it includes the toy shop with light up tower window, 7 minifigures, a cat, snowman, jack-in-the-box, stuffed animal, toy train, robot and toy car. There are outside elements like a Christmas tree, lanterns and a bench.

LEGO Creator Set 2013

LEGO Creator Volkswagen T1 Camper Van

A fun vehicle to make is the LEGO Creator Volkswagen T1 Camper Van. With 1332 pieces, it will keep you busy for a good long while. This thing is so fun to build! You get 11 windows, plaid print curtains and a wing mirror. The door opens to show you the engine for the van and inside features a bench seat that can double as a bed, a mini T Shirt and a rear shelf with plant, as well as other inner décor. It even comes with the pop up roof, intake vents, and other fun features.

Best LEGO Architecture Set Review

LEGO Architecture White House Set

For those that want to use Lego's to build something cool, but are perhaps too old to play with the themed sets, the LEGO Architecture White House set is a good option. It includes 560 pieces that constructs into a replica of the United States White House. It isn't large at only 9 inches wide. I like that it comes with an included base and has a printed name label for the build as well. The booklet included is actually very educational in regards to the building of the White House, and it's history.

New Duplo LEGO Set

LEGO Duplo Legoville Deluxe Train Set

These are great for little ones since the pieces are bigger to fit more easily in the hand, and the designs are simpler for younger minds. I like the LEGO Duplo Legoville Deluxe Train Set. The train itself is motorized with two wagons that are battery powered. With 30 tracks, some straight and some curved, you can make your track go into a figure eight. It also features a conveyor belt and crane with instructions on how to load them. Three Duplo people are also a part of this set to make it complete. I like that the train and the pumping station include sound effects for more entertainment.

Duplo LEGO Animal Set

LEGO Duplo My First Zoo

Along the learning side, as well as creative, the LEGO Duplo My First Zoo is a great way to get toddlers to learn animals. The bright colors are helpful in learning as well. The zookeeper included has his own vehicle to get from enclosure to enclosure when he feeds the animals for the day. You get a baby elephant, tiger, polar bear and a giraffe, as well as a fish to feed the bear with. If you like these sets, you can purchase a LEGO Duplo Building Plate to extend your builds for more fun, as your child gets older. There are different sizes so decide what you need before purchasing.

Best LEGO Games for Kids 2013

LEGO Creationary Game

For a fun twist, you should buy a Lego board game. Well, it's not really made from a board; it's made from Lego's and played with Lego's! A family favorite is the LEGO Creationary Game. You choose a category - vehicles, buildings, things, or nature, along with one of three levels of difficulty while everyone else tries to guess what you're building. Talk about stretching your limits of imagination, building and guessing skills. I suggest you anticipate about 30-60 minutes for one game since play can vary depending on the skill levels of the players. There are limited pieces and it can go a bit slowly while each player takes their turn, but if you keep it simple, then it can be quite fun. There are 341 pieces in this game.

Top Rated LEGO Game

LEGO Pirate Code Game

The LEGO Pirate Code Game is great to keep your little scallywags happy at home. The object of the game is to be the sneakiest pirate of them all. You must guess your opponents secret codes before they figure out yours. If you do, then you become Captain. I like that even though this game is simple; it uses logic and reasoning skills, along with luck. There are 270 pieces included. Lego games are fun because you can change the rules for more variation during play.

Hard to Find LEGOs

LEGO Mindstorms Black NXT Brick

If you are looking for Lego's that are not as widely sold anymore, you might find some here. If you are a Lego robotic builder, then you will most likely want, and need, a LEGO Mindstorms Black NXT Brick. This device offers you 4 input ports and 3 output ports for different motors. It features a large dot matrix display, USB 2.0 Bluetooth communication and houses a 32 bit microprocessor. 3rd party developers can access the digital wire interface. Don't get confused with the differences between the white brick and the black brick, since the only difference is the color. These sets are great for kids who are into science and robotics, or grownups who still want to play with toys, but are a bit old for action figures.

Hard to Find Star Wars LEGO Set

LEGO Star Wars Tantive IV Ship

If you are a collector of the Star Wars sets, you might have noticed that the LEGO Star Wars Tantive IV ship is hard to find. It wasn't as popular as many of the others so there were less made. You get 5 minifigures of Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Captain Antilles and a Rebel Trooper. The inside has a desk for the Princess and a removable roof to access it. I think the detachable escape pods are a nice touch. Weapons include turbo laser cannons on top and bottom that rotates and elevate. You should be aware that this set is probably meant more for display than actual play; the pieces can easily come off and there are so many elements that you won't want to get lost.

© 2013 Bob Miller

Which LEGO set do you like most?

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