With so many LEGO models released every year, it can be difficult to figure out which offerings are worthy of one’s hard-earned money.
LEGO is quite the company. With over 90 years of experience, the Denmark-based toymaker does huge business year after year with its signature plastic brick building sets.
In addition to its original, in-house designs, LEGO also holds a wide variety of licenses to produce sets from well-known IPs, such as DC and Star Wars.
Which 2023 LEGO Sets Are the Best?
With more than 100 models released or scheduled for release by LEGO this year alone, consumers’ heads might spin in considering which ones to purchase. Well, look no further than The Direct’s ranking of the 15 best sets from 2023 so far.
15.) 76255: The New Guardians’ Ship
Called the Bowie (after musician David Bowie, continuing Peter Quill’s typical naming convention for his ships), the new Guardians’ Ship was the vessel seen in both The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Its LEGO form, which retails for $99.99 USD, comes with 1,108 pieces that faithfully recreate the Bowie’s eye-catching construction and funky green and pink color scheme.
14.) 75355: X-wing Starfighter
One of the most recognizable ships in the Star Wars galaxy, the X-Wing just so happens to be the intragalactic conveyance of choice for the original trilogy’s central hero Luke Skywalker.
LEGO fans can lock S-foils into attack position with this 1,949 piece, $239.99 USD Ultimate Collector Series X-wing Starfighter model. With a Luke Minifig and a little R2-D2 for the ship’s astromech slot, this one is something LEGO aficionados won’t want to miss.
13.) 76261: Spider-Man Final Battle
In the smash hit 2021 Marvel movie Spider-Man: No Way Home, there were not one, not two, but three Peter Parkers all valiantly fighting for a common goal: to send the cavalcade of Multiversal evil-doers back from whence they came.
The LEGO version of the movie’s climactic confrontation hits all the right notes, with Minifigs of the whole cast and a recreation of New York’s famous Statue of Liberty for them to duke it out around. The Spider-Man Final Battle model retails for $109.99 USD and is constructed from an even 900 pieces.
12.) 75352: Emperor’s Throne Room Diorama
The ultimate clash of lightsabers in 1983’s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Father and son, pitted against one another to decide the fate of the universe, all while Palpatine, the Dark Lord of the Sith gazes on with anticipation.
One can practically hear the Emperor’s spooky-sounding theme music when in the presence of the LEGO Emperor’s Throne Room Diorama. The model makes for a terrific centerpiece for even the most discerning Star Wars collector. It arrives at a $99.99 USD price point for 807 pieces.
11.) 75357: Ghost & Phantom II
Now seen taking to skies and space in the new Ahsoka series on Disney+, the VCX-100 light freighter captained by Hera Syndulla got its debut back in 2014 with Star Wars Rebels. The starship also served as home to the show’s heroes.
With the LEGO Ghost & Phantom II (the original Phantom shuttle was destroyed in the Rebels Season 3 premiere), fans can build the fan-favorite ship with all of its trademark details, like the cockpit and dorsal turret. At 1,394 individual pieces (including five Minifigs), $159.99 brings the Ghost home.
10.) 80045: Monkey King Ultra Mech
Western audiences might be unfamiliar with Monkie Kid, especially as it’s a fairly recent addition to LEGO’s roster of themes. Created to celebrate Chinese culture and iconography, Monkie Kid centers on a young boy who is bestowed a magical golden staff that grants him special powers.
The large-scaled Monkey King Ultra Mech uses a dazzling red and gold color palette made from 1,705 pieces. Six Minifigures are packed in, and the set retails for $159.99 USD.
9.) 21338: A-Frame Cabin
In what may seem to some like a bygone era, before the days of sprawling luxury resorts taking hold of the American consumer’s attention, families would pile all of their suitcases into the station wagon and venture toward scenic campgrounds as a way to take their vacations.
Of course, there are many who still seek out those sorts of getaways, and this may be just the LEGO set for them. At $179.88 USD for 2,082 pieces, this A-Frame Cabin model is a nice quality, brick-ified woodland oasis for one’s Minifigs.
8.) 21342: The Insect Collection
Nature can be a fascinating thing. There’s no shortage of colorful creatures that live on this planet, and insects can often be some of the most colorful of all.
Certainly not for those with entomophobia, the LEGO Insect Collection includes three life-sized buildable bugs: the Chinese mantis, the blue morpho butterfly, and the Hercules beetle. Each one is fully poseable. The beautiful real-life insects actually share something in common with LEGO bricks: they shouldn’t be stepped on.
Constructed from 1,111 pieces, the Insect Collection is priced at $79.99 USD.
7.) 10317: Land Rover Classic Defender 90
The Land Rover Defender is one of the most notable off-road vehicles around. Manufactured by the British automaker Land Rover, the Defender boasts four-wheel drive, a rugged construction, and the ability to carry a considerable payload.
This LEGO replica is patterned after the original, real-world SUV from 1984 and comes equipped with essential brick-built tools like a fire extinguisher and two jerrycans. There’s even a working winch. Coming in at a fraction of the cost of an actual Land Rover, the LEGO Defender is priced at $239.99 USD for 2,336 pieces.
6.) 71799: NINJAGO City Markets
One of LEGO’s most successful, independently created themes, Ninjago has been around for over a decade. These spinjitzu-wielding warriors were even the subject of a feature film in 2018, and the Ninjago animated series currently sits at over 200 episodes.
The Ninjago City Markets model is the most expensive item in the Ninjago line, retailing for $369.99 USD, and it’s quite large. LEGO was likely able to keep the price down to a more reasonable level than say, a Star Wars set of comparable size, since it didn’t need to pay a licensing fee. The Markets are made up of 6,163 pieces.
5.) 77015: Temple of the Golden Idol
South America, 1936. The introduction to one of cinema’s most legendary heroes: Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones. The intrepid Dr. Jones ventures into an ancient Peruvian temple chock full of deadly booby traps, all to track down the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol.
But Indy’s acquisition is short-lived as the relic is snatched away by his rival, René Belloq. If only he spoke Hovitos…
If adventure has a name, it must be Indiana Jones, and LEGO collectors can have their own adventure assembling this Temple of the Golden Idol set based on Raiders of the Lost Ark’s utterly iconic opening scene. $149.99 USD for 1,545 pieces, which isn’t a bad deal overall.
4.) 10316: The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell
Hugo Weaving’s Elrond oversaw Rivendell, a settlement and safe haven in the forests of Middle-earth. This was the place where the Fellowship of the Ring was brought together as they embarked on their journey south to Mordor in an effort to destroy the One Ring.
This Rivendell set, which is based upon the Elven environment seen in both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies by Peter Jackson, contains several memorable details from the films, such as the Shards of Narsil. The model will set one back at $499.99 USD for 6,167 pieces.
3.) 43222: Disney Castle
It’s hard to believe that Disney has been around for 100 years. Having all started with a now-famous mouse, the Walt Disney Company has created a multimedia empire that has permeated just about every facet of culture worldwide.
The 4,837-piece LEGO stand-in for the Cinderella Castle (which sits at the heart of the Magic Kingdom theme park at Florida’s Walt Disney World) comes with a quartet of princess and prince pairings in Minifigure form, including The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana. Fans of Disney merchandise can bring home this castle for $399.99 USD.
2.) 31208 Hokusai - The Great Wave
Currently housed at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Great Wave off Kanagawa was a piece created by Hokusai During Japan’s Edo period in 1831. It serves as Hokusai‘s most well-known work.
The LEGO Great Wave brilliantly represents the striking 18th-century woodblock print, replete with accurate detailing like Mt. Fuji standing on the horizon. It costs $99.99 USD for 1,810 pieces.
1.) 76252 Batman - Batcave Shadow Box
The Batcave is, of course, Bruce Wayne’s high-tech subterranean HQ where he stores all his gadgets, suits, and vehicles. In the 1992 film Batman Returns, the Batcave features in some key scenes, such as when Bruce and Alfred work to remotely disrupt the Penguin’s mayoral campaign using an audio recording.
This LEGO Batcave Shadow Box, based on Returns, retails for $399.99 USD and comes with 3,981 pieces to make all the essential little touches, like the Batsuit vault, the Batcomputer, and of course, the Batmobile. The only thing missing is a saucer of vichyssoise on a silver platter.