As the popularity of LEGO® sets has grown, the audience who enjoys them has also widened. For many years all LEGO releases were expected to cater for LEGO builders of all ages. But things changed a few years ago when the LEGO Group decided to really focus on its older customers. Whilst we’ve come to expect large-scale sets from themes such as ICONS and Star Wars. Other themes have started to expand their scope and when they do it results in some impressive LEGO models. Here are just a few examples of sets which break away from those usually found within a theme.
With the NINJAGO theme still going strong for over 10 years later, back in 2017, the popular theme also inspired a LEGO Movie spin-off from Warner Bros. Although the film wasn’t a hit with fans some of the sets inspired by the film were. They also saw some of the biggest NINJAGO sets ever released. Ninjago City and Ninjago City Docks were extremely popular so much so that although The LEGO NINJAGO Movie sets were long retired, a third set in the series was released for the 10th Anniversary of LEGO NINJAGO as part of the NINJAGO Legacy sub-theme.
With rumours of a new large-scale Hulkbuster set being released before Christmas and a mystery $500 ‘Super Heroes’ set, the LEGO Marvel dabbled with big sets long before the focus on adult shoppers. The Helicarrier was released in 2015 and offered a microscale recreation of SHIELD’s flying battleship. More recently, LEGO Marvel has gone big again with the huge Daily Bugle building and just last month the impressive Sanctum Sanctorum.
LEGO DC Batman
The Dark Knight has vastly faded in popularity when it comes to LEGO sets. But the caped crusader’s big screen adventures have inspired a trio of large-scale builds including two versions of the Tumbler from the most recent Dark Knight trilogy as well as sets inspired by the late 80s Tim Burton’s Batman films with the 1989 Batmobile and the Batwing. Probably one of the most impressive of the big Batman sets was inspired by the much-loved Adam West and Burt Ward-fronted Batman TV series.
LEGO Harry Potter
In a similar fashion to Marvel, the LEGO Harry Potter theme gave us a pretty hefty set a few years back with the Hogwarts Castle set. Although many of the Potter playsets can be combined to create a version of the wizarding school, the large-scale Hogwarts Castle recreated the entire school as well as offering microfig and unique minifigures. Some years later is was followed up with Diagon Alley, the Hogwarts Icons set and next month the Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition will become the latest huge Harry Potter set.
The Disney theme has gone through a few changes over the years and it also covered a pretty wide scope of films, TV shows and even theme parks. It’s those theme parks which have inspired some of the biggest LEGO Disney sets. The first being the 4080-piece Disney Castle. It was followed by another Disney Parks-inspired set with the Disney Train & Station. Other large-scale Disney sets have included the buildable Mickey & Minnie Mouse figures and the Disney Princess Frozen Castle.
LEGO Super Mario
The LEOG Super Mario theme is an odd one. The standard sets range from buildable characters to brick-built consoles. Each side of the theme is aimed at different Nintendo fans. Whereas the Expansion Sets focused on younger builders, the larger builds are definitely there to capture the attention of seasoned Nintendo fans. The first large-scale Nintendo set replicated the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was followed by a ‘?’ Block hiding a micro version of Super Mario 64’s Mushroom Kingdom. Next month will see the Mighty Bowser become the third big Super Mario set released.