One of the most popular categories of toys going back decades is that of LEGO & Building Blocks. These toys have been occupying and entertaining kids for as long as most of us can remember, not to mention stretching their imaginations and inspiring them to design and build their own unique creations. Of course, kids can also follow the clearly laid out blueprints to create pre-formatted designs that lead to wonderfully imaginative and inspiring builds. In other words, with build toys like LEGO and its counterparts, there’s not only something for everyone, but virtually anything is possible. If it’s all too much for some of us to comprehend when trying to choose the perfect building block play-set, who could really blame us? This is why today the Best Buy Canada Blog brings you the complete LEGO & Building Block Buying Guide. Read on for all the helpful details.
LEGO & Building Blocks by theme and type
There’s no denying that LEGO is by far the biggest brand when it comes to building block toys. However, LEGO is not the only game in town. While LEGO dominates the space with sets across a variety of themes and types, there are also brands like Mega Bloks and Oyo Sports from which to choose. Of course, LEGO is so huge that even under the LEGO umbrella are other significant brand names, such as Duplo and Technic, many of which are discussed below. Since there are more than 20 currently active LEGO themes ongoing, the following list, which is in no particular order, is curated rather than comprehensive.
Build sets featuring real-world situations and technology have long been popular in the world of LEGO. For this type of realist scenario, nothing beats the build sets of LEGO City, of which there are many cool options. There are things like police and fire stations, airplanes, helicopters, boats, garbage trucks, even even less common vehicles and equipment like snow groomers and street sweepers. If it’s something you might find in or around a city, there’s a pretty good chance that LEGO City either has it now or has had it at some point in the past. New sets come along all the time, so the line is constantly refreshed. It truly is one of LEGO’s most classic and iconic genres.
Example: The LEGO City Trains: Passenger Train, which consists of 677 pieces, is a great set for train enthusiasts. In fact, the train itself, once assembled, is motorized and runs on its own included buildable LEGO track. A 10 speed Bluetooth remote allows users to control the train and send it around the track where it can pull up to a busy passenger platform. Even inside the train is decorated with seats and tables. And there’s a whole lot more going on with this set than just that. If you’re interested in checking it out, it’s recommended for kids ages 6-12, and you can find full details on its Best Buy product page.
Another somewhat realistic LEGO realm is that of LEGO Friends. These sets feature much more realistic looking human characters than traditional, blocky LEGO humans, and they’re enjoying everyday situations like camping with friends and hanging out in a coffee shop. In fact, recurring characters like Mia, Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, and Andrea are featured doing all kinds of fun and interesting things. They take buggies up to the like, ride horses at Mia’s foal stable, and even put on their own talent shows. It’s a very cool branch of the LEGO family that does something just a little bit different.
Example: A great example of the LEGO Friends theme is the 715 piece Mia’s House set. Recommended for those ages 6 and up, this set includes Mia’s family, their 2-story cabin-style house, and even their pets (a rabbit and horse). Other household accessories include a bowl and plate, cutlery, a mixer, a spatula, a frying pan and sunny-side-up egg, a baguette, 3 cups, a baking tray, and more. Additional (outdoor) accessories include a saddle and bridle for the horse, a helmet, a cell phone, a camera, roller skates, and—uh oh, even a beehive!! Be careful and have fun with this amazing sounding LEGO Friends set.
LEGO Super Mario
New to the world of LEGO is a very special set called the LEGO Super Mario: Adventures with Mario Starter Course. This 231 piece set is kind of like the Super Mario video game brought to life in LEGO form. The idea is for Mario to run and jump his way through a course similar to that of the video game, with pipe, poles, a Goomba, and even a Bowser Jr. getting in his way. On the journey Mario must collect virtual coins as he dodges obstacles and enemies, and kids will have big fun trying to get him through successfully.
There are also 7 different “action bricks” that make for interesting interactions between the course and the Mario figure, which has colour sensors and LCD screens for his eyes, mouth, and belly that can display 100+ different Mario reactions instantly to what’s happening in the game. He even comes with a speaker that plays the iconic Super Mario video game music and sounds. Designed for kids ages 6 and up, this fun LEGO set may also appeal to all of those 90s kids that haven’t quite let go of their childhoods yet. Note: The above text refers to just one of the many new LEGO Super Mario sets available.
LEGO Star Wars
One of the most popular LEGO themes of all time is undoubtedly LEGO Star Wars, which has some of the most complex and exciting LEGO builds ever. Over the years there have been sets ranging from just a few pieces to those with literally thousands of blocks. While Star Wars movie years are probably the best times to find oodles of these sets, at any given time, plenty of them are available, and they cover every aspect of Star Wars from the very first film all the way back in 1977 to the present day live action series, The Mandalorian.
Example: One cool example of LEGO from a galaxy far, far away is the LEGO Star Wars: The Child. You may recognize this adorable “Baby Yoda” from the wildly popular Disney+ series I mentioned above—The Mandalorian. This little guy is in high demand across a variety of different toy formats, but now you can build him yourself with this cool 1073 piece LEGO set. Better still, this Baby Yoda has a poseable head and ears, and you can even adjust his mouth to achieve a variety of cool expressions that will bring those Mandalorian moments to life right before your eyes. He even comes with his own gearshift knob to play with. Recommended for kids (and Star Wars loving adults) ages 10 and up.
One of the coolest LEGO themes there is today has got to be the LEGO Architecture line of build sets. These semi-realistic sets feature major world cities and attractions, such as London, Paris, New York, and monuments like the Statue of Liberty. If you enjoy traveling the world and seeing major landmarks, along with world-class cityscapes, LEGO Architecture brings this excitement right to your very own home in a form that’s fun and challenging to build—and even cooler to display. Each set even comes with a booklet discussing the various buildings and monuments it features, as well as information about their designers, the history of the city and/or structure, its architectural significance, and more.
Example: Shown at the top of this section is one of the coolest sets in this entire series. It’s the LEGO Architecture: Paris set, and it features 649 pieces with which to build one of the world’s great cities. And, unlike Rome, you can 100% build Paris in only a day, if you’re quick, clever, and have the perseverance to see it through. This set, like others in the LEGO Architecture series, is geared to older kids (and even adult collectors). The recommended minimum age for it is 12 years old. Included in the Paris set are the Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, the Tour Montparnasse, the Grand Palais, the Louvre, and the iconic Eiffel Tower. What fun!
Designed specifically for younger kids (mostly in the 2-5 age range) is the LEGO Duplo line of build sets, featuring oversized blocks that are both easier for kids to hold onto and more difficult for them to put in their mouths. These sets are also easier to build than standard LEGO sets due to their limited number of blocks and the more simplistic designs of the sets. The blocks themselves attach similarly to other LEGO building blocks, and their large, easy to handle design is meant to help younger kids develop their fine motor skills. They’re essentially the same as standard LEGOs, only much bigger. If you wish to give your younger child a beginner’s level LEGO set that will spark their imagination, LEGO Duplo is it!
Example: A fun example of a LEGO Duplo set is the LEGO Duplo Town: Fire Truck. With just 21 oversized pieces for small kids to put together, this set is extremely simplistic yet still fun and challenging to younger minds. What’s more, once assembled it’s a fun fire truck play-set for them to play with by driving it around and making the included fireman mini figure rescue the child character’s kitty cat from the tree with his cool truck and ladder. In fact, the truck itself is so cool that it even has a siren and flashing blue light. It’s a fun set that smaller kids are sure to find enjoyable, and it’s just one of many great Duplo sets that you can get and use to create an entire LEGO Duplo world of fun and adventure.
Another (though different) brand of building block toys is Mega Bloks, which is frequently also geared toward smaller children with large blocks that are easy for them to handle. This, however, is not always the case, as some Mega Bloks sets do feature more complex builds made from smaller pieces. But, in general, Mega Bloks do mostly cater to the toddler crowd. They’re big, colourful, easy to use, and full of fun!
Example: One currently available example of this particular line is the Mega Blocks – Big Building Bag, which consists of 80 individual pieces in a mostly pink and white colour scheme. This set includes mostly standard building block shapes, only they’re oversized and don’t feature any specific build design, allowing kids to use their own imagination and not feel the pressure of trying to perfectly assemble a complex design blueprint.
The final building block theme of the day is yet another non-LEGO company. It’s called Oyo Sports, and it specializes in sport—and especially hockey, based build sets. If you’re into both sports and building block toys, Oyo Sports combines the two in a way that’s fun, challenging, and extremely satisfying. You can get entire hockey rinks, individual hockey players (ones you know by name, like the Sedin twins), and even a freaking Zamboni! There are also a few Toronto Blue Jays baseball players available, if that’s what you’re into.
Example: The Vancouver Canucks may not be your favourite NHL team, but how cool is the OYO Sports NHL Vancouver Canucks Gametime Hockey Rink? Of course, other teams are also available, but the main point here is that this set consists of 681 pieces of pure hockey building goodness. There’s clear ice for the players to “skate” on, full boards with glass, nets, benches, penalty boxes, and one goalie and a skater to set up on the ice. Of course, you can always add more players individually to fill out your team roster. It’s a really fun build toy concept that hockey fans ages 6 and up are sure to get a kick out of. There’s a whole lot more to this set besides, so if hockey is your thing, be sure to visit its Best Buy product page.
And that’s the end of the LEGO & Building Blocks Buying Guide. But it’s not the end of the LEGO themes and build sets. There are so many more for you to explore when you visit the Best Buy website. In LEGO alone you’ll find sets based on Harry Potter, Disney, Classic LEGO, and many others. Give the site a look, and have fun exploring!