LEGO Ideas did not start as Ideas. It was initially a collaboration between the LEGO Group and Japanese company Cuusoo in 2008, and although the title sounds clunky it actually translates into ‘daydream’. It was the dreams and inspiration of LEGO fans that the theme wanted to celebrate by taking submissions through stages of fan voting followed by an official review. By 2014 the platform had become incredibly popular, rebranded under Ideas, and has now produced nearly 50 original projects.
There is a vast array of submissions that have made it through to production, from delicate garden birds to transforming robots and just about everything in-between. Most recently making it through the review stage is The Nightmare Before Christmas right alongside the classic red British telephone box. Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine, is jumping on a cloud to dream through the biggest Ideas sets…
7. 21311 Voltron – 2,321 pieces
It’s no secret that the LEGO designers love mechs, whether that’s original concepts or the yearly offerings from LEGO Marvel. Towering over them all is 21311 Voltron, ready to defend the universe and marking the first ever collaboration with Hasbro. This is a mech that has everything. Each of the lions can detach from the mech, just like in the original animated show, while Voltron comes equipped with a sword and shield to battle their enemies. The whole model was only made more authentic by fan designer Leandro Tayag who loved the show growing up and played with one of the original Voltron action figures.
6. 21337 Table Football – 2,339 pieces
21337 Table Football features a lot of firsts. It is the first non-licensed LEGO set to include minifigures with varied skin tones rather than the traditional yellow ones. It debuts two new skin tones so more fans can see themselves represented. It is also the first set to have a minifigure with vitiligo. The set was made by Donát Fehérvári as part of the We Love Sports contest on LEGO Ideas and while the original design saw some major changes, it still keeps the message of bringing people together to play, really capturing the spirit of the sport.
5. 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay – 2,545 pieces
Sailing the Seven Seas in search of lost treasures or hunting for precious loot, LEGO Pirates has always been a fan favourite. 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay recreates the wonder of the classic sets from the 1980s and 1990s, though on a much grander scale. Making use of the new techniques and pieces that are now available it is fully modular, transforming easily between island wreck to fully functioning ship. It also comes with an updated pirate crew, including the classic Captain Redbeard – who’s starting to go a little grey after all these years.
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4. 21332 The Globe – 2,585 pieces
Building anything round using LEGO bricks is a challenge, yet it was one challenge that Guillaume Roussel was determined to achieve. Inspired to create a model that could be fun to build and educational, 21332 The Globe is not only geographically accurate (or as accurate as it can be at this scale), but it also spins. Each section of the globe is attached separately onto a Technic axis that runs through the middle, while some hidden LEGO tyres inside help the model to rotate during use. It truly is a feat of engineering and a great way to encourage anyone to learn about the continents, lakes, and seas of the world.
3. 21318 Tree House – 3,036 pieces
Exploring the natural world can be relaxing or full of adventure, and what better way to do it than in a tree house? While some fans may have had a treehouse in their backyard as children, 21318 Tree House is next level outdoor living, with three cosy living spaces built around the trunk of a ginormous trunk. Kevin Feeser’s submission was also a chance for the LEGO designers to push the new sustainable bricks (made from sugarcane plastic), with over 180 sustainable botanical elements included for the two different seasons of the model.
2. 21323 Grand Piano – 3,662 pieces
Most of the time LEGO Ideas submissions only improve once they are handed over to the official designers. However, fans were disappointed with 21323 Grand Piano when it was announced. In Donny Chen’s original concept, each of the 25 keys were independently playable, yet the final product changed this functionality. Instead it links with the Powered Up app to play music through the Power Functions inside, but it doesn’t matter which keys are pressed. This means that while it may look like a piano, it does not play like one, and unfortunately the app came with a very limited roster of songs that could be played.
1. 21330 Home Alone – 3,955 pieces
Is it too early to be talking about Christmas? Probably, but thankfully LEGO is for life, not just for Christmas! Home Alone is a classic holiday film and 21330 Home Alone is not only the biggest LEGO Ideas set, but a smorgasbord of references – from the traps that Kevin devises to thwart Harry and Marv, along with festive decorations and the infamous scary boiler in the basement. It’s rare that Ideas models get bigger during production, but 21330 has an opening mechanism that allows for it to be displayed from all angles and then opened for play. It’s so big that it’s a Christmas centrepiece all by itself.