Taking a look through all the LEGO sets released this year, it clearly has been a mammoth year of LEGO releases! At over 950 new products, this year’s lineup beats last year’s impressive back catalogue, with LEGO City taking the crown for the theme with most sets hitting store shelves this past year. In an attempt to figure out the best (and least impressive) LEGO products of the year, I asked the Brothers Brick team for their opinions. And here they are: all the LEGO sets that have piqued our interest in the Class of ’22…
Bart was torn between two very different sets this year.
I normally don’t buy Friends sets but 41701 Street Food Market made me cave for a Friends set. 41704 Main Street Building also got me excited but was a bit too pricey to buy since I’m not that interested in collecting lots of Friends sets. However, the winner in my eyes has to be the 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle. I didn’t buy it yet, I seriously doubt that I ever will; but I would really love to build it and put it on display for a little while.
I have to be honest, there’s been some outstanding Friends set’s this year in what has been the swan song for the current Friends iteration. I look forward to the relaunch! 40577 Hogwarts: Grand Staircase deserves an honourable mention too as it was one of the best gift with purchase sets ever. It may be better designed than some of the official HP sets!
Bart delved into his favourite theme for his least favourite set:
I decided to pick a set within a theme that I love. My least favourite set has to be: 76401 Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue. The build is weak, the Sirius minifigure felt like a down grade from the Patronus in the forest set and Harry’s alternate facial expression was seriously disturbing.
This year CJ decorated his home with what he calls his best set of 2022. Here’s how he describes 21333 Vincent Van Gogh – The Starry Night painting set.
It was the direction I hope LEGO art continues in – innovative, detailed, complex build, and just a lot of fun to put together. It’s hanging on my wall at home, and it will likely do so for years to come.
Though I could take or leave Starry Night myself, I do agree with CJ on the tin signs:
Least? I was going to go with 41952: Big Message Board, as it really was the weakest DOTS set ever…but then I remembered those LEGO VIP Tin Signs. Those were the absolute worst thing I could have spent points on.
Alexander celebrates LEGO’s 90th anniversary this year with his favourite of the year with 11021 90 Years of Play.
It’s one perfect mix of bricks that speaks to anyone who played with bricks as a child (or playing right now). Just look at all these tiny models: they even included a piece with an Egyptian pattern! And, of course, it’s all about free building.
Not to mention that Bionicle build, we have to keep the Bionicle dream alive Alexander! Meanwhile, he found fault with the Bricklink Designer Programme set, 910010 The Great Fishing Boat:
Least favourite is 910010 The Great Fishing Boat as a part of very poor line-up of Bricklink Designer Program. It might look great, but dozens and dozens of reviews confirm that the building techniques leave so much to be desired. It’s nowhere near The LEGO Group’s iconic “Only best is good enough”, and more like “mediocre quality control is good enough”. It’s a shame to see people abandoning building because nothing works in these models.
Theo was pleased Commander Cody returned in brick form this year in 75337 AT-TE Walker.
The Star Wars set I was most excited for and it lived up to that, particularly with the 212th minifigures (and Cody!). My only gripe is it would’ve been nice to have a crab droid instead of a spider droid, but it’s a nitpick.
Theo wasn’t a fan of this year’s Jurassic World sets:
Least favourite: Any of the Jurassic World: Dominion sets. I realise price per part can be a flawed metric, but the moulded dinos make these instances particularly egregious (often around the 20 cents per piece mark). I would’ve much rather had some brick-built dinosaurs à la 76956 T-Rex Breakout for the price of some of these sets.
I completely agree with this, Theo, 76956 T-Rex Breakout was a great dino build that sits pride of place on my bookshelf! Theo was also let down by the Bricklink Designer offering 910010:
I agree with your comments on the fishing boat, Alexander, for one thing it took so long to get one after ordering I didn’t even remember building it this year! The lack of QC is so obvious during the build, even if the final product is sturdy enough.
Honourable mention goes to 10497 Galaxy Explorer for a set that I’m sure would’ve been here if I’d got around to buying it…
Daniel found his favourite set an easy choice.
My favourite set hands down was the UCS set, 75331 The Razor Crest. I loved the Mandalorian series and that ship was so cool. The building techniques and the details were great. I’m planning on building a stand for it so I can display it landing at an angle like the Discovery space shuttle. Runner up would be the 10298 Vespa scooter. The design and the colour make a great display.
Daniel has spoken! The Razor Crest looks to be an incredible build and is a great opportunity to learn some great techniques. Staying with Star Wars, Daniel found 75324 Dark Trooper Attack lacklustre:
Aside from the minifigs, I think my least favourite set would be Dark Trooper Attack. I felt like that hallway was pretty thin on details and the elevator door would not even turn all the way while Luke held his lightsaber.
Norm couldn’t choose between his two favourites this year.
I’ll allow it, Norm, and I think it’s fair to say all the CMF series this year have been fantastic! However, he was left disappointed with Marvel’s offerings this year:
The armoury was a disappointment for me too, Norm, as its the third instalment but with an overhauled design that looks off against those that came before it.
Kyle’s really been enjoying the Minecraft offering’s this year.
21189 The Skeleton Dungeon is my favourite set from this year. Parts selection is awesome, and that’s usually the most important thing for me. But the play features are also solid, and the price point is amazing. I continue to adore what LEGO is putting out in the Minecraft theme.
Kyle concluded that his least favourite set was75334 Obi-Wan Kenobi™ vs. Darth Vader™:
I’m not forking over $50 for a slab of studs and some figs. I really expect more from LEGO Star Wars at this point, and there were better ways to provide Vader and Kenobi in a single set from the series.
For me, there were two set’s this year that were both winners with inventive builds and great part usage. These were 21334 Jazz quartet and 76832 XL-15 Spaceship from Lightyear. I love Jazz and this was a great recognition of the music genre, to me. Meanwhile, the spacers get a new canopy (something the film’s director purposefully aimed for as a nod to the classic space fans) and a very good build to boot, plus we get some brilliant minifigures in the set! I was reminded of the 60333 Bathtub Stunt Bike too; the set you didn’t know you wanted, but need in your collection!
Do we expect this year’s number of total sets to be broken in 2023 and hit that 1000 mark? I would expect so, but what has been that perfect set for you this year? What missed the mark for you? Do let us know in the comments below — we’re really interested to hear what you think!
Come back next year to see what we found to be our favourites of 2023, and we’ll see if it’s still Monkie Kid’s 80043 Yellow Tusk Elephant…
And Happy Holidays! Let’s hope 2023 finally brings us that return to the Adventurers theme.