LEGO released nearly 800 sets this year, and The Brothers Brick has so far reviewed over 120 of them — that’s more than two reviews a week over this past year. But now we’re winding down the year and looking back on 2018, with just one week left until the end of the year. LEGO’s free shipping offer ends tomorrow, so as you wrap up your holiday shopping, here are a few of our favorite LEGO sets released this year.
And for some extra goodness, don’t miss our list of the best LEGO sets of 2017 (many of which are still available).
Read our complete list of the best LEGO sets released in 2018
The largest LEGO Ideas set to date, 21311 Voltron is now available. Long anticipated by fans nostalgic for the iconic giant robot from the 1980s TV series of the same name, Voltron stands over 15 inches tall and includes 2,321 pieces, and costs $179.99 USD. But most impressively, it’s actually assembled from the five lions, and transforms with remarkable ease. Voltron will be widely available beginning Aug. 1, but if you’re a VIP member you can go ahead and purchase the set now from the LEGO Shop Online. VIP membership is free.
Buy LEGO 21311 Voltron from the LEGO Shop Online [USA | UK | CAN]
If you’re still on the fence about Voltron, or just want to know before spending your hard-earned cash on a giant transforming robot, check out our review. We go in-depth in our text review of Voltron, and give a thorough breakdown of the transformation process in our video review below.
LEGO’s largest mech ever has landed, bringing with it a wave of 1980s nostalgia. Based on the cartoon TV series that began airing in 1984, Voltron: Defender of the Universe, this huge robot has taken a long, winding route through LEGO’s product development, arriving more than two years after the project surpassed the 10k-vote mark needed for LEGO to assess the project. With 2,321 pieces, 21311 Voltron is the largest Ideas set to date. It will be available to LEGO VIP members beginning July 23, with full availability Aug. 1, and it will be priced $179.99 USD.
Watch our video review here, and read the in-depth full review below:
Click to read the full review of 21311 Voltron!
LEGO Ideas has quickly become one of the most exciting and progressive product lines of the company, and the latest set, 21311 Voltron: Defender of the Universe is no different. From the designer video included below, we learn from LEGO designer Niek van Slagmaat and graphic designer Mark Tranter that the leg and arm connections on Voltron were the most challenging part of creating the functional set (and we get to see Niek being particularly fly with some beautiful drum-lacquered silver elements).
The set will be available July 23rd for LEGO VIPs and August 1st for everyone else for $179.99 USD. Look out for our thorough review coming later this week.
Space and space exploration is also a very popular subject when it comes to LEGO creations. Valerie Roche and Matthew Nolan have designed a collection of SpaceX vehicles and put it on LEGO’s crowd-sourcing platform Ideas, where it’s already well on its way towards the needed 10,000 supporters. One of the coolest things about this project is that the designers have received input from people working on the real SpaceX program to help make the models even more accurate.
Check out the full collection of vehicles
First announced as a forthcoming set nearly a year ago, LEGO is finally taking the wraps off its newest crowd-sourced kit, 21311 Voltron. Based on both the iconic 1980s animated television show of the same name and its subsequent modern-day reboot by DreamWorks, the set will feature five robotic lions who can combine into the super robot Voltron. With 2,321 pieces, the massive mech will be the largest Ideas set to date, easily outpacing the Old Fishing Store and NASA Apollo Saturn V. The set will be on sale briefly at San Diego Comic-Con next month, then will be available to LEGO VIP members beginning July 23, before being widely available August 1. Voltron will retail for $179.99 USD.
Brick-built aquariums are often extremely cool, but how many can say their LEGO sea-creatures actually move? My guess is not too many. But one clever builder, Mark Smiley, has managed to create an adorable little “LEGO Clockwork Aquarium” that does just that! With the turn of a crank, the fish move in a circle along the tank perimeter. There’s also a crab that hops up and down, and a starfish that spins! If you look closely, you can even see a little Easter Island head in the corner, and a shrimp in the helmet. The whole thing is modular and customizable. But just wait until you see it in action!
Click to watch the video of the tank coming to life!
Last week we reviewed the latest LEGO Ideas set, 21314 Tron: Legacy. The set launches on March 31st, and is available now from the LEGO Shop online ($34.99 US | £29.99 | $44.99 CAD).
The new set includes two light cycles, three minifigures — Sam Flynn, Quorra and Rinzler — with a total of 230 pieces. You can learn more about the set in our hands-on Tron review.
If you’re not inclined to fork over money for 21310 Old Fishing Store, Simon NH has you covered. This microscale recreation is do good that I actually thought it was the real set, albeit zoomed out, when I scrolled past it in my feed. A lot of different colours and shapes had to be crammed into this small build to give it that hobbled together look. A favourite technique here is the textured bricks which are upside down on the tower. Their anti-studs give the illusion of a platform with railings.
The Saturn V moon rocket is a masterpiece of engineering and remains the largest rocket ever successfully launched. Between 1967 and 1973, thirteen rockets left earth, taking us to the moon and building Skylab, the United States’ first space station. So it’s fitting that LEGO Ideas 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V is the largest Ideas set produced to date, clocking in at a massive 1,969 pieces in an homage to Apollo 11. When countdown ends and the rocket set launches on June 1, 2017, it will retail for $119.99. Included is the Saturn V rocket in three stages, the command and service module, lunar lander, and command module with floatation device.
Click to read the full review
After an early tease of 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V last month, today LEGO has officially taken the wraps off this massive 1:110 scale rocket. First announced last June, the Saturn V will be the largest ever fan-designed LEGO Ideas set with 1,969 pieces, giving even the part count a nod to the year of mankind’s first steps on the moon. The rocket itself stands 39 in. tall (100cm), and consists of all three stages with a full complement of the lunar orbiter, lunar lander, command module with flotation devices, and three astronaut microfigures. The Saturn V will retail for $119.99 USD beginning June 1, the same day as the just-announced 10257 Carousel.
The Saturn V is the first of two upcoming LEGO Ideas sets based on NASA, with a Women of NASA LEGO set coming later this year or early in 2018.
Click to see all the images of the Saturn V
LEGO announced last summer that the Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket would be among the future projects turned into an official set from the crowdsourcing platform LEGO Ideas, targeting a tentative release date of summer 2017. Today LEGO has released a teaser image of the Saturn V, giving us our first official look at the final model. They’ve also confirmed a June release for the set.
Although LEGO has given no indications yet on piece count or pricing, it’s clear the model will be massive, and significantly larger than the 2003 Saturn V Moon Mission set. Judging by the scale we can see in the photo above, the rocket will likely stand more than two feet tall, with the main rocket stage about 12 studs in diameter.