It’s no secret that many whose childhoods were built on LEGO’s ubiquitous building blocks have grown up but clung on to the pieces of their youth, and The LEGO Group has worked hard to ensure that the classic blocks have grown alongside these fans. In the last decade, LEGO has produced more sets catered for AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO), across a range of price points, from 2007’s LEGO 10181 Eiffel Tower (US$199.99), to 2016’s LEGO 21306 The Beatles Yellow Submarine (US$59.99) and 2013’s LEGO 21021 Marina Bay Sands (US$74.99).
Don’t bother looking to pick these sets up at their original launch prices as some are limited edition releases or have since been retired, and can go for up to ten times in price in the secondary market. There’s also no need to chase such sets as LEGO puts so many out with increasing frequency, so there’s always something new for fans new and old.
We’ve put together this quick guide for any once-kid-now-adult LEGO enthusiasts (like ourselves!) who are thinking about how to display these building blocks in their home, and we’re not talking about a wall of minifigs, or a collection of Star Wars, Harry Potter or Marvel Super Heroes sets – we picked these sets with display in mind and these ten were chosen for their simple footprint, the few freestanding elements and of course, their aesthetic appeal!
Suitable for homeowners who prize tranquillity and clean, nature-integrated design, Tranquil Garden (10315) brings the peace (unless you let your partner know how much you spent). The set has a small footprint, and its base serves as a perfect display stand. Featuring details such as a variety of rearrangeable flora, a Japanese-style pavilion with an interior tea room, and a gently meandering stream dotted with surface lotus plants, it offers a lot to look at.
The set pops of colours and natural feels, and does a good job of bringing the outdoors indoors, without making too much of a mess. Its rectangular profile makes it easy to place around the house. It is a gorgeous scene, with a good price-per-piece ratio of S$0.12. It retails at S$169.90 and is available now at the LEGO Store or on Amazon.
We featured one of LEGO’s most impressive renditions of famous art (Hokusai – The Great Wave) in a recent article and while that is certainly an excellent set, LEGO’s Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night (21333) is another fabulous offering. LEGO’s unique 3-D styling of these classic works of art brings a new dimension to Van Gogh’s expressive bold brush strokes – the village in the scene climbs out with surprisingly subtle elegance.
With a framing solution built-in, you’ll have no trouble displaying it at home. Though it usually retails for S$249.90 on the LEGO store, it’s currently on offer for S$199.98 on Amazon. It’s a hard set to find, so with its excellent retail price-per-piece ratio of S$0.10 and impressive display-worthiness it is definitely worth getting your hands on!
For the homeowner who wants a set to match their love of gaming, we have the perfect suggestion in Aloy’s Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck (76989). One of the most cleanly designed and presenting sets on this list, we have to admit that there is something simply captivating about the mostly white and grey colour palette.
This set is not without its details either; its detailed base includes an overgrown lamp post, a birch tree, Horizon’s main protagonist, Aloy, and an aggressive Watcher. Make sure you have space on your shelf for this impressively tall (34 cm) set. With a good price-per-piece ratio of S$0.11, it’s a pretty strong recommendation for any gamers out there. It retails for S$139.90 on the LEGO store or on Amazon.
The comic book lover will not need to look any further than The Amazing Spider Man (31209). This set, rich with vibrant colours, features a downward-climbing friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man who has a posable head and fingers. This customisability offers owners the chance to make their set truly their own. It comes with an hour-long set of interviews with the designers to give you deeper insight into the process of producing the set, which is intended to enhance the building experience.
But if that soundtrack isn’t your style, no one would fault you for listening to any of the excellent songs featured in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse while you put this wall-mountable LEGO set together. The price-per-piece ratio is a little more expensive at S$0.14, but that tends to be the case with licensed LEGO sets. It retails at S$309.90 and is available at the LEGO store or on Amazon. If Spidey isn’t your thing, check out the Avengers Tower (76269) we featured on this list!
The Marina Bay skyline is an iconic feature of the Singapore landscape, and with Singapore (21057), lovers of architecture, and the Singaporean skyline, can have a LEGO expression of that scene in their own home for daily viewing. The architecture style LEGO sets have always been excellent display sets due to their thin profiles, making them suitable for display on a myriad of locations: bookshelves, window sills, and desks.
This set mixes the past and the future of architecture with splashes of natural colour seen in the colonial-style shophouses, and flashes of modern styling in the impressive three-tower Marina Bay Sands. Yes, this set bears certain similarities to 2013’s LEGO 21021 Marina Bay Sands, which was limited to a 10,000 set run and can now fetch over US$1,000 in the secondary market, but there’s no denying its outstanding presence. The price-per-piece ratio of S$0.12 is decent and we think that neither patriot, tourist nor architect could go wrong with this purchase. It currently retails for S$99.90 on the LEGO store or on Amazon.
We now come to one of our favourite sets on this list. Though infamous for having a tedious building experience, The Globe (21332) more than makes up for it with its exquisite styling and genuine functionality. Channelling an old-world vibe in both its form and typography, this set features a rotating globe, with glow-in-the-dark region labels, perfect for any adventurers’ library. You can easily customise your own set with simple studs, pinning the locations that you have been to or would like to visit.
With a vertical height of 40cm and a base width of 26cm, make sure you’ve got space in your house for this one. Though it does feature a steeper price-per-piece ratio of S$0.13 we think that this set will prove a worthy purchase as the years go by, with its timeless design and practical function. It is currently available on the LEGO Store for S$349.90 or on Amazon.
The LEGO group’s recent budding botanical collection has certainly been a welcome development in LEGO’s line of home-suited sets. As we watch the line continue blooming with sets such as the upcoming Bouquet of Roses (10328) slated for a 1 January 2024 release, we can still depend on existing sets to beautify our homes, including with the smallest set on this list, the appropriately named Tiny Plants (10329).
It’s the perfect gift for any botanist looking for a LEGO set and features nine different individually potted plants, from laceleaf to shamrock; these LEGO plants can easily be peppered amongst your succulents at home, on a study desk, or along a TV console, reminding you of nature’s vitality as you both work and relax at home. It has an excellent price-per-piece ratio of S$0.10 and is available for S$79.90 at the LEGO store or on Amazon.
Since its announcement, the simple aesthetic of Tales of the Space Age (21340) has been an immense draw for us. An IDEAS set, produced in collaboration with a LEGO fan designer, these four 1980s-styled postcard-esque scenes of intergalactic exploration and adventure are a perfect choice for any space enthusiast.
They are easily wall-mounted as each has an individual hanging solution on its reverse side. Alternatively, with their thin profiles and stable bases, they can be displayed on most surfaces at home easily. Their minimalist designs will also make de-dusting them a less agonising event – a priceless feature that any experienced LEGO user will appreciate. It has a good price-per-piece ratio of S$0.11, and is available on the LEGO store or Amazon for S$79.90.
Inspired by the LEGO Group’s founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s personal typewriter, Typewriter (21327) is a great choice for any fan of history, LEGO or otherwise. The art deco styling will make it a perfect fit in any mid-century modern home. The set features an elaborate Technic system on the inside, allowing you to depress each individual key motivating a faux keystroke and cartridge movement from left to right.
Its subtle design makes it a great fit for the more geometric and subtle styling of retro-styled homes. A usually hard-to-find set, its high price-per-piece ratio of $0.18 is made much more understandable by its lack of stickers, generosity of printed pieces, play features, and impressive style and presence. A truly top choice for home décor. Usually retailing for S$379.90 on the LEGO store, it is now available at S$319.90 (16% off!) on Amazon.
Homeowners looking for a little musical pizazz in their home will have their perfect set in Jazz Quartet (21334). The set oozes class with its well-dressed musicians and has enough groove to keep it from feeling stiff. The impressively designed people are a standout feature–the human likeness is incredibly difficult to recreate, least of all with LEGO bricks–and its narrow profile makes it an easy set to display.
A musical home will be a perfect dwelling for these four musicians. The stage orientation can be customised as can the musicians’ poses, allowing for your very own improvisation. With an excellent price-per-piece ratio of S$0.10, this set is an excellent choice for any musician or music lover. It is available for S$159.90 on the LEGO store or on Amazon.
Ryan grew up a geek, with one of his earliest memories being crowding round a computer in the late 90s with his two brothers, watching his Dad play Command & Conquer on a Windows 95 desktop. Exciting new tech, movies, video games, and motorcycles (and a dash of the outdoors) are the way to his heart.