A Look Back at the Best LEGO Ideas Sets

Recapping the fan-designed line’s top models.

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Since LEGO’s inception in 1932, it’s always been about dreaming big and channeling creativity. Recognizing this, LEGO partnered with Cuusoo System in 2008, offering fans the chance to bring their own designs to life. Now, the Ideas line is a platform for fans across the world to share ideas that showcase the endless potential of the LEGO brick.

For those not familiar with the process, designers of all ages submit their set to the Ideas website where fans can “support” a project – effectively voting on sets a user would like to see available for sale. Upon reaching 10,000 supporters, the LEGO team reviews the idea and determines whether or not to take it into production. In celebration of LEGO Ideas’ 15 year anniversary, we’ve put together a list of its best sets sorted by release date.

Ghostbusters Ecto-1 (2014)

Many LEGO Ideas sets end up serving as pioneers for new themes that the company elaborates on after a successful initial launch. The original Ghostbusters Ecto-1 paved the way for additional sets from the franchise to release, including the Firehouse Headquarters and 2020’s much larger recreation of the Ecto-1. In its 2014 form, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore are ready to bust ghosts with their iconic vehicle. All sorts of paranormal details are included along with a special booklet containing instructions, selected images and behind-the-scenes info about the beloved Ghostbusters movie.

WALL-E (2015)

In late 2005, Angus MacLane – a man who wears many hats in the film industry, including as an animator, storyboard artist and director – began working on the dystopian feature film WALL-E at Pixar. As the character was being designed, he developed a LEGO model that eventually was brought to life as a set ten years later. Capturing the character’s cuteness and innocence, the resulting build arrived with a posable neck, adjustable head and highly movable arms. Topping it all off, a last-plant-on-Earth element is included for WALL-E to hold.

Old Fishing Store (2017)

Oftentimes, the limits of LEGO can be spotted – a complex shape may not translate smoothly or interior spaces can feel constrained. However, the Old Fishing Store seamlessly recreated a picturesque depiction of a beachside shop. Naturally, it leans on the fishing theme with its minifigure selection, build elements and various stickered parts. Beyond this, its seven stage assembly process results in a creation that can be appreciated from every angle.

Voltron (2018)

Introduced as LEGO’s biggest mech set ever, Voltron’s complex design took LEGO designers an extended period of time to translate from its fan creation to a ready-for-market build. Pulling from both Voltron: Defender of the Universe shows that launched in 1984 and 2016, the set allows for fans to construct the five mechanical lions that the Galaxy Alliance pilots, which – with some reassembling – can join forces to become Voltron. As a result of its nuanced build options, it runs into the natural limitations of LEGO. However, it is undeniably unique and a must-have for any fan of the franchise.

Tree House (2019)

Typically, LEGO sets find themselves on shelves for two to three years before they’re replaced by newer or different iterations. The Tree House set, however, is an outlier: it’s in its fourth year of production with no end in sight. One of the line’s most ambitious sets at its initial launch, LEGO brilliantly balanced a thoughtful build with an inviting color scheme that can be customized with an optional autumnal arrangement. For imaginative fans, the opportunities are endless to dream up a crew to inhabit the home.

Typewriter (2021)

Typewriters have a significant vintage appeal that many appreciate despite technological advancements removing them from everyday use. Oftentimes bulky, finding the right model to suit a room can be tricky. Thankfully, LEGO stepped in with the introduction of its own version of the device. Favoring a nostalgic green and a printed retro typeface, the classic style of the ‘50s was effortlessly recreated in brick form. While you may not be able to write a letter with it, the set does respond to typing with its brick-built center typebar and carriage while also featuring a platen roller that real paper can be fed through.

The Office (2022)

Whether it be due to licensing, subject matter or any other conflict, LEGO ends up rejecting a vast majority of its user-created content that it reviews. One of the most supported ideas – The Office from The Office – continuously met the same fate: rejection. After four cycles of dreams being crushed, it finally got the go-ahead in 2021. For fans across the world, the wait paid off. The set is jam-packed with references to the beloved mockumentary series and includes a whopping 15 detailed minifigures. We won’t be surprised if this one stays on shelves for many years to come with the strong possibility of a sequel with details from its later seasons.

Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night (2022)

As its own art form, LEGO has offered incredible display pieces via its official sets and fan creations. However, by leveraging the iconic work of Vincent van Gogh, LEGO took things to the stars with its masterful interpretation of The Starry Night. Adding another dimension to the surreal work, Van Gogh’s brushstrokes are vivid in brick form. The cherry on top is provided by a Van Gogh minifigure that is accompanied by a paintbrush, palette and easel with the oil-on-canvas painting pictured on it, recreating the scene of him crafting the famous masterpiece.

The Globe (2022)

What better way to study the Earth’s geography than by building your own globe? Constructed of 2,585 pieces, a realistic mapping of the planet features glow-in-the-dark nameplates, a Technic interior and an axis that allows the sphere to spin. The set offers fans the opportunity to discover the world in a new way and it can easily be customized to remember your favorite trips across the globe.

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