When it comes to the best Lego sets, it's hard to deny that bigger is better. With the largest sets sometimes reaching several feet in length, admittedly bigger isn't always more practical, but as a fun and satisfying project to enjoy, it's hard to deny that the the more pieces, the more enjoyable a set is.
But if you're planning to go for something that will keep you occupied for hours and hours – the biggest and most complicated sets can provide 10+ hours of building entertainment, no question – what are the options, and how to they compare in terms of final results?
Some of the biggest and most complicated Lego sets are to build incredibly accurate versions of movie favourites, while some are more artistic, or are based on the real world, including a few beautiful options from the Lego Creator Expert famous buildings range, alongside pop culture favourites such as Lego Star Wars and Lego Harry Potter, as well as the classic Lego Technic range. (Don't forget we also have guides to the best Lego Star Wars sets and best Lego Technic sets.)
So let's look at how the biggest Lego sets available today compare, because there are huge variations in size and price, depending on what kind of thing you go for.
Biggest Lego sets: Lego Art World Map
This is the new biggest set on the planet in terms of number of pieces, featuring a colossal 11,695 elements. It's also damn big in terms of its final size, reaching 104cm (40.5 inches) wide and 65cm (25.5 inches) tall.
Those pieces are mostly tiny 1x1 dots, enabling it to build in the detail required for a world map generally, but part of why it comes with so many pieces is the flexibility – the basic building instructions tell you how to build a version that shows the depth of the ocean floor in different colours. But you don't need to follow that! Beyond the land sections, Lego encourages you to go wild with the oceans, creating cool patterns or any approach you'd like to take.
You build the map in individual sections, which obviously helps with making it more manageable. But it also means that the end result doesn't have to be the usual world map design with Europe at the centre – you can put different areas in the middle, depending on your preference. You can also add Lego-built pins to the map, showing where you've been.
This has the most pieces of any Lego set, and is certainly intricate, but it's not really the most complex build, which might be exactly what you'd prefer. It's also the big Lego set that offers the most creative freedom. Oh, and it's also much cheaper than most of the equivalent sets, thanks its tiny pieces and lack of big name to license.
The Lego Art World Map will be released on June 1st, and will cost £229.99/$249.99/AU$399.99.
Biggest Lego sets: Lego Creator Expert Colosseum
Before the Lego World Map arrived, this held the title of having the highest number of pieces in any Lego set. And you can see why – it's just a delicate recreation of a complicated and ancient structure.
Boasting over 9,000 pieces, it enables the Colosseum set to mirror how the iconic arena looks today, from its archways and corridors, to the hidden areas under the floor.
It's a real display piece, but at 59cm (23.5 inches) wide, 52cm (20.5 inches) deep and 27cm (10.5 inches) tall, it doesn't take up anywhere near the amount of space that most of the biggest Lego sets do for displaying it. This is very much 'Lego for adults', with the coffee-table book instruction manual offering all kinds of beautiful information and photography about the real place. It's about mid-tier when it comes to pricing for these huge sets, too.
Biggest Lego sets: Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon
Before the Colosseum and World Map came along, this was the set with the highest number of pieces, with a count of over 7,500. And it's also rather large when built, measuring in at 84cm (33 inches) long, 56cm (22 inches) wide and 21cm (8 inches) tall.
And just look at it! For Star Wars fans, there's no more beautiful sight. It's a recreation of the Falcon that's effectively at the same scale as the Lego minifigures it comes with, and so all the rooms inside the Falcon have been recreated too, and it's all just looks and feels right. It has the cockpit for four, the gunnery station, the holo-chess table and seating area, and it comes with figures and aliens to recreate either Empire or The Last Jedi.
For those who like to embrace the big kid side of Lego building, no other set beats this. However, no other set also beats it on price – this is the most expensive of all the options here.
Biggest Lego sets: Lego Harry Potter Hogwart's Castle
The brilliance of this model is that, like the Millennium Falcon, it's built to scale. But not for minifigures – for the rarer Lego microfigures, of which it comes with 27 iconic characters.
The look of the castle has been recreated from the movies with incredible accuracy, thanks partly to the over 6,000 bricks involved in building it! It's not just the outside look you get here, though – on the other side it's full of interior rooms with their looks from the movies, for you to pose those microfigures in. That includes the great hall, moving staircases, chambers and classrooms, and more.
Throw in Hagrid's Hut, the Whomping Willow and a load of other extras, and you have something that feels like pretty good value – it's one of the better-priced sets here. And the combination of impressive looks and film-mimicking locations makes it great fun for the whole family.
Biggest Lego sets: Lego Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer
At around 4,700 pieces, this might have fewer bricks than a lot of the other options here, but in terms it being the 'biggest' Lego set, it's unmatched. When built, this beast is a colossal 110cm (43 inches) long, 66cm (26 inches) wide and 44cm (17 inches) tall.
Unlike the Lego Millennium Falcon or Lego Hogwart's Castle, there's no playing around with this once it's built. There are no sections inside for minifigures. It's very much for display only, because it's quite delicate to move, and the structure is built around the stand. This should be considered ornamental.
But what an ornament! It's incredible to build, piecing the giant structure together, and then adding detail panel by panel. And one of its best tricks is that it comes with Leia's ship from the opening of Star Wars that's to scale with the Star Destroyer, driving home just how huge it is.
Of all these sets, it's easily the one that requires the most forethought for storage, and persuading kids/animals that they shouldn't touch it. It's also the joint most expensive, alongside the Millennium Falcon. But the end result is impressive beyond belief.
Biggest Lego sets: Lego Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator
This is the largest Lego Technic set currently available, built from over 4,100 pieces, and the end result is 65cm (25 inches) long, 27cm (10 inches) wide and 36cm (15 inches) tall.
This is also the complex and involved build here, thanks to the all the functions and intricacies of Lego Technic. It drives on its realistic tracks, it swivels on its base, and its huge scoop arm extends and digs. It's all powered by seven motors in total, controlled by two separate Bluetooth smart hubs, which you can then control using an app.
Between all the mechanisms required to make this happen, the huge solid structure that's needed to support it, and the many little details designed to make this an accurate recreation of a monster machine, it's probably the longest and most involved building in, so if what you love most is the process of putting together something remarkable, this could be your top pick. It's nicely mid-priced too, and regularly gets good discounts.