Which were the five most popular LEGO® sets of 2018? It’s no surprise that two Harry Potter sets made an appearance, given the public’s insatiable appetite for all things wizardly.
- Ninjago City Docks
Although The Lego Ninjago Movie was poorly received, the Ninjago City set won rave reviews for its wealth of fantastic detail and stunning techniques. Ninjago City Docks continues the trend and features 3,553 pieces and 13 minifigures.
Ingenious details include curved stairs; a turkey roasting on a spit; a nifty little crane for moving cargo; an arcade with gaming machines and a candy dispenser; and a soda machine which dispenses cans when money is inserted. The set is filled with Easter eggs and much of the fun of building the set is discovering them as you progress.
The captain’s office is filled with charts and navigation equipment, and above it lies the office of the Ninjagon, the city’s foremost newspaper. As with Ninjago City, no two roofs are the same, and the variation gives the City Docks a genuine traditional feel. The use of alternative materials is masterly e.g. the use of shovels, layered so that the blades form roof tiles.
Once the nine sections are assembled, the structures appear a jumble of colours and textures, perfectly suited to the haphazard aesthetic of cyberpunk Ninjago, a city with attitude and a distinct style. The higgledy-piggledy layout is one of the chief attractions and every nook and cranny is filled with charming details such as the extra signage for the advertising billboard.
Ninjago City Docks is designed to be connected to Ninjago City, and the two complement each other beautifully.
- Collectible Minifigures Series 18
Introduced in 2010, the adorable little collectible figures are loved all over the world and have consistently proved to be one of the most popular LEGO® products. The latest series features 17 new characters and celebrates the 40th anniversary of the minifigure with festive packaging and logo. LEGO® was quick to realise the potential for minifigures to be sales drivers, not merely add-ons to the brick product.
Of course, there have been more than 18 series because special themes such as The Simpsons and Team GB have been produced outside the numbering system. Series 18 figures come in packs of 60 with 1, 2 or 3 copies of each character.
Originally limbless, the policeman figurine was redesigned in 1978 to include legs, arms and hands, plus that engaging smile. The same policeman now adorns the logo for Series 18. As befits a celebration, all 17 characters wear fancy dress, e.g. Party Clown, Cowboy Costume Guy, Spider Suit Guy and Flowerpot Girl.
- Technic Rough Terrain Crane
A monster consisting of 4,057 pieces, it’s the largest Technic set out and will no doubt wow teenagers and dads alike. The vehicle is a compact 4-wheel mobile crane with a telescopic boom which would be static in one location to enable long and short reaches. Equipped with two pairs of outriggers and a 4-4-4 chassis with front and rear axles that provide steering, the model measures around 48cm in length.
Although the photo on the front of the box doesn’t show the crane in its entirety, the inside flap shows the crane with its boom fully extended, as well as all the other functions. The set contains 26 bags divided into 13 steps: 4 rims and 4 tyres, 3 sets of instructions, a battery box and a Power Functions L-motor. A huge sticker sheet provides 46 numbered sets and 72 stickers in total.
- Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle
One of the most remarkable features of this extravaganza released in 2018 is its sheer size. Numbering over 6,000 pieces, it is the set with the second-highest part count ever, exceeded only by the Millennium Falcon at 7,541 pieces, released in 2017. This monumental construction is part of the new collection of LEGO® Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts sets, including the micro-scale Hogwarts Great Hall.
The first thirteen bags and the instructions are contained in one smaller box with the remaining 37 bags loose in the outer box. The scale of the build becomes apparent once all the bags are laid out prior to building. Every bag is numbered consecutively which makes for a smooth and logical build. The set includes four standard instruction booklets in their own packaging along with four sticker sheets. Each booklet includes detailed shots of the key locations to be built, and the set would ideally suit an older child with the patience and concentration to carry out detailed work on a grand scale.
- Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Collectible Minifigures
LEGO® couldn’t have chosen a theme more likely to inspire fans’ devotion than the new minifigure line, Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. The latest theme, based on the hugely popular books and films about magicians and muggles, features a full 22 figures to collect, the largest number of collectible minifigures to date.
Naturally, the old familiars, Harry, Ron and Hermione are included as well as lesser-known characters such as Cho Chong and Queenie Goldstein, who come solo or in two varied items of clothing in a standard box of 60. There is a ‘chase’ mini-figure to hunt down too, a rare character who in this series is the devious Percival Graves, Director of Magical Security in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. These pint-sized figurines would delight a young child who loves role-play.
These five sets show the sheer diversity of LEGO® and the company’s ability to come up with fresh innovative ideas time and again. No wonder it’s one of the top favourite toys worldwide!
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