From Harry Potter to Star Wars: 10 Pop Culture LEGO Sets for Your Inner Geek

Amazon/LEGO
Amazon/LEGO

LEGO began as a humble Danish toy company in 1932, and it's since ballooned into a pop culture behemoth worth around $5.7 billion. While there are plenty of original LEGO sets out there that builders can't get enough of, the company is at its most successful when it brings blockbuster franchises like Doctor Who and Harry Potter into its world of bricks and blocks.

So whether you're looking to recreate a 4700-piece Star Wars ship to display in your living room, or revisit the famed Central Perk coffee house from Friends, here are our favorite LEGO sets inspired by iconic movies and TV shows.

1. Harry Potter Clock Tower; $90

If you’ve ever dreamed about attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, now you can (or at least, you can build this Goblet of Fire-inspired replica). Standing three levels tall and housing some iconic locales—like the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, Dumbledore’s office, and a portion of the Yule Ball—this 922-piece set allows you to build the Hogwarts home of your dreams. It even includes eight minifigures, including Harry, Ron, and Hermione, so you can recreate that Potter fan-fiction you've got in your head.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Star Wars: A New Hope Imperial Star Destroyer; Prices Vary

As part of LEGO’s “Ultimate Collectors” series, this massive Star Destroyer set is more like a work of art than a mere toy. In fact, it comes with its own display stand and informational plaque, so you can proudly showcase it in your home once building is complete. Accompanying the 4784-piece set is a buildable scale model of the Tantive IV and two Imperial minifigures who are ready to do galactic battle at any time. Measuring 43 inches across, this massive star cruiser is every bit as imposing as the Emperor envisioned.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Tim Burton’s Batmobile; $250

A replica of the stylish car used in 1989's Batman from director Tim Burton, this 3306-piece set also includes figures of the Joker, Vicki Vale, and the Dark Knight himself—and it’s completely up to you who’s in the driver’s seat. Although this Batmobile sadly cannot fit in LEGO's Batman '66 Batcave set, the screen-accurate car does include a slide-open minifigure cockpit and two hidden pop-up machine guns to give your ride some extra crime-fighting action.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Marvel Avengers: Iron Man Hall of Armor; $48

Tony Stark's Hall of Armor includes four of the Golden Avenger's favorite suits, an Igor suit with a mini cockpit, and two Outrider action figures. Also included is a rotating podium (great for showing off the chosen Iron Man outfit of the day); detachable modules, so you can customize your hall; and Tony’s command center, complete with the ever-important coffee mug that fuels his Iron Man shenanigans. With 524 pieces, this simple set is a great addition to the home of any Avengers fan.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Friends Central Perk Set; $60

So no one told you life was gonna be this way, but we bet if you told the Friends cast back in '94 that they would end up with a LEGO homage, they wouldn’t be too bummed. This adorable interior of Central Perk—designed to look like the studio set—includes figurines of Chandler, Ross, Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, and Gunther, along with that iconic orange couch. Laid out in the same way as Central Perk on the show, this LEGO set includes sweet accessories, like coffee mugs, flowers, and an adorable blackboard menu that will have you humming “Smelly Cat” the entire time you build.

Buy it: Amazon

6. James Bond Aston Martin DB5; $150

James Bond wouldn’t be James Bond without his iconic Aston Martin DB5 from 1964’s Goldfinger. This mini version of 007’s getaway car includes a retractable “bullet shield,” a working ejection seat, a radar detector, and a rotating license plate so you can always stay undercover. Despite all the damage Bond has done to his cars, you’ll be able to keep this 1295-piece model in top condition for years to come (so long as you don’t try to take it for a test drive yourself, that is).

Buy it: Amazon

7. Stranger Things The Upside Down; Prices Vary

Travel back to season one of Stranger Things with this incredible LEGO set. The top level features the interior and exterior of the Byers’s house, while the bottom level features—gulp—the chilling Upside Down. This set includes eight Stranger Things characters—Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Will, Eleven, Joyce, Hopper, and the demogorgon—along with Hopper’s police truck. Building this 2287-piece set might not be as rewarding as winning one of the party’s Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, but it’s close enough.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Jurassic Park entrance; $250

This 3120-piece set includes the famed front gate to Jurassic Park, along with a buildable and posable Tyrannosaurus rex. The set also comes with figurines of John Hammond, Ian Malcolm, Ellie Sattler, Alan Grant, Ray Arnold, and Dennis Nedry, along with a “cute” baby dinosaur (a.k.a. a foreboding reminder of what’s about to befall the park). The gate can even open and close, giving you the chance to rewrite the movie and save your favorite characters from being dinosaur chow.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Steamboat Willie; Prices Vary

Relive your childhood (or your great-grandparents’ childhood) with this replica of the S.S. Willie, the iconic steamship that introduced the world to Mickey Mouse in 1928's Steamboat Willie. This 751-piece steamship is fitted with grayscale bricks to mimic the original black and white film, and it comes with figurines of the original Mickey and Minnie Mouse, along with their pet parrot. With steampipes that move up and down (just like in the short) and paddle wheels that turn when the boat is pushed, building this LEGO model will make you feel more like a sea captain than an engineer.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Star Wars Boba Fett Helmet; $60

If you’re someone who loves to build smaller—but no less satisfying—models, this Boba Fett helmet is the perfect project for you. Part of LEGO's Star Wars build-and-display collection (which also includes this Stormtrooper helmet), this piece won't be a challenge to get through, but the real reward lies in the details. With a movable helmet antenna and screen-accurate design, it's worthy of a place on any mantle or bookshelf. If supplies run low on the Fett head, you can always opt for a full-body Boba set ($76) or a model of his Slave I ship ($120).

Buy it: Amazon

Bonus: The Office Dunder Mifflin Set; $40

This mini model of The Office's Dunder Mifflin set may not be an official LEGO product, but we couldn’t help but include it on this list. What really makes it are the small details, like Pam’s watercolor paintings, the company logo on the computer screensavers, and (of course) the knowing smirk on Jim's face. It's authentic enough to transport you from your own office to the gloriously gray walls of Scranton's famed paper supplier once that final piece is in place. At just 369 pieces, it's not a behemoth of a set like the always-sold-out Millennium Falcon—it's a casual set that makes for a delightfully cubic piece of home decor.

Buy it: Amazon

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14 Retro Gifts for Millennials

Ravi Palwe, Unsplash
Ravi Palwe, Unsplash

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, which means the pop culture they grew up with is officially retro. No matter what generation you belong to, consider these gifts when shopping for the Millennials in your life this holiday season.

1. Reptar Funko Pop!; $29

Amazon

This vinyl Reptar figurine from Funko is as cool as anything you’d find in the rugrats’ toy box. The monster dinosaur has been redesigned in classic Pop! style, making it a perfect desk or shelf accessory for the grown-up Nickelodeon fan. It also glows in the dark, which should appeal to anyone’s inner child.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Dragon Ball Z Slippers; $20

Hot Topic

You don’t need to change out of your pajamas to feel like a Super Saiyan. These slippers are emblazoned with the same kanji Goku wears on his gi in Dragon Ball Z: one for training under King Kai and one for training with Master Roshi. And with a soft sherpa lining, the footwear feels as good as it looks.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. The Pokémon Cookbook; $15

Hop Topic

What do you eat after a long day of training and catching Pokémon? Any dish in The Pokémon Cookbook is a great option. This book features more than 35 recipes inspired by creatures from the Pokémon franchise, including Poké Ball sushi rolls and mashed Meowth potatoes.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. Lisa Frank Activity Book; $5

Urban Outfitters

Millennials will never be too old for Lisa Frank, especially when the artist’s playful designs come in a relaxing activity book. Watercolor brings the rainbow characters in this collection to life. Just gather some painting supplies and put on a podcast for a relaxing, nostalgia-fueled afternoon.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

5. Shoebox Tape Recorder with USB; $28

Amazon

The days of recording mix tapes don’t have to be over. This device looks and functions just like tape recorders from the pre-smartphone era. And with a USB port as well as a line-in jack and built-in mic, users can easily import their digital music collection onto retro cassette tapes.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Days of the Week Scrunchie Set; $12

Urban Outfitters

Millennials can be upset that a trend from their youth is old enough to be cool again, or they can embrace it. This scrunchie set is for anyone happy to see the return of the hair accessory. The soft knit ponytail holders come in a set of five—one for each day of the school (or work) week.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

7. D&D Graphic T-shirt; $38-$48

80s Tees

The perfect gift for the Dungeon Master in your life, this graphic tee is modeled after the cover of the classic Dungeons & Dragons rule book. It’s available in sizes small through 3XL.

Buy it: 80s Tees

8. Chuck E. Cheese T-shirt; $36-$58

80s Tees

Few Millennials survived childhood without experiencing at least one birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. This retro T-shirt sports the brand’s original name: Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre. It may be the next-best gift for a Chuck E. Cheese fan behind a decommissioned animatronic.

Buy it: 80s Tees

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas Picnic Blanket Bag; $40

Shop Disney

Fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will recognize the iconic scene on the front of this messenger bag. Unfold it and the bag becomes a blanket fit for a moonlit picnic among the pumpkins. The bottom side is waterproof and the top layer is made of soft fleece.

Buy it: Shop Disney

10. Toy Story Alien Socks; $15

Shop Disney

You don’t need to be skilled at the claw machine to take home a pair of these socks. Decorated with the aliens from Toy Story, they’re made from soft-knit fabric and are big enough to fit adult feet.

Buy it: Shop Disney

11. Goosebumps Board Game; $24

Amazon

Fans that read every book in R.L. Stine’s series growing up can now play the Goosebumps board game. In this game, based on the Goosebumps movie, players take on the role of their favorite monster from the series and race to the typewriter at the end of the trail of manuscripts.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Tamagotchi Mini; $19

Amazon

If you know someone who killed their Tamagotchi in the '90s, give them another chance to show off their digital pet-care skills. This Tamagotchi is a smaller, simplified version of the original game. It doubles as a keychain, so owners have no excuse to forget to feed their pet.

Buy it: Amazon

13. SNES Classic; $275

Amazon

The SNES Classic is much easier to find now than when it first came out, and it's still just as entertaining for retro video game fans. This mini console comes preloaded with 21 Nintendo games, including Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Planters Cheez Balls; $24

Amazon

Planters revived its Cheez Balls in 2018 after pulling them from shelves nearly a decade earlier. To Millennials unaware of that fact, this gift could be their dream come true. The throwback snack even comes in the classic canister fans remember.

Buy it: Amazon

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10 Great Gifts for Teens

Fjallraven/Polaroid
Fjallraven/Polaroid

If it’s been a few years since you were a teenager, you might be feeling at a loss when it comes to finding the perfect gift for the teen in your life. But you don’t have to worry—we’ve culled the internet to figure out what’s cool these days, and we found 10 items to suit any teen (and any price point).

1. Fjällräven Kånken Mini Classic Backpack for Everyday; $70

Fjällräven/Amazon

Fjällräven’s Kånken backpack was originally introduced in 1978 as an affordable and comfortable bag for Swedish schoolchildren, but it recently took off as a trend among American high schoolers and college students. With 43 different color options, chances are you’ll be able to find the perfect trendy backpack for the teen in your life.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Hydro Flask Standard-Mouth Water Bottle; $30–$35

Hydro Flask/Amazon

Hydro Flasks aren’t only trendy, they’re sturdy and environmentally friendly. Plus, they keep hot drinks warm and icy drinks cool for an absurdly long amount of time. The standard-mouth water bottle is currently available on Amazon in 17 different colors, but the brand also offers tumbler cups and coffee mugs depending on your niece/nephew/cousin/friend/child’s preference.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Polaroid Originals OneStep+ Bluetooth-Connected Instant Film Camera; $140

Polaroid Originals/Amazon

Teens can kick it back old school with this Polaroid camera that hides some surprisingly contemporary features. Using a special app, users can fine-tune their camera settings to suit their personal tastes. Plus, this camera makes it possible to capture two scenes in a single frame, so it's that much easier to create uniquely artsy Polaroid pics.

Buy it: Amazon

4. 4th-Generation Echo Dot with Clock; $60

Amazon

Tech-wise, the fourth-generation Echo Dot is almost identical to its third-generation predecessor. But the updated spherical design seems poised to make the Echo Dot a worthy contender for traditional alarm clocks—the speaker face shows the time and it even includes a tap-to-snooze function for drowsy sleepers.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Bubble Tea Kit; $38

Uncommon Goods

Part of the reason bubble tea is so popular is that it’s customizable—and what could be more customizable than making it yourself? This kit, made by an Atlanta-based couple, comes with two reusable straws and enough supplies to make up to eight servings.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

6. Mixtape Card Game; $20

Uncommon Goods

This party game challenges players to find the perfect songs to suit specific prompts. Some cards might prompt players to use Spotify or Youtube to search for the songs with the best guitar solos, while other cards call for participants to play their “favorite slow dance love jam from junior high.” This game is sure to be a hit at any high school sleepover or house party—or, in true 2020 style, at any digital hangout or Zoom meeting.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

7. Giant Flour Tortilla Throw Blanket; $18-$35

Mermaker/Amazon

This goofy double-sided blanket turns any human into a giant-size burrito, and it comes in four different sizes to suit any height. One reviewer even went so far as to say that “once you wrap yourself in it, you will be convinced that you are a burrito.”

Buy it: Amazon

8. The Cup of Destiny; $22

Shelter Harbor Press/Amazon

Here’s a prediction: Your hunt for the perfect gift is almost over. This kit is ideal for the teenager who is fascinated by the supernatural and loves exploring new ideas. Included, you’ll find a 96-page illustrated instruction book along with a cup and a saucer marked with patterns and symbols.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Wreck This Journal: Now in Color; $9

Penguin Books/Amazon

This journal is not intended to be pretty. It’s made for messiness and exploration and a little bit of chaos. Artistic-minded teens will love filling out pages that prompt them to catalog various stains or poke holes through the paper. Reviewers say it’s not only a source of creative inspiration, though—it’s also a stress reliever. And considering that the middle-school and high-school years aren’t exactly known for being relaxing, this journal could be a welcome reprieve from the daily pressure of managing homework and a social life.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Therapy Dough; $15

Uncommon Goods

Some teens focus better and relax more easily when they have something to fidget with. If the teen in your life fits that description, this therapy dough may be the perfect gift for them. Each 4.5-ounce container is infused with essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, orange, or pine, making relaxation smell delicious (and all natural!).

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

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This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.