by Rob Leane

LEGO bricks are a source of endless fun, but they can also present an immense challenge. While sometimes it might be enough to click a few random bricks together and call it a work of modern art, on other occasions you have to stick to the instructions. You’d think this would be easier, but it really isn’t. Especially not when there are thousands of pieces involved, any of which could get lost under the sofa or eaten by a poorly-supervised child.

From this tricky camp, here are 13 of the toughest LEGO sets ever designed… 

1. Eiffel Tower (3428 pieces)

Standing at over four foot tall when fully built, this LEGO version of Paris’ iconic pointy landmark consists of over 3000 pieces. Almost every single one of them is the same colour, making it even trickier to construct. This one’s a true test for a master builder, as well as being less kind on your wallet than a real-life flight to France (the cheapest on Ebay at the moment is over $1000).

2. Ghostbusters Firehouse (4634 pieces)

This impressively intricate Ghostbusters HQ design is more difficult than it looks on first glance. Not only do you have to build the exterior of the Fire House, but it also swings open on a hinge to show multiple rooms within. It’s worth the challenge for hard-core fans, though, as it includes a whopping 9 minifigures covering the entire band of original ‘busters and a few ghoulish nasties. 

 3. Ultimate Collector’s Edition Millennium Falcon (7541 pieces)

With over 5000 pieces, most of which are grey and tiny, LEGO sets don’t come much more difficult than this Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon. Since this product has been available to Star Wars and LEGO fans since 2008, you’d now need over $1,000 to buy a new one on Amazon. But still, you could run around the room with it and pretend you’re Han Solo... Can you really put a cost on that much glee?

 4. Tower Bridge (4287 pieces)

London’s iconic suspension bridge, in LEGO form, is one of the toughest builds available. Not only are there loads of incredibly similar beige bricks to differentiate, but there’s also multiple layers and hanging bits to deal with. But still, if you fancy a challenge, this is one of the cheaper options on this list (it's $390 on Amazon at the moment).

5. Super Star Destroyer (3152 pieces)

Another one for the Star Wars fans, this Imperial design is almost evil in its intricacy. The 3152 pieces are mostly grey and tiny, with the sharp edges and pointed front meaning that there aren’t too many interchangeable parts. It’d look pretty cool on your shelf, though, wouldn't it? After the hours of painstaking work are completed, that is.  

6. Marvel S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier (2996 pieces)

This LEGO rendering of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s iconic Helicarrier - made famous by Joss Whedon’s The Avengers movie - is a hefty challenge for any hardened fan of Marvel Comics' superheroes. It consists of two runways, moving pieces, mini-Quinjets and tiny forklift trucks, as well as boasting five minifigures and twelve even smaller ‘micro-minifigures.’ Prepare to get all those miniscule black, white and grey parts mixed up, if you choose to accept the challenge. 

7. Motorized AT-AT (1137 pieces)

As if assembling over a thousand bricks isn’t a big enough task, this Star Wars AT-AT design throws another challenge into the mix – motorisation. Yes, this iconic Imperial battle machine - made famous by The Empire Strikes Back’s Hoth scenes - really walks, and can even move its head. As far as we know, it can’t fire lasers, but it’d look impressive patrolling your living room nonetheless.  

8. Sydney Opera House (2989 pieces)

Why spend hundreds of pounds and manifold hours flying to Australia when you could build one if its most iconic landmarks at home instead? This Sydney Opera House set is devilishly detailed at almost 3000 pieces, with those recognisable roof ‘shells’ looking like the most fiddly areas. LEGO minifigures of Pavarotti and other iconic opera singers are not included.

 9. Sandcrawler (3296 pieces)

3296 pieces make up this Star Wars Sandcrawler set, which allows you to recreate the memorable vessel driven by the droid-selling scavengers the Jawas. If you really want one of these for your kitchen table, though, you’d better be prepared for the potentially-frustrating task of learning to tell all the little brown bricks apart. It comes will loads of droids, too. And Uncle Owen. And hatches that really open!

10. Statue Of Liberty (2889 pieces)

You’d be hard pressed to find one of these Statue of Liberty sets on sale at its RRP of $280 anymore. The product has been out for 16 years now, and second hand copies are now going for $700-$2,800 on Ebay. With over 2,800 pieces – most of which are green and very mini – it’s a challenge for even the most skilled LEGO builders. It was the biggest set ever at the time of its release in the year 2000.

11. Death Star(4016 pieces)

LEGO has produced a few Death Star sets over the years, but none are more difficult than this model of the Empire's second technological terror, which was still under construction when it was blown up at the end of Return Of The Jedi. As a result, Death Star LEGO remake is intended to look unfinished, making it even harder than usual to work out how the thousands of bricks fit together.

 12. Grand Carousel (3263 pieces)

For a few years, this was the largest LEGO set on the market. As well as weighing in at a hefty 3263 pieces, it also has power functions that allow it to rotate (clockwise or anticlockwise) and play music. Unless you’re a mega-genius, this set would surely take you weeks to construct. It’s intended for people aged 16 and up, and would set you back $250 at RRP.

13. Taj Majal (5922 pieces)

This epic Taj Mahal recreation is currently the biggest LEGO set ever produced, clocking in at a whopping 5922 pieces. The Jewel of India’s beautiful symmetry means that if you put one brick out of place you’ll be utterly undone, making this the toughest of all the LEGO building projects. Its RRP was $280, but the going rate on Amazon is a jaw-dropping $1299 at the time of writing. If you manage to get your hands on one of these, don’t expect to leave the house for quite some time (because you'll be broke and busy).

Looking for something a bit easier? You can always head over to LEGO for the set that fits your skill level.

Images: AmazonAmazonAmazonAmazonLEGO WikiLEGO ShopAmazonAmazonAmazonLEGO WikiLEGO WikiLEGO websiteLEGO Wiki

This post originally appeared on our UK site.