13 of the Toughest LEGO Sets to Build

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.

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar


Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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

6 Fascinating Facts About Vincent Price

There’s more to Vincent Price than just his iconic horror movie roles.
There’s more to Vincent Price than just his iconic horror movie roles.
Photoshot/Getty Images

It’s basically impossible to talk about classic horror movies without mentioning at least one film starring Vincent Price. With his menacing voice, laugh, and presence, Price easily became a staple in Hollywood horror cinema. The actor may be known for House of Wax (1953), The Last Man on Earth (1964), and The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), but he has more than 200 acting credits across film, television, and theater.

Although his contributions to the horror genre are truly unparalleled, few people know that there is much more to him beyond these performances. He once wrote that he is passionate about three things: work, art, and food. Here are six fascinating facts you may not know about Vincent Price.

1. Vincent Price initially studied for a master’s degree in Fine Arts.

Price graduated from Yale University with a degree in English and a minor in Art History. He taught at his alma mater for a year before entering the Courtauld Institute of Art of the University of London. Although he fully intended to study for a master’s degree in Fine Arts, he was drawn to theater and decided to become an actor instead.

2. A museum in East Los Angeles is named after Vincent Price.

In addition to being an actor, Price was also a well-respected art collector and consultant. In 1957, he and his then-wife Mary Grant donated 90 pieces of art to the East Los Angeles College (ELAC) because they wanted students to have “first-hand experiences with art.” The institution named the art gallery, now the Vincent Price Art Museum, in their honor. Price had recognized art’s significance in education ever since he was a student himself. As he once said, "A picture was worth a thousand words, even if I had to read 10 million words to get to see more pictures.”

3. Vincent Price was a major foodie.

Vincent Price was as talented in the kitchen as he was on the screen.Frank Barratt/Stringer/Getty Images

Price was born into a family of food businessmen, so it's perhaps no surprise that he embarked upon his own culinary adventures. He went on to earn a reputation as a gourmet cook, cementing his culinary legacy by authoring several cookbooks and hosting his own cooking television show, Cooking Price-Wise.

4. Tim Burton’s Vincent Price documentary remains incomplete and unreleased to this day.

Price was Tim Burton’s good friend, frequent collaborator, and childhood idol. During the filming of Edward Scissorhands (1990), Burton approached Price to discuss the idea of an independent documentary about the actor’s life. They shot some interviews at the ELAC, and the project was tentatively titled Conversations with Vincent.

After Price’s death, Burton wanted to complete the documentary, which he then renamed A Visit with Vincent. However, it never happened. Some say the film wasn’t released because it became too personal for Burton, while others believe studios refused to grant any budget for the project.

5. Vincent Price's daughter says he was bisexual.

“I am as close to certain as I can be that my dad had physically intimate relationships with men,” said his daughter Victoria Price in an exclusive interview with #Boom Magazine. He was also supportive of her when she came out to him. She recalled that he said, “You know, I know just how you feel because I have had these deep, loving relationships with men in my life and all my wives were jealous.”

6. Vincent Price’s voice is featured on a Disneyland attraction.

With a voice as iconic and distinctive as Price had, it’s no wonder Disneyland Paris hired him to record narration for their dark ride attraction, Phantom Manor. However, the audio was shortly replaced by a French narration, so only Price’s evil laugh remained. After a major renovation in 2019, Walt Disney Imagineering brought back his recordings and included previously unused material in the refurbished attraction.