Not all LEGO sets are made for younger builders. 18+ sets are a great opportunity for adults to get stuck into something that is a little more complicated to build, or that has a more age-appropriate design. We can still indulge in our passions, with plenty of fandom-themed sets around Marvel, Star Wars and Disney.
But, there are also advanced Architecture and Art sets that might be a little boring for kids. The following sets are all for adult builders and offer projects that are fun and challenging at the same time. You can take you time perfecting replicas of buildings, cars, helmets and paintings with detailed sets, impressive color choices and fun details. Once finished, these sets look great on display, either as models on display stands on in plates hung on the wall. If you find a sub-theme that you like, you could end up with an interesting adult collection.
1. Ghostbusters ECTO-1 Creator Expert Lego Set 10274
The new Ghostbusters ECTO-1 Creator Expert Lego Set 10274 is based on the design in the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife movie. There are lots of little nods to the original vehicle here, as well as new features that relate to the new story. The whole build is impressive in its level of detail, which is why this is an 18+ model rather than something for younger players.
There is a lot to get right here, with interior and exterior elements to figure out, so it is no surprise that there are over 2000 pieces here.
LEGO do state that this Creator Expert set is not a toy, but rather a collector's piece for adults. The 18-inch length and classic design support this as it will become the coolest display piece in any collection. But, “big kids” that are fans of the franchise will also appreciate playing with the moving parts, such as the rotating gunner seat, tracking systems and traps.
2. 1989 Batwing 76161 Lego Set
18+ Comic-book themed LEGO sets are a brilliant choice for older collectors that are more about the designs and nostalgia than gameplay. That is why it is such a good idea for LEGO to turn to classic movies like Batman 1989. This film still holds up with its moody theme and uncomplicated plot. It brought the comics to the big screen with great characters and impressive machines like the original Batwing.
Now, adults can have the fun of building this stylish vehicle brick by brick. The design captures the iconic shape perfectly, with the cowl design and flaps, and the scale is big enough to allow for a detailed interior. Builders can put their Batman minifigure in that cockpit too – or either of the two villain figures. Once complete, the 1989 Batwing 76161 Lego Set either sits on its display stand or on a new wall-mount to show it off properly.
3. The Haunted House Creator Lego Set 10273
When choosing a new adult LEGO set for your creation, why not go for something a little spookier. The Haunted House Creator Lego Set 10273 is a perfect choice because the creepy elements involved. The finished building looks like something from the set of a classic film - both inside and out. The architecture is enough to lure in the diverse group of minifigure visitors. The ghosts, effects and clever interior details mean they won't be leaving for a while.
This set earns its 18+ rating because there are more than 3000 pieces and some fun Powered Up compatible elements. The mechanized parts include the switch for the elevator shaft and the lights. There is plenty of fine detail in each room, on both storeys of the house, including a grand organ, treasures and a cursed painting. Grown-ups will also appreciate classic elements that remind them of their childhood, such as the skeletons and cobwebs.
4. Crocodile Locomotive Creator Expert 10277 Lego Set
The Crocodile Locomotive Creator Expert 10277 Lego Set is a true train set for adults. While kids are more content making cuter builds with Christmas or Disney trains, this one is for the collectors with a passion for the railways. This 18+ set has 1271 pieces to help builders create a scale model of the Crocodile Locomotive. There is fantastic attention to detail here in the different features to create an interesting train. At 20.5 inches long, complete with its piece of track as a display stand, it will look great on a desk or in any grown-up collection.
But, there is also a sense of fun here with the additional LEGO Powered Up components. Those that by these separately can bring the train to life, offering even more to show off to friends, family and clients. There is also a little information plate about the train and two little minifigures to finish the set off nicely.
5. IDEAS 123 Seasame Street Lego Set 21324
Sesame Street isn’t the sort of theme that you would expect to find in an 18+ set. However, that is the rating on the brand-new IDEAS 123 Seasame Street Lego Set 21324. That is because this build is for collectors that want to relive their childhood and enjoy a bit of nostalgia.
This set lets you build 123 Sesame Street and Hooper’s Store in great detail with some fun design elements and bold colours throughout. The interiors are well furnished to appeal to all the main residents of the street. Bert and Ernie have their apartment, with bathtub, and there is also space underneath for Elmo. Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch also have a place to call home here. With so much to add to this iconic street and over 100 pieces, this is the coolest way to celebrate the show and a trip down memory lane.
6. IDEAS Grand Piano Lego Set 21323
The new IDEAS Grand Piano Lego Set 21323 is an interesting option for an 18+ collection. You get the chance to build a precise replica of a grand piano with all the right keys and features. There is also a little adjustable stool that comes with it. The selling point of this beautiful instrument, however, is the fact that you can actually play this like a real piano. The designers have been careful to ensure that each key has its own hammer.
Skilled builders can carefully put it all together so that it works like the real thing. When you add the Powered Up components and the app, it all comes to life. You can play around with the Auto-play and Self-play modes so the piano can play different songs. It is a neat trick that will impress visitors and means that this difficult set is more than just a display model.text
7. The ELF Club House LEGO Set 10275
You might not expect a Christmas-themed LEGO set with elves and other fun characters to have an 18+ rating. Normally, these adult ratings are for highly complex builds and less-childish themes. However, the ELF Club House LEGO set 10275 is a little more difficult than some other holiday builds because of the complexity of the structure, the small details inside and out, and the fact that this is an over 1000 piece LEGO set.
Parents can delegate tasks and advise kids on this family project, but some aspects do require patience. For example, there is a “working” waffle maker in the chimney of the clubhouse, an alarm system to set-up above the stackable bunk-beds, and an exterior balcony that needs to be in just the right place. There are also lots of additional buildable elements like the Christmas tree, computer, present-wrapping room, and rocket-powered sleigh. It is a difficult set, but well worth the time and effort.
8. The Super Mario Brothers Nintendo Entertainment System 71374
One thing that comes through with a lot of these LEGO 18+ sets is the idea of nostalgia. The themes and designs aren’t meant to appeal to kids, partly because they aren’t old enough to appreciate them. That is what makes the Super Mario Brothers Nintendo Entertainment System 71374 set with the buildable console and TV so appealing.
It transports builders straight back to the 1980s. The console is authentic down to the slot for the game and the fonts. The controller is just the same thanks to the familiar colours and buttons. Builders also get to create the TV to play it on, with its old-fashioned buttons and cabinet design. The star feature, however, is the moving scene within the TV of the first level of the game. Just turn the handle and watch it unfold. This 2646-piece set is advanced, unique and a must for all fans of retro gaming.
9. Architecture The White House LEGO Set 21054
Architecture sets are always a great idea for anyone that wants to build something a little more grown-up. This 18+ The White House LEGO Architecture set is a nice representation of the White house for all those interested in politics or American history. It doesn’t matter who you envisage sitting in the oval office.
Any minifigure president will love this scale building and cute garden. This more than 1000 piece set divides up into three sections with the east and west wing. The finished model is 47cm wide, so a nice length for a display piece in a collect. The features in this adult set are quite simplistic for a more realistic take on the rose garden, offices and official residence. There are still plenty of fine details in the brickwork for authenticity and to ensure that this is one of the hardest architecture LEGO sets.
10. Star Wars Mos Eisley Cantina Lego Set 75290
Star Wars sets in the 18+ range typically give players the chance to create something a little more complex or grown-up. You get stylish pieces of décor and collector's items that allow for challenging 3D builds. The Star Wars Mos Eisley Cantina Lego Set 75290 is different because it is still a playset with characters, vehicles, and lots of other fun elements.
The higher rating comes from the fact that there is so much to build both inside and out. The exterior is a complex structure on its own and takes players straight back to Tatooine. The interior is where the fun and violence happens. Unfold the set, build the bar and booths, and choose between the 21 characters to stage epic scenes. The design is sympathetic to the real set, but also stylish with the sandstone brick. It will look great in any LEGO Star Wars collection.
11. Lamborghini Sian FKP 37 LEGO Set 42115
Car enthusiasts will love this new 18 plus adults model of the LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sian FKP 37. This model has a lot of great features that you would expect, such as the classic shape and the scissor doors. There are also lots of interesting features all through the interior and exterior to keep builders interested.
There is a lot of fine detail in the moving parts and striking green paintwork. Buyers that add in the Technic features can get the motor running, provided they have put everything in the right place. Another interesting thing about this adult set is that while it may be more challenging than other models, there is still a fun side. The car comes with a little overnight holdall bag. The purpose is unclear – that’s between you and your minifigure driver on the mission. The result is a stunning build to play with or just admire on display.
11. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Buildable Character LEGO Set 43179
These next buildable models are something a little different. Disney sets are always going to be appealing to collectors, but few are driven towards adults. This set of buildable Mickey and Minnie figures is different because of the classic design. You get too large models of both mice that are true to form, right down to the costumes.
The limbs are also posable for a more animated look. This means that you can have a little more fun setting up the figures in a fun scene. The pair comes with additional features that suggest they are on a date. Mickey has his soapbox guitar and Minnie has a bunch of flowers, so you can pose them appropriately to dance and play. There is also an old-fashioned camera ready to capture the moment and a scrapbook for the memories. This is a very sweet 18+ model that adult Disney fans should love.
12. Marvel Iron Man Helmet LEGO Set 76165
There are a few different buildable helmets in the 18 plus LEGO series. This is a great way to add something geeky to a collection that is also a little more grown-up. The combination of the LEGO Marvel Iron Man Helmet and its display stand makes it look like something that would be on display in a museum in the Marvel universal. It is a fitting tribute to the character with its realistic color scheme and shape.
The 3D design of this model means that it is one of the most difficult adult Marvel sets. Build up the red and gold elements careful to create this iconic design. There are also stickers that you can add for the eyes with a glowing effect. This adds a little more life to the piece and more interest for those admiring the collection. There may only by 480 bricks but it all adds up to an impressed 19cm high replica.
13. Star Wars TIE Fighter Pilot™ Helmet Lego Set 75274
LEGO helmet builds are a big part of the 18+ range because they are a more grown-up way to show love for a fandom. In the case of this Star Wars TIE Fighter Pilot™ Helmet Lego Set 75274, this is also one of the more difficult ways. First of all, that is a lot of black bricks to sort through and fit in just the right place to create an authentic look. Secondly, there are 724 of those bricks to get through. This complex build does include some nice shapes and features to create the tubing that comes out the front of the pilot’s helmet.
The original helmet was always perfect for the Imperial force and this replica definitely does it justice. When the helmet is complete, you can set it up on its little display stand. This gives the set a little more majesty to show off the size and contours. It also makes it a lot easier to put out on a desk to scare any clients that come into your office.
14. Star Wars Boba Fett™ Helmet Lego Set 7527
The next option in these buildable helmets comes from the Star Wars universe. The Boba Fett helmet is an iconic design and the LEGO designers have done a great job of replicating it in this large-scale replica. As with the Iron Man helmet, there aren’t that many pieces at just 625. However, it does take some skill to work three-dimensionally with this advanced 18+ model to get everything in the right place.
The colors are attractive with the dark red and mint green and you get all the features you would expect to replicate the character. Once finished, it stands at 21cm high. It is just big enough to provide a challenge and become a great collector's piece in any Star Wars collection. The display stand with the neatly printed nameplate elevates the helmet and gives it that final touch of class.
15. Star Wars Stormtrooper™ Helmet LEGO Set 75276
If Boba Fett isn’t one of your preferred characters from the Star Wars universe, perhaps you would prefer the chance to build a Stormtrooper helmet instead. The concept here is the same with the attractive display stand giving you a secure place to show up this large 3D replica. The design of the helmet is actually quite stylish when you see it in brick form like this.
The combination of black, white and grey bricks creates a nice addition to your room’s décor while also presenting a complex challenge. There are 647 pieces in this 18 Plus set, so around the same amount as you get in the Boba Fett set. This is enough to keep keen fans busy for a while but not too many that it becomes an impossible task. The 18cm height and style mean that this will go nicely with the other buildable Star Wars helmets in the series.
16. ART Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe LEGO Set 31197
LEGO art builds are an interesting sub-theme in the 18+ range. They allow builders to unleash their creative side a little bit and create what is essentially the equivalent of a LEGO paint-by-numbers. You get the bricks, the instructions and all the time you need to recreate a masterpiece. This one has nine plates and four options on how to build. That is because it is the classic Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe print.
This is perfect for LEGO with the ideas within pop art of mass production. Choose the theme you want, make the portrait, hang it up, then move them around or rework them at a later date. The inclusion of the soundtrack and audio stories means that this is definitely one for the adults that appreciate the complex nature of his work. It is sure to be a great gift for many art lovers.
17. ART The Beatles LEGO Set 31198
This next option is another example of what you can get when you choose an 18 plus ART LEGO set. Again, there is a clever use of bricks and color for an interesting build. This one is actually four painting in one set because there are four portraits, one for each member of the Beatles. The designers have been careful to pick out colors in the brickwork to match skin tones and hair
. There is also careful consideration for the shadows on the images to help create the idea of real faces. Each piece is distinctly recognizable and the set will make great wall art when complete. This LEGO ART The Beatles set will be a great choice for any fan of the band that want something a little bit different for their man cave or music room. This licensed build has just under 2933 pieces for those detail portraits and you can display them any way you choose.
18. ART Marvel Studios Iron Man LEGO Set 31199
This next option in the 18+ ART LEGO series takes us back to Marvel and Iron Man. We have a similar theme with the portrait of the character in his iconic red and gold helmet. However, this time it is a flat image and a more grown-up depiction of the character. This would actually go really nicely with the buildable helmet because they share the same look and colors. They would complement each other in a Marvel-themed room.
The image is made from lots of tiny circular bricks to create the pixelated effect. The tones and shaping are impressive. There are also more than 3000 pieces here so you can choose the final image from a selection of expressions. You can choose from the Mark III, Mark LXXXV and HulkBuster Mark I. This lets you change the image after a while to keep the décor fresh.text
20. ART Star Wars The Sith LEGO Set 31200
This last model in these challenging adult 18 plus sets is very similar to the one above. Again, this is an ART LEGO set where you can mix up the little circular bricks to create one of three images. You can pick the one you prefer, hang it up and then change it whenever it suits you. This time, the theme is Star Wars. There are three portraits of different Sith Lords – Darth Maul, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. So, you can choose between the trilogies to create an image of your favorite enemy.
The colors are impressive and the level of detail created from these small pieces creates images true to the original designs. This is another set that includes the soundtrack with audio and interviews to add to the building process. It is much more adult than some adventure building sets but just as engaging.