By Brian Heiler
Scientists say atoms are the building blocks of life. But ask any 8-year-old, and he’ll tell you the truth?Legos are the building blocks of life. There’s hardly a child on the planet that hasn’t played with these multi-colored, Danish-made hunks of plastic, and very few parents that haven’t screamed profanity when they step on an unseen brick in the middle of the night. Even before Lego started grabbing the license to kid-friendly properties like Star Wars, Batman and Harry Potter, kids were happy enough to build cities, medieval kingdoms, pirate coves and more?or just make badass cars, ram them into each other as hard as possible, and watch them explode. Today, we celebrate the 10 greatest Lego sets ever made (just watch where you step).
10) Hogwart?s Castle
Four words: Lego stained glass windows. Even if you aren’t a Potter-phile, this massive castle playset has four levels and a ton of series-authentic rooms, including the clock tower, the Gryffindor tower, Dumbledore?s office and the greenhouse?which wasn?t even in the movie. Plus, the set came with two Lego Dementors, to teach children what Lego fear was.
9) Barracuda Pirate Ship
Long before Johnny Depp captured our attention (and our hearts, swoon!) as Captain Jack Sparrow, Lego knew pirates were totally awesome. The Danish company has been making killer pirate-themed Lego set for decades, but none more majestic than the Barracuda. Along with a killer design, this set had a multitude of great pieces including working cannons, a sexy girl pirate (as far as Lego People go) and a monkey!
8) Ninja Flying Fortress
Four words: Ninjas with hang gliders. It?s hard to improve upon the perfection of the ninja, but Lego did the impossible by giving them the power of flight in this set. The fortress itself has a lot going for it, including an army of men for the ninjas to kill silently in the dark, flip walls, a trap door, and even a jail.
7) Indiana Jones and the Lost Tomb
This summer?s Indiana Jones film may not have made everybody happy, but seeing Indiana Jones?complete with whip?in Lego form brings a smile to even the most bitter nerd’s face. This great set feature Indy and Marion as they try to get the chest while avoiding the poisonous Lego snakes that fall from the ceiling! Lego Indy has to bring down the Anubis statue to reveal a hidden passage, complete with skeleton. Hell, it’s already more exciting than Crystal Skull.
6) Forestman?s River Fortress
Robin Hood doesn?t have the popularity it once enjoyed 40 years ago, but that didn?t stop Lego from hitting it out of the park with sets like this River Fortress. Despite its lack of an interior (which I guess you could just build yourself) this set is smack dab in the middle of a river (hence the blue base). It has a jail, a working drawbridge and portcullis, plenty of branches for Robin and his merry men to gad about on or fire arrows from, and a barrel raft.
5) Shark?s Crystal Cave
Two words: shark submarine. It’s kind of amazing no other toy company thought of this sooner, but Lego had a license to print money with this Aqua Zone submersible which could be used in the tub or the pool. Hell, this thing is so bad-ass it should come with a Lego version of James Bond to pilot it.
4) Black Monarch?s Castle
Very few companies do castle better than Lego, and this evil fortress is absolutely the pinnacle. Simple, austere, it doesn’t get any more iconic than this set, with its jet black exterior, three towers, arched windows, guards, knights, archers and more. It’s 20 years old this year?time for Lego to give this bad boy a re-release.
The Batcave is always a fun toy concept, but Lego went nuts with this set. The four areas include Batman’s computer, a chamber which transforms Bruce Wayne into Batman, a jail (with a secret entrance), a launching pad with the Batwing, areas to hod the Batboat and Batmobile (sold separately), a rocket launcher, a net, and more. That’s not even counting the figures, including Batman, Robin, Bruce, an adorable Alfred, and two villains, including Mr. Freeze and the Penguin. The Penguin even comes with his own submarine and three rocket-powered attack penguins. You know what? Four words: rocket powered attack penguins.
2) Galaxy Explorer
While Lego’s Star Wars products are swell, it’s a shame the company has given up making its own space-themed sets, because their awesome “Space Lego” series ruled the late ’70s and early ’80s. When the space-faring yellow bastards wanted to cruise, they hopped in their Galaxy Explorer. This massive ship came with a separate moon base and a tiny moon buggy, which could drive right into the ship. It very much sums up a time when we could look to the future with hope instead of general dread.
1) Death Star
Four words: best Death Star ever. Seriously?no Kenner or Hasbro toy has more rooms from the movies. And at 16 inches tall, it’s got more play value than most other Lego sets combined. At five levels and two sides, the set includes the trash compactor, hangar, Emperor’s throne room, detention block, conference room, and firing superlaser. Plus, it has 24?two frickin’ dozen?figures, including Grand Moff Tarkin. Admittedly, this set isn’t available until September 16th, but we’re very confident it’s earned its rank.