19 Lego sets that will bring out the inner brick builder (and child) in any dad

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19 Lego sets that will bring out the inner brick builder (and child) in any dad

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Lego Stranger Things

Lego

The new "Stranger Things" set can literally be turned upside-down, which references the evil-filled alternate dimension that mirrors reality.

  • Lego is one of the few toys that transcends age. It's enjoyed by everyone, from babies to seniors.
  • Don't disregard Lego as simple building bricks. Lego sets can be highly difficult to construct and time-consuming. But finishing one will make you feel proud.
  • From a castle to a 1960s camper van, here are 19 Lego gift ideas designed for different types of dads, but nearly all will challenge their building skills.
  • Looking for more gift ideas? Check out our Father's Day gift guides.

I'm obsessed with Lego, and if you're buying something for a dad who's equally passionate, you've come to the right place.

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There's perhaps no toy - and an analog one, at that - as fun and rewarding as Lego. The bigger the set, the more complicated it is to build. But like a good Netflix series, Lego fans will binge in completing a build. Once it's all done, it's something proud to display.

I'm far from an expert Lego builder, but it's the one thing that I still "play" with as a adult, and I'm pretty savvy at it. My first super-complex set was the Star Wars Imperial Shuttle, which was the reason for many late nights. Lego then sent me what was the biggest Technic set at the time, the Bucket Wheel Excavator, and challenged me to build it, which took me a few weeks to complete the nearly 4,000-piece set. Whether it's one of these elaborate sets or something simpler, it's a de-stressing pastime that's highly rewarding. If your dad's like me, he'd say the same thing.

Whether your dad prefers the more advanced Technic or Creator series or enjoys the more whimsical mini figures of City, here are 19 great options that will please any Lego-loving dad.

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A ship in a bottle

A ship in a bottle
Gift Lego Ideas Ship in a Bottle for $69.99

Making ships in a bottle is a hobby that takes time to master, but this one requires just a few hours to create using 962 Lego pieces. It was designed by a Lego fan who actually built a ship in a bottle.

An iconic Star Wars spaceship

An iconic Star Wars spaceship
Gift the Lego Star Wars Tantive IV for $199.99

The Tantive IV is the first spaceship we see in the opening scene of "Star Wars: A New Hope," in which Princess Leia is being hunted down by Darth Vader (spoiler alert: he's her father). Of course, your Star Wars-loving dad could have told you that.

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A 1950s-inspired diner

A 1950s-inspired diner
Gift Lego Downtown Diner for $169.99

For dads who love eating at greasy spoons or are from New Jersey (or both), this whimsical set is all about nostalgia. The expert-level set will keep builders occupied for hours and days, but once it's completed, there's a lot going on in this elaborate building.

A Mickey Mouse classic

A Mickey Mouse classic
Gift Lego Ideas Steamboat Willie for $89.99

An homage to Mickey's first appearance, in "Steamboat Willie," this set is a remarkable facsimile of the animated short. Unveiled in celebration of Mickey's 90th birthday, it's a must-have for any Disney fan.

Check out our other Disney gift ideas for Father's Day.

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A spooky scene from "Stranger Things"

A spooky scene from "Stranger Things"
Gift Lego Stranger Things The Upside Down for $199.99

All Lego sets are ingenious, but this one, based on a scene (Joyce Byers' house) from the hit Netflix series, could be the most clever, to date. The set can literally be turned upside-down, which references the evil-filled alternate dimension that mirrors reality. Many of the show's characters are included as mini figures, like Sheriff Hopper (and his vehicle) and the creature, Demogorgon (sorry, fans, no Barb).

A secret agent's wheels

A secret agent's wheels
Gift Lego Creator James Bond Aston Martin DB5 for $149.99

What dad doesn't fantasize about being a secret agent, especially one as suave as 007? This Lego Aston Martin DB5 puts you in the driver's seat of one of Bond's most-famous cars. Ejection seat, pop-up machine guns, tire scythes, and revolving license plates only add to the fun.

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A castle from the Wizarding World

A castle from the Wizarding World
Gift Lego Harry Potter Hogwart's Castle for $399.99

Don't call yourself a Harry Potter fan until you build this model of Hogwart's, the school where young wizards and witches are trained. Sort the incoming students in the Great Hall, find Hagrid in his hut, or play Quidditch above the turrets. Be warned: Don't get close to the Whomping Willow tree.

A set you build and code with your kids

A set you build and code with your kids
Gift Lego Education SPIKE Prime for $329.95

Lego's Education division has developed a new set that's designed to be one-part STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education tool, and one-part toy. Kids are encouraged to use their creativity to build whatever they can dream up, and then bring the creations to life by using Scratch (a drag-and-drop coding language) and motorized parts powered by a mini computer. The best part: SPIKE Prime uses existing Lego parts, so kids can expand on it by using the Lego bricks they already own, including Technic parts. For dads, it's a great way to bond with their kids while helping them learn.

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A hippie's camper van

A hippie's camper van
Gift Lego Volkswagen T1 Camper Van for $119.99

The T1 Camper Van is one of VW's most iconic vehicles. The Lego version nails down all the exterior and interior details, including the window curtains you'd find from that era. In the 1960s it was the symbol of the hippie movement, so if your dad lived through that period, this set is sure to bring back fond memories. There are only 1,300 pieces, which should be child's play for Lego fans.

An Avengers fighter jet

An Avengers fighter jet
Gift Lego Avengers Ultimate Quinjet for $79.99

For the dad who's a comic-book fan or who loves the Marvel movies, this Quinjet won't fly, but it does have a weapon that shoots. It comes with six mini figures, so dad can role-play with his kids.

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A high-speed train

A high-speed train
Gift Lego City Passenger Train for $159.99

Every Lego City needs a train, and this one lets your mini figures travel in style. As with Lego trains of the past, there's a motor that drives it, but it's been updated for today, thanks to a 10-speed Bluetooth remote. Create the standard loop, or expand the train's travel with additional tracks.

A brick for his drink

A brick for his drink
Gift Lego Ice Cube Tray for $9.99

Even when it isn't playtime, dad can still use his Lego bricks. This tray lets you make ice cubes in the trademark Lego brick. We recommend you get two or three.

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A skyline of Shanghai

A skyline of Shanghai
Gift Lego Architecture Shanghai for $59.99

This set from Lego's terrific Architecture series captures the familiar skyline of Shanghai, China, including the Oriental Pearl Tower and twisting Shanghai Tower. Other cities currently available include New York City, San Francisco, London, Paris, and Las Vegas.

A wonder of the world

A wonder of the world
Gift Lego Creator Taj Mahal for $369.99

With nearly 6,000 pieces, this set is architecture devotees and history buffs. With its arches, domes, and minarets, it's as grand as the real thing.

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A robot from a childhood cartoon

A robot from a childhood cartoon
Gift Lego Ideas Voltron for $179.99

For dads who were children of the 1980s, they probably grew up with "Voltron," an animated series about space pilots who protect the universe by using robotic lions that join to become a giant humanoid robot. When Lego designs a set, it aims for accuracy as much as possible and here, you can break Voltron into the aforementioned five robot lions. Even if you don't understand the plot, your Voltron-loving dad will.

An all-American sports car

An all-American sports car
Gift Lego Technic Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 for $49.99

If your dad loves sports cars, the Corvette ZR1 replica is for him. But this set is actually two models in one. Disassemble the modern vehicle and rebuild it as an old hot-rod.

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A small step on the moon

A small step on the moon
Gift Lego Creator NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander for $99.99

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Lego created the NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander in brick form. It comes with two astronaut mini figures and a US flag for establishing a giant leap for mankind.

A wind turbine

A wind turbine
Gift Lego Creator Vestas Wind Turbine for $199.99

Leave it to Lego to make a wind turbine exciting. Maybe because this model of the Vestas Wind Turbine in Denmark stands 3 feet and the blades rotate. A great gift for Earth-loving dads.

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A spaceship that travels in less than 12 parsecs

A spaceship that travels in less than 12 parsecs
Gift Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon for $799.99

As one of the most expensive sets, this ultimate gift is for the "greatest Lego-loving dad ever." It's the Millennium Falcon — enough said. With more than 7,000 pieces, you'll need some room and lots of time to build this.