The Worst LEGO Sets Ever Made
1st October 2022
LEGO has produced many outstanding sets over the years and continues to push what's possible with the humble LEGO brick. However, not every set that LEGO makes is a success. Occasionally they get things wrong and produce a set that either lacks creativity, is boring to play with, looks awful, is poorly constructed, or is way overpriced. There are unfortunate instances where sets are all of these things and are among the worst ever made.
In this article we cast our eyes over LEGO's current and past set catalogue to bring you the worst set in many of LEGO's popular themes. We've excluded Gifts With Purchase (GWP) and promotional sets as it's hard to criticise something that's given away for free.
Burj Khalifa (21008)
The Burj Khalifa was released in 2011 as part of the Landmark series of Architecture sets. The tallest building in the world was an obvious choice for a LEGO set as it's one of the most famous and recognisable skyscrapers because of its dizzying height and sleek design.
While this set captures the building's shape reasonably well, it looks like it's been designed by a toddler. Essentially, the build is lots of 1x1 round grey bricks stacked on top of each other to create columns of varying height, while throwing in a few other bricks to add stability and construct the base.
In total there are 112 grey 1x1 round bricks, which make up over half of the total piece count. To rub salt in the wound, customers had to pay a premium price of 11.1p / 12.0c per piece to get this uninspiring build.
One of the great things about LEGO is each set's compatibility with previous and future models, allowing them to be joined up easily to create your own world. Although their scale can differ, sets within the same theme are generally harmonious in terms of their size relative to minifigures.
The same cannot be said for Santis, which looks more like an action man than a LEGO set. Because it's so oversized compared to everything else in the Castle theme, there is very limited playability. The design is also very simple and feels cheap because of the paper shield. One thing you can do with Santis is use him to battle Lord Vladek, but this means buying another equally awful set. Both were released under the Knight's Kingdom II, which is the worst Castle subtheme, because of its childish fantasy element and ridiculously coloured knights.
The Joker (4527)
This is another set that suffers from an action figure style build that looks completely out of place in the LEGO universe. The set is also made of a number of bizarre parts that have very limited potential for re-use. With many of these being unique to this set, it meant that the price per piece is one of the highest across the whole DC theme. There were two other giant-sized monstrosities: Batman (4526) and Green Lantern (4528), which could also easily take the crown for worst LEGO DC set.
Aragog in the Dark Forest (4727)
Aragog in the Dark Forest was one of the earliest Harry Potter sets, having been released in 2002, one year after the theme's inception. While its primitive design can partly be explained by its age, this isn't an excuse as there were plenty of great sets released around the same.
Aragog in the Dark Forest was a bad set back then and it hasn't gotten any better since. Although it's a small set, the build is underwhelming and feels rather disjointed. Aragog is very blocky and lacks manoeuvrability, while the cobwebbed trap seems poorly thought out, as it has no entrance or exit. The stickered 1x1 square tile showing four little spiders is a laughably cheap shortcut aimed to save LEGO money by not including more moulded spider pieces. Fang, Hagrid's dog, is also a notable absentee.
Adventure Time (21308)
The Ideas theme takes the most popular fan submitted projects, passes them through a review stage to select the best one, before turning it into an official LEGO set. You would therefore expect the Ideas sets to be of a very high quality, and most of them are exceptional builds. However, there is one that in our opinion sits a way below the rest in terms of quality and originality. Adventure Time from 2017 is based on the popular animated kid's TV show of the same name. The set contains brick-built versions of eight of the show's characters, some of which are nicely done and bear a decent resemblance to their on-screen depictions. However, compared to some of the great models that have come out of the Ideas range, this one looks quite basic and predominantly appeals to younger builders.
Adidas Originals Superstar (10282)
The Icons theme (formerly Creator Expert) is aimed at the discerning adult collector, so the majority of sets are designed to a high standard. It's therefore hard to pick out a poor set. In our controversial opinion, the worst set label is placed on the Adidas Originals Superstar. Make no mistake about it, the construction and design are impressive and it's a great replica of the real thing. However, choosing a shoe as a LEGO set is a strange choice when there are so many other things out there more deserving of being recreated in brick form. Fashion-conscious people may disagree and think that displaying a model shoe in your home is normal, but each to their own.
Pteranodon Chase (76943)
From an adult perspective, a lot of the Jurassic World sets have limited appeal, due to the heavy “juniorisation” of the theme. The dinosaur figures tend to be the sole attraction for the sets based on the rebooted movie series. Of these, there have been several unimaginative sets released at lower price points that have limited playability, all of which could arguably be given the title of “worst Jurassic World set”. We've chosen the Pteranodon Chase as this is one of the most basic Jurassic World sets and also lacks an exciting dinosaur. The flying dinosaurs, such as the Pteranodon are awkward to showcase and play with, and don't have the same appeal as the land-dwelling species. This set is priced at 19.1p / 21.3c per piece, which when you take out the Pteranodon, is a lot for a collection of fairly common parts.
Vulture's Trucker Robbery (76147)
There have been some spectacular Marvel sets over the years, along with some very desirable minifigures. However, this has been coupled with many bizarre and child-like sets, particularly in the Spider-Man theme. Our favourite web-slinger has been given some absurd vehicles, such as the Monster Truck (4597), the Spider Trike (76014), and Techno Trike (10781), to name but a few.
Another example, which makes its way into the Vulture's Trucker Robbery, is a red and blue motorbike. It's hard to imagine what use Spider-Man has for a motorbike, but maybe it would prove useful if he left the high rise environment of New York City. While some other sets are redeemed by a collectible minifigure, the same cannot be said for this set. We get a standard Spider-Man, a generic truck driver, and a disappointingly basic Vulture, which is a close copy to one released four years previously. All in all, a very forgetful set, and one which doesn't come cheap at 21.5p / 21.5c per piece.
The End (21107)
LEGO Minecraft hit our shelves in 2013 with a trio of mini-scale sets, which included The End, before minifigure scale models began to be released around a year later. I've never been a fan of smaller-sized sets, especially when the majority of other sets in their theme are minifigure scale. When LEGO do release one, it should be good enough to act as a standalone model, such as the Hogwarts Castle (71043). The End is nowhere near good enough as it's boring to look at and has very little play value. Only committed Minecraft enthusiasts would have any interest in it, and that's likely to only be to complete a collection.
Jay's Thunder Dragon EVO (71760)
NINJAGO is one of LEGO's most expansive themes, with hundreds of sets that range largely in quality. Picking just one as the worst is tricky, as there are many that could take this ignominious award. However, we've gone for Jay's Thunder Dragon EVO, which was a set aimed at 6+ builders. For a kid's set you expect some simplicity, and the dragon is certainly very easy to construct. The main area of criticism are the wings which are so pitifully small that it's hard to imagine how they would be sufficient to keep the dragon aloft. Other pitfalls are too small tail and an unmemorable minifigure collection.
Audi R8 LMS Ultra (75873)
For car enthusiasts, the Speed Champions theme has delivered many highly sought after sets. There's something very satisfying about having your favourite supercar on display in brick form. The Speed Champions theme also allows you to do this at a reasonable price.
However, the scaled down proportions of these models has come with some criticisms, the primary one being that the cars are too tall for their width. There's also a very heavy reliance on stickers across the whole Speed Champions range, with the Ferrari Ultimate Garage (75889) and Porsche 919 Hybrid and 917k Pit Lane (75876) both having over 80 of them! These negatives aside, there are many fantastic and highly collectible Speed Champions sets out there.
The Audi R8 LMS Ultra is the worst of them, but is by no means a terrible set. The main and glaring issue with the car is the front, which looks out of proportion compared to the rest of the car. Overall, this set is one of the poorest replicas in the Speed Champions series.
Resistance X-wing Starfighter (75297)
The 2021 Resistance X-wing Starfighter retailed at £17.99 / $19.99 and was aimed at young builders, due to its 4+ years branding. For a cheap set aimed at children there shouldn't be the expectation that there will be much interest for adult builders and collectors. Those expectations are well and truly met with this X-wing. The Starfighter itself is by far the worst bit, as it bears little resemblance to the ones seen on screen, because of the very poorly designed nose and wings. Having an open cockpit in a modern LEGO set, no matter how cheaply priced it is, is also a crime. For a price per piece of 30.0p / 33.3c, a larger moulded screen piece seems reasonable to ask for. If you are just interested in minifigures, this set isn't that bad as you get a nicely detailed Poe Dameron and the popular BB-8, but that's where the positives end.
1. ATX Sport Cycle (8826)
LEGO Technic is known for its complex models with high levels of movement and articulation. Towards the cheaper end of the scale, Technic sets are obviously less sophisticated, but many still make for nice play and display sets. The same cannot be said for the ATX Sport Cycle, which was one of LEGO's earliest Technic creations, coming out in 1993. It bears very little resemblance to the real-life vehicle. The lack of curved parts back when the ATX was released didn't help matters, but the design could have made much better use of the available bricks. The wheels are also very clearly too small for the chassis and there is a lack of moving parts, except for some front shock absorbers. LEGO never made another ATX-based set and it's little wonder why.
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