Who says LEGOs are just for kids? My husband secretly loves LEGOs. Since our oldest kids were quite young, he has been buying challenging LEGO sets which he pretends are for the kids, but he’s not fooling anyone.
Now that we have some teenagers, they enjoy putting together difficult LEGO sets with their dad. I love that it requires some thinking, allows for social interaction, and uses no screen! Did I mention it gets teens away from electronic devices?
17 Large and Challenging LEGO Sets for Adults and Teens 2018
There are a lot of good Lego sets of just about everything you can imagine, from favorite characters to landmarks to vehicles and everything in between. We have found the sets that are the most difficult, the most challenging out there. They contain tons of pieces and are as much of a puzzle as they are a toy.
A good challenging LEGO set can take days worth of time for a teen or an adult. Almost all of these large and challenging adult LEGO sets are over 1000 pieces, with some over 5000 pieces.
World Landmark LEGO Sets
These LEGO sets are probably the most challenging of any that are listed. I love these world landmark sets because while we build we can talk about why each landmark is important–a history lesson and family bonding time together!
LEGO Creator Expert Taj Mahal 10256 Building Kit
This elaborate LEGO set is the most complicated and challenging out there. If you are looking for a 24-hour challenge, this will do it.
LEGO went all out with this white and gold Taj Mahal LEGO Set. This set is one of the largest LEGO sets ever built, with a whopping 5923 pieces! Every piece is needed to form this delicate shape.
Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the Taj Mahal in 1631 in memory of his wife, the Empress Mumtaz Mahal. You can enjoy assembling this beautiful replica and then display the finished product and impress your friends!
Any adult LEGO enthusiast would truly love this massive 16” (43cm) high, 20” (51cm) wide and 20” (51cm) deep palace. This massive LEGO set weighs 16 pounds when finished. This set is perfect for ages 13 and up.
- Easier to put together than large piece count would suggest
- Incredible detail
- Modular design makes it easy to move
- Bragging item as the one of the sets with the most pieces ever made
- Can be a bit top heavy around the roof
LEGO Creator Expert Big Ben Building Set
Nothing says London or England more than the world’s most famous clock tower Big Ben. Big Ben is 315 feet in real life with clock dials 23 feet in diameter. This set is not 315 in height but feels large at 23” high, 7” deep, and 17” wide. This incredible model of London’s Big Ben is an astounding 4163 pieces.
Big Ben is a London cultural icon with its Gothic Revival Style. This Gothic style is poured into every detail of this complex LEGO set. The tree and lampposts add to the beautiful grounds of Big Ben. The tower roof can be removed in order to access the Belfry.
This huge LEGO set is a great sight when completed and makes a great decoration to any room. Be ready for hours of technical fun putting it together. Big Ben is sure to be a fun set for any teen or adult.
- The clock hands can be moved
- Showcase piece
- Pieces come in marked bags
- Repetitive steps can become tedious
LEGO Creator Tower Bridge
This replica of the London Tower Bridge contains 4287 pieces. It is recommended for ages 16 and up, but it is really doable for children 10 and up. The finished Tower Bridge is symmetrical. Some find that enjoyable, while others prefer a bigger challenge.
The working drawbridge is fantastic, and the set also comes with four mini vehicles including a taxi, truck, car, and double-decker bus.
The final product is eye-catching, with great color contrast between the water and the bridge. Finished size measures 40” long, 17” wide, and 10” high. Once assembled, the Tower Bridge can come apart in sections for easy moving. This set would be great for ages 12 and up.
- Beautiful finished piece.
- Working drawbridge.
- Compatible with other Lego bricks for creative play
- Pieces do not come sorted
- Bags are not numbered
LEGO Creator Expert 10234 Sydney Opera House
Build one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, the Sydney Opera House designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon. The Syndey Opera house is located on the beautiful Sydney Harbor. The large structure is meant to look like sea shells and is supported by hundreds of concrete piers.
This complicated adult set is built out of almost 3000 bricks. This LEGO set for teens and adults uses a variety of LEGO techniques in order to build the architectural shape of the Sydney Opera House. The set is 11″ (28cm) high, 25″ (63cm) wide, and 15″ (38cm) deep and weighs about 12 pounds once finished. This difficult Lego set is appropriate for ages 13 and up.
- Set broken into 4 different sections makes building easier
- Delicate and fantastic roof design
- Build is fairly straightforward considering the size
- A little bit of open space behind the roof
LEGO Architecture White House (21006)
This set is the smallest on our list, but we couldn’t pick LEGO world landmarks without including this amazing set of the home of America’s president. The White House was designed by James Hoban July 16, 1792 and selected by America’s first president George Washington. This set is not only a great looking set, but has wonderful details about the history of the White House. This set is perfect for ages 10 and up. LEGO made the White House with 560 pieces and measures about 9 inches wide when completed.
- Looks great on a desk or a shelf
- Great historical information on the White House included
- A little small in size for the price
- Only contains 560 pieces
Largest Star Wars LEGO Sets for Teens and Adults
These Star Wars LEGO Sets are not only fun for teens and adults alike, but are they perfect for Star Wars fans. They make great LEGO sets to build again and again, and they also make a great decoration after completion.
These challenging Star Wars LEGO sets cover some of the most iconic crafts in all of Star Wars. These sets are fun for adults, teens, and children, but they take a lot of time, patience, and organization.
LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Millennium Falcon 75192 Building Kit (7541 Pieces)
The Millenium Falcon is the crown jewel of Star Wars rebel Han Solo. It comes to life in this huge LEGO set which contains 7541 pieces. This Star Wars set is great for adults and teens. This set includes 4 figures from the original Star Wars crew: Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and C-3PO. It also includes three Episode 7 and 8 figures: Older Han Solo, Rey, and Finn.
Measuring over 8″ (21cm) high, 33″ (84cm) long, and 22″ (56cm) wide, the Falcon includes a blaster cannon that is revealed by sliding the panel open. An included card explains the specs and dimensions of the Millennium Falcon from the movies. This Star Wars Lego set is perfect for ages 14 up to adult.
- Realistic external features that include satellite dish and blaster cannon
- Interior details include seating area and holographic game combat
- Very detailed instructions
- Requires quite a lot of maneuvering to put together (lifting and turning)
LEGO Star Wars Death Star 75159
A Star Wars LEGO collection is never complete without a Death Star. This detailed cruising planet destroyer is a model built from over 4000 pieces. It is 21″ x 18.1″ x 15.2″ in size and weighs over 30 pounds when completed.
25 detailed mini figures bring the adventure to life for play or modeling. This Death Star Set includes classic movie scenes staged inside it including a trash compactor, detention center, and Emperor Palpatine’s throne room. This is a fun LEGO set for adults, teens, or older kids.
- A large number of mini figures
- Stage scenes from either the original movies or recent movies
- Great Tie Fighter vehicle included
- Can be a little unstable if played with too much
- Harder to mount than some of the other Star Wars sets
LEGO Star Wars Sandcrawler
This large Sandcrawler LEGO Set is a great representation of the Sandcrawler found in Star Wars Episode IV—A New Hope. It contains 3296 pieces. These pieces come to life with 7 mini figures that allow staging of scenes from the movie. The Sandcrawler measures over 9″ (24cm) high, 18″ (48cm) long, and 6″ (16cm) wide and weighs just under 10 pounds when completed. This set is appropriate ages 11 and up.
- Functioning tracks and doors
- Contains two working cranes
- Goes together easily with precise instructions
- Not as pretty as some of the other Star Wars Lego sets
LEGO Star Wars VIII First Order Star Destroyer 75190 Building Kit
There is no ship of greater intimidation in the Star Wars Galaxy than the Empire’s Destroyer. Teens and kids alike will get a thrill with this incredible ship. This Star Wars Star Destroyer will bring hours of fun with its 6 mini figures and multiple firing guns.
The top panels open up to show the interior of the ship. Although this set can be played with, it is still mostly a display item.
The First Order Star Destroyer has the fewest pieces of any on this list (1416). This 5″ (14cm) high, 22″ (56cm) long, and 12″ (32cm) wide ship weighs almost 6 pounds of complicated LEGO awesomeness.
- Opening the doors of the destroyer is great fun
- Great theme with lots of mechanical extras
- Easy to move the ship around
- Can be a bit fragile when opening the doors
LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Tydirium
This infamous shuttle from the Star Wars series comes to life in this great set. This model is a little smaller in scale and build requirements compared to the others listed, but it is still over 2500 pieces. The Imperial Shuttle Tydirium set comes with 5 mini figures including Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. The shuttle measures over 9″ (24cm) high, 18″ (48cm) long, and 6″ (16cm) wide and weighs just under 10 pounds when completed. This Star Wars Lego Set is good for ages 10 and up.
- Good looking piece
- Comes with a mount
- Detailed spec card of the ship from the movie
- Not as detailed or complicated as some of the other sets
- This set is no longer being made so can be a little expensive for the number of pieces
Heroes and Villan LEGO Sets
From Harry Potter to Batman, these adult and teen LEGO sets are complex, challenging, and perfect for the adult LEGO builder. These sets combine some of our favorite characters immortalized in books and movies and combine them with a large challenging LEGO model.
LEGO Disney Castle 71040
Experience the magic of Walt Disney with this elaborate and challenging castle LEGO set for adults. This large LEGO set measures 29” (74cm) high, 18.8” (48cm) wide, and 12” (31cm) deep. It contains over 4000 pieces and weighs almost 13 pounds once completed.
What Disney castle is complete without a few friends? Mickey, Minny, Donald, Daffy, and Goofy bring this Disney LEGO set to life. Remove the roof of the castle to find Cinderella’s glass slipper and some Disney magic.
- Extremely ornate design
- Captures the magic of Cinderella’s castle
- High-quality details and stickers
- Difficult to move the set once assembled
- Cinderella figurine not included
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier
Marvel Agents of Shield Hellicarrier is 2996 LEGO pieces of Superhero complexity and challenge. This Hellicarrier is 11” high, 31” long, and 17” wide and weighs about 12 pounds once it is completed.
This teen LEGO set is challenging enough to keep anyone busy for hours. It not only contains the Hellicarrier, but this set also contains 3 microscale Quinjets, 3 fighter jets, a gasoline truck, and 2 forklift trucks.
Lego Minifigures Nick Fury, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Maria Hill, and 8 shield agents are included to help create a unique Shield experience.
- Includes lots of vehicles
- Includes a detailed runway
- Lights and spinning rotors can be added but have to be purchased separately
LEGO Superheroes 76023 The Tumbler
The Dark Knight is back in this great Batmobile LEGO set called The Tumbler. The Tumbler measures over 5″ (15cm) high, 15″ (40cm) long, and 9″ (24cm) wide. This cool LEGO set is 1869 pieces and weighs almost 7.5 pounds once completed. If you are a Batman and challenging LEGO set fan, this is a great choice. This large vehicle is dynamic and full of awesome details. The Tumbler set also comes with a spec sheet on the vehicle from the movie.
- Batman and Joker mini figures are incredible
- Cool factor is off the chart
- The Tumbler can be a little flimsy if played with
LEGO BATMAN MOVIE DC The Joker Manor 70922 Building Kit
The Joker’s Manor in this replica from Batman the Movie is a huge adult LEGO set which contains 3444 pieces. This set is themed exactly how you would expect from the Joker’s lair. It has a working roller coaster as well as punching bags, bold color, a bendy mirror, and a trapdoor.
The Joker’s Manor measures over 21” (55cm) high, 25” (66cm) wide, and 10” (27cm) long and weighs over 13 pounds when completed. It contains a cinema room, music studio, pool room, and kitchen among other rooms.
This set contains mini figures including: The Joker, Batman, Barbara Gordon, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Alfred Pennyworth Classic Batsuit, Disco Batman, Disco The Joker, Disco Batgirl, and Disco Robin.
- Great mechanical pieces that are fun to explore
- Theme is embedded in every aspect of this set
- Set is separated well and instructions to build are very thorough
- Roller coaster is so large that it can get in the way of accessing the manor’s rooms
LEGO Lord of the Rings 10237 Tower of Orthanc Building Set
The Tower of Orthanc represents one of the most iconic scenes in Lord of the Rings. Who could forget Sauruman’s encounter with the Ents?
This large LEGO set for teens, tweens, or adults contains 2359 pieces. It measures 28″ (73cm) high, 8″ (21cm) wide, and 6″ (16cm) deep and weighs 7 pounds once completed.
This set includes the following mini figures: an Ent, an eagle, Sauruman, Gandolf the Grey, Grima Worm-tongue, an Uruk-hai, and the Orc Pit master. The interior of the Tower of Orthanc Building Set is incredibly detailed and contains many rooms to recreate scenes from the Lord of the Rings.
- Contains an eagle to recreate Gandolf’s scene with the eagle
- Movable trap doors and cool effects with the LEGO light brick
- Build can be a bit repetitive
- Colors are a little bland
Intricate and Unique Lego Vehicle Sets
These LEGO vehicle sets are impressive to say the least. The details are incredible, and you will be proud to showcase your hard work. These sets are for show only; they do not lend well to being played with.
LEGO vehicle sets often have available light sets (sold separately), and often have movable parts to complete the set (also sold separately).
What is a Lego Technic Set?
According to Wikipedia’s page on Lego Technics, “Lego Technic is a line of Lego interconnecting plastic rods and parts. The purpose of this series is to create more advanced models with more complex technical functions, compared to the simpler brick-building properties of normal Lego. Technic allows those using the Legos to build complex mechanisms such as gear boxes, motors, or allow for mechanisms to be used that involve power.
LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron Building Kit
This cool Bughatti car LEGO set is truly remarkable, a piece of art that any car enthusiast would appreciate. It is extremely large and challenging for a car LEGO set, at 3599 pieces.
This beautiful car measures over 5” (14cm) high, 22” (56cm) long, and 9” (25cm) wide. The cockpit can be opened and features a Technic 8-speed gearbox with a movable paddle gearshift and a steering wheel bearing the Bugatti emblem.
- Amazing detail
- Beautiful showpiece
- More pricey than other sets
LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS
This LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS set is beautifully detailed. With 2704 pieces, it is recommended for 16 and older, but we find it to be doable for 12 and up.
The instructions have you build this car in a very similar order to how an actual Porcsche is really built. This beautiful car measures over 6” high, 22” long, and 9” wide. Included with the set is a book detailing the history of Porsche GT vehicles.
- Excellent instructions
- Lifelike details
- Showpiece only
- Not usable as a toy
LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V 21309 Building Kit
NASA and space rocket fans: this amazing replica of Apollo Saturn V is for you. It features 5 different removable rocket stages to represent the different phases of the mission.
This intricate and challenging set is over 39 inches (100cm) high and 6 inches (17cm) in diameter. Included are 3 different stands so the model can be displayed horizontally.
Great rocket fins, nozzles, colors, USA decals, and the overall huge height bring the Apollo V to life in this set perfect for girls and boys who want a challenging LEGO set to build. This is a great piece to stimulate the engineer in a teenager who loves LEGOs.
- Includes lunar lander and lunar orbital to allow for re-creation of a moon landing
- The finished Apollo Saturn V is over 3 feet tall
- Showpiece only
- A little shorter of a build than some of the other sets