Which LEGO Technic sets are best?
LEGO Technic sets are geared more for adolescents and adults than kids. Although some bricks may be involved, LEGO Technic sets are made from gears, wheels, axles and mechanical systems. Technic sets provide stiff challenges for experienced LEGO builders with advanced real-life functions like engines, gearboxes and steering systems.
LEGO Technic sets have lots of parts with detail and complexity for those who crave a technical challenge. If you want to hone your mechanical engineering skills as you build a 1,500 piece model of an iconic endurance racer, try the LEGO Technic Porsche 911 RSR Race Car Building Set.
What to know before you buy a LEGO Technic set
Degree of difficulty
All LEGO Technic sets are designed to be more challenging than the rest of the LEGO lines. Because few of the familiar, knobbed LEGO bricks are involved, LEGO Technic sets are essentially built from the inside out and not from the ground up like more traditional sets. The meat of the challenge is that LEGO Technic sets require lots of planning, visualization and spatial thinking.
All LEGO Technic sets involve some sort of mechanical vehicle. Exotic cars, like Porsches, Bugattis, Corvettes and Lamborghinis, are a favorite category. Many of the Technics sets are pieces of heavy equipment, like cranes, excavators, bulldozers and crawlers. There are also hovercrafts, catamarans, airplanes, helicopters, motorcycles, dragsters, monster trucks, tow trucks, 4X4 off-roaders, stunt racers and more.
The LEGO Guide
Every LEGO Technic set comes with web access to LEGO’s complete set of downloadable and printable building instructions. Instructions are searchable by LEGO name, theme, set number and year.
What to look for in a quality LEGO Technic set
Some LEGO Technic sets are powered by motors that come with the kit. Others require the motors to be purchased separately. Look carefully before you choose your new LEGO Technic set because not all models are upgradeable.
Motors provide the power to LEGO Technic vehicles, but gears deliver the power to the wheels or treads. Intricate sets use chain links to connect the gears which then need to be adjusted by the modeler for proper tension and mesh. Getting the right sized gears in the right places is part of the challenge and calls for planning and experimentation.
These are advanced control units that have input and output ports used to program and control LEGO Powered Up smart motors, power hubs, lights and sensors. Easily add movement, light and sound to your LEGO Technic set. Technic Hubs connect via Bluetooth to the LEGO Technic CONTROL+ app and are a great addition to Technic sets, STEM learning and robotics projects.
How much you can expect to spend on a LEGO Technic set
The majority of LEGO Technic sets cost $100-$400. The smallest and simplest Technic sets start at $10, and complicated sets with a lot of pieces cost $800-$1,000. Add-ons start at around $20 and run as high as $500.
LEGO Technic set FAQ
What are some common mistakes people make with LEGO Technic sets?
A. Impatience can be your downfall. Follow instructions carefully and test as you go. Don’t try to make pieces fit together that aren’t meant to attach, even if they look as if they should snap in place. Make sure not to overtighten, as many people try to tighten connections too much when they should only be snug and secure.
Are LEGO Technic sets compatible with standard LEGOs?
A. The pieces in Technic sets are compatible with basic LEGOs, but you won’t see many bricks in a Technic set. Instead, you will see the gears, axles, beams and pins necessary to create advanced moving parts and systems.
Are LEGO Technics and Mindstorms the same thing?
A. Many of the Technics and Mindstorm kits use the same elements and some parts are interchangeable, so they are closely related. The big difference is that Mindstorm sets are mostly robots and sensors that involve lots of computing and coding.
What’s the best LEGO Technic set to buy?
Top LEGO Technic set
What you need to know: This 1,580 piece set packs an amazing amount of detail into a 19-inch-long replica of Porsche’s iconic 911 RSR endurance racer.
What you’ll love: The sharp contours and aerodynamic details include a rear wing, extended diffuser and specially designed side mirrors. The accessible cockpit features working steering, a fire extinguisher system and a track map of the Laguna Seca racecourse. The moving pistons show the finely detailed six-cylinder competition engine at work.
What you should consider: The set says it is for kids 10 and older, but it will be a real challenge for preteens.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top LEGO Technic set for the money
What you need to know: This highly detailed but affordable 155-piece set has a working boom and basket with a flexible arm and lifting mechanism.
What you’ll love: This real-life mechanical machine has realistic LEGO Technic gears and mechanisms. This 2-in-1 set can be built as a cherry picker and a tow truck and is suitable for kids 7 and older.
What you should consider: This 4-by-2-by-1-inch toy is one of the easiest LEGO Technic sets to build.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This 7,541-piece LEGO Technic set is a challenge for expert builders.
What you’ll love: This set comes with two crews of mini-figures, including the classic Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO. The exterior features detailed removable hull panels, a lowering boarding ramp and concealed blaster cannon. The main hold features a seating area, engineering station and holographic game. The rear compartment includes the hyperdrive engine room and two escape pod hatches.
What you should consider: This is a very pricey kit.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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