Are there Legos for adults? Are there Lego sets that Adults can make, regardless if they have kids or not? We set out to break down the idea of Lego as a kids toy because, to be honest, we love the stuff ourselves.
Legos For Adults
As a parent of young Lego fans, it can sometimes be hard to take a backseat and watch all the Lego fun happen around you.
At some point you just want to jump in and start making models with your kids and before you know it you are looking at some of the bigger sets Lego releases and thinking that you could buy just one for yourself…
Pretty soon you have a portion of cupboard space allotted to Lego that your kids and spouse may not even know about, hidden away in boxes or stashed under the winter clothing.
Before long your hobby gets to the point that you really just have to come out and say it, you are an Adult Fan of Lego.
Believe it or not there is an acronym for that (isn’t there for everything?) – AFOL.
AFOL – It’s Not A Rude Word
Pronounced with the emphasis on the “A”, an AFOL is someone who is has grown beyond the recommended age of Lego sets, you know the bit on the box where they say Ages 7-14, and truly loves Lego for themselves.
Some people who create and collect Lego as an adult, did so as a child and went though a period of time most AFOLs know as “The Dark Ages” where they sold/gave away their Lego collection and moved onto more “adult things”.
These AFOLs emerge from the Dark Ages and suddenly realize what Lego gave to them and could continue to give them-the opportunity to create and imagine, not to mention buy huge sets of Lego with their “Adult” income!
Other adults may come to Lego via their children, having been deprived of it as a child.
Watching kids create and play with Lego can bring out the designer in just about anyone.
Adults who rediscover Lego are a growing percentage of the population, celebrities such as Brad Pitt and David Beckham are two of the most famous Adults who have rediscovered the medium through their kids and continue to build models and sets for themselves.
Lego Resources For Adults
Adults tend to do things differently than kids so it comes as no surprise that most adults approach their Lego collection in a different way.
Legos For Adults – Sets
Lego offers larger sets that tend to attract Adults, sets that contain a larger number of pieces and invariably focus on display potential rather than play potential.
Lego themes that Adults are more likely to purchase include:
- Architecture– A range of mini models that are based on notable architectural landmarks.
- Ultimate Collector Series – Range of high piece count models in themes like Star Wars and Harry Potter
- Modular Buildings – Highly detailed buildings that fit together to form a streetscape
- Lego Exclusives – Sets that are highly accurate scale representations of famous buildings/vehicles
Notable models in 2010-2011 include:
Lego Architecture Sets
- LEGO Architecture Seattle Space Needle (21003)
- LEGO Architecture Fallingwater (21005)
- LEGO Architecture Empire State Building (21002)
- LEGO Architecture Willis Tower (21000)
- LEGO Architecture Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (21004)
- LEGO Architecture White House (21006)
- LEGO Architecture John Hancock Center (21001)
- LEGO® Architecture Burj Khalifa Dubai (21008)
- LEGO Architecture Rockefeller Center (21007)
- LEGO Architecture Farnsworth House (21009)
Ultimate Collector Series
- LEGO Star Wars Death Star (10188)
- Lego Star Wars Imperial Shuttle (10212)
- LEGO Star Wars Obi-Wan’s Jedi Starfighter (10215)
- LEGO Harry Potter Diagon Alley (10217)
- LEGO Creator Grand Emporium 10211
- LEGO Tower Bridge 10214 (NEW! Read Our Review)
- Lego Space Shuttle Expedition (10231)
Other Lego Resources For Adults
Most adults who enjoy Lego also tend to want to create more detailed and larger models.
Their ability to create highly detailed and accurate designs that will display well is increased as they learn more about the different pieces of Lego and how these can be put together.
Our favorite book on the subject is the Unofficial Lego Builder’s Guide by Allan Bedford. It is a wonderful resource for Adults just getting into Lego and, once learnt, the techniques are great to share with kids so they can amp up their Lego designs.
Another resource worth mentioning is Lego Digital Designer which is a Computer Aided Design (CAD) program designed around Lego. LDD is wonderful for getting a feel of the range of Lego pieces available and planning a large model before jumping into building.
The Lego Digital Designer program is free so it is also a way to build with Lego without having to purchase sets, though you lose the tactile sensation of playing with physical bricks.
A website we frequent is The Brick Blogger.
The Brick Blogger discusses advanced building techniques and shares stories from adults who are rediscovering their love for Lego or getting into building for the first time.
Don’t Be Afraid-You are Not Alone!
If you are over the recommended age of a Lego set but it calls to the child-like essence inside of you, or the unfulfilled designer that just wants to be free, don’t worry you are not alone.
Lego is an ageless medium that allows people of all ages to play, design and build what their imaginations foresee. Creating and sharing Lego designs connects you with a growing number of Adults who take their play seriously.
If you are feeling a little strange about your obsession check out Jonathan Bender’s book, Lego A Love Story about his own adult connection with Lego, its a great read.
I love this quote from C.S. Lewis (author of the Narnia series and Oxford academic) about childishness and what it means to be an adult, which is often truncated and therefore loses its real meaning.
Here is the quote in full:
“Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
— C.S. Lewis
See they even made a movie about you! AFOL, a Blocumentary by Jess Gibson.
Disclaimer: “Legos” is not a real word, “Lego” singular or plural is just “Lego” :0)