Going Big: Giant LEGO parts in the LEGO×Target Collection

The collection includes a bunch of products featuring oversized LEGO parts. How big?… Let’s find out!

Updated January 4, 2022: I added additional details about some of the products discussed in this article. (The most fun update adds photos from baking holiday cookies using the Cookie Cutters.)

Snow Character Building Kit

25pc Snow Character Building Kit, $30. This includes a bunch of parts which you can use to build a snowman, and comes in a reuseable black mesh bag.

Snow Character Building Kit, $30.

Snow Character Building Kit, $30.

I would love to tell you that each of the parts in the set have the same scaling factor, and the parts have clutch power so you can actually build with them, but sadly neither of these are true. The parts do not connect together because the underside of each part is “smaller” than a real part to reduce the thickness of plastic required, and they did not include any ridges (like in DUPLO) to create a tight fit without making the entire wall thicker.

These parts are designed to a larger 12:1 scale.

These parts are designed to a larger 12:1 scale.

Upon further analysis, the parts reflect two different scaling factors: the really oversized parts have a 12:1 scale (like the Walkie Talkie, Magic Wand, Pretzel, Hats, and Tiara), and 8:1 scale for everything else (1×1 Plates, Eyes, Carrots, and Barbs.) The measurements and calculations are in the appendix if you want to see how this was calculated.

The rest of the parts have a fairly consistent and smaller 8:1 scale.

The rest of the parts have a fairly consistent and smaller 8:1 scale.

Due to the large number of giant parts in the reasonably priced set and the consistent application of just two scales throughout the kit, I’m happy to add this to my collection and give the set a 4/5 Star (Recommended) rating. If the parts had clutch power and the whole set was the same scale, it might have earned a perfect score…

Snow & Sand Building Kit

5pc Snow & Sand Building Kit, $30. This kit includes a mould to create your own 2×2 and 2×4 Bricks out of sand or snow. It also includes an oversized LEGO Minifigure shovel, and a one-piece flag and flagpole to put on or next to your castle!

Snow & Sand Building Kit, $30.

Snow & Sand Building Kit, $30.

A closer look at the scale of the items in the box indicates that the shovel is at a larger scale than the flag pole, since they both have a “bar” element, but the shovel handle is a lot wider. After doing the math, the shovel ends up with a 12:1 scale (same as the larger parts in the Snow Character set). Everything else is the same 8:1 scale.

The shovel is at a larger scale than the flag (which you cannot disassemble).

The shovel is at a larger scale than the flag (which you cannot disassemble).

The dissapointment comes from looking at the underside of the brick moulds. I was really hoping that they found a way to preserve the proportions of the LEGO Stud, and possibly even include the word “LEGO” in reverse – so it looks correct when the mould is removed.

The studs on the top of the mould are properly proportioned, but the studs on the underside are way too small.

The studs on the top of the mould are properly proportioned, but the studs on the underside are way too small.

Unfortunately, they made no attempt whatsoever to preserve the correct proportions on the inside of the mould. The studs are too small, so the space between the studs is almost as big as the studs themselves. Further, the mould is 1 1/3 bricks tall due to the plates (which were attached to the sides to help you press on the mould). This means that the brick pattern which is made by the mould is about 33% too tall to match the geometry of a real brick.

Admittedly, this is a very nerdy observation by a LEGO purist – in the hands of a kid building a sandcastle or snow fort, this will still be a lot of fun. But I’m reviewing this as an adult which expects a perfect expression of the LEGO Brand, so this kit earns a lower 2/5 Star (Acceptable) rating.

LEGO Brick Storage Box

LEGO Brick Storage Box with Contrast Handle, $12. This is a very simple but attractive box with a hinged lid and a contrasting color handle. (I especially like the classic colors and contrast of the Yellow box with a Red handle.) The hinge is cleverly positioned 2/3 of the way up the box, such that the lid is effectively the topmost of three stacked plates. To reinforce the illusion, a groove is positioned 2/3 of the way down — It really should be called a “Stacked Plate Storage Box” instead of a “Brick Storage Box”!

LEGO Brick Storage Box, $12.

LEGO Brick Storage Box, $12.

But how much bigger is it than a real 2×2 LEGO Brick? A lot bigger! The LEGO Brick Storage Box has a 10:1 ratio (10 times as wide, or 1000 times the volume!)

LEGO Brick Storage Box comes in four different color combinations:

LEGO Brick Storage Box is well built, has accurate proportions, and adheres closely to the LEGO branding. To actualy store LEGO bricks, it’s not great since you can only fill the box 2/3 of the way since the lid is hinged at that point. That’s why it earns our 3/5 Star (Good) rating, especially when used as I think it was intended — as a small lunchbox.

LEGO Knobs Wall Hanger Rack

LEGO Knobs Wall Hanger Rack, $10. This is a plastic wall hanger that looks like three 1×1 Round Plates (also referred to as knobs or studs). The knobs are attached to a white plastic base that you can mount on the wall, and the spacing looks about right to mimic three 1×2 Jumper Plates. Let’s figure out the scale, and see if they got the proportions right.

LEGO Knobs Wall Hanger Rack, 3 Colors, $10 each.

LEGO Knobs Wall Hanger Rack, 3 Colors, $10 each.

We do see a high degree of internal consistency within the three studs themselves – in measuring the scale across several dimensions, we see that the studs are a 6:1 scale (meaning that it is 6 times longer, wider, and deeper — that’s 216 times the volume of a real LEGO brick!) I should have realized it without having to take measurements, but the back plate is not to scale with the round studs. If it were to scale, the width of the round plate would be the same as the height of the backplate.

There are actually three different color combinations available:

The proportions of the studs themselves are perfect and the moulding quality is excellent. Futhermore, $10 is a good price for a coat rack. I am able to look past the fact that the base isn’t the right proportions for a real LEGO plate since the base is white and doesn’t compete with the brightly colored studs. That’s why it earns a 3/5 star (Good) rating.

Cookie Cutter Set

3pc Assorted Plastic Shapes Cookie Cutter Set, $3. An inexpensive pack containing classic LEGO shapes: 4-stud brick, Minifigure, and Minifigure Head. (Note: These scales are based on the cookie cutter size itself – cookies tend to expand when they grow.)

LEGO Cookie Cutters, $3.

LEGO Cookie Cutters, $3.

The Minifigure and 4-stud wide LEGO Brick share a 3:1 ratio, and the Minifigure Head is a much larger 8:1 ratio. This makes sense, since you want all of the cookies on a cookie sheet to be about the same surface area so that they are done baking at about the same time. (I worry that the tiny minifigure hands will burn, though!)

I also noticed that the cookie cutters are clearly marked “© 2021 The LEGO Group”. The packaging says “Origin: China” but they do not have a 5-digit LEGO Part ID. The moulding is good enough for a cookie cutter, but not up to the high standard of LEGO bricks, so it’s likely that they were made under license, rather than manufactured in the LEGO factory in Jiaxing.

$3 is not a lot of money, and these will be a lot of fun around the holidays. I’m worried enough about crispy fingers on the minifigure cookie cutter, so I’m going to play it safe and go with a 3/5 star (Good) rating until I can try them in the coming weeks.

As I expected, the minifigure hands are too small and burn easily.  In general, your mileage may vary.

As I expected, the minifigure hands are too small and burn easily — your mileage may vary!

January 4, 2022: As expected, the tiny hands of the minifigure are very fragile and burn easily. This is a very frustrating cookie cutter — I wish they made it look like they were holding something or made them thicker. The 4× stud brick and the Minifigure head are much easier to cook and look reasonable. That said, they end up looking a bit bulbous when baked. They could have made the finished cookie look more realistic by making the studs slightly narrower and exaggerated the corners a bit (to make up for the inevitable expansion that happens when a sugar cookie bakes on a pan.)

Gift Wrap

In addition to these physical products, the collection includes five different rolls of LEGO-inspired Wrapping Paper. At $5 per roll, it is neither a good deal or an unusually high price for gift wrap. (Each roll is 2.5′ Wide × 9.84′ Long, and has grid lines on the backside to help cut straight lines.)

Gift Wrap - available in 5 patterns. $5.

Gift Wrap – available in 5 patterns. $5.

As for scale, all three of the patterns which I purchased reflected a 1:1 ratio compared to real bricks. This means that the bricks or figures on the wrapping paper are exactly the same size as real LEGO bricks!

The gift wrap comes in five patterns:

It feels like good quality wrapping paper for an inflated but reasonable price. That said, I need to point out that the printed pattern is not a realistic rendition of LEGO bricks, but rather an artistic rendition with flatter (and not especially color-accurate) printing — don’t expect the blue or red color to match the color of a real brick! (I am also a bit surprised that the paper where the top of the studs is visible does not show the LEGO logo.) Due to the color issues, the somewhat high price, and the lack of more consistent LEGO branding, the Gift Wrap only earns our 2/5 Star (Acceptable) rating.

January 4, 2022: This is very high quality wrapping paper with a glossy, almost plasticy finish. That said, you need to use more tape than usual because it doesn’t stick as well as it would on normal wrapping paper. (The thicker paper and glossy finish may make it easier to reuse next year.)

Apparel

The LEGO × Target collection includes a ton of clothing, but I only purchased a few items for my family. The pajamas and kid-sized sweatshirt which I purchased both appear to be good quality, but we have not had a chance to wear them yet.

Two items from the Apparel collection with 2×4 Brick and LEGO Minifigure for scale.

Two items from the Apparel collection with 2×4 Brick and LEGO Minifigure for scale.

Because fabric stretches, I have not calculated the scale of the printed patterns with the same precision as the rest of the products in this article, but wanted to give a rough estimate of both of the patterns we purchased.

I haven’t spent enough time with the clothing to give it a numeric rating, but I will say that I’m unlikely to give the Pyjamas especially high marks. Why? Because the print is a bit weird and they don’t have any pockets!

January 4, 2022: We returned the pyjamas because they do not have pockets and are extremely bunchy in the crotch. I’m not asking for a slender ‘atheletic fit’, but these felt like I was wearing a bag on my legs! The toddler pyjamas had a better cut but ran a bit small, so we kept the slightly larger size.

Conclusion

The LEGO × Target collection is presented through Target online marketing as a unified collection, but it really is a loose collection of related products which were released for a limited time. The Lunch Box and Coat Rack are actually produced by Room Copenhagen, and the Lunch Box with Handle isn’t even exclusive to this line. The Snow / Sand building kits and Cookie Cutters were produced in China, but we do not know if they were poduced by LEGO, by Target, or by another vendor. The clothing line and Wrapping Paper is most likely produced by Target under the supervision of The LEGO Group, since they already produce a lot of their own clothing.

I doubt we will see this line of clothing again, since it is very likely exlusive to Target. On the other hand, I suspect that we will see wider availability of the oversized accessories and cookie cutters in 2022, since it doesn’t make sense to create manufacturing capacity for these products and not make them available to the widest audience.

Even this pile is just a small subset of the LEGO×Target Collection.

This giant pile is just a small subset of the LEGO×Target Collection.

Personally, nothing was a critical addition to my collection, but I suspect that the snow and sand accessories will be a hit once the weather gets colder (or warmer). I also don’t love the print they chose for the pyjamas (since you can’t actually see the LEGO studs when bricks are stacked to form a wall), and wish they had pockets, but we will still probably use them around the holidays.

I don’t feel like anything in the collection is a must have, but it’s a lot of fun. What do you think?
I purchased these products with my own money. The opinions in this article are strictly my own—even when a product is provided for review, it does not guarantee a positive review. Photos in this article are by Tom Alphin unless otherwise noted. Visit the About page for more info about our journalistic standards and affiliate programs.

Appendix – Calculating Scale

I’ve included all of my scale calculations used in this article in this appendix.

If something is larger than the original version, the larger number is shown first. (ex: 6:1 ratio means that the re-creation is 6-times larger in every direction than the original. When a 2D object is enlarged to 6:1 ratio, it is 6×6 = 36 times more surface area than the original. When a 3D object is enlarged to a 6:1 ratio, it is 6×6×6 = 216 times more volume than the original.)

Likewise, if the re-creation is smaller than the original (such as in a LEGO model of a real building), the larger number comes last, and indicates how many times smaller it is than the original. (ex: the buildings in the upcoming #21057 Singapore Skyline set are 1:1735 scale.)

Snow Character Building Kit

Radio / Walkie Talkie (part 19220) – 12:1 scale

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Stud Width (diameter) 58.35mm 4.8mm (3 LU) 12.2:1
Hollow Stud (inner diameter) 38.2mm 3.2mm (2 LU) 11.9:1
Handle (diameter) 36.8mm 3.2mm (2 LU) 11.5:1

Wand (part 10170) – 12:1 scale:

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Star Width 107.7mm 9.0mm 12:0:1
Length 345mm 28.8mm 12:0:1
Handle (diameter) 36.2mm 3.2mm (2 LU) 11.3:1

Tiara/Crown w/ mini pin (part 33322) – 12:1 scale

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Mini Bar (diameter) 18.0mm 1.6mm (1 LU) 11.3:1

Pretzel (part 10170) – 12:1 scale:

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Width 191mm 15.9mm 12:0:1
Height 157mm 13.1mm 12.0:1

Top Hat (part 3878) – 12:1 scale

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Brim Width (diameter) 191mm 15.9mm 11.8:1
Top Width (Diameter) 129.5mm 11.0mm (5 LU) 11.8:1
Height 103mm 8.6mm 12.0:1

1×1 Round Plate (part 4073) – 8:1 scale

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Stud Width (diameter) 39.1mm 4.8mm (3 LU) 8.1:1
Part Diameter 62.4mm 8mm (5 LU) 7.8:1

1×1 Round Tile w/ Eye (part 98138pb007) – 8:1 scale

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Part Diameter 62.4mm 8mm (5 LU) 7.8:1
Inner Stud Hole (diameter) 41.6mm 4.8mm (3 LU) 8.7:1

Carrot (part 33172) – 8:1 scale:

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Handle (diameter) 24.2mm 3.2mm (2 LU) 7.6:1
Length 153mm 19.2mm (12 LU) 8.0:1

Barb, Small (part 53451) – 8:1 scale

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Handle (diameter) 24.2mm 3.2mm (2 LU) 7.6:1
Length 107.9mm 13.5mm 8.0:1

Snow & Sand Building Kit

Shovel (part 3837) – 12:1 scale

Length Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Shovel Length 429mm 35.9mm 11.9:1
Shovel Head Width 115.3mm 9.7mm 11.9:1
Handle (diameter) 36.5mm 3.2mm (2 LU) 11.4:1

Flag (composite of several parts) – 8:1 scale

Length Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
4L Antenna (part 3957) – Length 306mm 38.4mm 8.0:1
Bar (diameter) 24.3mm 3.2mm (2 LU) 7.6:1
2×2 Dish (part 4740)- Diameter 125.5 mm 16mm (10 LU) 7.8:1

Sandcastle Mould exterior (composite of several parts) – 8:1 scale

Length Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Length (4 studs) 254mm 32mm (20 LU) 7.9:1
Width (2 studs) 126mm 16mm (10 LU) 7.9:1
Brick Height 77mm 9.6mm (6 LU) 8.0:1
Plate Height 25mm 3.2mm (2 LU) 7.8:1
Stud (diameter) 39.0mm 4.8mm (3 LU) 8.1:1

LEGO Brick Storage Box – 10:1 scale

Length Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Stud Width (diameter) 49.4mm 4.8mm (3 LU) 10.3:1
Brick Width 159mm 16mm (10 LU) 10.0:1
Brick Height (without studs) 95.8mm 9.6mm (6 LU) 10.0:1

LEGO Knobs Wall Hanger Rack – 6:1 scale

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Stud Width (diameter) 29.2mm 4.8mm (3 LU) 6.1:1
Plate Width (diameter) 47.2mm 8mm (5 LU) 5.9:1
Plate Height (to lip) 19.1mm 3.2mm (2 LU) 6.0:1
Backplate Height 64.0mm 8mm (5 LU) 8:1
Backplate Width (assuming 6 studs wide) 333.0mm 48mm (30 LU) 6.9:1

As noted in the article, the backplate is not the same width/height as a 1×6 LEGO plate. That’s why the last two rows were ignored in specifying the 6:1 ratio.

Cookie Cutter Set

The cookie cutters come in two different scales

Brick Cookie (3:1 scale):

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Stud Width 14.95mm 4.8mm (3 LU) 3.1:1
Space between Studs 8.92mm 3.2mm (2 LU) 2.8:1
Brick Width 95.65mm 32mm (20 LU) 3.0:1
Brick Height 28.9mm 9.6mm (6 LU) 3.0:10

Minifigure Head (8:1 scale):

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Width 82.2mm 10.2mm (6.375 LU) 8.1:1
Height (without stud) 77.2mm 9.6mm (6 LU) 8.0:1

Minifigure (3:1):

Feature Product Measurement LEGO Measurement Scale
Leg Width (at base) 46.4mm 16mm (10 LU) 2.9:1
Stud Width 14.9mm 4.8mm (3 LU) 3.1:1
Head Width 31.0mm 10.2mm (6.375 LU) 3.0:1
Height (excluding stud) 115.3mm 38.4mm (24 LU) 3.0:1

5 Responses

  1. Håkan says:

    Hmm, for the astronaut wrapping paper, I wonder about the color choice, as the nitpicker i am. Of the six colors, yellow, red, orange, blue, light gray and dark gray, the light gray astronaut is only possible to make through workarounds mixing different nuances of light gray, and for dark gray, neither the helmet, air tanks or torso have actually been produced at all…

  2. Mark Anderson says:

    Thanks for doing this analysis, Tom, and saving me the trouble.

    Were you not able to get your hands on a set of the silicone coasters? I found them to be 3:2 scale. When I find the remains of my old R2-D2 flashlight keychain, I will need to verify compatibility.

    • Tom Alphin says:

      Mark,
      You are welcome! It’s fun to geek out, and I’m always happy to share stuff like this with the broader LEGO community.

      I did not buy the silicone coasters because they did not interest me as much. 3:2 ratio is certainly possible, and could be verified easily by measuring the width and counting the studs 🙂

      —Tom

  3. Josh Gay says:

    Interestingly the 8:1 1*1 round plate will fit stud first into the open studs on the 12:1 walkie talkie.

    • Tom Alphin says:

      Josh,
      I did not discover this on my own, but thanks for pointing it out.

      It does make sense mathematically, though…

      • At a 12:1 scale, the hole in a hollow LEGO stud is 2LU in diameter × 12 = 24 LU.
      • At an 8:1 scale, the stud is 3LU × 8 = 24 LU.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please solve this math problem (to prove that you aren't a robot.) * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.