July 2023 LEGO News Roundup

Let’s take a closer look at the new sets for August, including in-depth reviews of a few of them which are of particular interest to Adult builders.

Summers in the Pacific Northwest are packed — juggling work, camping trips, and vacation into our short summer season. It’s also traditional for European families to take time off, especially in Denmark (where The LEGO Group is headquartered). With so many employees taking several weeks off in July and August, you would expect a decrease in LEGO related news, but that isn’t the case. That’s because they release the majority of new sets in June through August, allowing plenty of time to advertise (and distribute) these new products to global retailers in advance of December holiday gift-giving.

I hope that you enjoy this month’s roundup. Further down, you will find my Top 9 LEGO sets for Adults. That’s in addition to highlighting cool articles from around the web, new sets coming out in August, and links to our latest reviews.

New at Brick Architect

  • Review: #21060 Himeji Castle
    Easily the most beautiful addition to the LEGO Architecture series in years, this set also features a new element and a good value — but is it one of the best sets in the series?
  • Review: #42146 Liebherr Crawler Crane LR 13000
    An awesome LEGO Technic set that has a heavy lift to justify the hefty price tag. Let’s find out if it’s worth it!
  • Review: #75290 Mos Eisley Cantina
    Is this 2020 LEGO set worth adding to your collection before it (likely) retires later this year? Let’s find out by exploring the architecture, the 21 diverse minifigures, and overall value.
#21060 Himeji Castle is the best of what LEGO Architecture has to offer.

#21060 Himeji Castle is the best of what LEGO Architecture has to offer.

We still have a lot of great content coming soon… This includes putting the finishing touches on our review of #21341 Disney Hocus Pocus: The Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage, finding time to build the (gorgeous) #10315 Tranquil Garden (LEGO Icons), and continuing our exploration of the Summer 2023 LEGO Friends lineup. I also need to start getting ready for BrickCon, which has moved almost a month earlier and will take place September 7-10 in Bellevue, WA (after many years in downtown Seattle).

Top 9 LEGO Sets for Adults?

This month, my wife noticed that The Wirecutter / New York Times had produced a list of The Best Lego Sets for Adults, According to Our Staff. With a fair dose of skepticism, I reviewed their list and discovered that they highlighted several genuinely excellent sets, as well as a handful that I definitely wouldn’t have recommended.

Without further ado, here are the 9 sets that they chose followed by my top 9 LEGO Sets for Adults. (The two sets which appear on both lists are highlighted.)

Wirecutter’s Top 9 LEGO Sets for Adults:

  1. #21333 Vincent Van Gogh – The Starry Night (LEGO Ideas)
    This is an excellent set. I haven’t built it, but people seem to love the layered effect on the painting surface, and the overall painterly appearance.
    $170, 2316 pieces.
  2. #10316 Rivendell (The Lord of the Rings)
    We had a lot of good things to say about this epic set in our review – it definitely deserves a spot on this list.
    $500, 6167 pieces.
  3. #77015 Temple of the Golden Idol (Indiana Jones)
    While this is a very good set that earned a 4/5 star rating in our review, there are slightly better options if I can only pick 9 sets.
    $150, 1545 pieces.
  4. #21056 Taj Mahal (LEGO Architecture)
    As explained in our review, this is a pretty good LEGO Architecture set, but I highlighted a different one in my list below…
    $120, 2022 pieces.
  5. #10273 Haunted House (LEGO Icons)
    In our review, Jeannie explains that this set has fun play features, but the gears are a little finicky.
    $300, 3231 pieces.
  6. #21058 Great Pyramid of Giza (LEGO Architecture)
    While this set is a decent display model, the fact that we only get one half of the model and the repetitive build process caused it to just barely earn 4/5 star rating. (In retrospect, I think that might only deserve the lower 3/5 star rating.)
    $130, 1476 pieces.
  7. #75290 Mos Eisley Cantina (Star Wars)
    As chance would have it, Koen just reviewed this earlier in the month. The minifgs are awesome, but it is pretty overpriced.
    $400, 3187 pieces.
  8. #10294 Titanic (LEGO Icons)
    I was never drawn to this set although it is well regarded. I prefer a bit more variety in a set with so many pieces.
    $680, 9090 pieces.
  9. #21327 Typewriter (LEGO Ideas)
    While I haven’t built this set, it is widely regarded as excellent. It’s fair to consider this a ‘top 9 set’ even though I didn’t include it in my list.
    $250, 2079 pieces.

While that isn’t a bad list, they picked a few sets that offer especially poor value, as well as a couple of sets that are overshadowed by similar sets which are a lot better. For my list, I aimed to increase the diversity of the offerings, with a better mix of themes and price points.

Brick Architect’s Top 9 LEGO Sets for Adults:

  1. #21060 Himeji Castle (LEGO Architecture)
    I explained in my brand-new review that this is an exceptional set, possibly the best LEGO Architecture set yet!
    $160, 2125 pieces.
  2. #10320 Eldorado Fortress (LEGO Icons)
    This is my pick of the nostalgic re-interpretations of classic sets. It earned 4/5 star rating in our recent review.
    $215, 2509 pieces.
  3. #75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer (Star Wars)
    This is a small set that has big-set vibes and excellent greebling details. I love that it includes two normal Star Destroyers for scale. (Not every LEGO set needs to be more than $100.)
    $70, 630 pieces.
  4. #10316 Rivendell (The Lord of the Rings)
    As already noted, this set easily earned a place in my top-9 sets as well…
    $500, 6167 pieces.
  5. #10313 Wildflower Bouquet (LEGO Botanicals)
    The diverse selection of colors, nice parts usage (pirate helmets), and great value make this the best amongst the consistently excellent Botanicals lineup.
    $60, 939 pieces.
  6. #10303 Loop Coaster (LEGO Icons)
    I explained in my review that this set is a bit flawed, with glitchy mechanical features and a high price. It’s also one of the most fun LEGO sets, especially for families with kids.
    $400, 3756 pieces.
  7. #21333 Vincent Van Gogh – The Starry Night (LEGO Ideas)
    The consistently high marks earned this set a place in both lists.
    $170, 2316 pieces.
  8. #42145 Airbus H175 Rescue Helicopter (Technic)
    It’s crazy to make a list of great LEGO sets for adults without including a Technic set. While it is marked ages 11+ instead of 18+, this is the best set in the current Technic lineup.
    $210, 2001 pieces.
  9. #21338 A-Frame Cabin (LEGO Ideas)
    I would almost always rather be outside. This is an incredibly cute set with amazing rustic cabin vibes.
    $180, 2082 pieces.

These types of ‘top-X’ lists are subjective and can be polarizing. Perhaps your favorite set is not included on either of these lists… No worries, let me know which awesome set I missed by leaving a comment below!

Exciting new sets for AFOLs

While July had only a few new sets, August is packed with new releases! While this list focuses on sets aimed at the AFOL community, you might also be interested in the new LEGO Sonic the Hedgehog sets, the recent addition of Donkey Kong to the LEGO Super Mario theme, and the excellent looking LEGO Dreamzzz lineup.

  • #42146 Liebherr Crawler Crane LR 13000 (Technic)
    This set is the most expensive and largest Technic set (but doesn’t have the most pieces) ever released!
    2883 pieces, ages 18+, $700, available August 1st at LEGO.com
  • #10321 Corvette (LEGO Icons)
    Featuring a cherry red color and iconic streamlined shape, this LEGO re-creation of a classic American sportscar is likely to turn heads (and empty your pockets).
    1210 pieces, ages 18+, $150. available August 1 at LEGO.com
#10321 Corvette is a striking looking classic American convertible.

#10321 Corvette is a striking looking classic American convertible. (Photo: The LEGO Group)

  • #21060 Himeji Castle (LEGO Architecture)
    There have been many lists of iconic architecture that fans would like to see represented in the Architecture series, and Himeji Castle was frequently near the top of the list. This beautiful model will be one of the largest sets in the LEGO Architecture series.
    2125 pieces, ages 18+, $160, available August 1 at LEGO.com
  • #10315 Tranquil Garden (LEGO Icons)
    Sitting beautifully between LEGO Icons sets (like #10281 Bonsai Tree) and the LEGO Architecture series, this model offers a gorgeous marriage of architecture and nature (including some diverse foliage techniques).
    1363 pieces, ages 18+, $110, available August 1 at LEGO.com
  • #31141 Main Street (LEGO City)
    While simplistic compared to the popular Modular Building Series, this model gives younger builders both a taste of the Modular style, and the level of story-based play that is the hallmark of the LEGO Friends line.
    Ages 9+, $140, available August 1 at LEGO.com
#31141 Main Street has Modular Building vibes in a smaller set for younger builders. (Photo: The LEGO Group)

#31141 Main Street has Modular Building vibes in a smaller set for younger builders. (Photo: The LEGO Group)

  • #75365 Yavin 4 Rebel Base (Star Wars)
    This model offers simple building techniques, but the minifigure selection will appear to Star Wars fans of any age. (You can find some nice photos in this Brickset review.)
    12 different minifigures, ages 8+, $170, available August 1 at LEGO.com
  • #76262 Captain America’s Shield (Marvel)
    If you like LEGO Models that are large and round, this is a great choice. I know that a lot of LEGO fans like to make cosplay props using LEGO bricks, and this is a good example of that style of building.
    3128 pieces, ages 18+, $200, available August 1 at LEGO.com.
  • #42158 NASA Mars Rover Perseverance (Technic)
    The LEGO Group should be embarrased that a NASA-branded product was released two months later in the country which has their flag on the side. Nonetheless, folks in North America can finally purchase this impressive-looking Technic set.
    1132 pieces, ages 10+, $100, available August 1 at LEGO.com.

To see all of the other new sets this month, visit the lego.com store. (Making a purchase using our referral link helps support this website.)

#42158 NASA Mars Rover Perseverance is finally available for purchase in North America!

#42158 NASA Mars Rover Perseverance is finally available for purchase in North America!

Best articles from around the web

It is always a pleasure to highlight some of the best LEGO articles every month. I hope you enjoy this month’s best content from around the web.

Many people asked me to create minifigs depicting the defenders of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, all of whom by then were being held in Russian captivity.

Andrew Becraft / Brothers Brick

New parts and recolors in #10321 Corvette. (Photo: New Elementary)

New parts and recolors in #10321 Corvette. (Photo: New Elementary)

Chris McVeigh on designing LEGO Botanical sets (Photo: The LEGO Group)

Chris McVeigh on designing LEGO Botanical sets (Photo: The LEGO Group)

Thanks for reading our July LEGO News Roundup. You can Subscribe to the Brick Architect newsletter to receive this in your email!

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