Holiday Gift Guide day 6: $150+

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For the final installment of our Holiday Gift Guide, we'll be recommending sets in the rarefied air of $150+ price tags.

Although we should remember there are many other things to be grateful for during this time of year, there is still something to be said about receiving this much LEGO goodness. One's great fortune will likely not be lost upon anyone lucky enough to receive LEGO in this price segment.

For Children: 10188: Death Star (US$399.99, £274.99)

I thought about selecting a LEGO train here since there is a nearly universal love of trains among children and there aren't many more natural holiday pairings than a toy train circling a Christmas tree.

However, train sets have come and gone, and there will always be some version available in the LEGO product line. The same can not be said for the colossal, truly epic set that is 10188 Death Star! If I were a betting man (and I am), this is the last holiday season for the Death Star. Even if that ends up not being the case, whomever gets this due to its selection here can thank me for the extra length of ownership!

Spanning four levels are 14 rooms which depict memorable scenes from the Star Wars movies. Each room is chock full of action elements for the use of the 24(!) included minifigures. The round nature of the model is conducive to multiple children playing at the same time, which should further add to the interaction with the set.

The set is available for purchase at all the usual places. At $399.99, it is tied as the most expensive of any current set, but it's worth every penny. Of course, you don't have to only trust my word, you can reference the flawless ratings by fellow Brickset users here.

 

For adults: 10225: R2-D2 ($179.99, £149.99)

I apologize if you're choosing a gift for someone that simply has no interest in Star Wars, but there was only a slight moment of deliberation in choosing 10225 R2-D2 over the other sets in this price range. I gave some consideration to 10228 Haunted House or 8043 Excavator, but ultimately it came down to many of the same reasons atkinsar listed when choosing the VW Bus: R2-D2 is iconic, accessible by the general public, and the set is a great build and charming display piece.

If it's not clear what I mean when I say accessible, I can best explain it by the following: if I brought it into work to display at my desk, everyone would recognize what it is, what it was made out of, and want to take a closer look. It would undoubtedly be seen as cool and stir up conversation, which is precisely what a great model should do.

There have been character models given the UCS Star Wars treatment in the past, but IMO they left something to be desired. The LEGO designers absolutely got this incarnation of R2D2 right and there is very little I could think of to improve the model.

Happy holidays and Play Well!

15 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Can I lie about my age to get the Death Star instead of the R2D2? :oD

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By in United Kingdom,

R2-D2 is fantastic, but I think Haunted House is the better set.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ You need'nt lie! Just ask for it anyway, I did and I know its in the house somewhere....and its killing me not to go hunt for it and build it! Less than three weeks to go I must resist the dark side!

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By in United Kingdom,

What about the Unimog!?

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By in United States,

Yeah, I'd have to agree with Midwestguy. R2D2 is iconic and cool, but the Haunted House is more original, and is a little more adult than many give it credit for (it has a heart in a jar :). Not since the Green Grocer ha a set made me go "wow!"

It's a tough call really, but I'd stick with the wow factor of the house.

I'd agree about the trains also. The current batch of trains are good, maybe even very good, but not _great_. Imagine what Lego could do with a Death-Star caliber (i.e. $400) train set.

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By in United States,

Couldn't agree more with these selections; I have neither so maybe the holidays are a good excuse ( obviously ) to pick one up....hmmm...which one which one. I agree about the Haunted House too; although, the Town Hall IMO being a part of the true modular bunch is a winner all the way. I think at this "elite" LEGO level of any product priced at USD$150 - 200 and above the discussion does become more about the story, the playability, the display value, etc. The names become household names due to popularity and sheer size.

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By in United Kingdom,

totally agree with the choices. Love my Death Star and dont think there are many other sets with the same level of wow factor. And totally love R2 too.

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By in Norway,

I think the Death Star fits adults and kids alike. You might not be able to fit it in the office, though.

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By in United Kingdom,

Hey, rocao. There are people out there who don't care less about Star Wars. I know, I'm one of them.

That's the thing about licensed sets. If you are not interested in the licence, they repel rather than attract.

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By in Netherlands,

^ That's with every set, it's just what's the best set for YOU :)

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By in United States,

I have my 10225 Lego R2 on my shelf of my cubicle at work. And I did get comments on it. And this set brought me out of my dark period (along with Sears tower three years ago and White House 2 years ago).

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By in United States,

^ I don't know if that's true. For example, I like Star Wars, but don't like the Clone Wars models (you know, the ones with the cartoony faces). Those sets do tend to repel me even if the set looks good otherwise.

A bad set is a bad set though, I will give you that.

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By in United States,

It's great to hear everyone's opinions (especially when they're lambasting yellowcastle :) )
One of the criteria for my gift guide recommendations was to have them be suitable gifts for as broad a group as possible. As I said, I know there are people that aren't interested in Star Wars, but I still think the target group is larger than for the others. I personally love the Unimog, Excavator, and Haunted House, but I could give R2D2 to nearly every adult friend and have a reasonable expectation they would appreciate it and build it, and that's not the case for a large technic set or a building.

Now if you know the person to whom you're giving a gift has a particular interest, then you probably are already a step beyond needing the guide ;)

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By in United States,

I own both and both are the center pieces of my collection but to be honest my favorite of the two is R2. It's just so well done. Sure playability is not as high but tell that to my daughter who always tries to pretend R2 is cutting off my index finger with his hidden circular saw. I even put in a light effects module. Will do sound effects soon. The price point is better too. But both are worth every penny. The mini tie advanced is probably my favorite representation of the famous ship

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By in United States,

The part where you described taking the R2D2 to work? I did exactly that! It's sat on my desk since I picked it up back in May and everyone loves it. My boss still comes by from time to time and just spins the head around. It's the perfect Lego set for displaying like that.

I can't think of anything else that comes close to it as something I'd display on the corner of my desk. That's a huge part of why I love it so much!

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