Holiday Gift Guide day 6: $150+
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!