• The Best of 2012

    Compiled by duilim. Updated 18 November 2012. Contains 14 sets.
    A look back on this years hits in each of the major themes.

    4 out of 4 people thought this BrickList was helpful.

21016: Sungnyemun

2 reviews
Pieces
325
RRP
$34.99, £29.99, €34.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail - limited
Instructions
Yes
Notes
Initially named Namdaemun Gate.
Bricklist notes
With the exception of 21012 Sydney Opera house (which I think most people agree was just plain awful), all the Architecture sets were pretty good. Villa Savoye was my initial pick as the top set in this theme, but the more I looked at Sungnyemum, the more I fell in love with it, especially when I compared it to the original in Seoul. Much more accurate than the Opera House and more historical than Villa Savoye, I have no regrets on settling on this set as the best of the Architecture theme for 2012.
Our community
965 own this set, 876 want it.

9486: Oil Rig Escape

1 review
Pieces
422
RRP
$49.99, £49.99, €59.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail
Instructions
Yes
Bricklist notes
There weren’t a lot of choices for Cars this year. The difficult part was that none of them were bad, but at the same time, none really stood out either. Red’s Water Rescue was a good opportunity to pick up Red and complete your Radiator Springs collection, whilst Ultimate Race Set provided a great deal of playability and fun. In the end however, I settled for Oil Rig Escape as I felt that it just offered more in terms of overall playability and build. It also helped that the price wasn’t unreasonable.
Our community
597 own this set, 359 want it.

4208: Fire Truck

4 reviews
Pieces
243
Minifigs
1
RRP
$19.99, £17.99, €19.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail
Instructions
Yes
Related sets
Included in 66426-1
Bricklist notes
City this year was a big miss for me. Both the Forest and Mining subthemes held very little appeal as I saw neither of them as truly belonging to this theme. The new hospital as well was a big disappointment and was definitely a step back when compared to its predecessor. Let’s face it, it was tiny! Thankfully, there were also some vehicle sets that were also released which went some way to making up for my disappointment. At the start of the year, I saw the garbage truck, ambulance and re cycling trucks as must haves for me as I missed out on the previous versions. The set that stood out most for me however was one that I was initially hesitant in getting and only picked up recently – 4208 Fire Truck. It’s a neat little vehicle with a good build and design, and its pricing makes it suitable for birthday and Christmas presents. In a year when City failed to deliver, this set for me shone. On an off note, I sincerely hope this is the last we see of both the Forest and Mining themes…..
Our community
3107 own this set, 976 want it.

8827: Roman Soldier

10 reviews
Pieces
7
Minifigs
1
RRP
$2.99, £1.99
Packaging
Foil pack
Availability
Retail
Related sets
Included in 8827-17
Might be in 8827-0
Bricklist notes
The Collectable Minifigures this year were like any other year – a mixed bag. To be honest though not too many stood out for me –the top two were probably the Roman Soldier and the Conquistador, with the former taking the title easily in my eyes. This is probably the second best of the minifigures to date, trailing only the Spartan. As an aside, I really hope that this theme is coming to an end soon….. the repeat figures are driving me nuts!
Our community
4931 own this set, 1425 want it.

7345: Transport Chopper

2 reviews
Pieces
383
RRP
$34.99, £24.99, €29.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail
Instructions
Yes
Bricklist notes
In the past, I’ve always gone with a building as the best Creator set – last year, I went with Lighthouse Island and the year before that, Apple Tree House. This year however saw a smaller creator building, 7346 Seaside House released which didn’t quite hit the mark. 6913 Blue Roadster was a set that initially caught my eye but the alternative builds I felt were weak. 7347 Highway Pickup was another good set but a little on the expensive side. Ultimately, I ended up settling on 7374 Transport Chopper as sort of a compromise – a reasonable price point with good alternative builds. I’m still not sure about the colour but it seems to be good value and has useful pieces for MOC’s.
Our community
1085 own this set, 407 want it.

5885: Triceratops Trapper

4 reviews
Pieces
271
Minifigs
2
RRP
$49.99, £39.99, €49.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail
Instructions
Yes
Bricklist notes
I have to confess that this was a biased selection as I’m a big fan of the Triceratops. It’s much more appealing that the T-Rex and better value than the Raptor. In all honesty though, all the sets in this theme were pretty good, although I did think that 5887 Dino Defence HQ was a little on the pricey side given that the design was probably the weakest of the seven available sets. 5884 Raptor Chase was another good set and could perhaps have taken this title but I just couldn’t go past the Triceratops – so 5885 it is!
Our community
1616 own this set, 828 want it.

3188: Heartlake Vet

1 review
Pieces
343
Minifigs
2
RRP
$44.99, £39.99, €39.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail
Instructions
Yes
Bricklist notes
This is a tough one. I know that initially, some sections of the community weren’t happy with the stereotype they saw in this theme but I love it and I think that the sales have proven this theme to be a big winner. Great colours, great variety and fantastic designs. Trying to pick the best of the bunch was more or less an impossible task. My wife loved 3065 Olivia’s Tree house whereas 3189 Heartlake Stable and 3061 City Park Café were strong sets for me. At the end of the day though, I just couldn’t go pass 3188 Heartlake Vet. I can’t explain it, but there’s just something about it that’s just magical for me. The elongated design, use of colours and even the horse stable just go so well together that I can’t go pass this as the best Friends set of 2012. Overall, I’d have to say that this theme has been a huge success and I’m sure that it will be around for many more years to come.
Our community
2065 own this set, 538 want it.

6223: Bulk

2 reviews
Pieces
61
RRP
$12.99, £9.99, €12.99
Instructions
Yes
Bricklist notes
I have to admit that I find this theme a painful exercise every year when I do this list. I was never a fan of Bionicle, and I find this theme even less appealing. In the past two years, I’ve gone for various forms of the “Stormer” build with my decision purely based on which set looks the best. This year of course is no different except that I’ve opted for 6223 Bulk instead. Personally, I feel that he’s just got the best look about him whereas the build and price of these ultra build figures are more or less the same.
Our community
519 own this set, 242 want it.

9474: The Battle Of Helm's Deep

9 reviews
Pieces
1368
Minifigs
8
RRP
$129.99, £99.99, €139.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail
Instructions
Yes
Related sets
Included in 5001130-1 5001132-1
Connects with 9471-1
Bricklist notes
I was very much looking forward to this theme when it was first announced and although it didn’t quite meet expectations, it didn’t exactly fail to deliver either. 9470 Shelob’s Attack was a flop as far as I was concerned but that was the only poor set in this theme. 9473 Mines of Moria and 9472 Weathertop could admittedly have been better and 9471 Uruk Hai Army really needs the Helm’s Deep set to compliment it but overall, it was a reasonably effort from the Lego designers. Of course, I found this decision an easy one to make, with Helm’s Deep being the most accurate of the released sets with the greatest playability and a fun build. The fact that the wall section could be lengthened by adding 9471 to it only served to increase the playability factor in this set.
Our community
4953 own this set, 2234 want it.

9464: The Vampyre Hearse

3 reviews
Pieces
314
Minifigs
3
RRP
$34.99, £24.99, €29.99
Instructions
Yes
Related sets
Included in 5001133-1
Bricklist notes
This really should have been a no brainer – without doubt the best set in this theme was 10228 Haunted House but given that it’s more of an UCS set, I disqualified it from selection. And that made this decision so much harder. To say that I did not like this theme would have been an understatement. In my eyes it was ugly, some sets were not designed that well and I had no hesitation in passing on this theme completely. To be honest, I still don’t know which set I would buy if I had to buy one but I eventually decided on 9464 Vampyre Hearse since it was the one I found most tolerable. I know that’s not a good criteria to base this decision on, and I do apologise to those of you who are a fan of this theme, but it was dark, aesthetically unpleasing and not something that I would ever let my children play with.
Our community
3842 own this set, 985 want it.

9446: Destiny's Bounty

6 reviews
Pieces
680
Minifigs
6
RRP
$79.99, £59.99, €79.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail
Instructions
Yes
Bricklist notes
I’m not a big fan of what Lego have done with Ninjago. I’m more of a traditional person and much preferred the ninja theme of the late 90’s. Ninja’s riding bikes and flying jets just seems so, well, wrong. Yes, I know that this theme is aimed at young children and has been a big winner, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. And so again, I’ve gone for the most “traditional” looking set of the year, 9446 Destiny’s Bounty as my top build for Ninjago in 2012. It’s actually got quite an accurate design when compared to traditional oriental junk boats and even the “transformation” when it turns into a flying ship doesn’t look overly ridiculous. Best of all, it blends in nicely with my collection of pirate ships!
Our community
1408 own this set, 956 want it.

9496: Desert Skiff

25 reviews
Pieces
213
Minifigs
4
RRP
$24.99, £24.99, €29.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail
Instructions
Yes
Related sets
Included in 66432-1
Bricklist notes
Star Wars this year was interesting. We saw some Old Republic sets which looked quite good (if only I was into the cartoons) but I’m more of and OT person so it’s no surprise that I opted for an OT set as my best for the year. I found 9516 Jabba’s Palace to be a welcome release after many years, and 9492 Tie Fighter was certainly a massive improvement over the original “blue and black” of years past. However, I’d have to say that the biggest improvement (just edging out Jabba’s Palace) came in 9496 Desert Skiff. Boba Fett just keeps getting better with age, Lando and Luke are great and the Skiff itself is the most accurate to date.
Our community
8111 own this set, 1601 want it.

6869: Quinjet Aerial Battle

5 reviews
Pieces
735
Minifigs
5
RRP
$69.99, £69.99, €79.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail
Instructions
Yes
Bricklist notes
Anyone who saw the Avenger’s movie will be familiar with the Quinijet and if you’re a Lego fan as well, then this set almost becomes a must have. I have to compliment the designer(s) who worked on this set as it could not have been easy to produce such an accurate representation of this iconic vehicle. Yes, there should be rotors in the wing section rather than the “Shield” sticker emblem, but this is just about the only flaw with this set. It also probably helped that the DC Batman sets were a little disappointing when compared to their predecessors. I loved the build, there was an excellent selection of characters and overall, it ended up being an easy decision to make.
Our community
4030 own this set, 1543 want it.

9395: Pick-Up Tow Truck

2 reviews
Pieces
954
RRP
$69.99, £49.99, €59.99
Packaging
Box
Availability
Retail
Instructions
Yes
Related sets
Included in 66433-1
Bricklist notes
Technic is tough every year and that’s because there aren’t any weak sets. The designs are so intricate that the people who design these sets really should be more celebrated. I guess the “Best” set here really depends on what you like. In the end I narrowed it down to three sets - 9394 Jet Plane, 9396 Helicopter and 9395 Pick up Tow Truck. Each set is remarkably accurate and offer wonderful building experiences but I guess that the Tow Truck would have been the set I would have bought if offered just one of them. I will confess that I’m not entirely certain on my choice but for now, the Tow Truck it is.
Our community
1883 own this set, 620 want it.