The Brickset 2017 Holiday Gift Guide, part 1

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Robo Explorer

Robo Explorer

©2017 LEGO Group

It's that time of year again when we publish a series of holiday gift guides to help you find the perfect present over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.

We have chosen price points to suit all your gift-giving needs and today we kick off with sets under $25 (£20), which make ideal stocking fillers or gifts for nieces and nephews.

Read on to find out what Brickset's contributors have picked from 187 retail sets released this year in that price bracket.


CapnRex101
75183 Darth Vader Transformation (£19.99, $24.99, 29.99€)

75183-1Darth Vader Transformation
75183

The Star Wars range has featured some excellent small sets in this fortieth anniversary year. 75167 Bounty Hunter Speeder Bike Battle Pack and 75182 Republic Fighter Tank are both highly recommended but better still is 75183 Darth Vader Transformation from my point of view.

This set includes an exceptional selection of minifigures and the transformation functions are a lot of fun to play with. Furthermore, the retail price of £19.99, $24.99 or 29.99€ seems very reasonable so I think this is a perfect small gift for a Star Wars fan!

70607 NINJAGO City Chase and 70629 Piranha Chase are also worthy of consideration as they offer tremendous value for money at £14.99, $19.99 or 19.99€ each.

You can read our review here.


iso3200
60150 Pizza Van (£14.99, $19.99, 19.99€)

60150-1Pizza Van
60150

As this is the filler category I juggled several worthy contenders, finally settling on the 60150 Pizza Van. It's a welcome change from the relentless year on year City Police and Fire remakes and it fits into any layout perfectly.

The colour scheme really makes it stand out and I love the inclusion of the red scooter and printed pizza quarter. I'm not a big collector of City but this one hits the sweet spot and it has great playability too.

I know it's about a year old already, yet it still stands out because of it's uniqueness. With age comes discount too – it's easily picked up for less than RRP so great for a stocking stuffer.

You can read our review here.


TheBrickPal
21312 Women of NASA ($24.99, £19.99, 24.99€)

21312-1Women of NASA
21312

There are many fantastic sets to choose from in this range, but the one that is easiest to pick, for certain, is 21312 Women of NASA. Not only do you get some great parts, but these parts combine to create great minifigs of famous female scientists, as well as impressive vignettes. Boys and girls alike will appreciate the set’s significance. It’s also a perfect way to get your friend or significant-other into LEGO if they study the field (or even if they don’t!).

The only con I can think of for the set is that it’s pretty hard to find, so act fast! You can read our review here.

As an alternative, other collectors may enjoy finding a BrickHeadz in their stocking. They’re cheap, easy-to-build and (even though they don’t do much other than sit on a shelf) look great. Some of my favorites include 41590 Iron Man, 41595 Belle and 41487 Lloyd.


MeganL
41319 Snow Resort Hot Chocolate Van ($24.99, £19.99, 24.99€)

41319-1Snow Resort Hot Chocolate Van
41319

With so many selections for this price point, it's difficult to select just one. Because I'm an engineer, I have to acknowledge 21312 Women of NASA Also, in the Creator line 31062 Robo Explorer is also a fine choice (and don't forget the Creative boxes that are available for just $4.99. They're terrific!).

However for the Friends-loving person on your list, I recommend 41319 Snow Resort Hot Chocolate Van (review forthcoming).

The van has a number of moving function and a great level of detail. The set also includes a toboggan run with two toboggans, one each for the two minidolls included with the set (having two minidolls for a set this size is unusual). It offers a great amount of play for the price point and is fun to build, too.


DrDaveWatford
31062 Robo Explorer ($19.99, £17.99, 17.99€ )

31062-1Robo Explorer
31062

This modestly-priced Creator 3-in-1 set features a great-looking primary model, and when you're done with the Robo Explorer there are also a couple of worthy secondary builds to keep you occupied.

I'm a fan of the relatively unusual medium azure colour scheme, and the inclusion of a light brick is the icing on the cake. An appealing set, and definitely my pick at this price point.


Huw
31058 Mighty Dinosaurs ($14.99, £12.99, 14.99€)

31058-1Mighty Dinosaurs
31058

Every kid likes dinosaurs, right? This year's Creator animal set, 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs, makes four of them, all of which, as you can see in our review, are awesome!

Not only that, there are no minifigures or licensing fees to bump up the price so it's excellent value for money, too.


FlagsNZ
31058 Mighty Dinosaurs ($14.99, £12.99, 14.99€)

31058-1Mighty Dinosaurs
31058

I always like sets released under the Creator theme banner. They typically have 3-in-1 builds as part of their appeal.

The Creator sets use clever building techniques to create a surprising level of detailing without relying in stickers.

At the beginning of the year I participated in the LEGO Ideas Test Lab and this set was one of four Creator sets that were used as the basis of the Fourth Build Challenge. At the end of the competition, eight of the ten finalists for the Fourth Build Challenge were based on the 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs set and all of the winners were designed using the parts from this Mighty Dinosaurs set, which goes to show its versatility.


Do you have any recommendations? Sets you have bought that you think would make good gifts for others?

 

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25 comments on this article

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By in Australia,

I personally would recommend Ninjago city of the Saturn V rocket

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't quite think they fit in the £20 range though. They will probably pop up in the most expensive category though

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ If you can find a shop that's selling them for under $25 then do let us all know!

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By in Finland,

Thanks for the guide. I'm really looking forward to the article for the most expensive price point. ;)

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By in United Kingdom,

I like these choices. I have the Robo Explorer set, and love the light brick. For myself, I quite like 76079 - Ravager Attack as it has an exclusive hero minifig in Mantis and the ship is like a little Milano or one of the ships from the first film which Rocket pilots. However, my favourite is 31060 - Airshow Aces. You can build a truck and 2 aeroplanes, a crane, a dragster, a racing car and it combines with 31054 - Blue Express and 31055 - Red Racer in quite a novel way.

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By in United Kingdom,

I have to agree with the versatility and designs of #31058, especially as it is often under £10 in the UK.

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By in Norway,

Is the fourth dinosaur the skeletal remains on the ground?

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By in Spain,

Please, contributors, do not repeat sets!!
Great selection, anyway. :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Why? The dino set is so awesome it's a wonder only two of us picked it.

We don't confer, everyone chooses independently and if more than one pick the same set, well, it must be something special.

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By in United Kingdom,

Two of these have already been put away for Christmas, two more are being looked at & I've just noticed about the light brick in Robo Explorer which may well be the tipping point on that one.
If I were a fan of City, the Pizza Van would have already been bought.
5/6 & only personal tastes preventing 6/6 - That's a pretty impressive start to the gift guides

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By in Belgium,

Own both the Pizza Van and the Robo Explorer. Great sets i can recommend!

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By in United States,

J0rgen: The fourth dinosaur is a sauropod and instructions can be found online.

My son received the dinosaur set for his birthday and absolutely loves it. He can't decide which dinosaur he likes best so he keeps tearing apart and rebuilding the models. Mighty Dinosaurs definitely gets my vote at this price point!

A close second is Women of NASA. That is the first set my wife bought for herself.

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By in United Kingdom,

Must admit - I think the dino set is great [The creator animals are always great!!] - and great value for money - bought it for quite a few of our kid's friends as birthday presents (along with the robo explorer [when I've got it on special] and also the bounty hunter set - the Darth Vader set at £20 was slightly out of our price range!)

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By in United Kingdom,

My top 5 sets under £20 are (in not order); City Pizza Van £14.99 ($19.99), DC Superheros Superman Vs Bazzaro Mighty Micro £8.99 ($9.99), Star Wars First Order Transporter Battle Pack £11.99 ($14.99), Friends Heartlake Surf Shop £17.99 ($19.99), The LEGO Ninjago Movie Ninjago City Chase £14.99 ($19.99)

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By in United States,

I clicked the article prepared to fuss if the pizza and hot chocolate truck sets didn’t make it :p
Great selections!

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By in United States,

Most of these are on sale below SRP at Walmart. Approximately half of the sets on the shelves locally had "Rollback" tags.

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By in United States,

Some fun inexpensive picks!
My pick would be the little 31054 Blue Express Creator train. Get 5 of those and us kiddies can build a couple of engines and cars to make a nice little train set.

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By in United States,

Creator 31064 has normally been $20 at amazon US as well as Target if you are wanting a slightly bigger set.

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By in United States,

I second Robo Explorer and City Pizza Van - great little sets, perfect as stand alone gifts. Another good one in this price range not mentioned yet is #41235 Wonder Woman Dorm Room. I wasn't super impressed with DC Girls theme in general, but this set is seriously kawaii.

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By in United States,

I definitely agree with these choices. I own the Pizza Van and Mighty Dinosaurs and they are both excellent sets at good price points.

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By in Australia,

75183 Darth Vader Transformation is my set pic as well for this price point

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By in United Kingdom,

I own all but the Friends set and agree that they're all fabulous. I also have spares of most of these in my "gift stash" for various nieces and nephews birthday/christmas presents.

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By in United States,

I think Farlander's got a point, if this is a gift guide it would make sense for each gift to have one entry, I'd recommend having both Huw and Flags under the same section of the article and write their thoughts together on it, rather than taking up two slots and potentially confusing readers.

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By in United Kingdom,

31062 - Robo Explorer

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