Brickset Awards 2017 - Best Theme

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We have reached the final day of 2017 and with that comes the second of the annual Brickset awards, concerning our favourite themes.

LEGO products have been divided across 33 themes this year, including established ranges of over 50 sets such as City and Star Wars as well as much smaller themes like Boost, which included only one item! Find out which themes we chose as our favourites and let us know what you would have selected after the break...


CapnRex101

The LEGO NINJAGO Movie

Star Wars, City and The LEGO Batman Movie have been excellent during 2017, offering some truly magnificent sets and few disappointing ones. I have enjoyed The LEGO Batman Movie range in particular, due primarily to my love for the Batman universe and some of its obscure characters.

However, it is impossible to overlook The LEGO NINJAGO Movie. The theme includes an incredible selection of imaginative models spread across almost every price point, from a few tiny polybags right up to 70620 NINJAGO City, the fifth largest set ever released! An exceptional standard is maintained across the entire range and many of the sets are ideally suited to play or display so appeal to both adults and children in equal measure.

I have high expectations that other themes will take inspiration from The LEGO NINJAGO Movie in years to come. It serves as an excellent example of what LEGO should be aspiring to achieve with every wave of new sets in my view.


MeganL

LEGO Friends

Elves has had a very strong year and I have enjoyed all of the sets in that theme. I'm sure at least one of my colleagues will choose NINJAGO and deservedly so - I've bought two large sets from that theme this year and I don't buy NINJAGO! The quality of those sets have been excellent. However, Friends quietly put together a very strong year that in aggregate I feel is worthy of mention.

The year started strong with sets like 41312 Heartlake Sports Center, continued with good sets like 41314 Stephanie's House and the excellent 41317 Sunshine Catamaran. We finally got a LEGO Hospital in 41318 Heartlake Hospital that included some fantastic detailed builds. The year finished in a fresh new direction with the Snow Resort subtheme, notably 41324 Snow Resort Ski Lift and 41319 Snow Resort Hot Chocolate Van. Even with the character reboots, I'm interested to see where the Friends will go in 2018.


FlagsNZ

LEGO Ideas

The LEGO Ideas theme came-of-age in 2017. Two Ideas sets in particular have been extremely popular and have quickly sold out worldwide: 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V and 21310 Old Fishing Store. These two sets have redefined the approved part count and price-per-part for the Ideas theme. As a result, they make it easy for future large Ideas projects to be considered, even if they are in the higher part bracket.

The latest Ideas sets for 2017 is also worthy of mention: 21312 Women of NASA has exceeded most people’s expectations and offers a comparatively cheap set with three well designed vignettes of influential women in the NASA space program.

I am looking forward to seeing official images of 21313 Ship in a Bottle.


TheBrickPal

The LEGO NINJAGO Movie

If LEGO fans have to agree on anything about 2017, it is that this year has been the Year of the LEGO Movies.

Don’t believe me? Just about one-fourth of the entire LEGO product range this year focused on tie-in items, whether plastic or gear, for their two new spinoff movies: The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO NINJAGO Movie. While both are great, the latter of the two was slightly more successful, in my opinion, with both the film itself and its accompanying sets.

Take 70618 Destiny’s Bounty or the incredible 70620 NINJAGO City. Some smaller sets also worthy of mention are 70608 Master Falls and 70612 Green Ninja Mech Dragon. The minifigures are also fantastic and we can’t forget those CMF ones, either. Whatever the subject matter, from sea creature mechs to simple street battles, the NINJAGO Movie line was the best LEGO had to offer in 2017.


Huw

Technic

2017 was the 40th anniversary of the theme so we might have expected some exemplary sets in celebration. However, that did not come to pass and while there was nothing fundamentally wrong with this year's selection they did not compare favourably with last year's.

Nevertheless, I will still choose it as my theme of the year as it is my perennial favourite and there were a few highlights among the 13 sets released, in particular 42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure and 42064 Ocean Explorer.


What is your favourite theme of 2017? Let us know in the comments and check back later today for our favourite sets of the year.

 

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61 comments on this article

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By in Germany,

Lego Ninjago Movie had fantastic sets, great minifigs and many sets at an astonishingly low price. Not only the big sets were great, but many of the smaller ones like 70607 and 70608, with lots of cool pieces to use, too. Definitely my theme of the year, even though the movie was really not good at all.

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By in United Kingdom,

While I do agree that the Ninjago movie has some awesome sets, I think the real theme winner of the year is the Batman movie.

It's launched two highly successful minifig ranges, has some of the best looking Minifigs overall and honestly, hasn't had any bad sets as an entirety. Okay, the flaw is that pretty much every set had a Batman minifig, meaning he's massively overpopulated now.

The Ninjago movie though had a poor minifig range with very few star and stand out figs, a lot of people felt the vehivles were overpriced for what you got, and its only really the BIG sets like the City and Bounty that really stand out to most people.

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By in United Kingdom,

I may have agreed with some of the thoughts here, but after completing Destiny's Bounty, I am sold on the Ninjago theme. Great original theme, with some great sets in 2017. I was avoiding another theme from my collection, but I appear to have failed on that again!

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By in United Kingdom,

It has to be The Ninjago Movie. Each and every set absolutely knocked it out of the park. Ninjago City has to be one of the best sets if all time. Plus great value for money. It's not easy to make the modular buildings to look a bit plain and boring by comparison.

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By in Sweden,

The Lego Ninjago Movie line was great, but the movie was awful. Technic, City and Star Wars had some great sets as well.

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By in Denmark,

I will probably choose the Star Wars theme. There are so many great sets for 2017.

My favourites are:

75170 (Phantom)
75177 (Scout Walker)
75183 (Darth Vader Transformation, not in my collection yet)
75187 ((UCS) BB-8)
75190 (Star Destroyer)
75192 (MF)
75529 (Preatorin Guard, not in my collection yet)
75530 (Chewbacca)
75532 (Scout Trooper & Speeder Bike)

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By in Canada,

I'd go with Superheroes and The Lego Batman movie. So many great new minifigs, even if a few sets were stinkers.

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By in United States,

my favorite is star wars

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By in Poland,

I hate Ninjago Movie. Sets are like MOCs: big and detailed, but with no play features. Minifigs are childish and awful, espacially in comparison to previous Ninjago series. And villians are freaking fish guys. What is that even supposed to be?

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By in Germany,

I would be lying if I didn't admit to wondering for a second what does FriBaStJaY mean.

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By in Ireland,

Hands down, the Ninjago Movie. Spectacular builds across every price point, and well priced - it's the single best wave of sets in years. A new standard for sure. I never bought a Ninjago set previously, but I had to buy Destiny's Bounty, it's just gorgeous, and all of the sets are very playable for kids too.

Runner up: LEGO Ideas!

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By in United States,

Definitely Ninjago movie. However, I'm pretty sure Ninjago city is technically only 5th largest now that the Taj Mahal rerelease is out.

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By in Germany,

LEGO Ninjago Movie had a really solid Line-Up with tons of great builds. Nothing else came close this year in my opinion.

LEGO Elves keeps surprising me with some really cool stuff.

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By in United States,

Even though I prefer creating my own themes, I probably pick elves.

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By in United States,

The Winter Resort sets from Friends are enough alone to make it the best theme of the year. They rest of the year just helps show how great Friends has been.

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By in United States,

This has been a phenomenal year. From the amazing characters and vehicles from both the various DC themes and Marvel, the incredible modulars and 3 in 1's from creator, the very affordable Creativity boxes from the Classic line, the amazing mechs and buildings from both Ninjago themes, more incredible miniatures from Architecture, aside from the predicability of a certain licensed series, the true winners are the fans.

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By in United Kingdom,

Ideas has had some brilliant sets this year. The Old Fishing Store being my favorite set.
Architecture continues to inspire.
Advanced had the Assembly Square 10 year anniversary set and Taj Mahal.
Batman Movie had Clayface Splat Attack and Penguins Arctic Roller.

But the best range has to be The Ninjago Movie.
With Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon, Ninjago City and The Destinies Bounty.
The other vehicles were mostly okay, except for the Flying Jelly Sub but that is saved by the smaller boat, and the Garmadon Garmadon GARMADON! which is saved by the hotdog stand.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'd say Speed Champions. Those sets get better year on year, and I'm very glad more are being released next year.

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By in United States,

LEGO Ideas nailed it this year. The Saturn and Old Fishing Store were amazing! Really hope we see more sets form the guy who did the fishing store, he has several ideas up right now to go alone with it.

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By in Canada,

Definitely The Lego Ninjago Movie. Although I only bought five sets from the theme I could definitely bought many more. The star for me at least being the city, however I love the dragon and some of the other mechs.

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By in United States,

Ninjago. I think that The Ninjago Movie line is one of the best of all time, up there with Classic Space, SPII and III, Blacktron I, The LEGO Movie, and Classic town.

Also worth mentioning are City, with excellent Jungle sets, and Star Wars. The Resistance Transport Pod is one of the most playable and child friendly sets ever.

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By in United States,

Lego Batman Movie and Lego Ninjago Movie. I had no previous interest in Ninjago and that line blew me away. Brilliant & creative design.

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By in Denmark,

While there has been a lot of great sets in several themes, there has to be a total to define the best theme.

My preferred themes are in general City and Creator. But this year, I do not think they manage to go all the way to the top. The new modular system of Creator is smart and interesting, though I find the models are less interesting.

I am not a fan of Ninjago, I must admit the movie has given us some really great models. Of course Ninjago City with all its refined details are standing above all, I am also crazy about models like 70607 Ninjago City Chase and 70608 Master Falls are interesting and detailed sets. So probably my vote would go here as well.

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By in United States,

I disagree with anyone who chooses Technic, so many of those sets this year are just average or flat-out awful, like 42070... IMO the motorcycle, the jet, and 42069 Extreme Adventure are the only really good models from this year, while almost every single Technic set in 2016 was fantastic.

I have to go with LEGO Ninjago Movie as well, even though I only own one set from it and haven't even seen the film itself... that's legitimately the best product line LEGO has made in ages.

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By in United Kingdom,

Lego batman movie and lego friends.. Had some great sets between them,
A close third I think ninjago movie,

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By in United States,

For me it was Elves. My 7 year old was so entranced that her excitement sucked me in. I found them so fun to build with her and they had amazing parts that we got almost every set. I have not been so completely entertained by a theme since Indiana Jones.

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By in United States,

Mine would be NinjaGo Movie, Friends, Elves.

LEGO Batman sets this year weren't that great, they are actually getting better in 2018. The 2017 sets were unoriginal for the most part and all hugely overpriced. It was just a collection of vehicles and weird sections of walls with red pipes.

NinjaGo movie, and even the jungle snake people from the TV show, had wonderful sets, minifigures and price. LEGO never goes out of it's way to make so many new torsos for City or another in house theme.

Friends just gives us a done of new pieces that are awesome and great for a base when building something. Elves is the best example yet of why minidolls work somethings.

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By in Poland,

Elves for being unique series with amazing builds and solid story

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By in United States,

I have to go with Ideas as well. I've told many customers that the best set released this year is the Saturn V, with the Fishing Store a close second. As much as I enjoy ogling at the Falcon every time I'm at work, it's lack of availability and price point hurts it, so my top two happen to be Ideas sets, which says something as I've seen quite a bit of Lego.

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By in Finland,

Ninjago Movie

Ninjago City
Destinys Bounty
Kai's Fire Mech
Ninjago City Chase

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By in United States,

Nobody chose SW, even with the UCS Falcon out this year? It's really one of the best themes, the only problem with it is the prices are very high compared to other themes.

That's said, I agree with TLNM and Ideas ranking higher.

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By in United States,

And once again, no love for Nexo Knights. Or Minecraft, for that matter. Oh well, guess some people have no imagination...don't get me wrong, i too like Star Wars, TLBM, Ideas, TLNM, etc., i'm just pointing out how some themes are getting overlooked because they were written off by an elitist few at the beginning of the year.

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By in United States,

@Spartan Ghost: I wouldn't say they have no imagination. The Lego Ninjago Movie was a very zany and imaginative theme, and not one but two of the Brickset staff chose that theme.

Honestly I was a big Nexo Knights fan last year, and it sort of got put on the backburner for me this year. It's not that the sets weren't good (though I do feel like a lot of them were weaker than last year's incredible debut), but there were so many other great sets and themes that Nexo Knights sort of got crowded out of my wish list. There are still a few of this year's sets that I hope to maybe get on sale in the coming year (notably, the Stone Colossus of Ultimate Destruction is conceptually very similar to an Atlantis MOC my brother and I made several years back, and I'd love to pick that up).

As for Minecraft... I'm not really a fan of the game, so I've had little interest in the theme—but I will admit that with sets like the Mountain Cave, it's starting to better capture the scale and scope of the environments I've seen in pictures and video of the game world.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Spartan Ghost - I don't think it's fair to suggest that we have no imagination or are 'elitist' on the basis that we have not chosen the themes that you would have done. We all have our own reasons for favouring certain themes and I am delighted to see such a broad range of opinions in the comments.

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By in United States,

I really liked the Lego Batman Movie this year! all the figures were great especially Bane and Scarecrow.

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By in United States,

City also had many good sets this year like the Tow Truck Chase and the Police Station

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By in United Kingdom,

Elves. The parts selection is great. The colours, the set design, the minidoll design are all great. The story is good also. My daughter loves it. We really hope they keep it going for a few more years. Ninjago and Ideas were great also.

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By in United States,

Star Wars had a few good sets in the form of Scarift Battle (it is actually perfect for something I did except it needed an interior) and Old Fishing Store plus Ninjago City are fascinating. That Ninjago line is actually a tip to designers for how great their sets are (City Chase in particular makes a lovely scene in a corner) and Lego Batman Movie Catcycle chase jewelry store is great. A poor year for my wallet.

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By in Canada,

Lego Ideas has presented some awesome sets in 2017, and I can't wait for Lego Ship In A Bottle; however, The Lego Ninjago movie sets are my fav of 2017, with unique peices and minifigures, and generally good price per peice.

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By in United Kingdom,

My favourite theme of 2017 was Nexo Knights (runs away from angry mob MOC). I know that it isn't very popular with a lot of Brickset members, but I love the 'techcastle' feel of the theme.

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By in United States,

I'm throwing my vote in for The Ninjago Movie sets. They all look fun and interesting to me. I had zero interest in the whole Ninjago thing until I saw the movie; pretty clever. My wife is not a Lego fan but she put the Ultimate Ultimate weapon in the shopping cart at Wally World because she thought it looked cool. That right there tells me it's a winner.

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By in United States,

@Lyichir and CapnRex101: i freely admit that what i said was excessively harsh, and i apologize for it. In addition, i should at least explain my (again, needlessly mean,) words, or, at least, make what is probably a clumsy, ham-handed attempt at explaining myself. First, about my "no imagination" statement: i was not criticizing the fact that Nexo Knights, Minecraft, etc. wasn't selected as a theme of the year, that was not my point. Indeed, there were several infinitely better themes this year. What i was saying is it's frustrating how some people (not naming names) will so easily dismiss something as being "garbage" without giving it a chance. And for what? For daring to mix the peanut butter with the chocolate, if you know what i mean? How DARE Lego try something new and different? How DARE they not endlessly churn out more of the same, just because i, the all-knowing internet person, have decided that this is the correct course of action? Because, if Lego never try new, or at least different, things, they will stagnate and become boring, at which point, they will fade into irrelevance. (Cough, Limp Bizkit, Cough.) and before you ask, i already know that Minecraft is kind of a...shall we say, niche market, and will never be as massively popular as, say, City. And then there's my "elitism" accusation. That more or less came from a place of bitterness toward rich people (i come from a blue-collar family,) and also my feeling a need to point out, and i'm pretty sure i'm the only one who's noticed, a tendency from some to turn up they're noses at anything that doesn't have at least three digits in the price tag, and four digits in the part count. As someone with, again, a blue-collar background, i know all too well that not everyone can afford thousand-dollar, million-piece uber-sets that look like a MOC. I am sorry for dragging this discussion off-topic, but i could hold my piece no longer, and as a result, my words became needlessly bitter and angry, for which i cannot apologize enough. The internet has become an angry place, and i have let myself become part of the problem. If the admins wish to ban me, or delete my account so as to rid Brickset of my negative attitude, then i will accept my punishment with grace and dignity.

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By in Denmark,

After giving my suggestion "yesterday" (before I went to sleep way too late) I browsed through all the sets of the past year. Then I realized that an overlooked little theme actually has brought us some nice little sets, at least the minifig based sets. Namely the Seasonal theme. The sets are Romantic Valentine Picnic, Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Haunt, Thanksgiving Harvest and finally Christmas Train Ride and Christmas Town Square.

While these sets are small, they are nicely designed with many lovely details - and parts. They are excellent for setting the mood and the atmosphere of the particular season. I am happy I was able to get the last three ones.

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By in Greece,

I'l side with the Ninja-goers this time! ;-)

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By in United States,

Marvel and Ninjago movie!

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By in United States,

Saying people have no imagination because they don't think Minecraft is amazing is laughable and ironic. Minecraft 2017 is one of the least original themes this year. It's also incredibly elitist to say everyone else is wrong. If I wanted to listen to insane stuff like that I'd go to Eurobricks.

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By in United States,

I agree with these choices far better than the best set. ??
Ninjago movie just hit it out of the ballpark with some amazing sets, especially Ninjago City.
Friends continues to have some creative and innovative sets, that no other line really explores. The winter resort line was wonderful.
Lego Ideas...goodness, what a year. Saturn and Old Fishing Store??

Most of my purchases this year, and all of my absolutely must have purchases this year, were from these three themes.

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By in United States,

@David1985: did you not see my subsequent apology post? Obviously not, if you're raking me over the coals for something i ultimately took back. I suggest you go back and read my second post, before basically accusing me of being a hypocrite.

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By in United States,

Gotta agree with a lot of the LEGO Ninjago Movie comments. Some phenomenal sets there. The regular Ninjago sets this year weren't bad either. Dragon's Forge, Dawn of Iron Doom, Samurai VXL, and Destiny's Shadow are all certifiable winners in my book.

It also makes me very happy to see a lot of comments in support of the Elves theme, another persistent favorite of mine! The 2017 sets perhaps didn't surpass the theme's previous track record to the extent that so many of the LEGO Ninjago Movie sets surpassed previous Ninjago offerings, but they certainly still lived up to expectations.

Friends was also pretty great this year! I was very happy to pick up the Sunshine Catamaran this summer, and other sets were also very tempting!

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By in Denmark,

Really I find this year poor themewise. Miss a good historical to waste my monet at

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By in United States,

My "problem" this year was an embarassment of design riches at all price levels and in almost every theme. Only by skipping almost all the tempting less-expensive theme sets and forbidding myself to even think about buying the UCS MF was I able to feel comfortable with what I *did* buy, which was almost every over-$100 set available other than said MF. (And, yes, a complete line of Seasonals, which I somehow can justify to myself no matter what!) Having said that, I must agree that the standout theme in a standout year was TLNM, where every set seemed to hit it not just out of the ballpark, but straight into orbit. I shudder, but in a pleasant way, at what TLG has in store for us for 2018!

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By in United States,

TLNM is easily the winner, although I only bought the city, almost all of the sets offer something worthwhile and have good piece/part ratios too.

My runner up is TLBM mostly for the minifigures. Fantastic details, a ton of obscure characters, and great versions of Batgirl and the main rogue gallery, and a good amount of cool new parts like Penguin's umbrella, hat, and furs.

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By in Ireland,

I'm with FlagsNZ: Ideas was by far the best theme, probably followed by Ninjago Movie and Star Wars.
Many other themes disappointed this year, most of all Technic. Like Huw I'm a Technic fan but this year's offering was thoroughly disappointing, including the BMW.

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By in United States,

Being an older AFOL I really go for sets that display well. Ninjago movie had some excellent looking sets this year. The only Ninjago set I owned before this year was Temple of Airjitzu. Destiny’s Bounty and Ninjago City were fantastic and I even got Master Falls which really is a nice looking outdoor vignette-like scene. My very close second is Ideas with both the Fishing store and the Saturn looking amazing. Plus all these sets were fun builds which is another important feature.

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By in United States,

Love all The Lego Batman Movie kits. So many fun vehicles and playsets PLUS the incredible amount of wonderful creative minifigs!

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By in Indonesia,

3 to 4 years ago I decided no to collect Ninjago (and I consider this year's movie the same theme, despite it having been assigned it's own theme) cause I just don't know where to put them in the house without being forced to put large parts of my beloved Technic and Star Wars collection in storage.

Every year since I have come to regret that decision more and more watching new highlights and flagship sets showing up in the Ninjago theme. 2017's Destiny's Bounty and Ninjago city in my opinion clearly beat the flagship sets of both Technic and Star Wars theme in 2017. Therefor Ninjago & Ninjago Movie deservedly win my 2017 Best Theme Award!

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By in United States,

I'd have to choose Creator Expert. The only sets I bought this year were from that line, so I'd say that's an auto-win!

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By in Germany,

While I loved (and voted) for the Batman Movie minifigs, I have to admit the sets were lacking and didn't do it really for me. Star Wars, which is usually my favorite theme, didn't deliver many great sets this year, except the Y-wing and Vader Transformation, which I both love. (The UCS Falcon wasn't made for me.) I don't own a single Ninjago movie set (yet - still considering the Bounty), I have to admit the figures were a bit boring, I didn't watch the movie, and surely the sets look like some amazing, but almost flimsy MOCs not regarding any play features - BUT in times were everything is always getting more expensive, it was refreshing to see what to get for your hard earned cash. Big, fantastic, colorful sets that have a vibrant, displayable and lovely touch. Sure they lack the play features, but they're a marvel to look at.

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By in Germany,

I must admit I have mixed feelings about the 2017 LEGO offerings.
On the one hand I have never bought so many sets in one year as in 2017. On the other hand, many of the sets I bought were from 2016 and older, simply because it took a while for them to be available at an attractive enough discount.

Of the 2017 sets, I will say that my favorite theme was Ideas, by a wide margin. Saturn V, Old Fishing store, even Women of Nasa, all great sets. Apart from that Adventure time absurdity, but I guess TLG can be allowed one turd every once in a while ;-)
The Ninjago movie sets pleasantly surprised me in their quality. Not that Ninjago in general would be a bad theme in my eyes, far from it, but the whole movie concept left me a little on the lukewarm side of the enthusiasm scale. Nevertheless, I bought quite a few of the sets and am very happy with each and every one of the ones I got.
Honorable mention goes to Creator Expert. Hardly a fault to find, as per usual, in my eyes.

As for the rest, well, my, where to start.
I usually love Technic, but considering this was the 40th anniversary, I am extremely disappointed by the offerings. A "flagship" set that has got to be one of the worst Technic sets of all time, plus loads of mediocre sets. Meh. 42069 Extreme Adventure is the only one I really liked. I also got the Air Race Jet and Ocean Explorer, but have not even opened the boxes yet, and at least when it comes to the jet, I might sell this one on in the future without ever having opened it.
As for Super Heroes, I am no fan of them in general, and only Wonder Woman Warrior Battle will definitely stay in my collection.
Brickheadz? Forget it, I want my Mixels back.
Star Wars? Set overload, quantity over quality in many respects, even though there were some great sets in the mix imho (75172, 75173, 75187, 75144 and of course 75192).

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By in United States,

Lego Batman Movie hands down

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