The Brickset 2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Part 2

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Emily & Noctura's Showdown

Emily & Noctura's Showdown

©2018 LEGO Group

The second part of our annual holiday gift guide is focused upon sets which are priced between $25 and $50 in the US. You can view a list that contains every 2018 set within this price bracket here.

Find out what the Brickset team has chosen after the break...


CapnRex101

60202 People Pack - Outdoor Adventures ($39.99, £34.99, 39.99€)

60202-1People Pack - Outdoor Adventures
60202

Numerous magnificent sets are available within this price bracket, including 70652 Stormbringer and 75932 Jurassic Park Velociraptor Chase which both contain some excellent minifigures and look fantastic on display.

However, I have chosen 60202 People Pack - Outdoor Adventures. This set includes a wonderful selection of fifteen different minifigures, almost all of whom feature brand new elements and cover a broad range of different subject matters. Furthermore, the set comes with a unique tent, a new lime green mountain bike and a wonderful bald eagle which is exclusively available here.

You can read our review here.


iso3200

31079 Sunshine Surfer Van ($34.99, £24.99, 29.99€)

31079-1Sunshine Surfer Van
31079

I’ve plumped for a Creator 3 in 1 set in this price bracket. The main build has some nice little details and accessories in it and being a vehicle means it’s playable in almost any setting. With two alternative builds it’s versatile and is just the thing to keep the children amused on Christmas Day for a few hours. 3 in 1 sets are great as they encourage reinvention and play, and the builds available here will also work for City fans too. It’s a great all rounder.

This set has regularly seen some heavy discounts both online and in bricks and mortar stores - in fact it would almost fit in the next price bracket down if pounced on at the right time. All things add up to this being a winner.


TheBrickPal

76103 Corvus Glaive Thresher Attack ($39.99, £34.99, 39.99€)

76103-1Corvus Glaive Thresher Attack
76103

Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther are two of the biggest films of the year, both from Marvel Studios, and 76103 Corvus Glaive Thresher Attack offers Wakandan elements from the MCU in a sizable, fun-filled package. The gate model features small but welcomed details, and some nice play features to boot. I greatly appreciate the grand color scheme, unique architecture, and selection of desirable minifigures, as well. Shuri, a fan-favorite character, looks marvelous and is exclusive to the set - as is the brilliantly-designed Corvus Glaive himself. What's more, you can buy multiple copies of the set to form an even bigger fortress!

Not a super hero fan? Maybe Star Wars tickles you or a loved one's fancy, in which case I would recommend 75200 Ahch-To Island Training or 75215 Cloud-Rider Swoop Bikes - both of which are absolutely fantastic. Or perhaps NINJAGO is an option, where I found 70639 Street Race of Snake Jaguar quite appealing.

You can read our review here.


MeganL

41195 Emily & Noctura's Showdown ($49.99, £44.99, 49.99€)

41195-1Emily & Noctura's Showdown
41195

Elves has consistently had some of the best and imaginative sets, and this year is no exception. 41195 Emily & Noctura's Showdown is a terrific set for this price. There are three solid builds in this set - the brick-built Lumia, the bat laboratory and Noctura's carriage. The moving functions are ingenious (I'll elaborate more about them in the upcoming review), and you really can't go wrong with a carriage that has its own bat wings!

In case Elves sets are a little difficult to find, from the Friends line I very much like 41343 Heartlake City Airplane Tour which is another Olivia and Zobo set. The biplane is terrific and I love that the slide in the control tower. I would also recommend 31083 Cruising Adventures. Its MSRP is slightly above this price range, but I've often seen the set offered at Costco and Amazon for less than $50.


FlagsNZ

60182 Pickup & Caravan ($29.99, £24.99, 29.99€)

60182-1Pickup & Caravan
60182

I prefer unlicensed Creator or City sets and this year’s 60182 Pickup & Caravan could easily fit within either of these themes. The set includes a well-designed pickup truck as well as a nicely-appointed caravan. The caravan open up to reveal a detailed interior.

There is an amazing amount of play features and all the necessary camping accessories have been included. Furthermore, the three minifigures in this set first appeared as a young family in 60134 Fun in the Park: City People Set from 2016.


Huw

41597 Go Brick Me ($29.99, £25.99, 29.99€)

41597-1Go Brick Me
41597

BrickHeadz have divided opinions this year: you either love them or loathe them, it seems. However, I think everyone will agree that this particular one, with which you are encouraged build yourself or someone you know, is both great fun and also tremendous value for money. It therefore makes the perfect Christmas gift, perhaps particularly so to someone who appreciates LEGO but is not (yet) a die-hard AFOL.

You can read our review here.


Are you hoping to receive any sets within this price range and what would you recommend to others? Let us know in the comments.

 

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17 comments on this article

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By in Australia,

Definitely agree with FlagsNZ on his/her choice. In a year of great City sets, that caravan was a thing of beauty. And I absolutely adored that it's the same family from the Fun at the Park pack, but the baby's grown up a little. Oh, that tugged on my heart in a way I didn't think it would.

And since CapnRex mentioned it ... Stormbringer. Ninjago's given us some great dragons in the past, but oh my gosh, that is a beautiful, beautiful set.

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By in United States,

Completely with Huw in Go Brick Me. The level of creativity the set allows is nearly limitless, despite whatever feelings you have on brickset. For the $30 US price, it was a no-brained.

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By in United States,

I agree with FlagsNZ on 60182 Pickup & Caravan. What a great set. Lots of details and play value. The People Pack is nice, too. But I still think it's a wee bit expensive for that set.

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By in United States,

The Brick Me, Corvius Glaive Threw her Attack and Enfys Nest are the only sets I bought in this price range.

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By in United States,

Ironically in comparison to Lordmoral, most of my purchases this year have been in this price range, it's what I can afford! Although Corvus Glaive's set is the only one on this holiday list I own.

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By in United States,

Totally agree with capnrex, the brickal, and huw. In fact, I just bought four copies of go brick me, one for me and 3 for my younger siblings!

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By in United States,

In the US, #41597 is available under $25 from Walmart, Amazon, and Barnes&Noble, making it an even better deal!

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By in United States,

I'm kind of in the middle with brickheadz...

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By in United States,

I can't say I particularly disagree with any of these choices — although the appeal of Corvus Glaive Thresher Attack might be heavily contingent on the recipient's awareness/exposure to the particular movie it's based on. Other than the Black Panther minifigures, most of the characters and builds are nowhere near as identifiable or iconic as the ones you might find in a typical Batman or Spider-Man set.

A fun, rugged-looking vehicle covered with extremely well-known superheroes' iconic colors, logos, and/or motifs will usually resonate more with kids who aren't devoted followers of the movies or comics it's inspired by than a fortress that just as closely matches the colors and motifs of the set's heroes as its villains, and that has so many less well known characters or props of less-than-obvious significance as to make it confusing what their relationship is to one another if you're not already familiar with the source material.

LEGO used to alleviate this somewhat by including a short, simple comic book with Super Heroes sets, but I can't find any indication they did so with this one. By comparison, Some of @TheBrickPal's alternative Star Wars and Ninjago recommendations are a little bit better at telegraphing even to non-fans what sort of scenarios they present, at least to the extent that you can more clearly tell which characters and builds are meant to go together from looking at the box art.

If I were to suggest a super hero related set in this price range, I might instead recommend #76104-1 The Hulkbuster Smash-Up, with a somewhat clearer face-off between alien bad guys with black weapons and equipment, and human good guys with dark red and dark stone grey weapons and equipment, or #70920-1 Egghead Mech Food Fight, which not only has the advantage of absurdity/humor to boost appeal for people who don't know the characters, but likewise has bad guys with a unifying food motif and a mech that clearly broadcasts which character it's associated with.

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By in United States,

Other sets I'd recommend:

#41349-1 Drifting Diner: A fantastically detailed representation of some iconic subjects (a diner, a go-kart, and a drive-in movie theater) that aren't often seen in sets. The character designs are really strong even if you don't follow the LEGO Friends story, the colors of the build are varied and harmonious, the price per piece is great, and there are enough props and accessories for all kinds of potential play scenarios — including a place to put a smartphone or similar-sized media player in order to show actual movies, even ones you film yourself using your other LEGO sets!

In terms of disadvantages, it might disappoint recipients with an aversion to feminine-coded toys, it's smaller overall than a lot of sets within this price range, the kid-friendly build and open backed design might diminish its value to teen or adult builders who prefer more enclosed sets like the Modular Buildings (particularly those who own the Downtown Diner and aren't really in need of a second diner for their town), and it will probably appeal most strongly to people who have other Friends sets, particularly from the Go-Kart Racing range (which, given the unique branding on the boxes, Brickset probably ought to list as its own subtheme).

#70641-1 Ninja Nightcrawler: It's a little astonishing to me that this WASN'T recommended — with 552 pieces for $40, its price per piece is amazing even after subtracting the 24 studs included as shooter ammo, it has an extremely elaborate and unique play feature to extend and auto-fire the shooters while driving with the push of a button on the back, it's got some great minifigures, and the build is very detailed and complex. It's also got a higher ratio of female characters to male ones than you often see in sets from more boy-targeted themes, and simple enough play scenarios to enjoy even if you don't know the Ninjago story or characters.

Of course, it's not without its drawbacks. The enemy motorcyle is mostly suitable for pursuit scenes, since it's too small to clearly stand a chance in a fight against this giant car. Ultra Violet's more recognizable standard form (with her ponytail, a purple mask/bandana over her mouth, and a non-petrified torso) is not included in this set. And with a 9–14 target age, younger builders might require a little parental assistance. Nevertheless I think it's an amazing choice for more experienced builders, particularly those who like cars, ninja, and/or the Ninjago storyline.

#41455-1 Unikingdom Creative Brick Box: I regret to say I still haven't watched more than one or two episodes of the Unikitty!TV series… keeping up with TV aside from Netflix has been tricky for me lately, and I've been resistant to getting a Hulu account (Hulu just got the first 20 episodes if you haven't heard!) since there's so much I've been struggling with lately and I don't want to add yet another possible distraction. That said, even without knowing many specific details about the Unikitty! show's new characters, the sheer playfulness and variety of their designs makes this mega-pack of unique and colorful characters and scenery an absolute delight.

A $40 price for 433 parts is a little pricier than you might expect compared to a traditional LEGO Classic brick box, and I suspect a big part of that is the number of rare, theme-specific printed parts it includes (eight that appear only in this set, and ten more that only appear in this and other Unikitty sets). Another factor might be the set's weight: 1031 grams new in box according to BrickLink, whereas the $30, 579-piece #10404-1 Ocean's Bottom weighs only 759 grams new in box. Regardless, it's below that 10 cents per piece "sweet spot", and would be a great gift for younger builders, fans of basic/freeform LEGO building, or anybody who enjoys toys or stories featuring cute, silly characters.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Thanks for your input!

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By in United States,

I agree with the Huw-minator here...the Go Brick Me is excellent even if one is not into the BrickHeadz. For the price (and even cheaper on Amazon) the piece to price is excellent.
Great parts pack!

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By in United States,

May I recommend for the little ones the #10764-1 City Central Airport. So many great easy build vehicles and a very well detailed airport terminal.
Another is the 3-n-1 #31078-1 House Treasures. All three models are excellent and fun.
And overlooked I think it a great set at $40 bucks, the #41152-1 Sleeping Beauty's Fairytale Castle. Excellent interior and modular sections to move around and custom. A winner!

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By in United States,

@Aanchir - lol, you just spoiled a good chunk of my Drifting Diner review. :-) I have a picture of a minidoll watching a movie on my smartphone. There is a reason I recommended it as an alternative for the last price range, considering it's on sale quite a bit.

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By in United States,

As one that has the go Brick me set, I can and do certainly recommend it to all. Not only are there enough pieces for two brickheadz (I built two with the same skin and hair color and had enough) plus extra. Especially the pieces that could be used for hair. Those are definitely a must have. Not to mention the PPP count!

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By in United Kingdom,

I highly recommend #31078 Tree House Treasures which I just got at a discount from Amazon so falls into the lower price bracket too. I'm surprised it hasn't been spoken about more.

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By in United Kingdom,

You guys have picked a nice diverse selection again. From your top choices I like: 60202 People Pack - Outdoor Adventures, 41195 Emily & Noctura's Showdown and 76103-1: and Corvus Glaive Thresher Attack.

My favourite set in this price range is the 75932-1: Jurassic Park Velociraptor Chase. I’m thrilled we finally got an original Jurassic Park set. Even though there are many ways it could have been improved it probably would have become too expensive. It is great that it can be gifted at an affordable price. I’m so happy to own those characters and that raptor.

I’d also recommend 75928-1: Blue's Helicopter Pursuit for a child due to the especially well designed helicopter. And of course the new variant of fan favourite Blue.

At the top of my own wish list is: 75952-1: Newt's Case of Magical Creatures. Having all those nicely designed creatures and the 4 main characters from Fantastic Beasts film in one set! The suitcase is a nice touch too. Closely followed by: 75200-1: Ahch-To Island Training, for the Porg and an old Luke. 75927-1: Stygimoloch Breakout, just for the design of the dinosaur. 41152-1: Sleeping Beauty's Fairytale Castle for the minidolls and fairy.

My favourite juniors set is: 10758-1: T. Rex Breakout because of all the printed pieces and I think it has a nice setup for the target audience to play. A decent T-rex to get if you don’t have it already.

I think the Duplo set 10864: Large Playground Brick Box looks like the best play set for a very young child.

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