Dan Kitwood, Getty Images
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

11 TV-Themed LEGO Sets to Entertain You When the Cable's Out

Dan Kitwood, Getty Images
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

LEGO has been around since 1949, and in that time has released some incredible tributes to pop culture. Here are 11 great ways to incorporate your favorite television characters into your building sessions.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. THE SIMPSONS; FROM $308.90

 LEGO Simpsons House
Amazon

You probably can’t rebuild the whole town of Springfield (without a lot of creativity and resources, at least) but you can bring the Kwik-E-Mart and the Simpsons’ iconic home to life with official LEGO sets. If you do decide to create the whole town, LEGO also sells minifigs of all your favorite characters.

Buy on Amazon

2. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES; $95

You can’t take down Splinter without the right set of wheels. This turtle van will get Raphael and Michelangelo to the scene of the crime in no time. Donatello and Leonardo are sold separately, but you’ll at least have Vern there to film the action.

Buy on Amazon

3. THE BIG BANG THEORY; $59.99

Thanks to LEGO Ideas, fans have the opportunity to design and suggest different sets for the company to produce. One submission that made it all the way is Leonard and Sheldon's living room from The Big Bang Theory. Some fun details include Chinese takeout, the instrument panel, and a white board you can play Pictionary on. There are seven minifigs included, so you can probably act out almost any episode with your kit.

Buy on Amazon

4. MICKEY MOUSE; $184.99

Mickey Mouse has had a ton of careers over the years, so I guess it makes sense for him to be a mechanic. This set was released in 2000, and at the time cost $20. Today, it’s something of a collector’s item and costs anywhere from $75 to $400.

Buy on Amazon

5. JUSTICE LEAGUE; $104.75

LEGO has a number of sets that include characters from DC Comics, so it’s easy to recreate all your favorite Justice League moments. In this set, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash can save an innocent truck driver from Captain Cold and Gorilla Grodd. Wonder Woman’s ship might not truly be invisible, but at least it’s see-through.

Buy on Amazon

6. SCOOBY-DOO; $61.99

Scooby and the gang need their iconic Mystery Machine if they ever want to get to their next haunted location. The set comes with a zombie, spooky tree, and sandwich—the makings of a good mystery. But Velma and Daphne are unfortunately absent from the kit, so don’t expect it to be solved anytime soon.

Buy on Amazon

7. AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER; $389.99

Viewers of the Nickelodeon cartoon know that Prince Zuko never manages to catch Aang in the show, but when recreated with LEGO pieces, anything can happen; build Zuko’s ship and decide on your own ending. The 722-piece set comes with Aang, Katara, Prince Zuko, a firebender, and a fire nation soldier to help you set up endless scenes of cat and mouse.

Buy on Amazon

8. SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS; $99.87

Ever want to run your own underwater fast food joint? Now you can, and SpongeBob’s your trusty fry-cook. The only thing you need to watch out for is one of Plankton’s crazy schemes to get the secret formula; the set comes with two different robotic minions, so Mr. Krabs has his work cut out for him.

Buy on Amazon

9. SPEED RACER; $47.85

Build and race the Mach 5 and Snake Oiler cars that were featured in the Casa Cristo Classic cross-country road rally. The race might be a close one—there’s no Spritle Racer or Chim Chim in the truck to help.

Buy on BrickLink

10. DOCTOR WHO; $69.99

LEGO Ideas Doctor Who Kit
Amazon

Designed by a fan named Andrew Clark, this set is comprised of a TARDIS and console room. It features the Eleventh Doctor and the Twelfth Doctor, so he can regenerate before your eyes. Clara Oswald, a Weeping Angel, and two Daleks are on board too.

Buy on Amazon

11. LONE RANGER; $47.85

The Lone Ranger has starred in every medium of entertainment, from radio to international movie. Now you can create your own adventures using this LEGO set, that is technically based off the Disney movie from 2013. It comes with the Lone Ranger’s trusty steed, Silver, and three cavalry soldiers to battle.

Buy on Amazon

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iStock
18 Smart Products To Help You Kick Off Summer
iStock
iStock

Whether you’re trying to spiff up your backyard barbeque or cultivate your green thumb, these summertime gadgets will help you celebrate the season from solstice to the dog days.

1. ROSÉ WINE GLASSES; $60

Rosé Wine Glass
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Wine not? When the temperature rises and beer isn’t your thing, reach for the rosé. Riedel’s machine-blown SST (see, smell, taste) wine glasses will give the sparkly stuff ample room to breathe, making every refreshing sip worthwhile.

Find It: Amazon

2. NERF N-STRIKE ELITE SURGEFIRE; $25

Nerf SurgeFire
Hasbro

Why It’s Cool: The N-Strike Elite SurgeFire (say that five-times-fast) sports a pump-action rotating drum for maximum foam-based firepower and holds up to 15 Nerf darts in its arsenal.

Find It: Hasbro Toy Shop

3. BUSHEL & BERRY PLANTS; $34

plant
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: You don’t need to have a green thumb to create a brag-worthy garden this summer. Besides producing snackable mid-season berries, these open-growing bushes can be planted immediately for easy set-up to make you look like a botanical pro.

Find It: Amazon

4. INFLATABLE DONUT; $17

Doughnut float
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: When the only dunking you’re doing is taking a dip in the pool, a 48-inch inflatable donut is the perfect way to stay afloat.

Find It: Amazon

5. STAR SPANGLED SPATULA; $21

American flag spatula
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: O say can you see by your grill’s charcoal light / Meats so proudly we cooked ... with a star spangled spatula. Depending on the specific model, these all-American grilling tools (designed in New Jersey and made in Chicago) are made of a combination of walnut and stainless steel or nylon. As an added bonus: 5 percent of the proceeds go to the Penn Abramson Cancer Center.

Find It: Amazon

6. MLB HOT DOG BRANDERS; $8 AND UP

MLB San Diego Padres Hot Dog BBQ Brander
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Take your hot dogs, sausages, brats, and more out to the ballgame without ever leaving your grill. These branders from Pangea Brands are dishwasher-safe and made of ceramic-coated cast iron.

Find It: Amazon

7. UNA GRILL; $139

grill
MoMA Shop

Why It’s Cool: This portable charcoal-heated grill is as efficient as it is stylish. The compact size lets you cook at the park, after hitting up MoMA, or anywhere in between.

Find It: MoMa Shop

8. HAMBURGER GRILLING BASKET; $21


Why It’s Cool: Made of steel and finished with a non-stick coating, this grilling tool flips four burgers at once and maintains perfect burger proportions to guarantee nobody stays hungry for long.

Find It: Amazon

9. COPPER FIRE PIT; $121

metal fire pit
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: The grill isn’t the only place for a roaring fire this summer. This 100 percent solid copper fire pit makes for the perfect gathering spot at your next BBQ, or just to warm up after a cool summer evening.

Find It: Amazon

10. BENDY STRAW POOL NOODLE FLOAT; $10

Bendy Straw Inflatable Pool Float
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Inflatable pool floats shouldn’t be boring, and this bendy straw float definitely does not suck. This unique spin on traditional pool noodles is sure to make for some cheesy jokes, but at least you’ll be comfortable floating in the pool or at the beach.

Find It: Amazon

11. GRIDDLER DELUXE; $111

Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: If you’re looking for some serious panini power, this griddler offers up a versatile lineup of six cooking options in one. And with dual-zone functions you can sling burgers while searing filets and sautéeing vegetables all at the same time.

Find It: Amazon

12. VINTAGE SNOW CONE MAKER; $30

Vintage Snow Cone Maker
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: With its old-timey design, dual cone shelf, and endless flavor options, this snow cone maker is guaranteed create a cool treat.

Find It: Amazon

13. DACHSHUND CORN ON THE COB HOLDERS; $7

Dog Corn Holders
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: While meat-lovers will inevitably scarf down a lot of hot dogs this summer, vegetarians who happen to love another kind of dog will be smitten with these stainless steel, Dachshund-shaped corn on the cob prongs. They’re a fun spin on a summer grilling favorite.

Find It: Amazon

14. ICE CREAM SANDWICH MAKER; $16

Ice Cream Sandwich Maker
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Four sandwiches are better than one, especially when they're of the ice cream variety. Make four ice cream sandwiches at once with this homemade spin on a classic cold treat.

Find It: Amazon

15. UE WONDERBOOM; $68

Bluetooth speaker
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Besides delicious food and great company, some memorable tunes are required for the quintessential barbeque. This portable bluetooth speaker offers up some booming sound in a small package, and with a battery power of 10 hours on a single charge you can keep the party going all night.

Find It: Amazon

16. ROLLORS GAME; $38

Rollors Backyard Game
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: When you’re sick of bocce, hate horseshoes, and you’re over cornhole, you might want to take up “rollors,” a family-friendly game that combines your favorite traditional backyard festivities into one game for people of all ages.

Find It: Amazon

17. HAMMOCK; $174

hammock
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Rest easy knowing that this 100 percent hand-woven and hand-dyed cotton hammock contributes to artisan job-creation in Thailand.

Find It: Amazon

18. VSSL SURVIVAL ESSENTIALS; $59

Emergency Survival Tent Outdoors
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Compact, convenient, and durable, the VSSL Shelter can come in handy when things don’t go quite as planned. The device—which features a lightweight emergency shelter all within the handle of a compact, weather-resistant aluminum LED flashlight—is designed to keep you safe under the worst conditions.

Find It: Amazon

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Here's To Dad: 27 Father's Day Gifts He'll Love
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iStock

Whether he's Pops, Dad, Papa, or something else, let's face it, the father figure in your life probably knows best. This Father's Day, show your appreciation for those hard-earned life lessons with one of these gifts that he's guaranteed to love.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. MOUNTAIN PINT GLASS; $45

mountain glassware
North Drinkware

Portland-based company North Drinkware is known for stunning hand-blown glassware featuring replicas of mountains. The Oregon Pint captures the likeness of Mount Hood—the highest peak in the state at 11,250 feet high. There are also models for mountains in Washington, California, Colorado, and more.

Find It: North Drinkware

2. EAGLE CREEK ALL PURPOSE DUFFEL; $200

Designed in collaboration with three National Geographic Explorers, this duffel—which has 60 liters of space—is tough enough for the most adventurous dads. The pack unzippers to two large compartments, divided by mesh, that allow for easy organization and locating of whatever items are inside. Its moisture-wicking straps can be configured so dad can carry it as a duffel or wear it as a backpack, and weatherproof fabric allows it to be wiped down inside and out.

Find It: National Geographic

3. WHISKY STONES; $20

Whiskey Stones
Whiskey Stones

Instead of regular ice cubes that water down spirits, make sure Dad has whiskey stones. He can stick these handcrafted soapstone cubes in the freezer for four hours, pop them into his glass, and enjoy a cold, stiff drink.

Find It: Whisky Stones

4. OLUKAI KAHU; $90

It doesn’t get more comfortable than these kicks, which have a removable footbed with a gel insert, a drop-in heel—so dad can wear them as either shoes or slides—and a breathable nylon upper. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from your purchase will go to the Ama OluKai Foundation, which supports charities that honor Hawaii’s cultural heritage.

Find it: OluKai

5. IF YOU CAN READ THIS BRING ME A CUP OF COFFEE SOCKS; $10

coffee socks
Courtesy of The Perfect Pair, Etsy

For the father figure who loves his coffee and can be regularly found kicking back on a recliner: Help him send a message from the comfort of his chair with these socks that feature a plea for caffeine on the bottom. Bonus points if you bring him a cup of joe on Father's Day.

Find It: Etsy

6. DAD MAGAZINE; $10

Dad Magazine
Amazon

Dads are the source of endless internet fodder, from well-crafted dad jokes to heart-warming anecdotes from real-life fathers. This book-length parody magazine stemmed from the fake Dad Magazine covers that creators Jaya Saxena and Matt Lubchansky published on The Toast, the now-defunct feminist site edited by Daniel Mallory Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe. The periodical bills itself as being "for dads, by dads" and features pitch-perfect satirical articles on classic dad-friendly topics like tools, golf, and grilling.

Find It: Amazon

7. DARN TOUGH SOCKS RETRO CREW LIGHT; $20

These calf-high socks—which are mostly made of merino wool—wick moisture away from the skin and dry quickly. They’ll keep dad’s feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and thanks to the wool’s antimicrobial qualities, they won’t stink. Best of all, they come with a lifetime warranty.

Find It: Darn Tough

8. SPORT-BRELLA RECLINER CHAIR; $43

umbrella chair
Amazon

This outdoor recliner chair has a large built-in umbrella so dad can relax in the shade at the beach, by the campfire, or on the sidelines of your soccer game. In addition to three adjustable positions, the chair includes a detachable footrest, cup holder, and built-in bottle opener.

Find It: Amazon

9. PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE; $11

Paddle Your Own Canoe cover
Amazon

In his first memoir, Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living, actor Nick Offerman (who made us laugh as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation) instructs readers on the finer points of woodworking, cooking meat, and growing facial hair. He also shares his philosophy on life, what it means to be a man, and tales of growing up in Minooka, Illinois.

Find It: Amazon

10. MOUNTAIN KHAKIS TATANKA SHIRT; $65

If your dad loves National Parks, this is the shirt for him. Made by the Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based Mountain Khakis, this 100 percent cotton jersey shirt comes in green or blue and features a pattern of little bison—including a few that are giving too-close tourists the boot.

Find It: Mountain Khakis

11. TRUNK CLUB; $25 STYLING FEE CREDITED TOWARD YOUR FINAL PURCHASE

clothing
Trunk Club

Dad can't be trusted to pick out his own clothes? Give him the gift of a box of swanky threads, curated by a personal stylist with Nordstrom's Trunk Club for Men. All he has to do is chat with a stylist online, answering questions about what he likes to wear. Then, a box will be shipped right to his door full of pieces for him to try on. He can return what he doesn't like for free and keep what he loves. A $25 styling fee is credit toward his final purchase.

Find It: Trunk Club

12. CREATE-A-DRAWER FROM BASIC OUTFITTERS; $60

Basic Outfitters clothing in drawers
Courtesy of Basic Outfitters

Don't forget socks and underwear! The Create-a-Drawer from Basic Outfitters (which you might recognize from Shark Tank) is a one stop shop for restocking on wardrobe basics. Put together a box of up to 17 pieces, including boxers, briefs, socks, undershirts, Henleys, hoodies, and sweatpants, for $60. With a wealth of classic colors and fun patterns in soft fabrics, there's something for every dad. Trust us: Basic Outfitters let us curate a box to sample and it was easy as can be to find things suited to the dad in our life.

Find It: Basic Outfitters

13. BLAIR'S "ORIGINAL" DEATH HOT SAUCE WITH SKULL KEY CHAIN; $13

hot sauce
Amazon

If your dad has a high tolerance for heat, challenge him to try the impossibly hot Blair's Original Death Sauce, which comes with a skull keychain.

Find It: Amazon

14. TRAVELAMBO SLIM WALLET; $12

Travelambo RFID Front Pocket Minimalist Slim Wallet
Amazon

If dad has been using the same worn out billfold since 1987, it's probably time for an upgrade. Travelambo's minimalist wallet is designed to hold everything he needs in an impressively slim frame.

Find It: Amazon

15. SELF-CHILLING BEER GLASSES; $40

Pint Glasses
Wayfair

Each of these pint glasses comes with a chilling cone that you put in the freezer for 30 minutes and then screw into the bottom of the cup. The cold core will keep dad's ale at the perfect temperature despite the summer heat.

Find It: Wayfair

16. WIRELESS MEAT THERMOMETER; $40

Ivation Long Range Wireless Thermometer
Amazon

This wireless meat thermometer allows dad to kick back with a beer and still monitor the grill from up to 300 feet away.

Find It: Amazon

17. SMOKER BOX; $50

smoker box
Williams Sonoma

This smoker box is the perfect addition to any culinary dad's grilling collection. He'll love experimenting with different smokey flavors.

Find It: Williams-Sonoma

18. DYSON COOL TOWER FAN; $399

Dyson 300906-01 Air Multiplier AM07 Tower Fan
Amazon

The uber-modern Dyson Cool tower fan is completely bladeless, using Air Multiplier technology to cool dad off. It's also quiet, easy to clean, and features a sleep timer.

Find It: Amazon

19. "HONESTLY" ABRAHAM LINCOLN MUG; $18

"Honestly" Abraham Lincoln Mug
Fishs Eddy

If your dad is a history nerd, he'll love this quirky mug from Fishs Eddy.

Find It: Fishs Eddy

20. HAMILTON AND BURR DUELING SHOTS; $18

Dueling Shots Hamilton and Burr
Fishs Eddy

These American-made "dueling" Hamilton and Burr shot glasses honor blasts from the past. Plus, they're cheaper than tickets to Hamilton.

Find It: Fishs Eddy

21. STANLEY CLASSIC GROWLER SET; $48

Stanley Classic Growler Set
Amazon

Perfect for camping or backyard BBQs, this set comes with a 64-ounce vacuum-insulated growler made of stainless steel that promises to keep beer cold for a full 24 hours. It also includes four tumblers in different colors so no one gets their drinks mixed up—if Dad feels like sharing, that is.

Find It: Stanley

22. SOG SYNC II BELT BUCKLE MULTI-TOOL; $80

belt buckle multi-tool
Sog

Fashion meets function in this multi-tool, which includes pliers, a ruler, a screwdriver, a wire crimper, scissors, a blade, and a three-sided file, among other tools. It folds down into a belt buckle and can also be clipped on a pack.

Find It: Sog

23. OTTERBOX TROOPER LT 30 COOLER; $300

coolers
Otterbox

This leak-proof cooler—which comes in three colors—has a puncture resistant nylon exterior, a wide opening to make getting food or drinks easy, and straps that allow it to be carried either on the shoulder or as a backpack. It can be opened with one hand and will keep ice for up to three days.

Find It: Otterbox

24. LEATHERMAN COLLECTOR’S EDITION PST; $275

multitool
Leatherman

Dads who love Leatherman will want this multi-tool, which is based on the brand's original 1983 design. The 4-inch-long, 5.2-ounce tool has 11 tools, including four screwdrivers, pliers, a knife, and an awl; it comes with a wooden case, a leather sheath, a collector’s coin, and a t-shirt—not to mention a certificate of authenticity signed by Tim Leatherman himself.

Find It: Leatherman

25. COAL HEADWEAR THE FIELD HAT; $26

baseball cap
Coal Headwear

These adjustable ripstop cotton hats pair funny phrases with classic illustrations, a great fit for the Pop who loves his dad jokes.

Find It: Coal Headwear

26. BEER TASTING FLIGHT; $49

beer flight
Gilt

Dad will cherish this wooden set that includes space for up to four drafts and a chalkboard for marking what's on tap.

Find It: Gilt

27. 100 ESSENTIAL FILMS SCRATCH-OFF POSTER; $35

pop chart movies scratch off poster
Pop Chart Lab

This scratch-off poster from Pop Chart Lab features 100 classic films making it the perfect gift for film buffs with a den full of meticulously organized DVDs and Blu-rays.

Find It: Pop Chart Lab

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