13 of the Toughest LEGO Sets to Build

by Rob Leane

LEGO bricks are a source of endless fun, but they can also present an immense challenge. While sometimes it might be enough to click a few random bricks together and call it a work of modern art, on other occasions you have to stick to the instructions. You’d think this would be easier, but it really isn’t. Especially not when there are thousands of pieces involved, any of which could get lost under the sofa or eaten by a poorly-supervised child.

From this tricky camp, here are 13 of the toughest LEGO sets ever designed… 

1. Eiffel Tower (3428 pieces)

Standing at over four foot tall when fully built, this LEGO version of Paris’ iconic pointy landmark consists of over 3000 pieces. Almost every single one of them is the same colour, making it even trickier to construct. This one’s a true test for a master builder, as well as being less kind on your wallet than a real-life flight to France (the cheapest on Amazon at the moment is $900).

2. Ghostbusters Firehouse (4634 pieces)

This impressively intricate Ghostbusters HQ design is more difficult than it looks on first glance. Not only do you have to build the exterior of the Fire House, but it also swings open on a hinge to show multiple rooms within. It’s worth the challenge for hard-core fans, though, as it includes a whopping 9 minifigures covering the entire band of original ‘busters and a few ghoulish nasties. 

 3. Ultimate Collector’s Edition Millennium Falcon (5195 pieces)

With over 5000 pieces, most of which are grey and tiny, LEGO sets don’t come much more difficult than this Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon. Since this product has been available to Star Wars and LEGO fans since 2008, you’d now need over $6,000 to buy a new one on Amazon. But still, you could run around the room with it and pretend you’re Han Solo... Can you really put a cost on that much glee?

 4. Tower Bridge (4287 pieces)

London’s iconic suspension bridge, in LEGO form, is one of the toughest builds available. Not only are there loads of incredibly similar beige bricks to differentiate, but there’s also multiple layers and hanging bits to deal with. But still, if you fancy a challenge, this is one of the cheaper options on this list (it's $239 on Amazon at the moment).

5. Super Star Destroyer (3152 pieces)

Another one for the Star Wars fans, this Imperial design is almost evil in its intricacy. The 3152 pieces are mostly grey and tiny, with the sharp edges and pointed front meaning that there aren’t too many interchangeable parts. It’d look pretty cool on your shelf, though, wouldn't it? After the hours of painstaking work are completed, that is.  

6. Marvel S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier (2996 pieces)

This LEGO rendering of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s iconic Helicarrier - made famous by Joss Whedon’s The Avengers movie - is a hefty challenge for any hardened fan of Marvel Comics' superheroes. It consists of two runways, moving pieces, mini-Quinjets and tiny forklift trucks, as well as boasting five minifigures and twelve even smaller ‘micro-minifigures.’ Prepare to get all those miniscule black, white and grey parts mixed up, if you choose to accept the challenge. 

7. Motorized AT-AT (1137 pieces)

As if assembling over a thousand bricks isn’t a big enough task, this Star Wars AT-AT design throws another challenge into the mix – motorisation. Yes, this iconic Imperial battle machine - made famous by The Empire Strikes Back’s Hoth scenes - really walks, and can even move its head. As far as we know, it can’t fire lasers, but it’d look impressive patrolling your living room nonetheless.  

8. Sydney Opera House (2989 pieces)

Why spend hundreds of pounds and manifold hours flying to Australia when you could build one if its most iconic landmarks at home instead? This Sydney Opera House set is devilishly detailed at almost 3000 pieces, with those recognisable roof ‘shells’ looking like the most fiddly areas. LEGO minifigures of Pavarotti and other iconic opera singers are not included.

 9. Sandcrawler (3296 pieces)

3296 pieces make up this Star Wars Sandcrawler set, which allows you to recreate the memorable vessel driven by the droid-selling scavengers the Jawas. If you really want one of these for your kitchen table, though, you’d better be prepared for the potentially-frustrating task of learning to tell all the little brown bricks apart. It comes will loads of droids, too. And Uncle Owen. And hatches that really open!

10. Statue Of Liberty (2889 pieces)

You’d be hard pressed to find one of these Statue of Liberty sets on sale at its RRP of $280 anymore. The product has been out for 16 years now, and second hand copies are now going for closer to $2,800 on Ebay. With 2,899 pieces – most of which are green and very mini – it’s a challenge for even the most skilled LEGO builders. It was the biggest set ever at the time of its release in the year 2000.

11. Death Star II (3449 pieces)

LEGO has produced a few Death Star sets over the years, but none are more difficult than this model of the Empire's second technological terror, which was still under construction when it was blown up at the end of Return Of The Jedi. As a result, Death Star II's LEGO remake is intended to look unfinished, making it even harder than usual to work out how the thousands of bricks fit together.

 12. Grand Carousel (3263 pieces)

For a few years, this was the largest LEGO set on the market. As well as weighing in at a hefty 3263 pieces, it also has power functions that allow it to rotate (clockwise or anticlockwise) and play music. Unless you’re a mega-genius, this set would surely take you weeks to construct. It’s intended for people aged 16 and up, and would set you back $250 at RRP.

13. Taj Majal (5922 pieces)

This epic Taj Mahal recreation is currently the biggest LEGO set ever produced, clocking in at a whopping 5922 pieces. The Jewel of India’s beautiful symmetry means that if you put one brick out of place you’ll be utterly undone, making this the toughest of all the LEGO building projects. Its RRP was $280, but the going rate on Amazon is a jaw-dropping $4200 at the time of writing. If you manage to get your hands on one of these, don’t expect to leave the house for quite some time (because you'll be broke and busy).

Images: AmazonAmazonAmazonAmazonLEGO WikiLEGO ShopAmazonAmazonAmazonLEGO WikiLEGO WikiLEGO websiteLEGO Wiki

This post originally appeared on our UK site.

5 Game of Thrones Characters Who Need to Survive the Final Season

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

"When you play the Game of Thrones, you either win or you die."

These words have haunted Game of Thrones ever since Ned Stark, the assumed protagonist of the show, was killed off in the first season of HBO's fantasy epic. You either win or you die. Even if you're a main character, even if you're a likable character, even if you're a sympathetic character. Nobody is safe. With the eighth and final season on its way, the question everyone is asking is: Who will survive to see the end of the series?

While leaks, intentional and otherwise, have confirmed that Jorah Mormont will likely live, it can be safely assumed that someone as evil as Cersei Lannister will probably (hopefully) be killed off. Here are the people who will most likely tell the Many Faced God "Not today."

1. TYRION LANNISTER

Peter Dinklage in 'Game of Thrones'
HBO

Fans have literally threatened to riot if ​Tyrion Lannister dies. Undoubtedly the most popular character the show has presented, Tyrion's transformation wouldn't be complete if he were killed off. And at this point, watching him triumph against all odds and conquer his family's legacy is half the reason to watch the show. If anyone can win the Game of Thrones, he can—even if he has teased otherwise.

2. LORD VARYS

Conleth Hill as Lord Varys in 'Game of Thrones'
Helen Sloan, HBO

While even purely political players in the Game of Thrones can be killed off, Lord Varys has always kept a healthy distance between himself and anything even resembling action. He always plays on his own terms and makes sure he has an exit strategy at all times. If anything manages to kill him, it better be some huge, shocking event, because he's not going to die from just anything.

3. SAMWELL TARLY

John Bradley as Samwell Tarly in 'Game of Thrones'
Helen Sloan, HBO

​Many people have noticed how the loyal Samwell Tarly is more or less a self-insert character ​meant to represent author George R.R. Martin. While it's entirely possible Samwell might get a hero's death by sacrificing himself to save Gilly and Baby Sam, Martin still has huge sway over the show, and it's unlikely he'd let them kill "him" off.

4. JON SNOW

Kit Harington in 'Game of Thrones'
HBO

Not only has Jon Snow already died and come back from the dead, but he's been the de facto protagonist of the series since his not-daddy Ned Stark was killed off all the way back in season one. And while the series clearly has no qualms about killing off main characters, the huge reveal of his actual parentage is too big for the show to just kill him off right afterwards.

5. SANSA STARK

Sophie Turner in 'Game of Thrones'
HBO

Of the three remaining Stark siblings, Sansa seems to be the most likely to get out of the show alive. Apart from actress Sophie Turner inadvertently giving away her character's fate with a tattoo, her survival is all but guaranteed because her special skill, a political instinct she learned from Littlefinger, is perfectly suited to allow her to maneuver herself into a secure position.

5 Dog Breeds That Get Along With Cats

iStock/chendongshan
iStock/chendongshan

Dogs and cats may be seen as common enemies, but it does not have to be that way. If you're a strategic pet parent, you can add a cat into your dog family, or vice versa, seamlessly. here are plenty of dogs out there that would make a wonderful—and friendly—companion for your cat. Here are five of the best breeds for that.

1. JAPANESE CHINS

Japanese Chin against a burgundy background
iStock/Dixi_

​Japanese Chins are the perfect dogs for your pet. The breed has even been described as a ​"cat in a dog suit" because of their acrobatic abilities and cat-like agility. ​Animal Planet describes these dogs as even-tempered and adaptable to new members in the family. They're also playful, mischievous, smart, determined, and affectionate.

2. GOLDEN RETRIEVERS

Friendly Golden Retriever looks at the camera
iStock/KalebKroetsch

These ​furry friends are as playful as it gets, but more importantly they're a versatile breed, so they know how to adapt to different friends they meet, including cats of all sizes and ages. Golden retrievers are very unlikely to be rough with your cat, even when playing, and will just consider the cat a part of its family. There's no jealousy on the part o these dogs.

3. PAPILLONS

Papillon and a cat snuggle under a blanket
iStock/yykkaa

​Papillons are the dog versions of your friend who invites you to every social gathering. They have a ​"more the merrier" attitude, meaning they welcome any and all friends. These social butterflies are quick to befriend any and all creatures, cats included.

4. LABRADOR RETRIEVERS

Black Labrador Retriever and a cat share a couch
iStock/Willowpix

A Labrador retriever grows to be pretty huge, there's no denying that, but that does not spell disaster for a cat-dog relationship. Labrador retrievers are very outgoing, but at the same time very gentle, and get along well with cats.

5. BEAGLES

A Beagle and a cat cuddle together
iStock/kobkik

Beagles are an easy choice to add to the family. According to the American Kennel Club, beagles are very friendly around all animals, and have an easygoing demeanor. Despite the fact you may see a beagle chase a cat outside from time to time, indoors, they won't keep that same energy. Inside, they play well with others, and will live peacefully—and possibly even snuggle—with cats.

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