It’s rather overwhelming walking around the Lego booth at the New York Toy Fair. Not only are there hundreds of new sets but they span brands, ages and complexity.
From Duplo to Creator sets to classic Lego City and even the large Lego Technic products, it's an impressive range.
This year Lego Boost extends this further with a sensor driven remote controlled robot that can be built in six different ways and offers new brick-based interactions.
Lego's own Friends, Elves, Nexo Knights and City lines are all extended in 2017.
Big on children's radar will be the franchise and movie tie-in sets. Coming for 2017 there are sets for Pirates of the Caribbean , Cars, The Lego Batman Movie, Minecraft , Star Wars, Frozen , Moana and Cinderella. There are also new sets coming for the Ninjago feature film.
To help you decide which of these to get for your family, here’s my top picks from each of the lines at the show.
Two sets stood out here for the quality of design and great looking minifigures. Ariel and the Magical Spell (41145) is a 222 pieces aimed at children 5 and over. It provides turquoise, teal and green bricks with mermaid characters and a underwater theme. It will be available in August
Then there is Cinderella’s Enchanted Evening (41146) that is made of 350 pieces to create a magical horse and carriage. It comes with Cinderella minifigure and a miniature castle build. It will be available in August.
Lego Star Wars
While the Star Wars: The Last Jedi sets are, for understandable reasons, not revealed yet there was still plenty of Star Wars bricky goodness at Toy Fair. Bit of a surprise pick for me, but the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar (75184) was really impressive this year.
Not only the range of figures and mini-builds behind each window but the inclusion of a few new Lego pieces I’d not seen before. This will be out in September — which I know is early for Christmas but there you go.
A lot of new Minecraft Lego coming this year. The Waterfall Base (21134) stands out as one of the larger sets at 729 pieces. This is a nice set that offers a range of terrain and characters, all drawn from the video game. Plenty of zombies and other mobs are included as well. This will be available in March.
The Ocean Monument (21136) is another large set with1122 pieces. It offers a load of interactive elements and characters from the game, including a Lego version of the Elder Guardian, Guardian and Squid mob as well as Steve and Alex minifigures. It will be available in August.
Top pick here is the Coast Guard Headquarters (60167) which is a 792 piece build for anyone aged 6 or older. It offers a nice base building, helicopter and launch. The theme is in white and orange of sea-rescue and the level of design is excellent. It’s available in August.
Also worth a mention is the Bus Station (60154) which updates the set with a 337 piece build of building and vehicles. It’s available in August.
A lot to choose from this year but for me the 6×6 All Terrain Tow Truck (42070) stole the show. It’s a massive 1862 pieces and does need some skill to assemble — an age of at least 11 is suggested.
Once complete the build is stunning with attention to detail and realistic moving parts. A nice touch is the Teddy Bear mascot perched on the front grill. This will be out in August.
Lego Batman Movie
There are some of these Lego Batman Movie sets out already but we hadn’t seen the fantastic Ultimate Batmobile (70917) before. This is another big build, weighing in at 1456 pieces.
It comes as three separate vehicles than can combine to make one super Batmobile. Well executed and closely matched to the film. This will be available in June.
Lego Nexo Knights
While there are a few contenders for top set here, in the end I had to go for the Knighton Castle (70357) and its 1426 pieces. Some new pieces included here, but it’s the impressive overall design I really love.
All the favourite Nexo characters are included along with some new shields to unlock in-game content. This is available in August.
New this year in the Elves universe are the Goblins. This is a nice addition as it not only extends the line but opens new routes for imaginative play.
Accordingly, my top set here is the Breakout from the Goblin King’s Fortress (41188). It’s 695 pieces and includes an impressive castle with a variety of interactive ways to escape and capture elves. This is another August set.
There are a lot of Lego Friends sets coming up this year. In terms of August releases shown at Toy Fair this had the most.
Top of the list for me is the Heartlake Hospital (41318) which comprises of 871 to make not only a fully operational medical facility but loads of minifigures and bespoke equipment bricks. There is a high level of detail that looks like it will be great fun to build and play with once complete. This is another of the August Lego sets.
This is a new range from Lego and offers an interactive building kit with app and sensors all provided. While this sort of thing has been tried before, the level of depth and complexity you can achieve with the set (17101) is really impressive.
From an interactive robot to a cat or even a working guitar, Lego Boost was great fun to see demoed and looks like it will do very well. It will be available in August.