Best LEGO Sets for 12 Year Olds [9 Awesome Picks for 2020]

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LEGO sets have been around since 1932 and have evolved a lot since then. Nowadays it’s possible to build almost anything that your 12 year old could think up. It can be difficult to know which product is the best for your kid, but that’s where we come in.

The best overall LEGO set for this age group is the Mindstorms Robot Kit. It will keep your kid engaged and excited to build while going above and beyond the traditional LEGO. We also picked more LEGO sets that preteens will surely love – from classic LEGOs to the most complicated ones!

Our Top Picks
Best Overall
LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313 Robot Kit with Remote Control for Kids, Educational STEM Toy for Programming and Learning How to Code (601 pieces)
Best for Advance Engineering
LEGO Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator 42100 Building Kit (4,108 Pieces)
Budget Option
LEGO Architecture London Skyline Collection 21034 Building Set Model Kit and Gift for Kids and Adults (468 Pieces)
Name
LEGO Mindstorms Robot Kit
LEGO Technic Excavator
LEGO Architecture London Skyline
Features
Build 5 different robot designs and can be programmed from your smartphone.
Hours of entertainment even after building.
Offers the unique chance to explore new regions of the world while on a budget.
Best Overall
Our Top Picks
LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313 Robot Kit with Remote Control for Kids, Educational STEM Toy for Programming and Learning How to Code (601 pieces)
Name
LEGO Mindstorms Robot Kit
Features
Build 5 different robot designs and can be programmed from your smartphone.
More Info
Best for Advance Engineering
Our Top Picks
LEGO Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator 42100 Building Kit (4,108 Pieces)
Name
LEGO Technic Excavator
Features
Hours of entertainment even after building.
More Info
Budget Option
Our Top Picks
LEGO Architecture London Skyline Collection 21034 Building Set Model Kit and Gift for Kids and Adults (468 Pieces)
Name
LEGO Architecture London Skyline
Features
Offers the unique chance to explore new regions of the world while on a budget.
More Info

Related post: Best LEGO Creator Sets – Take Your Pick!

Our Top Picks for the Best LEGO Sets for 12 Year Olds

Best Overall – LEGO Mindstorms Robot Kit

Best Overall
LEGO Mindstorms Robot Kit
The set that just keeps giving with several different builds to explore and play with.

Because of how versatile this Mindstorms Robot Kit is, we rank it as the best LEGO set overall for kids 12 years old. Not only will they get to build, but the hours of play afterward make this set worth every penny. 

This Robot Kit is everything you could ever want from a LEGO set. Kids will get the chance to build 5 different robot designs. Once built, the robot can be programmed to do different designed specific tasks such as walk, talk, shoot targets, and much more.

This set comes with intelligent EV3 Brick, 3 servo motors, plus color, touch and IR sensors. Once you download the free app, the robot lets kids learn to program their creation. As a 601 piece set, you will allow your kids to build their next favorite toy. 

Best for Advance Engineering – LEGO Technic Excavator 

Best for Advance Engineering
LEGO Technic Excavator
A driveable set of LEGOs that will keep your kids entertained even after building.

The LEGO Technic Excavator is a wonderful challenge for kids 12 and up. It comes with 4,108 pieces and along with the LEGO Technic Control and app creates an immersive experience. 

Not only will your kid get to spend many hours building, but will later get to operate their creation. This set allows for driving, operation of the boom and bucket, movement sequences, sound effects, and even completing challenges in the app. The set will even give your kids feedback such as how much power was used and how far the excavator drove. 

LEGO Technic is a more advanced line of LEGO that allow for models with more complex technical functions. That is especially true for this kit where it can be controlled from your phone rather than manually. 

Best Budget Option – LEGO Architecture London Skyline Edition

Sale
Best Budget Option
LEGO Architecture London Skyline
A gorgeous architecture set that can fit into a smaller budget.

The London Skyline set comes with 468 pieces and allows your child to transport to a whole new area of the world. Because of this, it ranks as our best budget option. Kids get the chance to build the National Gallery, Nelson’s Column, London Eye, Big Ben, and Tower Bridge. Additionally, it comes with an instructional book giving the history and information about these London landmarks. 

The LEGO Architecture line offers more affordable kits that will bring your kids around the world. Each set offers enough pieces to be challenging, but not so difficult that your kid will get bored of the set before they finish. Instead, they will get a chance to explore different architectures and cultures from around the world.

Best for Star Wars Lover – Attack of the Clones Yoda

Best for Star Wars Lover
Attack of the Clones Yoda
A LEGO kit that builds into a realistic and poseable Yoda model.

Any Star Wars lover is bound to enjoy building this Attack of the Clones Yoda. As a 1,771 piece set, this Jedi Master comes with a posable head and eyebrows, the fingers and toes move, and of course, sports a green lightsaber.  This model also comes with a display stand and information card about the character.

Coming in at around 16 inches tall, this is one of the coolest Star Wars LEGO sets on the market. Kids build their very own Jedi master who can be posed to their liking, or used for more imaginary play. It is perfect for kids 12 years and older and is bound to be a hit.

Best for Dog Lovers – LEGO Friends Heartlake Dog Show

Best for Dog Lovers
LEGO Friends Heartlake Dog Show
A cute set that doubles as a play set for after building fun.

The Heartlake Dog Show set of LEGO hits the best of both worlds for kids who like to build and play. Not only will they make their own creation, but there will be many hours of playing pretend to follow. 

This set is compatible with all LEGO System Bricks, meaning, it’s even more fun to be had. Additionally, it comes with a mini figure, 2 dogs, everything needed to put on a dog show, and many accessories to make play time even more fun. The Friends LEGO kits were designed to be more inclusive of boys and girls alike during play time and building time.  

Best for Free Building – LEGO Classic Creative Brick Box

Sale
Best for Free Building
LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box
The perfect set to allow for free building play.

The Creative Brick Box does more than just help your kids work on their motor skills. It allows them to be even more creative than the themed sets. This box will grow with your kids as they can make creations as simple or as complex as they want.

With 790 pieces, this set really can do it all. Kids have the freedom to create anything from a house to a car to a dinosaur. It comes with 8 different sets of doors and windows, 6 wheels and rims, and two green base plates. 

Best for Aspiring Astronauts – LEGO City Mars Research Shuttle

Best for Aspiring Astronauts
LEGO City Mars Research Shuttle
A LEGO shuttle building kit that is out of this world.

The LEGO City Space Shuttle transports your kids out of this world. They can travel to Mars, or even an entirely new universe. As one of the more simple kits, clocking it at 273 pieces, this is a great starter kit for kids that are just getting into LEGOs. The shuttle features everything from a minifigure cockpit to a landing space for the rocket drone. It will make play time even more fun.

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The LEGO City line is themed around city life and services such as airports, emergency services, and yes you guessed it, space travel. Let your kids get creative and develop their motor skills while enjoying city life. Even better, this kit can be combined with other original Lego pieces to encourage more creative play and allow your kid’s imagination to run wild. 

Best for the Nautical Captain – LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle

Best for the Nautical Captain
LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle
A gorgeous kit that will take time and patience to build.

The Ship in a Bottle set has a gorgeous end product that can be displaced in your kid’s room when finished. This kit isn’t for the faint of heart. It comes with 962 pieces that require some serious motor skills to get into the right places. It is best for kids 12 and up, and is for the more advanced builders.

We love this kit so much because of how challenging it is. It comes with features like a captain’s quarters, cannons, mast, crow’s nest, sails, and flag to make the ship look more realistic. All of these small details add up to a spectacular looking product that your kid will be sure to be proud of finishing. It will test their motor skills and their problem solving abilities to finish this set.

Best for Harry Potter Lovers – LEGO Hogwarts Express

Best for Harry Potter Lovers
LEGO Hogwarts Express Toy Train
A fun Harry Potter themed train kit with mini figures.

The LEGO Hogwarts Express will transport your kids into the wizarding world of Harry Potter in no time. They can recreate Harry Potter scenes, or even make their own with the 801 pieces in this kit. We love this one in particular because of just how much it comes with and how much play it offers. 

This kit comes with Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Remus Lupin, and the Trolly Witch mini-figures in addition to Dementor and Scabbers figures. It also comes with removable side panels and roof, Platform ¾, and a railway bridge. Your kids will be able to spend hours building and playing with this set. 

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What to Consider When Buying a LEGO set 

Young girl playing with LEGO set

Interests

With so many different LEGO sets available, it becomes easy to find one that will fit your kid’s interests. Whether it be Star Wars, architecture, free building, robots, Harry Potter, or even dog shows, there’s Lego kits for it all. There are LEGOs for boys and girls alike that will cater to their individual interests. The more interested in a kit your kid is, the more engaged they will be and will be more likely to finish the build. 

Color Selection

LEGO sets are good for more than just their designed final product. One of the best parts about these sets is the availability to be creative with the pieces and make your own designs. LEGO sets typically come with a certain set of colors, and if your kid is interested in building something in particular, they may want a certain color. This becomes especially applicable with the unthemed sets like the brick box, which are just the bricks that encourage free building. 

Compatibility

Some LEGO sets are compatible with other sets which allow for more mixing and matching of pieces and mini-figures. The more sets that the one you pick out is compatible with, the more fun for your kids. This is especially true of the themed kits such as the Harry Potter series. 

Number of Pieces

Intricate LEGO model build

Each set includes a certain number of pieces to finish the build or free build with. The more pieces that a kit has, the more intensive the build and the longer it will take to complete the project. It will depend on your kids and their comfort level how many pieces in a set could be too many or too few. Sets with fewer pieces are faster to build and can be less overwhelming for kids just starting with LEGOs. While kids who have been building with Legos for a long time may find more enjoyment from larger and more complex sets that require longer stints of attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I buy my kid LEGOs?

LEGOs help kids play while working on their motor skills and exploring their creativity. They encourage kids to build with detailed instructions or free build with their own creations in mind. Not only this, but these sets will help develop problem-solving skills while building and following the instructions to get a complete creation.

How do I make sure the set I buy is age appropriate?

Each set has an age range on the box that the set was intended for (for example 5-13, 10+, 12+, etc). This makes it easy to get a kit that will fit where your child is and allow for optimal play time and building of their motor skills. The ranged kits are particularly great because they allow for the kits to grow with your kids and allow for more engaging fun even as they age. 

Are there any other products that I should get along with my LEGO set?

LEGO base plate and brick separator

In addition to the set itself, some may find it useful to get things like the brick separator to help take apart the LEGO bricks when they want to make a new build or something was placed in the wrong spot. For free building, it can be helpful to get a base plate to keep everything together while building, especially with the creative brick box sets.

Brooke Gates

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API