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Best LEGO sets of 2020: Check out our favorite Star Wars, Ideas, and other builds

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Another year is just about in the books, and before we dive into all of the action from what LEGO has in store throughout 2021, we’re taking a retrospective look at what this year already delivered. Ranging from some of the most massive creations of all time to the latest licensed kits and collectible builds, you’ll want to head below for our top ten LEGO sets of 2020.

Best LEGO kits released in 2020

The landscape in the LEGO world changed more throughout 2020 than we’ve seen in pervious years, with the introduction of more adult-focused creations and other eye-catching models. We also saw the LEGO Ideas platform grow to unprecedented levels as more and more kits are reaching the campaign goal. And not to mention, 2020 had two previously-retired creations brought back ahead of the holiday season. 

So if there’s a single takeaway for 2020, it’s that there are more sets worthy of making our top 10 list than any year in the past. But before the new year starts and we go hands-on with all of the upcoming kits, we’re checking out the best LEGO kits that first hit store shelves in 2020.

10. Ideas International Space Station

To kick off our countdown of the best sets from 2020, one of the year’s new LEGO Ideas kits has earned the spot at number 10. The International Space Station launched back in the beginning of the year to continue LEGO’s collection of out of this world kits with arguably its most interesting NASA-inspired model yet.

Alongside just being entirely unique compared to what we saw from LEGO this past year, the build leveraged some interesting parts usage to pull off an instantly-recognizable creation. And given how rarely we get NASA builds, this rightly sits on our list of the best kits for 2020.

9. Tokyo Skyline 

Next up for our ninth favorite set of the year, we have the Tokyo Skyline. Architecture creations are easily some of the best out there, and this year’s lineup of new builds from the theme are highlighted by one of the more recent additions to LEGO’s skyline collection.

The Tokyo Skyline was one of two builds that launched at the very beginning of the year and particularly caught our eye as a notable creation to add some brick-built flair to your desk or office. Alongside the iconic landmarks it assembled, there’s some pretty great techniques leveraged here to pull off the look and a solid value overall to seal the deal.

8. AT-AT

As our first Star Wars set to make the list, the AT-AT stood out amongst all of the other builds this year from the theme thanks to being the most faithful adaptation of the iconic vehicle to date. There have been plenty of versions of the Imperial walker in the past, but 2020’s model delivered an eye-catching design, among other improvements. 

This creation also packs a pretty notable selection of minifigures, which only adds to the must-have nature of the model. And not to mention, 2020 being the 40th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back makes it an even more fitting addition to our list of the best LEGO kits.

7. Pirates of Barracuda Bay 

Another set that stems from the community-oriented Ideas platform particularly caught our eye this year, the Pirates of Barracuda Bay set. Even though we didn’t actually take a hands-on look at the model, the nostalgia and overall fantastic looking build made this one as easy addition to the list.

As one of the latest fan-inspired creations to date, this set combines the classic pirate theme with a 2-in-1 model that doubles as a shipwrecked island and sea-worthy ship. There’s plenty of little details throughout that make this just as great of a display piece as it is a play set, making this appealing to younger fans and older collectors alike.

6. Mandalorian BrickHeadz

BrickHeadz are a favorite around here at 9to5Toys, and 2020 saw two of the most iconic characters from pop culture brought into the theme of blocky figures. The Mandalorian and The Child kit was a highlight from earlier in the year when the pair of builds first saw the light of day, and that hype only continued when we actually got our hands on the model. 

For the price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find as solid of a kit overall as these Star Wars BrickHeadz, making the bundle pack deserving of its slot on our list. Mando and Baby Yoda are about as iconic of characters as you could ask for, and the builds themselves are as solid as you’ll find in the entire 2020 LEGO catalog. 

5. Colosseum

As for the fifth best set of 2020, this is one that shouldn’t be all too surprising given its massive part count and stature as LEGO’s largest build to date. The Creator Expert Colosseum deserves all of the attention it receives thanks to the immaculate attention to detail and the eye-catching brick-built architecture leveraged throughout.

So even though we haven’t taken a hands-on look at the creation yet, it’s about as notable as they come and speaks for itself. The only real downside here is just how much space you need to display it, which is fitting for the reigning largest LEGO set to date.

4. Mos Eisley Cantina 

Star Wars is one of LEGO’s most popular themes, and we’d be remiss for not including the largest creation from the theme in our list here. Even though the Mos Eisley Cantina is one we’ve yet to review just yet, it’s easily one of my personal favorite models in my collection and a pretty epic recreation of one of the more notable locations in the Star Wars galaxy. 

Alongside its massive size and all of the built-in details, this set includes many exclusive new minifigures that add even more to the Mos Eisley Cantina’s overall value. This is definitely one to consider adding to your collection, especially for Star Wars fans looking to assemble an iconic piece of the Original Trilogy. 

3. 501st Clone Battle Pack

Entering in at third place, the Star Wars 501st Clone Battle Pack is an easy contender for one of the best LEGO sets of 2020. Aside from how difficult it was to find on store shelves for even months after the launch, the theming here is hard to beat for Star Wars fans. Builders had been asking to see the iconic 501st troopers in brick-built form like this for years, and LEGO certainly delivered. 

Not to mention, the execution was spot on for the most part. We did have some grips in our initial review, but all of that is overshadowed by just how solid of a set the Clone Battle Pack is. The value is there for army builders or those just looking to pick up a single one of the kits, and the popularity speaks for itself. 

2. NES

2020 stepped outside of what we’d expected to see from LEGO in a number of ways, but one of the most notable was finally partnering with Nintendo. It’s the collaboration that seemed like a lifetime in the making and one that was far from expected. But also, one that resulted in one of the best LEGO kits in 2020.

While we had somewhat mixed thoughts on the Super Mario lineup, the Nintendo Entertainment System set was exactly what builders wanted to see, delivering a faithful recreation of the console that started it all alongside a brick-built TV with a much charm and old school action as the original Super Mario Bros. had. 

We found it to be a near flawless display piece in our review and easily one of the most unique kits ever released. Not to mention, arguably the most novel kit to land on store shelves in 2020. 

1. Razor Crest 

Earning the stature as our favorite LEGO set of the year, we have the Razor Crest coming in at number one. While other models were more faithful to their on-screen counterparts or just larger in size, the Razor Crest stands out with an exceptional price and a build that makes all the right compromises.

Not only does it still look fantastic up on display, but the more affordable price tag makes it all the more of a better value. It really nails the look of the ship used in The Mandalorian, while also incorporating some fun play features on the inside. And of course, there’s arguably the best selection of minifigures in any kit this year thanks to the inclusion of Baby Yoda.

I thought it was going to go down as the best set back in my initial review, and that came to fruition now as we close out the year. 

Looking ahead to 2021

Ahead of the new year, don’t forget to check out all of the sets that’ll be retiring at the end of 2020. Not to mention, all of the upcoming creations due out in 2021. Of course, let us know in the comments which set was your favorite this year in the comments below.

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