Another year of LEGO is now one for the history books. While we’re gearing up to start covering all of the new creations come 2022, beforehand we’re taking a retrospective look at what this year already delivered. Ranging from new creations that take the throne of largest set to authentic recreations of both historic and cinematic marbles, you’ll want to head below for our best LEGO sets of 2022.
Best LEGO sets released in 2022
Just like every other industry, 2022 has been a bit of a unique year for LEGO. Stock shortages started off the year, making some of the most tantalizing kits harder to find than ever before. Even so, we saw a collection of fan-favorite kits hit the scene that marked firsts for the lineup. Partnerships with the likes of Sony and Hasbro ushered in some entirely unique new models that were only joined by an even more adult-focused lineup than ever before.
Then the second half of the year hit, and the price increases land. LEGO has already had a reputation of being a bit expensive, but now sets cost more than ever before. Though 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 2022 to help break down what’s worth a second look if you haven’t already added any of the following ten builds to your collection.
Honorable Mention: Overwatch 2 Null Sector Titan
Consider this something of an 11th place slot or an honorable mention, but the Overwatch 2 Null Sector Titan has a soft spot in my heart. I’m such a big fan of Overwatch that when the only set announced for the game’s sequel was canceled just before it was supposed to begin shipping earlier in the year, you know I had to get my hands on it. So while you can’t actually buy one right now, or maybe even ever, I’m at least here to say that it’s one of my favorite sets even if it doesn’t make the best ten sets of the year proper.
I’ve praised it enough in my original hands-on review, which is certainly worth a look to see why I’m even mentioning such a rare kit amongst some of the other notable builds below.
The Botanical Garden collection has quickly become one of the most popular themes in the current LEGO catalog, and the latest kit to join the lineup is doubling down on the success. The succulents kit delivers all of the same life-like recreation of plants in brick-built form, but steps it up with more variety and a modular design.
Comprised of 771 pieces, the set features nine different succulents. Each one features a unique series of techniques to sell the real world version, imbuing the set with some bright colors like reds, blues, and of course, greens. I also adore that it’s modular, so you can arrange the builds into any order or shape you want to. Not to mention, there’s a $50 price point that makes this accessible to a lot more builders than your average display-worthy kits.
9. Optimus Prime
Marking one of the most epic collaborations the LEGO Group has ever pulled off, the company pulled out an extremely unique partnership with Hasbro in the form of Optimus Prime. The Launching back in June, the 1,508-piece creation not only marked the first time we’ve ever seen Transformers hit the official brick-built world, but was made even better thanks to the fact that the character could actually convert between the truck and robot modes.
Prime would be higher up on the list if the build was a little better, but even the slight issues that many builders have with the leader of the Autobots doesn’t stop it from cracking the best ten kits of the year. The $180 price point is also pretty solid for what you get, making the historic debut of a LEGO Transformer even more notable.
I am always a big fan when LEGO makes a new set that assembles a regular real world object, and the new Globe that launched at the start of the year is the latest iteration. It’s such a unique build that there was no way it wasn’t going to end up on my list of favorites, and now that the year is coming to a close I’m left thinking back to just how bizarre of a kit it actually is.
The overall design is pretty basic in that you’re really just looking at a globe made of LEGO. But as far as display pieces go that don’t actually look like it’s a toy, I have today that the Ideas Globe is hands down one of the more eye-catching builds of 2022.
7. Starry Night
Just like the succulents set above, LEGO’s new Starry Night kit is another one of the new models out this year that opened up the catalog to a wider demographic of builders. It’s a fun step forward for the art theme at large that while not a mosaic, delivers a 3D design that portrays the original painting in a completely new way with the help of LEGO bricks.
I’ve had so many friends this year who haven’t bought LEGO in decades tell me they changed that by picking up the Starry Night set. So I really do have to give it to the build as one of the best of the year. The build itself is already pretty exciting in its own right, and then the broad appeal makes this one something I’d like to see from the LEGO Group going forward.
6. Razor Crest
It really wouldn’t be my top ten sets of the year if a LEGO UCS kit wasn’t on the last. As alright as the Landspeeder was from back in May, the real winner has to be the Razor Crest. I still have yet to get this model myself, but everything about the final design just screams to be one of the best kits of the year. The overall size is as impressive as it gets for a ship like this, and all of the interior details make the Razor Crest one of the few UCS models that actually arrive close to minifigure-scale.
Sure, I am little biased with how long I have been covering the model from rumor to leaks to official announcement, but it really encapsulates all that the LEGO Star Wars theme is going into 2023. It’s the most expensive kit on the list at $600, but there’s a reason why these kits come adorned with the Ultimate Collector Series motif.
5. Sanctum Sanctorum
Marking the second year that we’ve seen the LEGO Group bring some of the Modular Building series love over to the Marvel collection, one of 2022’s best sets has to be the new Sanctum Sanctorum. This massive creation depicts Doctor Strange’s place of residence with more detail than we’ve ever seen before and puts all 2,708 to near-perfect use.
It’s not going to be as flashy as some of the kits further down on the list, but I have to hand it to the LEGO Marvel team for delivering a kit with as many details and callbacks to so many films in just a single model. The $250 price point is also pretty stellar considering you’re getting nine minifigures, many of which are exclusive to the set.
4. Ninjago Ultra Combo Mech
Clocking in at my number four spot is a bit of a hot take. If you’ve been following our LEGO coverage at 9to5Toys for awhile you’ll know that I’m a massive Ninjago fan and by far the theme’s best set of the year has to go to one of the first kits released in 2022. The LEGO Ninjago Ultra Combo Mech stands out as not just a highlight for the theme, but also amongst the entire catalog of kits released this year.
It’s not going to be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of mecha then you’ve come to the right place. The build is easily one of the best mechs we’ve ever seen in the brick-built world, sporting a unique design that enables it’s best play feature. As you might have guessed from the name, the Ultra Combo Mech is comprised of four different vehicles which all combine together to form the titular mecha. It’s a really fun design choice and delivers one of the coolest sets of the year. I adore all of the different anime series that the set was modeled on, which really takes this from being an awesome kit to one of the very best to hit store shelves this year.
3. Boutique Hotel
Into the top three, and this year’s Modular Building really caught my eye as one of the kits that I didn’t expect to love as much as I did. It was my first kit from the series, and I have to say that I am hooked going forward. It’s yet another one of the builds that I picked up and ultimately never reviewed, but now all this time later I can gush about just how much I love the final model.
Stacking up to 3,066 pieces, the Boutique Hotel is the latest installment in the yearly Modular Building series to actually ship. Spanning three stories, the build is packed with intricate detail inside and out, all of which you can get a better idea of in our launch coverage. It’s definitely a must-have, but I warn you that it means you’ll likely end up joining the club of builders getting in on the annual action of building each of the new expansions to the modular City collection.
2. Ideas Motorized Lighthouse
LEGO Ideas is always a staple in some of my favorite builds, and with more sets than ever emerging from the theme this year, it was practically a given that one of them would make our list of the best LEGO sets this year. As for the second-best kit of the year though, there’s almost no competition for the LEGO Ideas Lighthouse.
This unique creation arrives from a LEGO fan and made its way through the Ideas platform before becoming an official kit earlier in the year. Just about everything on the 1,265-piece build makes this one of the more eye-catching creations of the year. I adore the design of the actual lighthouse itself, if not fawning even more over the small house build that rests below and on top of the cliffs that the whole kit is perched on.
Though the best part has to be the extra functionality. The LEGO Group really went above and beyond to Justify this kit’s $300 price tag, packing in motorized and light functionality. I mean it’s a lighthouse after all and the LEGO Ideas version delivers with a spotlight at the top of the tower that uses an all-new lens piece to illuminate out a pretty bright ray of light while also spinning in a circle as you’d expect.
1. Horizon Forbidden West Tallneck
Arriving as my favorite LEGO set of the year, the company’s collaboration with Sony for a new gaming theme has to go down as one of the best partnerships of all-time. For 2022, the LEGO Group tapped into Horizon Forbidden West in order to deliver one of the game’s more iconic mechanical creatures into the brick-built world with the 1,222-piece Tallneck.
The model itself is as display-worthy as it gets, with a detailed main build of the actual giraffe-like robot being joined by an ornate baseplate that comes decked out dilapidated city ruins like overgrown greenery, a traffic light, and even a small Watcher bot build. Though my favorite inclusion has to be the Aloy minifigure. On top of being exclusive to the set, the character sports a very clean design that perfectly translates the video game model into a minifig. There are some intricately molded bricks to pull off Aloy’s hair complete with her Focus accessory and just some top notch printing.
I ultimately never published a review, but our original launch coverage walks you through what to expect a bit more.
If all of that wasn’t already enough, the LEGO Tallneck only sells for $90. Normally you’d be paying well over $100 for a licensed kit with this many bricks, let alone one as good as the Horizon Forbidden West set. It’s a rare set that does everything so well and just stacks up to deliver the year’s most collectible, unique, and downright coolest kit.
But hey if you’re not a fan of the Horizon franchise or have another kit that should have made the top ten, then go tell me why I’m wrong in the comments below.
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