The beloved Danish toy brand, LEGO, has quite the following. You may think that LEGOs are for kids, but they’re quite for people of all ages.
These bricks have such a wide appeal that they have spawned movies, cartoons, video games, and so much more. LEGO-themed amusement parks also exist in different parts of the world! Thus, it’s no surprise that some of the most expensive LEGO sets can command quite a following.
Perhaps most importantly for this list, LEGOs have also inspired their share of collectors. LEGOs, as many a toy fan knows by experience, don’t come cheap. It’s not uncommon for sets to go into the hundreds of dollars brand new. What more for the ultra-rare limited edition sets? This is what this list is about.
Here are 20 of the most expensive LEGO sets of all time. These numbers are based on various sources, including the LEGO economy site BrickEconomy. You may be surprised to see which ones are on this list!
LEGO Molding Machines – $10,000+
You may not have expected that LEGO versions of molding machines would be worth so much. After all, they’re just molding machines, right? How are they any special?
It turns out that their value is not due to their design. It’s not even due to their complexity. Instead, they get their value from their rarity. LEGO gave them away for free as part of the LEGO Design Tour in 2011. The company only produced 68 of them, which made them among the rarest LEGO sets ever.
Value estimates for the sets vary depending on the state of each individual set. A signed set sold for $10,000 at an eBay auction. That’s right! A staggering $10,000 for a LEGO set! Opened sets may be somewhat less valuable. However, given the set’s rarity and how it rarely appears at auction sites, these sets are still worth a fortune! Not bad for a gift, right?
Statue of Liberty – $8,000+
Some claim that at the time of its release, this had the most number of pieces of any LEGO set ever. This set has around 3,000 pieces. That’s right! Astoundingly 3,000 pieces! That’s a lot of LEGO pieces that owners could easily misplace! Unsurprisingly, such a complicated set has become a collector’s item.
The set itself was already expensive when it was first released. Today, the set could cost quite a lot depending on its condition. According to BrickEconomy, an opened set could cost just under $800. However, unopened sets could cost over $3,000. In fact, the site estimates that unopened sets in the best condition could cost as much as $8,000. And unlike the previous entry on this list, stores actually sold it.
H.C. Andersen’s Clumsy Hans – $7,000+
You probably didn’t expect that such a “clumsy” LEGO set would have cost a fortune, but you’re wrong. Similar to the aforementioned Molding Machines set, this LEGO set was a limited edition giveaway. LEGO only produced 80 sets, which were sent to members of the LEGO Ambassador program. It’s rare for any set to go on sale. When a set does go on the market, prices start at over $2,000. Someone even bought one set that was on sale for $7,000! You can buy cheap or second-hand cars for that price.
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Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon – $4,500+
Even when brand new, this set costs a fortune. Stores sold it for $500. That price for a LEGO set! That’s more than what many video game consoles or gadgets cost today! The price tag is not a surprise when you consider that the set includes thousands of pieces. It even comes with a 300+ page instruction manual.
This set actually comes in multiple versions. Collectors do not consider the regular editions as valuable as the limited editions, which included certificates and action figures. Prices for the limited editions can go as much as $4,000 on auction sites, especially for pristine sets. Even used sets can cost almost $1,000 on the resale market. It seems when you combine Star Wars fans and LEGO collectors, you’re sure to see high valuations.
TMNT Antonio’s Pizza-Rama – $4,200+
Yes, one of the most expensive LEGO sets out there is a slice of pizza. You can pay up to $4,200 for this LEGO pizza set. For that amount of money, you can buy hundreds of large pizzas to feed a whole community.
The more ridiculous thing? The set isn’t even a whole pizza. It’s just a single slice. That’s right: $4,200 for a single slice of pizza! You can now see that LEGO collectors spend fortunes on some of the most surprising things.
So how did this set become so expensive in the first place? Just like some previous entries, this was a limited edition giveaway. This time, it was given as part of promotions for the 2012 New York Comic Con. Stores never sold it, and very limited quantities exist out there. Is it worth it if you actually hunt one down? Well, the box the set comes in resembles a pizza box, which is admittedly cool.
Piper Airplane – $4,000+
Another limited edition giveaway, another extremely valuable LEGO set. You may be starting to notice a pattern here. LEGO gave this set away to participants of the 2012 LEGO Inside Tour. Only 53 sets exist out there, and many have not been re-sold on the secondary market.
Now you may wonder: what is a Piper Airplane anyway? Piper Aircraft is one of the world’s largest general aviation manufacturers in the world. Think small propeller planes used for training or fun. While Cessna is the largest player in this market, Piper is one of its largest competitors. Piper Aircraft actually has an interesting connection to LEGO. The company’s first corporate aircraft was a Piper Aztec, the plane depicted in the set. So not only is the set cool and interesting by itself, but it also has ties to the company’s history. How’s that for added value?
In the rare cases when a set does go on sale, they can cost quite a fortune, up to $4,000.
Monorail Airport Shuttle – $3,900+
You may have noticed by now that the most expensive LEGO sets and machinery go hand-in-hand. Like the previous entry on this list, the set is based on a form of transportation. In this case, it’s the monorail. The set actually features a functioning train! Such a feature is sure to please both the young and the young at heart.
Now, why exactly would such a set be so valuable? The set actually has an interesting history. It was already expensive to begin with when it was brand new. LEGO also contracted a separate company to manufacture the set. However, the company has since ceased operations, meaning the set is no longer in production. In addition, there’s no one to produce spare parts either. Such rarity has led to the set becoming valuable, with prices approaching $4,000 on the secondary market.
Grand Carousel – $3,300+
Yes, another one of the most expensive LEGO sets out there is also machinery-based. This time it’s a carousel, much like what you’d see in a carnival or an amusement park. It’s not just any carousel, however: it’s actually motorized! That means it spins like a real carousel! Not only that, but just like real-life carousels, the pieces move up and down.
This set is probably among the most complicated LEGO sets ever. Not surprisingly the set came with over 3,000 parts. While a used set can sell for less than $700, unopened sets can cost over $3,000! You may be starting to wonder how these collectors manage to fund their hobby.
Han Solo – $3,100+
Expensive LEGO sets and Star Wars seem to go hand-in-hand. First, the Millennium Falcon set and now one of Han Solo.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t even one of the complicated sets. This particular set is nothing more than Han Solo riding on a Tauntaun. Tauntauns, if you’re not aware, are bipedal dinosaur-like creatures that are recurring in the series. So how did it get so expensive? Maybe it’s its rarity, maybe people just like Star Wars that much. There actually isn’t much information out there about this set. What is known is that someone once spent over $3,100 for a pristine set. All of that for Han Solo riding a dinosaur-like creature.
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Taj Mahal – $2,800+
The Taj Mahal is one of the most famous structures in the world. It’s probably no surprise then that it inspired one of the most expensive LEGO sets ever made.
As expected for a set depicting such a grand building, the set itself is grand. LEGO fans can enjoy assembling almost 6,000 pieces to build this masterpiece. Indeed, at the time of its release, this set had the most number of pieces for any LEGO set. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart but rather true-blooded LEGO enthusiasts. But what else do you expect from such a beautiful building? Much fewer pieces would probably not give the Taj Mahal justice LEGO-wise.
Estimates for how much this set costs vary. Some sources state that it costs as “little” as $300 for a used set. Others state that an unopened set could set back buyers as much as $2,800!
Black Seas Barracuda – $2,700+
Even if you’re not a LEGO fan, this is probably one of the coolest sets out there. LEGO first released this set in 1989. Since then, fans have appreciated it for what it helped pave the way for. The set helped inspire future pirate-themed LEGO sets, hence its high regard. Many LEGO pirate sets have come and gone, but the Black Seas Barracuda still sails above all of them.
Prices at the second-hand market start at less than $400, which is “affordable” for collectible LEGO sets. However, mint condition vintage sets can command a price of over $2,700! Well, if anything is going to deserve such a high value, a cool-looking pirate ship should fit that description.
LEGOLAND Train – $2,700+
Another train set on this list of most expensive LEGO sets? How can it be?
Unlike the first train on this list, the LEGOLAND Train isn’t a functional train set. And unlike the first set which stores sold, LEGO produced this as a limited edition giveaway. Fans could only get this set at, you guessed it, a LEGO Inside Tour.
Interestingly enough, there are actually two editions of this set. LEGO gave the first edition away at LEGOLAND during weekends in 2014. That edition is actually not as valuable as this one. This one was the LEGO Inside Tour giveaway. The company only produced 80 sets of this edition. Despite being virtually identical to the previous edition, this one goes for much higher prices on the market. It seems that when it comes to LEGO sets, rarity can sometimes be worth more than the actual content.
Death Star II – $2,600+
Yup. Another Star Wars set on this list. We did tell you that the most expensive LEGO sets and Star Wars go together like bread and butter.
This time, it’s a replica of the famous Death Star II from Return of the Jedi. With over 3,000 pieces, it would surely take much time to build for even the biggest LEGO fan. The final set even comes with pieces made to resemble the Death Star’s famous laser attack.
This edition supposedly did not sell as well as the LEGO version of Death Star I. Thanks to an early end to production, LEGO collectors far and wide now search for this piece of LEGO history. If you manage to get your hands on this one, it’s sure to become a conversation piece. If you want it, be prepared to spend over two thousand dollars on it.
Maersk – $2,600-$3,000+
Maersk is one of the world’s largest shipping companies. In fact, until recently, it was the largest. It is perhaps best known for its container ships. For this entry, we’re going with not one but two sets. It appears that Maersk and collectible LEGOS go hand-in-hand.
The first Maersk set is a replica of the company’s container ships. LEGO produced 200 sets of this edition back in 1974. It is actually not a complex set considering it has only around 200 pieces. In this case, it’s a rarity rather than complexity that props up its value. Estimates of how much a set costs vary online, ranging from the mid $1,000s to as high as $2,600.
Believe it or not, the most valuable Maersk set is not even a replica of the company’s ships. Instead, a LEGO set featuring replicas of the company’s trucks can sell for even more. BrickEconomy used to list one for sale that cost over $3,000. The higher value is because the truck set is believed to be even rarer than the ship set. Apparently, LEGO mainly produced the latter as a promotional set rather than as a retail product.
Fantasy Era Castle Giant Chess Set – $2,400+
Who would have thought that a chess set would be one of the most expensive LEGO sets out there? But as you can see, it’s no ordinary chess set. This one has over 2,000 pieces and comes with very cool fantasy figures serving as chess pieces.
Interestingly enough, not only is the set rare to find especially in pristine condition. In fact, even its manual can cost a lot. One source claims that a copy of the manual was auctioned off on eBay for $75. By contrast, many regular chess sets can cost much less than that. But when you’re dealing with the LEGO brand and an admittedly cool-looking set, maybe the high prices are worth it.
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Lion Knights King’s Castle – $2,400+
Compared to the other entries on this list, this set seems relatively modest. It has just under 700 pieces, and it seems pretty unassuming. However, remember that LEGO produced this set back in 1984. At the time, the complex sets we see today weren’t a thing yet. For a 1980s set, this was indeed complicated. You wouldn’t know it just from the picture, however.
This set can sell for over $2,000 on the secondary market, particularly unopened vintage ones. However, used sets can sell for less than $200. Regardless of the value, the set has become one of LEGO’s most famous ones. Indeed, it has inspired subsequent releases, including a 4,000+ piece throwback set for 2022. The 2022 edition will surely become a collector’s dream itself in the not-too-distant future.
Eiffel Tower – $2,390+
The Eiffel Tower is perhaps the world’s most famous tower, so it’s no surprise that a replica is this valuable.
The 2007 LEGO edition, when fully assembled, is the tallest LEGO set ever. A full set is 42 inches (106.7 cm) tall. Enthusiasts have over 3,000 pieces to assemble to create this piece of art. For those into authenticity, the set even has functioning elevators, much like the real tower. Not bad for a 1:300 scale model.
While LEGO has since released other Eiffel Tower sets, this remains the most valuable. Perhaps it’s no surprise considering the company produced it in response to fan demand. Vintage sets command prices of almost $2,400, while even a used set can set back fans over $500. It’s still worth it for LEGO fans and Eiffel Tower fans alike.
LECA Automobile – $2,300+
Okay, this red car may not seem like much. There have been much cooler LEGO car sets out there. What makes this one very valuable? Well, just like several previous entries, it was a limited edition giveaway. As you may have guessed, LEGO gave it away during the 2005 LEGO Inside Tour. The company only produced a limited number of sets, which makes them very valuable. The set itself is largely nothing to write home about. It’s another case of a set being more valuable due to its rarity than anything.
Incidentally, limited edition LEGO car sets seem to get really valuable over time. According to BrickEconomy, another limited edition car giveaway can be worth between $6,000 to $8,000 today.
Skull’s Eye Schooner – $2,200
This is another one of the most expensive LEGO sets that is a ship. In this case, it’s a pirate ship. One source claims that collectors consider this one of the LEGO holy grails, especially unopened. Unopened sets can command prices of over $2,000, although used sets can go for as little as $400. As of 2022, it can be worth over $3,000.
What makes this particular set so valuable? It’s almost a fully-functional pirate ship. It has an actual anchor, LEGO figure pirates, masts, and many other pirate goodies. It even has its treasure chest! All that’s lacking is a plank for pirates to go overboard with. That may not necessarily be a bad thing though. Historians say that “walking the plank” is mostly an element of fiction rather than an actual pirate practice.
If you’re both a LEGO fan and a pirate fan, this set should definitely scratch an itch. And even if you’re not a pirate fan, you can get this set and imagine sailing the seven seas. Well, if you’ve got the bucks to afford it. This LEGO set is truly a treasure.
Yoda I Love New York Shirt – $2,200+
We end our list with yet another Star Wars set. Unlike some of the other entries, this one’s high value is somewhat more understandable. It’s probably not a surprise that one of the most expensive LEGO sets is a bit of a novelty. Yoda wearing an I Love NY shirt? Even if it wasn’t a LEGO set it would still be cute and cool. The fact that it is only makes it cooler (and obviously more expensive).
LEGO produced this set as a limited edition tie-in to a LEGO event back in 2013. Back then, LEGO created its largest ever set, an actual size replica of the X-wing. The set briefly went on display in New York at the time. Obviously, even the biggest LEGO fans could not dare to purchase it. However, they could buy the next best thing at a nearby pop-up store. LEGO only produced 1,000 of these sets, which makes it pretty rare. Still, even if it was not rare, it could be a conversation piece. Just the novelty of Yoda wearing such a silly shirt makes it worth it.
A character, best known for his archaic and otherworldly way of speaking, wearing a city tourism shirt is something you don’t see every day. BrickEconomy currently lists the average price of $1,000, but pristine sets have been sold for more.