We love LEGO at RadioTimes.com. Regardless of your age, skillset or interest, you’ll be able to find a LEGO set which suits you.


New LEGO sets are released all the time, and its construction toy sets span a wide range of cinematic universes, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and Marvel, gaming worlds, like Dungeons and Dragons, Super Mario and Minecraft, and you’re sure to have seen viral sets such as Vincent van Gogh — The Starry Night, Cherry Blossoms and Flower Bouquet.

However, if we were to pick fault with LEGO, it’s that the sets can be so expensive! You can easily spend upwards of £100 on packages, and although the finished model looks fantastic on display, if it’s the act of building that you enjoy, it’s not just LEGO which offers this. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to shop around for LEGO alternatives. Or, let the RadioTimes.com Technology team do this for you…

Just because something is the most popular doesn’t mean it’s the most affordable or the right fit for you, that’s why we endeavour to suggest alternatives to popular products so you can shop around for the right one for you — just take a look at our best Apple AirTag alternatives, best AirPods alternatives, and best Sky TV alternatives guides.

In this guide, we delve into the world of modelling and crafting to suggest similar LEGO sets which won’t break the bank.

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If you're certain LEGO sets are the ones for you, then head on over to the LEGO store to browse all of the models today, and be sure to read our new LEGO sets guide.

Shop all LEGO sets at LEGO

Are there cheaper alternatives to LEGO?

Yes, there are cheaper alternatives to LEGO in the UK.

LEGO’s models can be costly, to say the least, just take a look at the LEGO Zelda Great Deku Tree — LEGO’s first set inspired by the Legend of Zelda universe — which will set you back £259.99, LEGO Dungeons & Dragons: Red Dragon's Tale which will cost you £314.99, and LEGO The Lord of the Rings Barad-dûr set which retails for a whopping £400.

Although LEGO does have a monopoly on a lot of brands, such as Disney, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, it’s not just LEGO which offers models based on various cinematic and gaming universes, brands such as Mega Bloks also provide this. Let’s take a look.

Best LEGO alternatives at a glance:

Best LEGO alternatives for adults and children to try in the UK

Mega Bloks

Best for: children

Children building with Mega Bloks
Mega Bloks. Argos

As we mentioned earlier, it’s not just LEGO which creates sets for a particular film or game, building blocks brands, such as Mega Bloks, also do this. At Argos, you can find Mega Bloks sets for the Pokémon franchise, such as Charmander, Squirtle and, of course, Pikachu, as well as models which will delight any Barbie fan, like the Malibu Dream Boat set, Ice Cream Stand set with a convertible (how else would Barbie arrive at the sweet treat destination?), and Barbie Dream House.

A lot of the Mega Bloks sets are great for children aged six and over, with the construction toys aiding creativity and problem-solving skills. Plus, some of the more simpler sets, for example, the First Builders Build 'n' Learn Table and Build 'n Create Tube, are targeted at children aged 12-months and over to develop imagination and support motor skills.

We’ve included some of our favourite Mega Bloks sets below, but you can shop all models at Argos. Plus, a lot of the Mega Bloks models are currently discounted, so snap them up while there's still money off!

Looking for a discount on your favourite streaming service? Check out these Disney Plus offers.


Best for: reusability

Box of Simbrix
Simbrix. Amazon

For those of you who grew up in the 1990s, Simbrix is similar to Hama Beads: the heat-fused picture beads. However, unlike Hama Beads, Simbrix are completely mess free as the bricks don't require any ironing, gluing or water. So how do Simbrix work?

Simbrix are reusable bricks which can be built and rebuilt time again into 2D and 3D designs. Simbrix is designed for children who enjoy pixel art, and for parents who would like to encourage their child's creativity. Plus, Simbrix combines elements of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) learning to provide educational benefits during play.

However, our favourite thing about Simbrix is that you can print off full-scale templates from the Simbrix website and create various 2D models using the same bricks. In comparison, LEGO sets allow you to create smaller models using your imagination or the one model which the set advertises, there isn't much freedom.

These are our top picks of Simbrix sets, but you can check out the range at Amazon.


Best for: all ages

Tube of Plus-Plus building pieces
Plus-Plus. Debenhams

Like Simbrix, Plus-Plus are exciting buildable bricks not too dissimilar to jigsaw puzzle pieces and you can create impressive 2D and 3D designs. While there are specific Plus-Plus sets, such as T Rex Tube Mix, where you can create a T Rex and Astronaut Tube Mix to build a space person, there are also purely Plus-Plus piece sets, like 150-piece Glow in the Dark sets and 1,200-piece Basic Colourmix sets, where you can build anything your heart desires.

If you're struggling to think of what to build, Plus-Plus has plenty of inspiration on the website to incite imagination; whether you're buying Plus-Plus for yourself or a youngster, hours of fun can be had with these puzzle bricks.

Below, we've selected three Plus-Plus sets available to buy at Debenhams. We've chosen UK retailer Debenhams because you can secure free next day delivery or express delivery on orders over £15 when you use the code FREEDEL at the checkout.

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3D Puzzles

Best for: puzzles

Star Wars themed puzzle ball
3D Puzzles. Ravensburger

One of the draws of LEGO is that you can create models of your favourite characters, but what if we told you we've found buildable sets to display at the fraction of the price? 3D Puzzles come as puzzle balls and as 3D models, and you can find creations themed around all of your favourite movies, TV shows and games, for example, Pokémon, Harry Potter, Super Mario and Marvel Avengers, and Disney films such as Lilo & Stitch, Frozen and Toy Story.

All of the 3D puzzles are sturdy upon assembly with no glue required, and a lot of the models come with stands so you can proudly display the completed puzzle in your home. The 3D Puzzles we've selected below are great for adults and children usually over the age of six.


Best for: sports fans


There's no right (Nottingham Forest) or wrong (Derby County) football team to support, so whatever FC has your heart, you're sure to find a BRXLZ model for you. BRXLZ is probably the closest alternative to LEGO in terms of appearance and buildability, and would make a fantastic present for a sports fan in your life.

At BRXLZ, you can build players, mascots, characters, logos, helmets, trainers, baseball caps, coaches, and more from a series of sports such as MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Scottish Premiership, University, and National team.

To give you a few examples of the eclectic collection BRXLZ offers, we've included the West Ham United FC coach, Twickenham Stadium set, and Arsenal FC football model below. Plus, fans of sports across the pond can check out models such as the Cincinnati Bengals Paycor Stadium and Dallas Cowboys, as well as Boston Red Sox Baseball Cap.

If you're a football fan, be sure to check out how to get cheap football tickets. Plus, did you know the England Women's kit has been released?


Best for: motorised sets

Buildable model of the sun, moon and earth
CaDA. Amazon

If you're looking for motorised sets — like the ones LEGO offers — than CaDA is for you. CaDA mostly focuses on vehicles, yet the brand's catalogue is slowly expanding to include more motorised models, such as the Technology Solar System Set: this set comes with sun, earth and moon shapes, as well as a mechanical rotating bracket and base. The set works by turning the handle clockwise to rotate the pointer anti-clockwise, which will make the sun, moon and earth rotate, too.

We think these high-quality and stable CaDA models will be best suited towards older children and adults, and unlike some of the brands above, there are lots of genres to choose from, from vehicles and buildings to solar systems and football stadiums.

Take a look at the best stargazing experiences.


Best for: adults

Buildable sets from Piececool
Piececool. Amazon

A lot of building sets targeted towards children encourage imagination and creative thinking, however, if you're an adult, you might turn towards model building for other reasons, such as to wind-down after a stressful day, to practice patience, and work on your logical thinking skills. Piececool sets are aimed at adults and teenagers over the age of 14, and endeavour to do just that.

These laser cut models of 3D puzzles come with clear step-by-step instructions and will provide hours of entertainment. There's no need to worry about gluing or soldering, either, as these stainless steel and metal parts can be easily clipped together.

Take a look at some of our favourite Piececool sets, and be sure to check out the full range at Amazon.


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