The Rise of Lego’s Sets Has Gained a Following Among Teens and Adults


Credit to Brianna Dunham

The nostalgia of the Hogwarts castle. The height of the NASA Apollo Saturn V. The detail in the Millennium Falcon. These defining characteristics of these famous Lego sets have made them appealing to the masses spanning multiple generations. 

Lego has had a resurgence in popularity amongst teens and adults alike in recent years and the inclusion of more difficult and mature sets has created a way for people of all ages to relax, relieve stress and tap into nostalgia from their childhood. 

“As a child, it was just fun to build stuff and that would have been as a kid in the early 80s,” science teacher Christopher Dalton said. “Space was a big thing so they had some really small series of space type Legos that my friend had.”

As Dalton grew older, his love of Legos diminished but came back in full strength when Lego released several detailed adult sets that brought back a sense of nostalgia. Particularly the Space Shuttle and Back to the Future Delorean were sets that reeled Dalton back in. 

“So when they started to come out with some of those highly detailed [sets], it just brought back nostalgia from when I was young,” Dalton said. “Plus it’s relaxing and a stress reliever.”

Dalton enjoys building sets one bag at a time, often after a long day of work. Legos were also a way for him to connect with his son who enjoyed building smaller sets as a child. But nostalgia isn’t the only thing that brought Legos back into the mainstream. The rewarding feeling of finishing a set can be enough to perk someone’s interest. 

“I would say the end result [is most rewarding],” junior Alexis Morlen said. “Like this one took me seven and a half hours to do it and I had to finish it. So it’s just the finished result and I’m like ‘it’s finally complete’.”

Her most prized build is the NASA Apollo Saturn V which stands at a whopping 39 inches. Along with the Saturn V, Morlen has completed around 17 sets with her favorite collection being the Skyline Architecture sets which began in 2016. 

“I think because they’re making more appealing sets to all ages of people, it’s more inclusive now,” Morlen said, “versus everyone just thought of them as a kid’s toys or only collectibles.”

Many popular collections that have gained traction with the masses have been the Architecture collection started in 2008, a fan favorite of Morlen’s, the Ideas collection debuted in 2014 and the Botanical Collection released in 2021. Since the release of these and other famous collections, Lego enthusiasts have taken to social media to show off the sets they’ve built which, in turn, raises the popularity of Legos among the masses. 

“I would say [social media] definitely spreads the sets that people don’t know about, like the floral sets and all that,” Morlen said.

However, the introduction of Legos can date back to early childhood. Dalton, as well as many teenagers and adults, grew up with Legos and the ability to reconnect with a childhood toy is something some can’t resist.

“I would say that our generation of kids were really into it and now we’re able to go out and buy them ourselves,” senior Jonah Sevier said.

Sevier enjoys the logic of Legos and the step by step process it takes to finish a set. The Star Wars Lego sets are his favorite with his most cherished set being the Millennium Falcon.

“Lego is expanding into different areas and expanding on how many sets they are putting out,” Sevier said. “So I would say it’s a combination of our generation growing up and being able to compete in that consumeristic idea and Lego putting out more things to purchase.”

The novelty of Legos makes them a nostalgic piece that can often serve many purposes. For some, it’s a reminder of simpler times. For others, it’s a way to relax and decompress. But the factor that most enjoy about Legos is the journey it takes to see the completed set. The process of building the Van Gogh Starry Night or the Bowser set brick by brick, is an enjoyable process that spans generations dating back to the founding of Lego in 1932.

“Well, I think there’s a goal to achieve the build and you can also design your own things,” Dalton said. “It’s something that has been around for a long time that’s appealed to a lot of people. You know you’re building something, you’re doing something, there’s something tangible there.”