The year is coming to a close and everyone seems to be looking back at the state of things after the past 12 months. Rather than bore you with things like politics, Brexit negotiations, the price of smartphones, or the fact that everything is awful, we're looking at something good and wholesome. Lego.
There were a lot of new Lego sets this year, but these ones are our favourites.
The biggest and most expensive Lego set of all time, with over 7,000 pieces and a price tag of £650. Believe it or not that price is a good deal too, since it costs $799 and €799 elsewhere. The Ultimate Collector's Series Millennium Falcon is clearly the most impressive set Lego has in its arsenal, letting you switch between original and sequel trilogy versions of Han Solo's hunk of junk. Deflector dishes can be swapped around, and there are seven minifigures (Han, Old Han, Leia, C-3PO, Chewbacca, Finn, and Rey), plus two Porgs, BB-8, and a Mynock from Empire.
If you're a massive Star Wars fan, you should definitely buy this if you can justify the cost. And provided you have room for it, because it is huge.
The second biggest Lego set of all time, and a re-release of the former biggest set ever. It feels almost exactly the same as the last version, with roughly the same number of pieces and design. Still the original hasn't been available for a while, which is why the re-release is so great. Given its size it also comes with seven modular sections that can be removed for transportation.
This is another one of those sets that's definitely not for kids.
The first of three Lego Ideas projects on this list, the humble fishing shop - something we reviewed earlier this year. There's no denying that this set is absolutely lovely to look at, with enough detail to add a massive amount of extra charm compared to your usual Lego sets. Whether you like Lego for playing with or putting on display, this one can do both. It has stickers, sadly, but it does come with four mini figures: a fishing captain, a fisherman, a fisherwoman that looks a bit touristy, and a kid who is definitely not involved in the hard life of the sea.
The Lego Ninjago Movie might have been a bit lame, but Lego did create some excellent sets out of it. None of them trumped Ninjago City though. It was only a fraction of what was on show in the film, but it's a great snapshot of the city itself - mixing asian and western culture and design together. It's got three levels, connected by a lift, including multiple shops and restaurants, plus a very large number of minifigures.
16 to be exact: Jay, Kai, Lloyd, Green Ninja Suit, Misako, Jamanakai Villager, Sally, Ivy Walker, Konrad, Severin Black, Tommy, Guy, Juno, Mother Doomsday, Shark Army Gunner and Officer Noonan. There's also Sweep the maintenance robot.
Another Lego Ideas release, which shouldn't be surprising because they're usually great. Except Adventure Time but we don't talk about that set.
The Saturn V is a replica of the real thing, though obviously it's much, much smaller. It's a metre long (1:110 scale) and includes three astronaut minifigures and a miniature version of the Apollo Lunar lander and orbiter. It's also capable of splitting apart into the three rocket stages, and the safety rocket. Plus there's a stand todisplay it horizontally.
There were a lot of sets released for The Lego Batman movie, but this one is a personal favourite. It's a 4-in-1 vehicle that includes the Batmobile, a mini Batwing, a tank, and a less-then-spectacular hoverbike. But they all fit together to create one giant Batmobile, complete with all the weapons that would make normal pacifist Batman have a fit.
It comes with a light-up Bat signal, Batman, combat Alfred, Robin, Batgirl, The Wicked Witch of the West, two flying monkeys, and Batman rogue Polka Dot.
The modular sets are some of Lego's most impressive non-licensed sets, particularly since buying enough of them means you can stick them together to create your own mini Lego town. Assembly Square marks the tenth anniversary of the first modular set, with all the usual flare you'd expect from the series. Buildings included are a bakery, a florist, and a coffee shop, which are all things your Lego town needs. Also hiding on the upper floors are a dental surgery and a music shop (complete with a drum set and piano)
Minifigures included are a dentist, barista, baker, florist, music store assistant, dancer, photographer, a Lego fan, and a baby. Each with the classic yellow head and vacant Lego smile.
There have been a lot of Star Destroyer sets over the years, so it makes sense that Lego would take a stab at the latest redesign. The First order Star Destroyer comes straight out of The Last Jedi, and opens up to reveal a bridge on the inside. It even has a throne for Supreme Leader Snoke, letting him converse with a tiny hologram-style microfigure version of Kylo Ren. Also included are two Imperial officers, two stormtroopers, a medical droid, and BB-8's evil cousin BB-9E.
It's a nice sleek-looking ship too. Much nicer than the ones featured in the original and prequel trilogies. Except Vader's Super Star Destroyer, which is an obvious exception.
London is known for a lot of things, and Lego has slowly but surely been recreating them in brick form. The London Bus is the latest, recreating the iconic red buss even if the modern red buses look quite a bit different. It's got reversible adverts on the side to switch between the modern and 1950s aesthetic. No minifigures (and there are clearly more than a few stickers involved), but inside is a fairly accurate representation of the lovely non-train, non-cab based public transport London is known for.
Compared to the X-Wing, the Snowspeeder doesn't get nearly enough credit when it comes to aiding the Rebellion. Sure it can't travel into space or blow up Death Stars, but they're essential to helping the fleet escape Hoth and taking out the giant robot camels hoping to blow shit up. And obviously it gets the set that it deserves, complete with a stand and two minifigures (a pilot and a gunner).
It was never going to be to scale with the AT-AT sets, but at least you can still play with them both together and make it more of an even fight.
The latest Lego Ideas set to see release is a great addition to the 2017 catalogue, even if it isn't as extravagant as the other sets in this list. It celebrates some of the women that made NASA what it is today. That includes Margaret Hamilton (the computer scientist that led the team that developed the software for Skylab and the Apollo missions), Sally Ride (the first American woman in space), Mae Jemison (the first black woman in space, and Star Trek: TNG star), and Nancy Roman (aka the 'Mother of Hubble').
It also comes with miniature versions pf the Hubble Space Telescope, Space Shuttle Challenger, and the masses of code Hamilton's team wrote for the Apollo Guidance Computer flight software source code.
The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film wasn't that great, but Salazar's ship was pretty impressive - so it makes sense that the Lego version would be the same. It can't have been easy to create a ship that's half-destroyed, but they managed it. Even if it doesn't look quite as creepy as its on-screen counterpart. What makes it special is that the underside opens up, the main mast can collapse, and the bow of the ship is on a hinge to represent that rearing motion the ship does in the film.
It comes with many minifigures, including Captain Salazar, Jack Sparrow, Henry Turner, Carina, and three members of Salazar's crew. Also included is the ship's masthead and two undead sharks.