Nerd History As Told By LEGOs Sets


Full disclosure: I am a total LEGO nerd. On the list of all the things I geek out about, LEGO is probably somewhere around #4. I don’t know what it is about those LEGO sets – they just get it. Why tiny, blocky versions of familiar things are so hilarious is a mystery to me.

LEGO isn’t something your kids will ever need to grow out of. As I’ve ranted about in a few other articles, LEGO is so much more than a toy. Sometimes, a LEGO set even manages to capture a defining cultural moment.


This Diagon Alley set reminds us of our first trip to the world of wizards.

LEGO knows how much we love Lord of the Rings, comics, Harry Potter and, well, LEGOs. They’ve aimed right for our geeky hearts (which are incidentally attached to our geeky wallets) to make sets that reenact some of our favorite moments in nerd history.

The Hobbit

There are a ton of amazing Hobbit moments in the LEGO building set library, but as soon as I saw this one, I knew it had to be on the list.


The Riddles for the Ring scene where Gollum and Bilbo exchange riddles is one of my personal all time favorite passages in literature.

Thirty white horses on a red hill,
First they champ,
Then they stamp,
Then they stand still

That was all he could think of to ask — the idea of eating was on his mind. It was rather an old one, too, and Gollum knew the answer as well as you do.

“Chestnuts, chestnuts,” he hissed. “Teeth! teeth! my preciousss; but we only has six!”

Lord of the Rings

It was tough to pick just one moment from the Lord of the Rings sets as well, but I settled on the one that set everything else into motion: the Council of Elrond. In that scene, a council is gathered to determine the ring’s fate, and it is then that Frodo volunteers to be the bearer of the ring and the oh-so-famous fellowship is formed.

Plus, this set has a little LEGO ring! And Arwen!

LEGO Lord of the Rings 79006 The Council of Elrond 4

A close runner up to this moment was the epic Battle of Helm’s Deep set.

Star Wars

Despite the sheer amount of Star Wars LEGO sets to choose from, there is only one moment in Star Wars history that cosplayers simply will not let any of us forget.

Jabba’s Barge features Leia (in her most famous outfit) and R2D2 as a waiter with a little LEGO droid serving tray. Classic.


I also dig this scene from around the same time in the movie, Jabba’s Palace, where Leia rescues Han from carbonite. The floor in Jabba’s throne room falls out to reveal the rankor pit (a full Rankor Pit set is sold separately) and there’s even a little Han in Carbonite mini-fig.

Harry Potter

Also rife with excellent choices, the Harry Potter LEGO library is thoroughly impressive, but has been discontinued. Amazon and eBay have your back though – almost all of the old sets can be easily found (for a price). Of all of the moments recreated by these great sets, I’d have to say that Harry Freeing Dobby is my favorite.


It’s not even that impressive a set in terms of scale or complexity, but the whole Dobby storyline is one of the better ones in the whole series, and that’s saying a lot. Plus, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when that story line came to a close, making Dobby the House Elf quite the memorable character.

Another very neat Harry Potter set is the Hogwarts Express train, complete with capability to become an actual electric toy train by adding a few extra pieces. This Amazon review explains what you’ll need to make that happen.


Of course, if we’re talking about important moments in the geek canon, we can’t leave out LEGO’s DC Comics sets. Of the DC moments captured in LEGOs, the one that is arguably the most important has to be the Breakout from Arkham Asylum.


Who can deny that institution’s importance to the Batman storyline(s)? It’s also made for some majorly popular video games of late. In this particular moment, Harley Quinn, who was previously a doctor at the facility, breaks out a slew of her villainous friends including her bestie Poison Ivy and her beau Joker, all of whom are replicated in this set’s surprisingly detailed mini-figs.

Iron Man

Let’s not kid ourselves: The Iron Man movies blew the other Avengers movies out of the water. Remember when Tony’s mansion got blown up and Pepper started being all heroic?



That’s what I call a great moment in storytelling. See why I couldn’t resist choosing the Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack kit as my favorite Marvel LEGO set? It’s the moment Tony really knew what was most important – and the moment Pepper became a badass.

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