A guide to the best Lego alternatives for adults, kids, and everyone in between

Written by:

Published:

We all know one thing: Legos totally rock. But while longtime brick builders may be skeptical about Lego alternatives, know that there’s a long list of so-called knock-off Legos that are definitely worth discovering — not to mention way easier on your wallet!

If you’re curious about cheaper Lego alternatives and knowing which to buy we’ve gathered our top picks for off-brand Legos based on quality, themes, and building experience for all ages.

And in case you’re wondering, all of these are legitimate alt brick companies selling original or licensed sets. No knock-off copycat sets here!

If you’re in Europe, check out our alt brick shop Latericius. We stock a selection of the best Lego alternative sets in their original boxes.

Affiliate disclosure: Articles on Tiny Workshops may contain affiliate links.

Why you should consider Lego alternatives

If you’re a die-hard Lego fan, you may be on the fence about trying out a cheaper brick-building brand.

But if you’re open to something a little different, trust us — there are plenty of good reasons to purchase alternative Legos brands.

Below are just a few thoughts to consider:

  • Price: Off-brand Legos tend to be more affordable. While this isn’t the case for all Lego alternatives, you can often find quality sets that cost half the price or less per piece.
  • Themes: Alternatives offer something for every niche, many times including themes that Lego doesn’t feature. You may also be surprised to know that several off-brand brick alternatives have licensed sets featuring popular characters, TV shows, etc.
  • Complexity: Alternative brands also provide a wide range of options for all ages, from toddlers to adults, with different building complexities and skill level requirements.
  • Compatibility: Many Lego-like brands are compatible with official blocks.
  • Support: The best Lego alternatives provide great support and will help you if your set contains damaged or missing bricks.
  • Quality: Gone are the days of cheap plastic bricks. All of the brands below offer brick quality approaching that of Lego itself.

Best Lego alternatives

Best Lego Alternatives_Feature image
Featured image credit: Anterovium (Adobe Stock Images)

Let’s hop into our top picks for the best Lego alternatives for all brick building levels and ages!

Mould King

Mould King Lego alternatives

The hugely popular alt brick brand Mould King might ring a bell if you’ve been searching for Lego alternatives. This Chinese company stepped in to fill the gap left by counterfeiter Lepin’s shutdown, learning from their mistakes.

Focusing primarily on the quality and construction of its bricks, Mould King has a wide variety of sets to suit any budding building fan’s interests.

The brand features various exciting categories and themes, including MOC Cars, Star Series, Mechanical Car, Street Views, Flowers, and more. However, if you’re looking for sets for young children, we recommend other options on our list; Mould King products are more suitable for teens and up.

Some of its most popular sets include modular models with features similar to those found in Lego Harry Potter, Lego Minecraft, and Lego Creator sets. In the past Mould King knicked some notable MOC designs, but nowadays the company licenses builds, so everything is above board.

Mould King sets are more intricate and challenging for beginners, so keep this in mind before purchasing. Prices vary quite a bit per set and are higher in quality vs. what many would expect when looking for off-brand Lego alternatives.

Note: The link below is the only official Mould King website. There are other sites claiming to be “official” but they are not. We’ve had nothing but great experience with the site below, so don’t let the appearance put you off!

Best Mould King sets

Super Star Destroyer Mould King

Super Star Destroyer Model Kit

  • 5162 pieces
  • Highly detailed project
  • Great design

Mould King Pirate Ship

Dutchman Sailboat

  • For ages 8+
  • 3653 pieces
  • Pricey set

Mould King Art Gallery

Art Gallery Building

  • Very creative concept
  • Excellent for collectors
  • Incorporates lighting

CaDA Blocks

CaDA Logo

If you want a Lego alternative that’s really legit, CaDA is a fantastic option. The company only produces original and licensed sets. It also produces its own branded bricks, and they’re as close to Lego quality as it gets.

In terms of themes, CaDA primarily specializes in all kinds of cars and vehicles. Not only are they excellent quality display pieces, they often come with motorization options to turn them into remote control cars!

CaDA also launched its Master Series in 2016, which licenses sets from some of the best Lego MOCers in the world. Unlike Lego Ideas, the company accepts a much wider variety of sets, paying good money for the designs.

One of our favorites is the Japanese shop series designed by Tong Xin Jun. They are some of the most unique building sets you can get in the Lego Alternative world, with built-in lighting kits and removable backs.

The company has a few products listed on Amazon, but the official website has far more products. If you’re in Europe, check out our sister shop to pick up our favorite sets with quick shipping!

Best CaDA sets

CaDA Classic Sports Car

Classic Sports Car

  • 1429 pieces
  • Can be motorized
  • Licensed MOC design

CaDA Initial D Takuma Toyota Trueno

Initial D 1:12 Toyota Trueno AE86

  • 1324 pieces
  • Officially licensed
  • Can be motorized

CaDA Steamed Bun Shop

Japanese Steamed Bun Shop

  • 1108 pieces
  • Back opens to reveal interior
  • Includes lighting kit

Nanoblock

Nanobloack Lego alternatives

Next up is one of our favorite miniature Lego alternatives: Nanoblock! Developed by the Japanese toy company Kawada, Nanoblock offers an extensive catalog of microsized blocks and high-quality sets packed with stunning 3D brick-building projects and creative themes.

This is an excellent pick if you’re looking for something truly unique. Nanoblock features different collections, the most popular being its Character Collection Series, Collection Food Series, Pokémon Series, Sight to See Series, and Advanced Hobby Series.

You can find a wide selection of hard-to-resist projects within each category, from teeny tiny bowls of ramen to iconic characters like Son Goku and Crash Bandicoot, and even architectural wonders like Tower Bridge and Osaka Castle. There is truly something for everyone here!

They’re also all original designs and fully licensed, so no copyright concerns here.

Nanoblock provides a superior building experience for hobbyists ages 12 and older, featuring mini blocks that can be as small as 4x4x5mm. Each set includes detailed step-by-step instructions.

Be warned though, they’re not cheap and they’re much smaller than Legos. Check out our Lego vs Nanoblock comparison to learn more!

Best Nanoblock sets

Pokemon nanoblock collection

Pikachu Pokémon Series Building Kit

  • 130-piece Nanoblock Pokemon set
  • Beginner level
  • Ages 8+

Bonsai nanoblock advanced hobby series

Bonsai Matsu Deluxe Advanced Hobby Series

  • 1130 pieces
  • Special edition for advanced brick builders
  • Ages 15+

nanoblock piano lego alternatives

Grand Piano Collection Series

  • 170 pieces
  • Highly detailed
  • Released in 2021

MEGA

MEGA Lego alternatives

In a way, Canadian toy company Mega Brands is the vegemite of block building: you either love it or hate it.

Because it’s probably the closest to Lego in terms of catalog range, quality, and reach, it has become one of its main competitors and, therefore, an expected no-no for ultra-loyal Lego enthusiasts.

And while we get it, keep an open mind; Mega Brands sells a lot of fun products! The Mattel-owned toy company features lots of official collaborations with well-known licenses making it extra appealing if you’re looking for relatable pop culture brick-building themes. For example, Mega Halo Construx sets are great gifts for fans of the games.

Because this brand is so popular, you won’t find the generic knock-off bricks that come to mind when looking for cheaper Lego alternatives. As a result, you may see slight dips in price, but don’t expect substantial cost cuts here.

MEGA has different categories for different ages and block sizes:

  • MEGA Bloks for toddlers
  • MEGA Bloks for intermediate builders (compatible with Duplo)
  • MEGA Bloks micro (compatible with Lego)
  • MEGA Construx for advanced builders (compatible with Lego except for minifigures)

Best MEGA sets

MEGA Bloks

MEGA BLOKS with Storage

  • Very popular product
  • 80 blocks for toddlers
  • ~$16

Mega Masters of the Universe

Masters of the Universe Castle Grayskull

  • Great theme for fans of the TV show
  • 3000+ pieces
  • Expensive
  • Perfect for fans of Lego sets for adults

Mega Pikatchu

Pokemon Jumbo Pikachu Toy

  • Unique jumbo model of popular character
  • 825 pieces
  • Ages 8+

Sluban

Sluban Lego alternatives

Sluban is a Hong Kong brick-building brand founded in 2004 and stands out from other knock-off Legos for offering money for value that’s difficult to match. In the past it has run into legal trouble for similarities between its minifigs and Lego’s, but it has tweaked the design and only produces original sets now.

Although one of the cheaper Lego alternatives, Sluban offers the perk of being compatible with official Lego blocks and primarily targets children between 6 and 12 years of age.

Regarding their make, Sluban bricks are notably lighter than Legos but build very sturdy compositions. As mentioned above, the brand also features original minifigures, but these are the only items that aren’t compatible with official Lego blocks. They look more like Playmobile than Lego.

And while Sluban minifigures feature slightly different prints vs. Lego, we doubt children will find these differences an obstacle! So, what’s the catch if sets are cheap, sturdy, and compatible with Legos? Essentially, the limitation of themes.

Although the brand is starting to launch new themes (check out new arrivals!), it’s still very much a military-inspired brick-building brand. That said, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Check out the selection in our EU shop for what we consider to be the most interesting sets.

Best Sluban sets

Sluban Aviation Plane Toy Model

Aviation Plane Bricks Toy

  • 383 pieces
  • Includes 7 mini figures
  • Rotating parts

Sluban Military Tank Model

Tank Set

  • ~$30
  • Best suited for older brick builders
  • 344 pieces

Sluban Winter Travel Toy Set

Winter Travel Bricks Set

  • Fun project for kids 6+
  • 439 pieces
  • New Sluban figure designs

Cobi

COBI Lego alternatives

If you’re a history buff who enjoys recreating models of iconic references, Polish toy brand Cobi offers a line of brick building sets inspired by historical events. No Chinese Lepin-style Lego sets here — these pieces are original and made in Poland.

Fundamentally, Cobi’s models are intended to both entertain and educate. The brand includes a variety of collections under its name, featuring models linked to NASA, the Titanic, the Concorde, WWII aircraft, and more.

We believe these sets are more appropriate for adult collectors and history enthusiasts. Nevertheless, they can be great segues to learn as a family and introduce children to some of the most critical moments in history. They’re also great if your child has to do a presentation on a related topic at school!

And if you love cars, Cobi is a great option worth considering; you can find all kinds of brick models to replicate vehicles by timeless brands, such as Citroen, Skoda, Fiat, Maserati, and more. Check out our EU shop below for our favorites!

Best COBI sets

Titanic COBI set

Historical Collection R.M.S. Titanic Executive Edition

  • 960 pieces
  • Released in 2021
  • Ages 8+

COBI Opel Manta

1970 Opel Manta A Vehicle

  • Over $100
  • Printed designs are longlasting
  • 1905 pieces

COBI Space Shuttle

Space Shuttle Atlantis

  • Released 2022
  • Best for teens and up
  • Perfect gift for fans of space themes

WANGE

WANGE Lego alternatives

The Chinese block company WANGE (also known as Wange Toys) offers an excellent alternative for those passionate about using their brick-building skills to construct famous architectural sites.

Much like Lego Architecture sets, WANGE features a quality line of themes related to iconic landmarks. While the company sells other products, its architecture-inspired sets are undoubtedly the brand’s best-selling products.

Also, know that WANGE sells cityscape projects Lego doesn’t currently offer! On the other hand, if you’re looking for a theme that’s available by both brands, keep in mind that WANGE sets tend to be half the price. And better yet, blocks are compatible with official Legos!

Although you might not get the sublime designs expected from Lego or architecture-themed giant Lego sets, WANGE does a pretty good job at coming close with its sturdy blocks and compositions.

Newer sets in particular are very well designed, and the pieces themselves are great quality. The bad news is that they can be a bit difficult to find!

Best WANGE sets

WANGE Flatiron building Lego alternatives

Flatiron Building Model Set

WANGE UN Building set

United Nations Headquarters Model Set

  • Unique theme
  • 1597 pieces
  • Released in 2021

WANGE Roman Colesseum Lego alternatives

Roman Colosseum Model Set 

  • Creative gift for fans of travel
  • 1758 pieces
  • Great design of interior

Nifeliz

Nifeliz logo 2023

China-based company Nifeliz was founded in 2019 and has become one of the most popular Lego alternatives for adults and kids in recent years. It primarily reboxes and resells sets from other manufacturers that you can’t buy overseas, but it does make original sets, too.

Nifeliz (a combination of the Spanish words “Infancia” + “Feliz,” meaning “Happy Childhood”) is compatible with Lego Technic pieces and, in fact, is referred to as a Lego Technic clone. So, much like Lego Technic, Nifeliz focuses on recreating more elaborate models requiring specialized parts and features, such as the Nifeliz R18 Race Car set we reviewed earlier this year.

While flashy vehicle-inspired sets are, by far, the brand’s star products, Nifeliz’s evergrowing catalog also includes completely unrelated themes, from dinosaur fossil and street view models to medieval houses and succulent sets (much like Lego’s Botanical Collection!).

The company also offers great support. It’s unlikely that you will find damaged or missing pieces, but if you do they will replace them for free. Compared to buying the original sets from a sketchy seller in China, this is a huge advantage.

Like most cheaper Lego alternatives, Nifeliz aims to provide the same quality brick-building experience as its competitor at lower, more accessible prices. And while there is some slight variation from set to set (check out our Nifeliz vs Lego comparison to learn more), Nifeliz doesn’t sell your typical poor-quality off-brand Legos!

Best Nifeliz sets

Nifeliz Succulents Plant Decor Building Kit

Succulents Plant Decor Building Kit

Nifeliz Pirates Ship Lego alternatives

Black Hawk Pirates Ship

  • 1352 pieces
  • Multi-opening design
  • Age 16+

Nifeliz pickup truck Lego alternatives

Black Pickup G63 6X6 MOC

JMBricklayer

JMBricklayer_feature image

JMBricklayer just entered the world of brick building in 2022, but it quickly managed to impress us with an interesting catalog of sets.

Owned by Chinese company, Shenzhen Aifu Network Technology, JMBricklayer specializes in Lego alternative building sets for ages 14+. Like Nifeliz above, the company mostly reboxes and resells sets from other companies, but it does have a few unique sets, such as the excellent Ghost Ship set we reviewed a while back.

As expected, JMBricklayer bricks are fully compatible with Lego. Sets are classified under various themes for young adults and up, including Lego-like categories such as botanical, vehicle, and modular street view sets.

However, it also features themes not covered by Lego, such as military and ship-building kits. Nevertheless, you’re likely to find models similar to Nifeliz and Mould King sets, so we advise comparing prices, delivery options, and building complexity before purchasing.

According to the brand’s website, deliveries are made from the company’s US/UK/DE warehouse, so deliveries may be limited depending on your location. They also sell on Amazon, but you can save 15% on the official website with the code JMBTINY15.

Best JMBricklayer sets

JMBricklayer Ghost Ship review

Flying Dutchman Ghost Ship

  • Read our review
  • 1100 pieces
  • Included lighting kit

Space Astronaut Building Set

Space Astronaut Building Set

  • 900 pieces
  • Features dynamic parts and moveable details
  • For hobbyists ages 14+

JMBricklayer nuclear submarine set

Nuclear Submarine set

  • Detailed interior design
  • Great display piece
  • Contains ~1500 bricks

Fun Little Toys

Fun Little Toys Lego alternatives

Fun Little Toys is probably the most generic suggestion of Lego alternatives in our guide, but we think it’s definitely worth a shout-out!

It’s hard to pinpoint the company or where these small brick sets are manufactured, which likely means it’s another Lepin Lego alternative. However, they’re very easy to find on Amazon, which luckily features a great range of options and different themes.

Most kits range between $15-$25, making them excellent buys for party favors or a surprise treat for any brick-building child in your life. While aimed at kids, adults will also have a good time putting these together; there’s a robot pack that sci-fi lovers of all ages will enjoy!

While not premium quality blocks, Fun Little Toys bricks are sturdy and provide an enjoyable building experience. The brand’s highlight is that it offers a creative range of themes, including rescue vehicles, musical instruments, mini-city shops, and more.

Since these are small constructions, remember to consider this when brick building with or around toddlers. Besides themed sets, Fun Little Toys also offers a pack of over 1000 miscellaneous bricks to make creations of your own; check it out below!

Best Fun Little Toys sets

Fun Little Toys 1000 pieces pack

1100 PCs Building Bricks in Colors and Mixed Shapes

  • Under $25
  • Versatile, cheap pack
  • Booklet including project ideas and instructions

Fun Little Toys mini animals set

Mini Animals Building Blocks Sets

  • Two different animal-themed options
  • Micro-sized building
  • Children may need help (pieces are very small)

Fun Little Toys Musical Instruments set

Mini Music Building Blocks Sets

  • Ideal gift for music lovers
  • Excellent designs
  • Great for party favors

Other Lego alternatives

If, after reading our guide, you’ve become even more curious about Lego alternatives, remember that there are loads of off-brand options available: most are also easy to find online.

And although we highly recommend and encourage you to start off with any of the recommendations in our lineup, we’ve jotted down a few other popular brick-building names worth checking out:

  • LOZ: Tons of sets using smaller blocks, but quality is hit-and-miss
  • burgkidz: Affordable, generic large block option for toddlers
  • Kre-O: Some discontinued Transformers and Star Trek sets can still be found on Amazon
  • COGO MAN: Toy brand that makes brick sets for young children

That’s it for our guide to the best Lego alternatives you can buy! Any advice for other intrepid block builders? Let everyone know in the comments below!

Join our newsletter for the latest guides, discounts, and more!

* indicates required


Comments

Leave a Reply