We all know one thing: Legos totally rock. The iconic, colorful blocks that have entertained us generation after generation merge nostalgia and modern pop culture like no other toy, making it one of the greatest classics of our time.
But, while longtime brick builders may be skeptical about Lego alternatives (we get it), 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 and where to find them, this one is for you! We’ve gathered our top picks for off-brand Legos based on quality, themes, and building experience for all ages.
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Why you should consider Lego alternatives
Sometimes it’s hard to pull away from what we already know and are used to.
That said, 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.
Below are just a few thoughts to consider:
- 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 of the official blocks.
- Themes are wildly varied, offering 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 show references, etc.
- Alternative brands also provide a wide range of options for all ages, from toddlers to adults, with different building complexities and skill level requirements.
- Many Lego-like brands are compatible with official blocks.
- Most companies provide the option to request backup pieces if your set contains damaged or missing bricks.
- Alternative sets are perfect for children who are just starting to discover block building. These are just as safe, generally cheaper, and of reliable quality.
Best Lego alternatives
Let’s hop into our top picks for the best Lego alternatives for all brick building levels and ages!
China-based company Nifeliz was founded in 2019 and has become one of the most popular Lego alternatives for brick builders in recent years.
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.
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 botanical arrangements (much like Lego’s botanical collection!).
However, before purchasing, we advise having some hands-on experience with more intricate projects; let’s just say Nifeliz isn’t known for providing the same level of detailed instructions that Lego does.
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 you’ll notice a difference between brands (especially if you’re a longtime Lego builder), Nifeliz doesn’t sell your typical poor-quality off-brand Legos!
Best Nifeliz sets
Succulents Plant Decor Building Kit
- Eight different succulents
- Cheaper Lego alternative to Lego Botanical Collection
- Age 16+
Black Hawk Pirates Ship
- 1352 pieces
- Multi-opening design
- Age 16+
Black Pickup G63 6X6 MOC
- 3300 pieces
- Extremely detailed
- Age 16+
Next up is one of our favorite Lego alternatives: Nanoblock! Developed by the Japanese toy company Kawanda, 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.
Read also: Best Lego Minecraft sets
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 Sonic the Hedgehog and even architectural wonders like Tower Bridge and Osaka Castle. There is truly something for everyone 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.
Best Nanoblock sets
Pikachu Pokémon Series Building Kit
- 130 pieces
- Beginner level
- Ages 8+
Bonsai Matsu Deluxe Advanced Hobby Series
- 1130 pieces
- Special edition for advanced brick builders
- Ages 15+
Grand Piano Collection Series
- 170 pieces
- Highly detailed
- Released 2021
In a way, Canadian toy brand MEGA 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 sells a lot of fun products! The Mattel-owned toy company features lots of collaborations with well-known licenses making it extra appealing if you’re looking for relatable pop culture brick-building themes.
Because the MEGA brand is so popular, you won’t find the generic knock off that comes 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 Blocks 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 with Storage
- Very popular product
- 80 blocks for toddlers
Masters of the Universe Castle Grayskull
- Great theme for fans of the TV show
- 3000+ pieces
Pokemon Jumbo Pikachu Toy
- Unique jumbo model of popular character
- 825 pieces — similar model on AliExpress
- Ages 8+
Sluban is a Hong Kong-originated brick-building brand founded in 2004 and stands out from other knock off Legos for offering money for value that’s difficult to match.
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.
Read also: Best Lego tables
Regarding their make, Sluban bricks are notably lighter than Legos but form very sturdy compositions. The brand also features minifigures: these are the only items that aren’t compatible with official Lego blocks.
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, and ironically, is likely to appeal more to older hobbyists than to its primary audience: kids.
Best Sluban sets
Aviation Plane Bricks Toy
- 383 pieces
- Includes 7 mini figures
- Rotating parts
- Best suited for older brick builders
- 344 pieces
Winter Travel Bricks Set
- Fun project for kids 6+
- 439 pieces
- New Sluban figure designs
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.
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 aircrafts, 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. Love movies? The brand also features this Top Gun: Maverick Super Hornet set under the original license!
Best COBI sets
Historical Collection R.M.S. Titanic Executive Edition
- 960 pieces
- Released 2021
- Ages 8+
1970 Opel Manta A Vehicle
- Over $100
- Printed designs are longlasting
- 1905 pieces
Space Shuttle Atlantis
- Released 2022
- Best for teens and up
- Perfect gift for fans of space themes
The Chinese block company WANGE (also known as Wange Education) offers an excellent alternative for those passionate about using their brick-building skills to construct famous architectural sites.
Much like Lego’s Architectural 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 product.
Read also: Best Lego Architecture sets
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, WANGE does a pretty good job at coming close with its sturdy blocks and compositions; see our top picks below!
Best WANGE sets
Flatiron Building Model Set
- Incredibly cheap vs Lego’s Flatiron Building set
- Realistic design
- Ages 6+
United Nations Headquarters Model Set
- Unique theme
- 1597 pieces
- Released 2021
Roman Colosseum Model Set
- Creative gift for fans of travel
- 1758 pieces
- Great design of interior
The Chinese toy company, Mould King, might ring a bell if you’ve been searching for Lego alternatives.
Focusing primarily on the quality and construction of its bricks, Mould King resembles Lego mostly due to its use of accessories and powered gadgets, such as its popular Motor Power Function kits.
The brand features various exciting categories and themes, including MOC Cars, Star Series, Mechanical Car, Street Views, Robots, 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.
These sets are also 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.
Best Mould King sets
Super Star Destroyer Model Kit
- 5162 pieces
- Highly detailed project
- Authentic design
Dutchman Sailboat Block Kit
- For ages 8+
- 3653 pieces
- Pricey set
Art Gallery Building Kits
- Very creative concept
- Excellent for collectors
- Incorporates lighting
Fun Little Toys
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. However, they’re very easy to find on Amazon, which luckily features a great range of options and different themes.
Read also: Best Harry Potter Lego sets
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
1100 PCs Building Bricks in Colors and Mixed Shapes
- Under $25
- Versatile, cheap pack
- Booklet including project ideas and instructions
Mini Animals Building Blocks Sets
- Two different animal-themed options
- Micro-sized building
- Children may need help (pieces are very small)
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:
- Unico: More challenging for US readers to find
- burgkidz: Affordable, generic large block option for toddlers
- CADA: Mostly car sets
- 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!