LEGO has decades in the toy business, so there can be no doubt that they have made some strange decisions along the way. From odd looking minifigures, to unique dolls, to unexpected collaborations, let’s take a walk down memory lane and revisit some of LEGO’s most unique outings from over the years.
The Strangest LEGO Products Ever Made
Since 2012, LEGO has made sets under the Friends theme to appeal to the young female demographic. Did you know that prior to that, LEGO had a 15 year run of another girl-focussed set?
Enter Belville, the massively successful line of sets offered from 1994- 2009. These featured the theme-exclusive Belville Figures. These doll like figurines were significantly larger than the traditional LEGO minifigure, and therefore all of their accessories and environments were scaled up. The theme offered some unique pieces and memorable colors. Perhaps most importantly, they showed young girls that LEGO wasn’t just for the boys.
The Belville dolls may look a little silly if you didn’t grow up with them, but these sets paved the way for bringing girls into the LEGO hobby (for which we should all be glad!)
2. Time Cruisers
LEGO has taken some serious creative risks over the years, but perhaps none are more bold than Time Cruisers.
This is LEGO’s only time travel theme. The synopsis pitted the Time Cruisers against the Time Twisters in a zany theme that sent the characters through all periods of time… well, that’s the synopsis, anyway.
The sets themselves were entirely based off of the vehicles, labs, and machines used to induce time travel rather than focusing on where the minifigs were headed to. Imagine a theme where the sets were based on time travelers visiting Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome instead of focusing on their time traveling trains. Maybe someday!
Znap is a short-lived theme that LEGO offered to compete with K’nex in the late 90s. The theme only received 19 sets and was only offered for about a year.
According to Business Insider, Znap was a product line that “almost ruined the LEGO company” along with other unpopular themes offered in the late 90s. The pieces are so foreign to the familiar LEGO brick that it’s almost hard to believe these are real.
4. LEGO Creator 4095: Record and Play
Is it a frog or a dinosaur? This set could also be construed into a Mantis with wheels for legs, or a green Weiner dog with two wheels for legs in the front and one wheel in the back. Regardless of which version of this set you chose to build, you were in for some nightmare fuel!
5. Little Robots
Little Robots was a children’s TV series aired primarily in Europe around 2003. LEGO offered a handful of DUPLO sets to accompany the series.
These sets were only available via LEGO’s Shop At Home service, which at the time is where customers could order by magazine, online, or over the phone. Given the regional exclusivity of these obscure sets, many fans have never heard of them (or the series, for that matter.) While there are some unique pieces offered here, many of the robots’ eyes stare directly into your soul, which lands them a place on this list.
6. LEGO Sports Hockey Sets
When collectors think back on the LEGO Sports theme, they usually think of the NBA sets or the X-Games sets of the early 2000s due to their unique minifigures and play features.
Released around the same time, however, were the robotic looking NHL players in the Bionicle-inspired sets from the same era. I don’t often come across these sets in the wild, but when I do, they always leave me with a nostalgic chuckle.
7. Jack Stone
This theme was centered around the titular character Jack Stone. Depending on the set you purchased, he could be a policeman, a firefighter, a pilot, or any number of other action-packed jobs.
The theme eventually evolved into 4 Plus. It’s best known for its bulky builds, large pieces, and the hallmark “tall” minifigures that still haven’t found a way to fit in with the traditional minifigs in my LEGO city.
8. Scala 3121
Scala was a short-lived theme offered by LEGO to appeal to the young girl demographic. This set mainly served as an attempt to win over Barbie fans. It failed (and didn’t last on store shelves very long) but did offer some unique pieces that are still LEGO compatible today.
Among the most (ahem) disturbing sets is set 3121 - Summer Day Out. The box art shows a figure named Baby Thomas whose eyes stare straight into your soul… not exactly what you want from a kids toy!
9. Nestle Nesquik Bunny
Released exclusively in New Zealand, Australia, and Germany from 2001-2003, this beloved Nestle mascot appeared in three polybag sets: one as a racer driver, one as a movie star, and another on his own as just a minifigure in a bag. This minifig now sells for $50-100 on his own, but do yourself a favor and don’t remove his rabbit headpiece… the face underneath is quite horrifying!
While some entries on this list are here due to their horrifying look, Fabuland is here because it’s adorable. These animal-based sets harken back to a time when LEGO’s original themes were willing to take a chance on something so ridiculous that they might actually stick. These sets debuted in 1979 and stuck around until 1989, making it one of LEGO’s longest lasting original themes ever! Sealed copies of these sets can go for some pretty crazy money, but any serious LEGO collector should spend just a few bucks to get an animal from this series because they’re too adorable to pass up! (I have the hippo, if anyone is wondering…)
11. Geoffrey the Giraffe buildable figure (both of them)
Gone are the days of walking the aisles at Toys R Us, but at least LEGO left us with two sets immortalizing the toy giant’s mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe. On second thought, maybe we could’ve lived without these sets… they’re pretty uncanny!
12. Galidor (the entire theme)
These sets are largely regarded as some of the worst LEGO has ever put out, although research will show you that some have actually ascended in value if they’re still sealed. I think that’s due to the meme power of how awful these sets are when compared to more traditional LEGO builds. This theme was tied in with a TV series of the same name, and just one look at the sets’ design shows a cringeworthy look at the techno-driven craze of children’s media of the early 2000s.
Are there any strange LEGO products that you think I missed? Drop me a message on IG and let me know, and as always, happy building out there!
- Johnathan, MiniSuperHeroesToday
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