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5 Lego Tower Bridge – $239.99

Have you ever wondered what the most expensive Lego sets are? As an avid Lego collector myself, I‘ve done deep research to find the top 5 priciest Lego sets ever sold. Get ready for an in-depth look at these incredible builds!

First, let‘s start with some background on Lego and why rare sets can cost so much. Lego began producing their iconic interlocking plastic bricks back in 1958. Since then, over 600 billion Lego pieces have been sold worldwide [1].

While Lego started as a toy for children, the company has expanded significantly into the adult market. Lego now produces intricate sets aimed at adult builders and collectors, including elaborately detailed models from popular franchises like Star Wars and architecture landmarks.

These complex builds often have thousands of pieces and take days or weeks to complete. They are designed specifically for older Lego hobbyists looking for a challenge. The high piece counts, licensing fees, and niche collector appeal make these exclusive sets very expensive.

To determine the top 5 most expensive Lego sets, I looked at set prices since Lego began producing advanced collector models in the early 2000s. I focused specifically on commercial sets over $200, excluding rare prototypes or custom-commissioned sets.

Let‘s count down the top 5 based on the highest MSRP price for each set when officially released.

First on our list is a beautifully detailed replica of London‘s iconic Tower Bridge, released in 2006. Lego designers traveled to London to study the neo-Gothic architectural elements of the famous 1894 bascule bridge and recreate it in brick form [2].

The completed model stands 13 inches high and 17 inches wide, made of 4,287 pieces. The set captures the bridge‘s two Gothic-inspired towers connected by walkways suspended above the River Thames. The centerpiece is a movable roadway section that can lift to allow ships to pass beneath, just like the real Tower Bridge.

At $239.99, the Tower Bridge was the most expensive Lego set ever at its release in 2006 [3]. Its incredibly intricate architecture and clever design details make this a standout display model for adult collectors.

Next is the second version of the Empire‘s feared Death Star battlestation from 2013, based on its brief appearance in Return of the Jedi. While not as large as the previous 3,803 piece Death Star set, this one has more detailed interior rooms and measures 16 inches wide when completed.

The set‘s 4,016 pieces recreate the Death Star II‘s outer spacestation panels, intricate Superlaser weapon, Imperial throne room, and more. It also comes with 5 popular minifigures like Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader.

Initially launched at $399.99, the set‘s price was raised to $499.99 due to its high demand and popularity among adult Star Wars fans. Building this Lego Death Star provides a fun challenge with smart architectural details.

In 3rd place is an architectural marvel crafted from Lego bricks – the Taj Mahal. Lego designers took inspiration from visits to the real Indian landmark, studying the Taj Mahal‘s elaborate white marble exterior, towering domes, decorative spires and arches [4].

The completed Lego Taj Mahal stands over 20 inches wide and 16 inches tall. It incorporates several specialized building methods to emulate the ornate decoration of the original structure.

With 5,922 pieces, this intricately detailed Lego set launched in 2008 for $549.99. Its vast size, historical significance, and beautiful design has made this a sought-after set. Lego actually retired it in 2010 due to high demand before re-releasing it in 2017 [5].

For architecture and history buffs, recreating one of the New 7 Wonders of the World with Lego is a special experience. The Taj Mahal set perfectly captures the grandeur of this impressive 17th century mausoleum.

In the #2 spot is one of the largest Lego Star Wars vehicles ever produced – the Imperial AT-AT walker seen on the icy Battle of Hoth. This Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) edition stands over 24 inches tall on its movable posable legs.

The heavily-armored exterior has various opening hatches and cockpits, rotating cannons, and incredible detail from the films. Inside, there‘s room to place up to 40 minifigures and deploy speeder bikes. The set‘s 6,785 pieces bring this mechanized behemoth from The Empire Strikes Back to life.

It comes with 9 minifigures like Luke Skywalker and Snowtroopers to recreate epic movie moments. Originally selling for $649.99 in 2019, it now retails for $849, making it the second most expensive Lego set ever released.

The #1 spot goes to the largest, most iconic Star Wars Lego set – the Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon. Han Solo‘s famous Corellian freighter has appeared in every Star Wars trilogy, making it a fan favorite.

This set‘s 7,541 pieces build a completed model measuring over 33 inches long. The exterior has incredible movie accuracy from the distinctive saucer-shape and cockpit to interchangeable sensor dishes. You can even open up removeable panels to access interior details like the main hold and cockpit.

It comes with 7 classic minfigures from the original and sequel trilogies. When it debuted in 2007 for $499.99, it claimed the record for the largest Lego set ever made. The set was retired but then re-released in 2017 with a new price of $799.99 [6].

In 2022, it reached the current $849 price tag, making this the #1 most expensive Lego set in history. For devoted Star Wars collectors, this Millennium Falcon is the ultimate centerpiece model thanks to its colossal size, nostalgic design, and display impact.

Most Expensive Lego Sets Comparison
To visualize the scale and collector value of these priciest Lego sets, check out this comparison data:

Set Name Theme / Subject Pieces Year Released Retired? Original Price 2022 Price
UCS Millennium Falcon Star Wars 7,541 2007 No $499.99 $849
UCS AT-AT Star Wars 6,785 2019 No $649.99 $849
Taj Mahal Architecture 5,922 2008 Yes $549.99 $369.99
Death Star II Star Wars 4,016 2013 Yes $399.99 $499.99
Tower Bridge Architecture 4,287 2006 Yes $239.99 N/A

With thousands of pieces each, it‘s no surprise these are Lego‘s most expensive sets. Many are now retired, making them rare collector‘s items. The two priciest are still in production – the $849 Star Wars UCS Millennium Falcon and AT-AT.

Clearly Star Wars is a major theme, with Lego banking on fandom hype. However, Lego‘s detailed architectural sets like the Taj Mahal and Tower Bridge have also produced some record-breaking builds.

Let‘s analyze each set‘s collector value and building experience.

Set Analysis and Building Experience
The UCS Millennium Falcon is arguably Lego‘s most coveted set among adult fans. It represents an iconic Star Wars ship with incredible accuracy. As Lego‘s largest set, building it provides an immersive multi-day project. The result is a centerpiece collectible perfect for displaying in your home.

Similarly, constructing the towering AT-AT gives you pride of ownership. The Imperial Walker‘s intricately detailed body and poseable legs come together to create a realistic movie replica. It towers impressively over other sets so is best displayed on the floor for full impact.

Architecture sets like the Taj Mahal or Tower Bridge also make stunning display models. As Lego‘s Head Designer Jamie Berard told Forbes, the architectural series aims for "crisp, clean, successful replication" of the real buildings [7]. They include nuanced elements that mirror their elaborate real-world counterparts. Recreating these ornamental landmarks brick-by-brick creates a meaningful building experience.

Death Star II has fewer pieces than other Star Wars sets but impressively crammed interior details into the battlestation‘s partial shell. While not retired like 10188 Original Death Star, it finds innovative ways to mirror the space station within a smaller piece count.

All five sets require dozens of hours over multiple days or weeks. Their thousands of pieces mean tracking progress and keeping organized during the build. The result is an immersive project that tests your skills and focus.

These expert-level sets provide a hands-on way to engage with your interests, whether it‘s Star Wars, architecture, or history. Displaying the final model lets you highlight your fandom while appreciating the intricate Lego engineering.

Owning and Displaying Expensive Lego Sets
Deciding which expensive Lego set to buy comes down to your budget and interests. Star Wars collectors may lean towards the Falcon or AT-AT, while architecture fans prefer the Taj Mahal or Tower Bridge.

Once you choose your dream set, be prepared for the time commitment and cost. With thousands of pieces, expect to spend days or weeks on the full build. Make sure you have a suitable workspace to comfortably progress through the stages.

These large Lego sets can be tricky to neatly display as well. The curved Falcon and towering AT-AT take up major floor space, so position them accordingly. Studying the set‘s dimensions and footprint is key. Many come with display stands or plaques to nicely show off your completed model.

Proudly displaying your expensive Lego set rewards the time invested to construct it. But make sure you properly budget for the set and have adequate display room before purchasing. Some collectors actually keep rare sets sealed in box to preserve collectible value, but you‘ll miss out on the amazing building experience.

The Choice Is Yours
Thanks for joining me on this tour through the 5 most expensive Lego sets in history! From Star Wars to architectural marvels, these intricate builds represent the pinnacle of Lego design and engineering. They combine nostalgia, pop culture significance, and display appeal into sublime collector pieces.

Owning an elite Lego set brings immense satisfaction but requires careful planning. Consider your budget, space, and display intentions before embarking on one of these epic builds. But for fans willing to invest ample time and money, you‘ll reap the rewards of constructing a meaningful Lego masterpiece.

The choice ultimately comes down to you – which of these exclusive sets best fits your collecting passion? The only limit is your imagination.