There have been a lot of weird and wonderful LEGO themes over the years. Some of them start out as an experiment before ending up spawning hundreds of sets over a decade – Ninjago, we’re looking at you. Others come and go in the blink of an eye.
We’ve rounded up seven LEGO themes, all of which stayed around just long enough to spawn a handful of sets, before disappearing off the face of the earth, leaving barely a trace.
Do you own any of these? Are there even shorter-lived themes we’re missing? Let us know in the comments below!
Ben 10: Alien Force
- Years active: 2010
- Six sets, all priced at £12.99
Ben 10 is a popular children’s cartoon, so it only makes sense that there’s been a LEGO theme to go with it. But the Ben 10: Alien Force LEGO theme wasn’t made up of your usual builds. Instead, all six sets were basic Bionicle-style figurines, made out of non-standard LEGO parts. They did stay in shops for a full year, though, so they can’t have been that unpopular.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Years active: 2006
- Two sets, £24.99-£39.99
Here’s another TV/movie tie-in, a range of sets designed to sell alongside the release of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Only two sets ever saw the light of day, though: the Fire Nation Ship, as pictured above, and the Air Temple. If you happen to have one of these in your collection now, it’s worth a few hundred quid.
- Years active: 2005-2006
- Six sets, $4-$70
Here’s an original LEGO theme: Dino Attack, released in 2005. There are six sets in the series, and all seem to involve vehicles being attacked by dinosaurs. As if the title didn’t give that away. They’re quite valuable now, as all LEGO dinos tend to be. Now we only see them in Jurassic World-themed sets.
The Powerpuff Girls
- Years active: 2018
- Two sets, £17.99-£29.99
This is still listed as an active theme on LEGO’s website, but since only two sets have been released, and those came out in 2018, it seems unlikely we’ll see any more. The two sets were discontinued in January 2020, with nothing else coming out to replace them. They’re bright and colourful playsets, aimed at a young audience, featuring minifigures with moulded heads. The set featured above is Bubbles’ Playground Showdown. There was also Mojo Jojo Strikes.
- Years active: 2019
- One set and three ‘skins’, £42.99
LEGO Forma is certainly one of the most bizarre LEGO ‘themes’ in recent history. Whether it counts as a theme is debatable in itself – this was more or less an experiment. LEGO Forma never made it to shops; instead, it was originally available via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, as a means for LEGO to gauge interest levels. The main set eventually appeared on LEGO’s website for a short time, but the skins – a ‘Splash’ koi, an ‘Ink’ koi and a shark – remained exclusive to those who crowdfunded.
Was the experiment a success? Probably; we might not have seen any more LEGO Forma, but we feel like this was a precursor to LEGO Art, Botanicals, and the shift to focus on adult sets.
- Years active: 2014-2015
- Four sets, all $34.99
An early app-based set, LEGO Fusion was only ever available in the US. There were four sets available: the Town Master set, as pictured above, a LEGO Friends-themed Resort Designer, Create and Race, and Battle Towers. It seems these sets were more about app interactivity than building, with piece counts being rather low. You’d create a small model, then input it into the game. A nifty idea, if you ask us.
- Years active: 2002
- Four sets, all £59.99
As the name suggests, LEGO Spybotics was about, well, spying on people. The range launched, complete with its own TV advert showing a teenage boy infiltrating a government building, Mission Impossible style. Of course, you couldn’t quite do that with a Spybotics set; these Technic-like builds required PC software (included via a CD-ROM!) from which you could program the model to move. It uses systems seen in early Mindstorms sets – technology that is, of course, now much more advanced.