۱۲ Building Toys Any LEGO-obsessed Kid Will Love


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They’re small, expensive, and hurt when stepped on. Yes, I am talking about LEGO, the construction set that, for 75 years, has sparked creativity in children and those who refuse to grow up—but you may not realize that LEGO isn’t the only game in town. In addition to the company’s many imitators, there are other construction systems that don’t have a hit movie franchise or theme park behind them. Yet, they are perfect for different age ranges and purposes that your child may enjoy. Below are 12 alternative brands offering young users a creative outlet for their ideas. 


The internet, being what it is, loves to debate about whether LEGO or K’Nex are the better construction set. The truth is that the system of interlocking plastic rods, connectors, motors, and other components is geared (pun intended) more toward those interested in engineering than building, but that hasn’t stopped builders from making models of space shuttles and roller coasters with this system designed over three decades ago. 


According to the reviews on its product page, children won’t use the instruction book included with this colorful, groove-based construction set for long. Despite Playstix’s unusual shape, users pick up on how to use them right away, quickly constructing everything from cars to houses to furniture, and the color of each piece represents its length. Parents also mention in their reviews that Playstix is the perfect toy to calm a child’s busy mind.

Mould King

Bricks and sets from LEGO can get mighty pricey. Most of the sets my 8-year-old wants would take years to save for on his allowance. However, there are alternatives. Mould King is a brand based in China that manufactures sets similar to the building bricks based in Denmark…almost. They also cost significantly less. Whereas an AT-AT Walker from The Empire Strikes Back costs a pretty penny from LEGO, Mould King’s nearly identical set is more than two-thirds less in price, and most reviewers state it’s a good value for the money. However, some builders in the comments strongly disagree, so have some glue handy when putting sets together if you want them to stay intact.

Bristle Blocks

Aimed toward toddlers and preschoolers, these colorful, chunky blocks are perfect for developing brains that crave stimulation. I never thought much of them when I saw them in my child’s daycare, but when I view what kids have built on the product’s Amazon page, they might be the most underrated STEM toy on the market. 

Plus Plus

Sometimes, kids don’t want to be told what to build. They need to figure it out themselves, making the puzzle piece-shaped Plus Plus sets appropriate for kids trying to bring their imagination to life. Children discover how to build three-dimensional structures and creatures on their own. They’re also portable so you can take them on that road-trip to LEGOLAND.  


These building toys look very similar to Magnatiles, another building toy that parents of preschoolers are undoubtedly familiar with. However, the size of the pieces and placement of magnets in Magformers make it much easier to build three-dimensional structures than with Magnatiles. 

Mega Bloks

Whether your child would want Mattel’s Mega Bloks depends on what they’re into. LEGO has the rights to Super Mario, but Mega Bloks has Pokemon and Halo building sets. On the preschool front, if your little one likes Thomas the Tank Engine, Mega Bloks has plenty of sets available, too. Fisher-Price also manufactures them, so plenty of cool accessories, like a construction table, are available for your child’s building sets.  


It isn’t easy to find a place to sit in my living room on Saturday mornings because my sons take every couch and chair cushion in sight and use it to build a fort. Superspace solves that problem with its extra large felt magnetic panels, which allow children to create structures that won’t easily fall apart. Think giant Magformers that keep kids occupied while you catch up on basketball highlights.


LEGO’s architecture sets are one reason the childhood building blocks resonate with adults. However, if the price of building your favorite structure seems steep, you can always get a similar set from Wange. They have sets based on the London Bridge or The White House for a more reasonable price than their Danish counterparts. 

Lincoln Logs

There’s no school like the old school, and nothing older than this over-century-old building set designed by the son of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The fact that your child’s great-great-grandfather also played with Lincoln Logs says a lot about how this simple toy has endured, even when interlocking plastic blocks began to capture the imagination of children around the world.


My oldest son is currently obsessed with anything historical, so Cobi’s sets featuring historical aircraft, tanks, and airplanes would be perfect for his next construction project. They also offer Maserati cars, historic trains, and some planes from the hit film Top Gun: Maverick.


Tinkertoys might be the original STEAM-based toy, and they are perfect for preschoolers who just want to use their hands to build something fun. Older kids who might not be ready for K’Nex can assemble a robot or another creature by mixing and matching the rods, spools, and connectors. 

All the Lego alternatives…

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