LEGO vs Nanoblocks (2024)

LEGO and Nanoblocks stand out as two prominent brands, each with its unique appeal and fan base. While LEGO has been a household name for generations, Nanoblocks has carved out its niche in the micro-building segment. We’re going to do an in-depth comparison of LEGO and Nanoblocks, covering aspects such as price, design, unique features, pros and cons, build complexity, and brand partnerships. At the end, you’re going to be able to decisively choose between the name-brand, or one of the best LEGO alternatives.

How do LEGO and Nanoblocks compare against each other?

Price

When it comes to price, LEGO and Nanoblocks cater to different market segments. LEGO sets range widely in price, reflecting the variety in size, complexity, and theme. Generally, LEGO sets are considered an investment due to their quality, brand reputation, and the extensive research and development that goes into each set.

Nanoblocks, on the other hand, are typically more affordable on a per-set basis. However, given their micro size, the cost per piece can be relatively high. Nanoblocks’ affordability makes them accessible, especially for casual builders or those looking to try micro-scale building without a significant financial commitment. When we previously compared Nanoblocks against MEGA (MEGA Construx/Bloks), we came to a similar conclusion.

Design

The LEGO Natural History Museum on a table. A lady is in the background.

Design is a key differentiator between LEGO and Nanoblocks. LEGO is known for its versatile and highly creative designs, offering everything from simple sets for young children to complex models for adult collectors. LEGO’s designs often feature moving parts, realistic details, and a strong emphasis on playability and display quality.

The Nanoblocks Himeji Castle set on a wooden table.

(Image Credit: Nanoblocks)

Nanoblocks specialize in micro-scale models, which allows for intricate and highly detailed designs that are not possible with larger bricks. These sets often replicate real-world objects and landmarks with a high degree of accuracy, appealing to builders who enjoy detailed model-making.

Unique Features

LEGO’s unique features include its broad range of themes, from cityscapes and fantasy worlds to Technic sets with functional mechanical elements. It’s standout feature is its charm and simplicity, though.

An EVA from NGE. Essentially a purple robot, built out of Nanoblocks.

Nanoblocks’ notable feature is their size. The tiny blocks enable a level of detail and precision that is unique in the building block world. This miniaturization allows for the creation of intricate models that take up very little space, ideal for display on desks or shelves.

Pros and Cons

LEGO:

  • Pros: Wide range of themes and complexity, high-quality materials, strong brand reputation, educational value, and high resale value.
  • Cons: Higher price point, larger sets require more space for storage and display.

Nanoblocks:

  • Pros: Affordable, highly detailed designs, space-efficient, unique micro-building experience.
  • Cons: Small pieces can be challenging to handle, especially for younger children or those with less dexterity, limited theme variety compared to LEGO.

Build Complexity

LEGO offers a broad spectrum of build complexities, from simple sets designed for young children to highly complex models aimed at experienced adult builders. This range allows LEGO to cater to a wide demographic, with sets that can grow in complexity as builders develop their skills.

Nanoblocks are inherently complex due to their small size and the level of detail in each set. Building with Nanoblocks requires fine motor skills, patience, and a keen eye for detail. This complexity makes Nanoblocks particularly appealing to adult builders or teenagers looking for a challenging building experience.

Brand Partnerships

Both LEGO and Nanoblocks have notable brand partnerships that enhance their appeal. LEGO’s partnerships are diverse, including collaborations with popular franchises such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel, and DC Comics, as well as with real-world entities like NASA. These partnerships have resulted in a wide range of themed sets that appeal to fans of all ages.

Nanoblocks has also established partnerships, often focusing on iconic structures, animals, and pop culture icons. One of the most impressive collaborations has produced Pokemon sets, though MEGA also plays its part in this. Their collaborations have led to sets featuring famous landmarks, musical instruments, and beloved characters, appealing to collectors and enthusiasts.

In conclusion, LEGO and Nanoblocks offer distinct experiences in the building block world. LEGO’s versatility, quality, and brand strength make it a perennial favorite across all ages, while Nanoblocks’ unique micro-scale building experience caters to those looking for detailed, compact models. Both brands demonstrate the creativity and educational potential of construction toys, each appealing to different aspects of the builder’s imagination and skill. Whether for play, education, or display, LEGO and Nanoblocks continue to inspire and challenge builders around the world.

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