MEGA vs Nanoblocks: Which LEGO competitor is better?

For LEGO enthusiasts, exploring the world of building blocks often leads to encountering other brands like MEGA and Nanoblocks. Both have distinct characteristics and appeal to different segments of builders. In order to find out what the best LEGO alternatives are between MEGA and Nanoblocks, we’re going to compare aspects like price, design, unique features, compatibility with LEGO, as well as their pros and cons, build complexity, and brand partnerships.

How do MEGA and Nanoblocks compare against each other?

Price

Price is often a deciding factor when choosing toys like LEGO. MEGA, known for its MEGA Bloks line, typically offers products at a lower price point compared to LEGO. This affordability makes them an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers and parents looking for cost-effective toys for their children.

Nanoblocks, originating from Japan, are known for their miniature size. While individual sets might seem reasonably priced, the cost per piece can be higher than MEGA Bloks, reflecting the unique niche they occupy in the building block market.

Design

An in-progress photo of a MEGA Magikarp set. The base of the display is laid out on the instructions book.

In terms of design, MEGA and Nanoblocks offer contrasting experiences. MEGA’s designs are closer in scale to LEGO, with a wide range of themes that cater to both children and adult collectors. Their designs often emphasize playability and durability.

A close-up shot of a city built out of Nanoblocks. The attention to detail is very acute.

Nanoblocks, on the other hand, are known for their miniature scale, allowing for intricate and detailed models. The tiny size of Nanoblocks appeals to builders who enjoy the challenge and aesthetic of micro-scale building, creating detailed models that require a steady hand and patience.

(Images credited to: Mattel, Christopher Tan)

Unique Features

MEGA’s unique feature lies in its larger-sized blocks, MEGA Bloks, designed for younger children. These blocks are easier for small hands to manipulate and safer for younger ages, making them a popular choice in the preschool market.

Nanoblocks stand out with their miniature blocks, allowing builders to create highly detailed and compact models. This unique feature attracts a niche adult audience, particularly those interested in detailed model building and limited space for display.

Compatibility with LEGO

Compatibility with LEGO is an important consideration for many. MEGA Bloks are compatible with LEGO, allowing for mixed builds and expanded creative possibilities. This compatibility is a significant advantage for those who already own a substantial LEGO collection.

Nanoblocks, due to their unique miniature size, are not compatible with LEGO. Their distinct scale sets them apart but also limits mixing with LEGO pieces, which is something builders should consider.

Pros and Cons

MEGA:

  • Pros: Affordable, compatible with LEGO, suitable for younger children.
  • Cons: Less detailed than LEGO, limited appeal to advanced builders.

Nanoblocks:

  • Pros: Highly detailed designs, unique micro-scale building experience.
  • Cons: Higher cost per piece, not compatible with LEGO.

Build Complexity

MEGA sets range from simple to moderate complexity, catering mainly to children and casual builders. The larger blocks also make them easier for younger children to handle.

Nanoblocks offer a high level of complexity due to their small size and the level of detail in the designs. Building with Nanoblocks requires more precision and patience, appealing to those who enjoy a meticulous building process.

Brand Partnerships

Both MEGA and Nanoblocks have secured notable brand partnerships. MEGA has collaborated with popular franchises like Halo, Pokémon, and Thomas & Friends, offering a range of sets that appeal to fans of these series.

Nanoblocks has partnerships that bring a variety of iconic structures, animals, and licensed characters to the micro-scale world. These collaborations have resulted in sets that are both collectible and challenging to build.


MEGA and Nanoblocks cater to different audiences within the building block community. MEGA offers an affordable, child-friendly option with compatibility with LEGO, while Nanoblocks appeals to those looking for a highly detailed, micro-scale building experience. Both brands have their unique strengths and cater to diverse building preferences, contributing to the richness of the construction toy market.

That said, thanks to MEGA’s relationship with Mattel, responsible for a huge amount of IPs, it takes the cherry here. There’s an astounding amount of partnerships here, even more so than with LEGO in some cases.

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