How Long Does It Take to Design a LEGO Set? (Explained)

Want to know how long it takes to design a LEGO set? 

LEGO designers create and test new LEGO sets, toys, and themes every day, working hard to ensure their toys are fun, surprising, and can be passed down for generations.

While this might seem simple, it’s not an easy task and requires a lot of thought, creativity, effort, and the LEGO designers have to come up with the story and the world all by themselves.

How Long Does It Take to Design a LEGO Set?

LEGO set design can take anywhere from 1 to 2 years with original themes coming together quite quickly and complex and licensed sets potentially taking longer time due to the need to refine the build and because of the need to match the source material.

Licensed themes are designed with the same concept art and basic story beats of the movies or games they are based on and go through a series of approvals with the parent company before they get produced.

Now that you know how long it takes to design LEGO sets, let’s take a look at how LEGO actually designs sets.

How Long Does It Take to Design a LEGO Set?

How LEGO Design Sets

There are a series of steps that LEGO designers take when designing a new LEGO set, from ideation to building the sets to shipping the finished sets off to all LEGO stores.

1. Ideation

First, LEGO will come up with the idea for an exciting new theme like LEGO Hidden Side, or a new series within an existing theme, like LEGO City Space Explorers.

2. Design

Then the LEGO design team will work on coming up with different-sized sets with loads of cool features that will appeal to a wide range of LEGO fans.

3. Build

Once the design team figures out what kind of sets are the right ones, they will build those ideas using existing LEGO bricks and sometimes design new LEGO pieces when necessary.

4. Test

LEGO then will do a lot of tests to make sure the sets are fun to build, play with, and if they can stay together when they’re driving or flying around.

5. Instructions, Boxes, and Package Design

Then LEGO designers will design the instructions, work out what sort of boxes will need to go in, and determine what pictures will be on the packaging.

6. Ship

Finally, LEGO will ship the finished sets off to all stores.

What Do You Need to Become a LEGO Engineer?

Being a LEGO designer is fun and rewarding and you get to travel and meet new people.

Most LEGO designers go to college and study arts and some even have backgrounds in architecture, industrial design, carpentry, theater design, and even sculpting.

The best thing to do if you are interested in becoming a LEGO designer is to play with LEGO bricks as much as possible and try building a realistic model using standard LEGO bricks.

When the LEGO Group meets people who want to become LEGO designers, they often ask them to build a small head out of LEGO bricks in just four hours, which is not easy as it sounds.

Once you’ve mastered building real things with LEGO bricks, you should try mixing things up with your imagination and become comfortable thinking ideas about what works, what doesn’t, and how you can turn any weakness into strength.

Additionally, knowledge of mathematics and Science is important for understanding how things work, English will help you explain your idea, and Business skills will help you figure out if your idea is marketable. 

Pretty much every subject is useful and the more skills you have under your belt, the better your ideas will be.

How Do You Become a LEGO Set Designer?

Below are some ways to become a LEGO designer:

  1. Watch for LEGO job Listings on the LEGO website
  2. Participate in LEGO design contests and competitions
  3. Research LEGO and know something about the company
  4. Use LinkedIn to connect with someone that works in the company and asks them to direct you to someone who would have the authority to hire you

How Much Do LEGO Designers Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, the majority of the LEGO designer salaries currently range between $33,500 to $64,500 with top earners making $91,000 annually across the United States.

Photo by Amélie Mourichon on Unsplash

How Long Does It Take To Become a LEGO Designer?

How long it takes to become a LEGO designer depends on many factors including your qualifications and level of education, whether you’ve mastered building real things with LEGO, and your creativity and problem-solving skills among others.

How Long Does It Take To Build a LEGO Set?

How long it takes to build a LEGO set depends on a number of factors which includes your building experience, the LEGO sets, number of parts, size, number of steps, the experience of elements and colors, build complexity, and determination among others.

However, it can take an average of 3 hours to build a LEGO set depending on the factors outlined above.

Lisa D. Marsh

Hi, my name is Lisa and I'm the editor of BrickMechanics.com LEGO has been part of my life ever since I was young. I have a deep love of LEGO and it has guided me through my early years, through school, and eventually through my degree in Engineering.