There’s nothing like pouring your blood, sweat and tears into building a trail worthy off road rig, except maybe doing the same with a complex LEGO Jeep or off-road truck model kit.
Let’s get one thing clear from the start – you don’t need to be a school-age child in order to enjoy a LEGO set. This author is writing this post in sight of a supercar constructed from the Danish toy, assembled by yours truly just a few months before his 40th birthday. And yes – I needed glasses to see the instructions.
Failing eyesight aside, LEGO is product that transcends age and nationality. There’s a very good reason, after all, why its instructions have no actual words – so they can be read by just about anyone in nearly any language. There are plenty of kits to satisfy the interests of gearheads, including more than a few which fit our off-road mission quite well.
From the LEGO Jeep Wrangler to the too-cool LEGO Technic off-road truck, there are plenty of options from which to select. Just make sure to get one for yourself, okay?
Table of contents
1. Editors Choice - LEGO Technic 4x4 X treme Off-Roader
Our personal favorite offering is this LEGO Technic off-road truck, which is comprised of nearly 1000 individual pieces. The Technic line is a bit more complex and suggested for builders aged 9 and up instead of toddlers. For those not familiar, the Technic series generally includes several pieces styled to assemble a specific kit – they’re used in the company sets which replicate buildings and infrastructure as well.
This app-controlled truck is powered by an advanced smart hub, controlling a trio of motors and operated via the LEGO Technic Control+ smartphone app.
LEGO promises that this experience is capable of delivering super-precise movement and functionality, creating a highly immersive play experience. Having sampled one of these toys himself (and wishing he could have taken it home) your author can confidently confirm LEGO is spot-on with that description. This isn’t a small toy, measuring 12 inches long and over 7 inches tall with an 8-inch-wide stance.
2. Best Kit for Little Off Roaders - LEGO City Safari Off-Roader
For those unfamiliar with the LEGO ecosystem, the City line of products are meant to be part of a group of toys that are all the same scale in size. That way, the kiddos can have this Off-Roader set and play with it at the same time as the Fire Department set they got over the holidays. This set comes with everything a kid needs for an imaginative action-packed safari, including a zebra-patterned off-road SUV and two minifigures (minifigs, in LEGO-speak).
The cars and trucks in a City set are much smaller than those in a Technic set, for example. While they can be a foot or more in length, these City machines will roughly fit in the palm of your hand. Still, the safari off-roader has a removable roof rack for storing the minifig photographer’s tree costume plus a camera mount so kiddos can imagine taking the perfect picture of their favorite animal.
3. Best Kit for Future Jeep Owners - LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler
This kit is also from the Technic line of LEGO toys. It comes with front steering, plenty of axle articulation, and a winch. This is more than we can say for the Jeeps of some staffers who work at this website. This awesome LEGO Jeep comes complete with authentic Jeep Wrangler details, like the classic round headlamps, seven-slot grille, full-size spare tire and fold-down rear seats. There’s even a Rubicon sticker on the hood, though you’ll have to engineer the Death Wobble yourself. With a bit of imagination, it could also be a LEGO Jurassic Park Jeep.
4. LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender
A machine with a square jaw and chiseled good looks generally makes a suitable candidate for rendering in LEGO form. The new Defender has both in spades, so its inclusion here is a natural fit. This is a two-door truck, and comes equipped Land Rover emblems plus original-design wheels. Potential electrical problems and crippling depreciation are sold separately.
The model also features a removable roof rack with storage box, ladder and traction mats, plus opening doors and hood. Its cabin features a detailed dashboard, working steering wheel, and forward-folding rear seats that reveal gearbox. The latter means this LEGO set also helps prepare future Land Rover owners for inevitable repair tasks.
5. LEGO Technic Monster Jam Grave Digger
Dennis Anderson created Grave Digger back in the ’80s, using panel vans as their base and school bus lights for those famous red ‘eyes’. Now, kids of all ages can assemble their own Grave Digger with this LEGO set that measures almost a foot long when built. And, just like Anderson, you can rebuild the thing after a fun-filled afternoon of performing stunts.
With a pull-back motor, the monster truck speeds along easily, just like the real-life vehicles. Cool features include the bendable flag which moves up and down, plus LEGO bits to recreate the red headlights, though these won’t be from a derelict school bus. The kit also includes gonzo tires and appropriate sticker decals.
6. LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Monster Truck
Building (pun firmly intended) on the LEGO ecosystem are these Creator sets. They produce vehicles similar in scale to the City sets but have the benefit of offering several different options for a finished product. This little kit has the goods to create either an off-road monster truck, a muscle car, or a quarter-mile drag strip warrior.
With the off-road monster truck measuring over 2 inches high, 3 inches long and 3 inches wide (hey – LEGO doesn’t claim that all their creations are accurate to scale), this exciting toy is big enough for real excitement yet small enough to take on the go. As a bonus, there are enough LEGO pieces in the box to also build a small car so kids can run it over with the monster truck – just like the pros on Monster Jam.
Which LEGO trucks are best for small kids?
Give the City kits a try first, since the finished product is easy to handle, and the instructions are clear. From there, the Creator sets offer a bit more challenge, since it is rather a choose-your-own adventure building experience. There are still detailed instructions, of course. Topping the range for complexity (and price) are the Technic sets with their extensive levels of real-world detail and high piece count.
Are they really worth all that money?
Yes. Actually, we’ll say an emphatic yes. LEGO construction is precise down to the micron, with no pieces failing to line up or any misprint in the instructions. This author has been buying LEGO sets (both for family and for himself) for the better part of 15 years and has never had one with a piece missing or packaged incorrectly.
Why is it called LEGO, anyway?
The name ‘LEGO’ is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”. This is wholly appropriate; it must be said. The company was founded nearly a century ago by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, was passed from father to son, and is now owned by a grandchild of the founder.
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