Let’s take a quick break from the workday to revisit one of our favorite childhood toys. Lego is stepping back from military-themed toys for some reason, but there are still a few sets out there and plenty of competitors are picking up their slack (it turns out plastic rectangles aren’t that hard to make). I took it upon myself to wade into the military toy segment to bring you a follow-up to our informative and totally serious Nerf gear guide. I present to you the most representative and entertaining Lego sets for each branch of the U.S. military. I found something that soldiers, sailors, Marines, coasties, airmen, and guardians (sorry, but how the hell did “startans” and “floaty bois” get vetoed?) can all have a laugh at.
Next time you have a gift exchange with your interservice buddies, you can thank Task & Purpose for doing the legwork for you.
Is it just me, or are little green soldiers like these from Lego some of the most timeless toys in America? Most of us grew up using plastic soldiers to reenact D-Day on our bedroom floor, and now we can pay tribute to the heroic soldiers who so nobly served alongside Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody. This set comes with four soldiers, a classic Willys, a rifle, a radio, a mine detector, and a stretcher. One of the soldiers is a designated medic. Even though Legos are perfectly capable of standing on their own, these come with plastic bases just like the original green Army men. You didn’t expect this to get meta, did you? But here we are.
Marines are apparently too hardcore for Lego, but we’re glad to see Battle Brick carrying the torch. As much as I’d like to see some kind of vehicle like the rest of the branches got, this little guy is pretty badass. He’s got a rifle, sidearm, KA-BAR, MARPAT cammies, body armor, and even those knee-pads CIF is convinced people want to wear outside the wire. Now that I think about it, the fact that this toy got screwed over by not having a vehicle like everyone else is actually a rather appropriate commentary on the allocation of military spending. Not bad, Battle Bricks.
Lego Coast Guard vessels are getting harder and harder to come by as they sell out of their military toys, but you can still snag one of these sweet seaplanes. In addition to the airplane and lifeboat, this set comes with one pilot and a wayward fisherman, who — judging from the pictures — are having the time of their little, plastic lives on that rad jet ski. The details are kind of impressive; check out the sailor’s signal light and the paint job on that airplane. It almost makes you want to crack open a cold one and cheer on Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner in “The Guardian,” doesn’t it?
Ultimate Soldier did a great job capturing the sinister aura around the Air Force’s F-117 Nighthawk. This badass aircraft may or may not be in service today, but it has to be one of the most epic platforms the Air Force has ever unleashed on the sky. Leave it solid black or trick it out with decals, and take a minute to appreciate the little details like the zigzag pattern on the canopy. Fully built, the aircraft is about a foot long and comes with a pilot and spinning landing gear. Chances are, you’ll never get to experience one of these planes if you haven’t seen one in person already, so this might be the closest you’ll ever get.
Kudos to Lego for turning out a Space Force set so fast. Most Americans aren’t very well-versed in the specific jobs Space Force guardians do every day, so sometimes it’s necessary to fill in the blanks with a little imagination. Do they fly X-Fighters? I like to think so. If they don’t, who the heck is going to protect us from the Taliban’s Death Star? It just makes sense. Do they have droids? No, I’m sure they just fly through space freehand. Get serious. Now, it’s possible this is actually a Star Wars set and not an actual representation of the Space Force. Either way, it looks great.
Why should you trust us
Here at Task & Purpose, we pride ourselves in providing entertaining and informative content to the military community. We’ve got your news, military tech, and everything in between. I personally try to make sure you also have access to critical information like finding the sickest tactical tomahawk to bring out your inner Benjamin Martin. Communicating via the written word is my profession. Like you, roasting other branches of the military is my passion. Get some!
Pricing ranges for military Lego sets
- Less than $20: Representing a branch of the U.S. military with Legos is incredibly inexpensive as long as you spend money like the DOD buying equipment for Marines.
- Between $20 and $75: Most of these sets come in right around $50 and come with a few toy people and a vehicle or two.
- More than $75: High-end sets are almost scale models. Enjoy a fun mix of historical representation and lighthearted play.
How we chose our top picks
Whenever we represent branches of the U.S. military with children’s toys, we take that responsibility seriously. We take into account such considerations as technical accuracy, mission readiness, and how hilarious each selection is. Ensuring that every branch is equally represented in ridicule is paramount.
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