I like to review the LEGO® sets that I build. But, the question arises, how do you rate LEGO® sets consistently so that you can compare sets of different sizes, costs, and themes? Well, I have devised a rating system. There is some inconsistency in my early set ratings since I have been developing this rating system as I go, and I will probably continue to modify it as new things come up that I have not considered yet. But, this is a description of how I am currently rating my sets.
After purchasing several years of LEGO® sets, I have determined the current average cost per brick. This will obviously change with time, but as it stands, here is an example of how I rate a set (prices in Canadian dollars). A difference in one cent makes about a 3% difference on the scale.
- <$0.10 per brick = 100%
- $0.10 – 0.12 = 96%-90%
- $0.13 – 0.15 = 86%-80%
- $0.16 – 0.18 = 76%-70%
- $0.19 – 0.21 = 66%-60%
After completing a few reviews, and timing how long it takes me to build each set, I have determined my average cost per minute for building one LEGO® set. I feel that this is an important part of the building experience, because everyone wants to get the most value out of their entertainment, right? LEGO® is an expensive hobby, and I used to rate it based on how it compared to other forms of entertainment. But, I felt that did not accurately reflect how much enjoyment I actually got out of each experience. So, starting in February 2017, I changed my build time score to compare LEGO® sets with other LEGO® sets. Based on a couple of years worth of LEGO® sets, my average cost per minute of build time is $0.85 (as of Jan. 1, 2019, prior to that it was $0.75). In reviews before February 2019, I included this assessment in Entertainment. Talking about value, I decided it fit better here. This score is averaged with the cost per brick. Each cent makes a difference of about 2% on this scale.
- Under $0.66 per minute of building time = 100%
- $0.67 – 0.71 = 98% – 90%
- $0.72 – 0.76 = 88% – 80%
- $0.77 – 0.81 = 78% – 70%
- $0.82 – 0.86 = 68% – 60%
Every set starts off with 5 points. A set loses a mark for every thing that really bothers me about it. It also gains a mark for everything that I really like about it. The total grade for this section is on 10. This is fairly subjective, but you are presumably reading my posts for my opinion.
<<Updated July 24, 2017. Reviews prior to this worked on a similar 10 point system.>>
Each Minifigure in a set is graded on 15. To make sets with different numbers of Minifigs comparible, an average of all Minifigure scores for a set is calculated in the end. Each of the following criteria earns a Minifigure points:
- The Minifigure is composed of 10 basic parts:
- Hair/hat/helmet (1 point)
- Head (1 point)
- Torso (1 point)
- Two arms (1 point)
- Two hands (1 point)
- Hip joint (1 point)
- Two separately moveable legs (1 point)
- More than just a generic face print (1 point)
- Double sided face (1 point)
- Torso printing (1 point)
- Leg printing (1 point)
- Additional points for accessories, extra parts, or extra printed details
In addition to the Minifigure score, I also grade a set based on the ratio of bricks per Minifigure. Each set can get a total of 5 points for this, determined as follows:
- 1 Minifig per 100 pieces or less = 5
- 1 Minifig per 101 – 149 pieces = 4.5
- 1 Minifig per 150 – 199 pieces = 4
- 1 Minifig per 200 – 249 pieces = 3.5
- 1 Minifig per 250 – 299 pieces = 3
- 1 Minifig per 300 – 349 pieces = 2.5
- 1 Minifig per 350 – 399 pieces = 2
- 1 Minifig per 400 – 449 pieces = 1.5
- 1 Minifig per 450 pieces or more = 1
I weight each of these two scores (Minifigure average and ratio of bricks per Minifigure) evenly. I determine the average of the two grades to figure out the overall Minifigure rating.
I also rate entertainment value based on how much I like a set, and how likely I am to keep it built as intended, and how much I think kids will like it. Again, this is fairly subjective, but a review is supposed to be what I think about a set. This gets a score on five, and loosely follows:
- 5 = I would not change a thing
- 4 = I will keep it mostly as intended, but will modify it a little to suit my needs
- 3 = I will keep part of it, and repurpose the rest of the pieces
- 2 = I will not keep it built, but the pieces it comes with are good
- 1 = I will not keep it built, and the pieces it comes with are nothing special
Finally, I take the value, build, Minifigure, and entertainment scores and find their average. In this case, each section carries the same weight and is worth 25% of the overall score that I give a set.