Hear ye! Hear ye! Today commences..
There has always been the question among Lego fans as to which set is the best. The theme of Castle is definitely not an exception to the rule. There have been many debates over the years as to which is the best. From the infamous Yellow Castle to the newly released King’s Castle, to every set in between, the deliberation rages on. Well, it is time to end those debates once and for all. It is time to select the Greatest Castle Set Ever!
With the approval of the administrators, I have started this search as a chance for the members of this forum to finally state their case and have some fun. Here is how it’s going to happen.
Anyone who wishes to nominate a set needs to send me a PM with their nomination. If a person who is not a member of this forum wants to nominate a set, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Your nomination needs to be more than a simple sentence stating the set name. It is going to be your chance to really argue your point, to show the world why you think it should be named the Greatest Set of all Time. Give us some real solid reasons to vote for it. The criteria are your choice. If you think the design is second to none, write about it. If your best childhood memories involve the set, write about it. If you feel the price to piece ratio makes it the most worthy, write about it. Tell us in great detail every thought you have about it. Make us believe that it truly is the greatest. Obviously you don’t have to write a ten-page essay on the subject, but give us at least a few paragraphs. If someone beats you to nominating a set, and you still want to say your piece on it, don’t worry you will get that opportunity. As soon as I have had a chance to look over the nomination, I will post it in this thread. On this thread people can take the opportunity to argue their points further, respond to questions, and voice their support for others. The Search will be open for nominations for two weeks. On midnight, June 9th, nominations will no longer be accepted.
Once nominations are closed the polls will open for the first round of voting. For one week you will be able to vote, using the forum poll if there is ten or fewer nominations, a outside poll if not, or either by PM or email (same address as above). Should any non-member wish to vote, please do not hesitate to send me an email. If there are at least ten nominations, a second round of voting will take place with the top five. This will give the nominators a chance if they wish to restate their case and make any final statements or closing arguments and possibly change people’s mind and give their set a second chance. For another week you will be able to vote by PM or email only, to help keep the suspense. And once the voting closes, we’ll tally it all up and announce which Castle set is the greatest of all time.
All Castle sets are applicable.
Ninja sets are applicable.
Viking sets are applicable.
Castle Duplo sets are applicable.
Belville Fairy Tale sets are applicable.
Castle Advent Calendars are applicable.
The Castle Dacta set is applicable.
Castle Minifigure sets and Castle accessory sets are applicable.
The Blacksmith shop and the Castle creator set are applicable.
The Weetabix Castle is applicable.
The 3724 Lego Dragon is applicable.
Harry Potter sets are NOT applicable.
Prince of Persia sets are NOT applicable.
So put on your thinking cap and consider which set you feel is best suited for this title.
Let the nominations, the questions and the Search begin.
Dan NOMINATIONS:#375 - Nominated by Elephant KnightWell, to start things off, the figs. 375 has 14 glourious minifigs, from four different factions! One large army of 8 to guard the castle, with three other factions of two each. The figs are very well designed, the helmets for the four knights are one of the best designed ones out there, and 375 has four of them, all in different colors. With no specific "bad guys" one can chose who is evil, and who is good!
The castle itself, even though it is yellow, is a very well designed castle. The hinges on the wall allow for easy access into the castle, and with the plenty of towers, it has a rather imposing look from the outside. And being yellow, if you're into that, it is easy to get a lot of cheap bricks, so one can make big castles!#6080 King's Castle - Nominated by Athos Finalist! The castle that set the standard for all castles thereafter. 26 years of castle all based on the design of this one castle. The stronghold of the longest running and largest castle faction. 12 figures, 4 horses, a count that has not been equaled. Shields enough for all. Modular so you can add on to make a super castle. Plus you get that really snazzy black door piece.#6086 Black Knight's Castle - Nominated by Aliencat Finalist! I must admit part of it is nostalgia, I was 8 when this set was released, just the age group that kind of set was targeted at, and I really wanted it but never had it as a kid. As a result it was the first older set I bought when I emerged from my dark ages, so in a way it's the set that started my AFOL Castle fandom.
Why do I think this set is superior to other, perhaps more popular castles like 6080? I think 6086's architectural style is much cooler as a whole. 6080 is basically a square built out of prefab wall elements with admittedly a lot of cool details all over, but 6086 definitely has a more inventive layout with more intricate architecture, from round towers, to buttresses supporting the tower, to that cool tudor part in the back. The raised baseplate with ramp and pit also allow for a dungeon, a well, and a cool defendable slope up into the castle.
I also always really liked the black colour of it, sure it's less realistic than a stone-gray castle, but I always thought it looks formidable and menacing.#3739 Blacksmith Shop - Nominated by Bruce N HMy nomination is set 3739, the MOC Blacksmith Shop designed by Dan Siskind. As a new move for LEGO this was the start of a much closer interaction with the AFOL community. Even though there were only a couple of other official 'MOC' sets, there have been many other sets designed by AFOLs, or AFOLs who have gone on to become LEGO designers, and this has brought a lot more sophisticated building techniques to official sets.
The design of this set is great. Unlike pretty much every castle structure for the previous 20 years, there's not a panel wall to be found. It's all bricks, plates and slopes. Unlike most sets to this point it's at a realistic scale, has a furnished interior, and the upstairs is accessible. Building the set was an education, especially the roofline in my view. The set had a huge impact on the community, and for the next several years there was an explosion of MOCs built in the same style. The Medieval Market Village, one of the best sets in the last couple of years, is obviously influenced by the legacy of the Blacksmith Shop.#6074 Black Falcon's Fortress - Nominated by Blueandwhite Finalist! Since there hasn't been a nomination for it yet, I'll put forward what I consider to be the greatest set. For me, that set is unequivocally 6074.
Released in 1986 (yes, it is that old), the Black Falcon's Fortress was one of the most affordable mid-sized castles LEGO has ever produced. At 6 figures and 435 pieces, this was a fantastic deal. Consider that most of the large castles (6080, 6085, 6086, 6090) were priced at far more than ten cents a brick, whereas the BFF was priced at a fantastic 0.08 cents a brick. Those bricks were useful too! Consider that the BFF had more grey corner wall pannels than any other castle set and that for 35 dollars you got six figures and two horses. A basic complement of bricks helped round out the set making it very good for MOCing (49 grey 1x1s, 69 grey 2x2s, an assortment of grey and green plates and black roof bricks were a great start for anybody's castle needs).
The real value in 6074 has always been in the MOCing potential straight out of the box. At $35 a set, a collector who managed to grab 3 or 4 of this set was certain to have a fantastic time building for less than $200. For the more ambitious, this set often became the foundation of grandiose dreams. Dr. Carney for example in is FAQs shared that he purchased 28 copies of 6074! Personally I own a dozen copies of this amazing set and if I had had the means when it was available I would have loved to purchase a dozen more. Some sets may be bigger more colourful or feature more play features, but no other set offers the pure building pleasure of 6074. For the price of one large castle, you could get yourself 2 6074s! That's a real deal.#10176 Royal King's Castle - Nominated by OverloadAfter seeing your post, I had absolutely no clue what to add, not owning many large castle sets. But then I remembered one set that always stuck out to me.
10176 King's Castle.
Being only 10 years old at the time of this set's release in 2006, I was not able to gather enough funds for this castle. But with 10 minifigs, a large assortment of animals, and the slight rebirth of an old subtheme, I wanted this castle ever so much. So, in short, I would like to have this nominated.
Maybe one day I'll be able to own it, but for now, it still rests in the back of my mind.#10193 Medieval Market Village - Nominated by Ye Olde Republic Winner!! This set is all about the details. Sure, it' is chock full of small parts that give it an extraordinarily high piece count but...it has an extraordinarily high piece count! This set has perhaps the best price per piece ration of any set with minifigs in it.
Not all castle sets need to be a castle and this is a huge set that proves just that. Aside from new and/or rare parts like brown cows and freshly caught fish, this set shows just about anything that may have been important in the daily life of medieval villagers. There is a blacksmith's shop, an inn and a marketplace.There is also a blacksmith, an inn keeper, a farmer's wife there to sell the products of their land, some peasants and a very weary traveller. Maybe the most hilarious characters are the king's two tax collectors!#6066 Camouflaged Outpost - Nominated by Quickblade22I nominated this set for the following reasons:
Nostalgia has a role because I bought this during the summer of my 13th birthday on vacation with my own money rather than getting it as a gift. I remember seeing it in the store and going nuts over it. Back then, we had no leaks or spoilers to get us prepared. You walk in the store to see what they have, and the surprise of a new set is even greater when you have no internet to trumpet it in.
The set was different for it's time. Castle was about Castles and knights and a few carts. There was no alternative life style choice for your minifigs. You either were a soldier, or you were a peasant. Living in an area where I had miles of woods and no castles made me connect with this set a little better, not to mention living outside the law .
The price per fig count was awesome as well. 6 figures in a set with 191 pieces for about $22 is unheard of now pretty much. I don't remember green being available in anything besides base plates, and the new leaf pieces ushered in opportunity that has yet to be fully realized. Add a brown horse and a treasure chest, and this set became a must have. What way to delve into a kids imagination than to have a set be a hideout.#6077 Forestmen's River Fortress - Nominated by Lord InsanityNot only do I believe this to be the best of all the forestmen sets (including the "Dark Forest" theme), I also think it is the best of all the tower fortress sets Lego has released. Of all the forestmen sets this one more so than any other actually looks like it was purposefully built as a fortress among the trees rather than simply being converted ruins of some long gone building. Unlike most "prison tower" sets this one has a hinged back wall to make it a closed fortress, but it still can be opened to play inside. True it has nothing besides a watery prison on the interior but it has room to add things and comes with six figures. Few $35-40(not 100% sure) sets can make that claim. It has a nice solid portcullis which I always imagined was designed to make it seem as though the trees had overgrown an old abandoned fort. But little did the unsuspecting lion guard passing by know, this was a fully functional outpost.#6067 Guarded Inn - Nominated by Jojo Finalist! This was a first in many respects. It was the first halftimbered house, the first civilian building in Lego's military Castle world, the first to come with a female mediaeval minifig again – and it was the first spot of colour in a grey-grown environment after the classic Yellow-Castle-era. And it was and still is simply a beauty. It incorporates all the classic Lego colours with its prominent red framework fillings, the blue door, the yellow windows and shutters, it's built on some green baseplates with colourful flowers, comes with a white steed, and has of course the black roof and the grey castle wall. All of that was assembled to a shape that really pleases the eye.
Within, peaceful life takes place. Although different factions are included in this set, there is no fighting, the Falcon knight is a guest in this inn which is obviously run by the Lions faction.
We should also mention the many unique parts this set comes with, namely the famous inn-sign and the red framework panels, but also the never too common maiden's hat and the white and blue goblets, also new elements in its time. Even some of the seemingly unspectacular black roof pieces were quite rare then and still are to this day.
So great is this set, so legendary was its status with the FOLs around the world, that the mighty Lego company itself named it a "Legend" and made it the first set to enjoy a re-release. Good choice, we say!#4894 Mythical Creatures - Nominated by DarkTemplarAs a creator set, this comes with instructions to build up to 8 different models, all which are fairly possible and offer a lowly Lego knight the chance to slay fearsome beast and become the hero of the kingdom. The different models increase the playability of the set and allow for younger builders to hone their skills before attempting the larger builds. Furthermore, the set offers a whopping 588 pieces (including the light brick) all for the low MSRP of 30 USD. There are barely any large elements which gives a very brick built feeling to models, and has an excellent supply of green pieces. The set does not include any mini figures, however, the larger models are big enough that they could be used as "pet" dragon if you posses no castle mini figs.
If you ever owned this set, you're inevitably going to end up building one of the two larger creations; the main dragon or the three-headed dragon. Both are very pose-able and offer unlimited playability both for filming and imagining. Both have light up flames which can be easily removed and semi-easily reinstalled when the situation demands it. Both dragons look stunning and move very fluently (down to the claw!), beating out the Lego Castle theme dragons which utilize too many large elements and the original Lego dragon which lacked movement. Finally both are large enough to pose a threat to any Lego Castle, and the main dragon can gobble up mini figures whole!
Overall very playable, looks stunning, affordable and offers hours of building fun!#7041 Battle Wheel - Nominated by FunnyhamAs the official description aptly puts it, "The Troll Battle Wheel rolls, shoots and crushes everything in its way!". To fully understand this set, you first have to fully understand the quintessential nature of the Trolls, or, if like me you fail to register the Troll-BiggerTroll scenario, Orcs. To a Troll, first and foremost is always the act of battle, or perhaps, in the case of the Greenskins, a more appropriate term would be, Fracas, Pillage, Ransack, Raid, or simply, Consumement. Whatever the term, a Troll will always strive to achieve this state of utter dismemberment of the enemy, be it by any possible means. This pursuit of the brutal has led the race to devise a multitude of strange and contreversial apparatus, and the Troll Battle Wheel is certainly no exception, it's preffered method of obliteration (rolling, shooting and crushing), perfectly suited to the Trollish nature, and the design of this wheel reflects this brilliantly with it's ramshackle, wooden feel. As a build, you certainly get ample time to appreciate the design, as this set is, for me, the most thorough and re-assuring build in any set, to date. Parts-wise, there is plenty of useful pieces, if one felt the need to disfigure this wonderment of the Orcs, and the minifigs are more than average, especially the delightfully cheeky moustached gentleman, perfectly rounding off a set that is expertly balanced between appearance and playability, perhaps more so than any other set. And it is for these reasons that I therefore nominate set 7041, the Troll Battle Wheel.#6081 King's Mountain Fortress - Nominated by Laird CashmanMy personal belief is that it is King's Mountain Fortress, 6081. I think this because it contains an area of legos previously untouched, that being landscape platforms. Though it may have been rather small, it made up for it in its unique form.#6085 Black Monarch's Castle - Nominated by Fraser and Heir of Black Falcon
EDIT: There was actually a nomination for this set before Heir of Black Falcon, but due to a slight hiccup in my email was missed until now. Since Heir's nomination has already been posted, I will leave it up, as well as add the new one.
Fraser's nomination:I'd like to nominate the Black Monarch's Castle to the Search For The Greatest Castle Set Of All Time. Being new to the community at Classic Castle, I'm surprised this set hasn't already been nominated. The castle is one of the few symmetrically designed castles ever released. It was also the first all-black castle and featured a new turret design. The set comes with twelve minifigs and four horses, all dedicated to defending the castle. My best friend and I both saved all summer long when this set came out, because we both absolutely had to have it. Not only imposing, this set is a milestone in design in showing how a two-toned castle in black can have beautiful bright blue and red colors of the flags and shields stand out.
Heir of Black Falcon's nomination:Black Monarch’s castle is one of the all time best castles that Lego has every created. It to this day still has many very unique features and designs that sets it apart from other castles. I think this is the first black castle, which does indeed look great!
The front of the castle is just awesome! The huge gatehouse, with a actual space for a room or hall inside it is rare, something even today often is lacking-if there even is one. This creates a massive battlement area (before TLC catapult craze clearly) there is room for personal additions as well as a volume of soldiers and archers atop it. The portcullis and drawbridge are very good brick built structures, the gateway looks great with contrasting black and grey, there even is a snot addition on both sides which adds a nice touch. It also is one of the most solid looking Lego gatehouses which makes it less likely to fall apart than newer models. The towers provide lots of small chambers for treasure, rooms, etc. While the battlements atop the smaller two towers need a bit of remodeling to be of any use to a Lego archer they look very intimidating as well.
And minifigs…. ah the good olde days of Lego Castle! Four mounted knights in one set with eight footmen, four archers and four melee troops. None of this silly one horse for a $100 castle but four!!! The men are all well equipped (the castle has another 6-8 weapons to boot), look good and complement the castle colors with their own very well.
Over all a great castle. It was opens to make is useful for playing with and has loads of great minifigs and castle features. Hard to go wrong with such an awesome castle.#8877 Vladek's Dark Fortress - Nominated by NiallMy personal choice of favourite lego castle was difficult. In the end I came to the conclusion that this, the fortress of Lego's second most evil minifigure villain ever, (I beleive Ogel is supposed to be the first) Vladek, was, with few doubts, the one.
At 936 pieces, this castle was one of, if not the, biggest Lego had made up till that time. This set the standard for evil, shadowy fortresses in the world of lego - just look at the recent Castle (2007) set, 7093 Skeleton Tower, which clearly borrowed the red and black colours of this set, but was hardly as magnificient. Certainly Vladek must have been pleased when he inspected his fortress, noting the fantastic details:
-The very rare Vladmask Piece, which only came in this set and looks very cool sititng in it's position on the tower.
-Defences that included a two giant swords, (somewhat radical!) An easily operated drawbridge, a pot of boiling tar to chase off any who made it past this, and heavy doors with grinning skulls set in the wall on either side.
-Brilliant details including:
-a system of supplying the boiling tar pot from the level above (great idea)
-A pit of Scorpions
-Modular and changeable (though what else could it need?)
-A breakable wall, and the battering ram to knock it down
-battle worn, fear-inspiring flags and standards
-Stairs! It's fanatastic when Lego actually includes these
-Windows with spears to prevent would-be-climbers
-The absolutely neccesary crystal ball
-A spider's web (with a glowing red spider)
-and the spooky skeleton surprise, this time on the reverse side of a useless, but striking fake window. Every castle simply must have a skeleton hidden somewhere.
Furthermore, this set came with clever weapons that would have left real medieval engineers wondering. The two defensive fireball catapults, though simple when you think about it, work splendidly (at least on my set). The attackers have a strange, never before seen and certainly never repeated cannon, a catapult, a mini-battering ram, and the absurd but lovely catapult-equipped horse. That catapult is also marvellous.
But would they be enough to take the huge, imposing fortress of one of Lego's greatest supervillains?
The castle has everything. Powerfully built walls and an equally matched attacking force, defenses, detailing, grand towers, 8 minifigures, and the spooky skeleton. There may have been others before it, but none, in my opinion, were predictions of what the lego group would give to us next. And all later castles have paled in comparison and design. Vladek's seat of power is truly a brick-built wonder, and the greatest lego castle of all time. As Vladek could easily tell us with his crystal ball, through which he watches other castles being built or demolished, and laughs mockingly to see them.#6193 Castle Building Set/Creator Castle - Nominated by Frank_Lloyd_Knight• It is a small, inexpensive set which might be more affordable to children with little money than a lot of the larger sets. It would also be an appropriate gift to kids on occasions when a huge expensive set might not be warranted – like to cheer up a sick kid, or to keep them occupied on a long vacation car-trip.
• The set is appropriate for children as young as 4 years old and up (as opposed to many sets like MMV which are intended for older children).
• While being a set for younger children, the bricks are not particularly “juniorized.” But it does contain some specialized, interesting parts such as the chain, flags, tree leaves and technical/moving pieces.
• The array of bricks are varied and allow quite a bit a flexibility considering the size of the set.
• The set leans more toward a “Lego” set than just a castle set.
• The catapult can launch a brick almost 3 feet at best.
• The Dragon is really cute.
• It’s YELLOW!#6041 Armor Shop - Nominated by Advocate of 6041This set may not be as fancy as the likes of MMV, nor as iconic as some of the castles mentioned here, but this is my favourite set, the one that excited me the most as a child, and as such, I feel it merits nomination. Released in 1986, it was one of the earliest of the new wave of Castle sets, and despite being fairly small and humble, one that I felt did the line a great deal of credit.
Looking at the individual components of the set, the armoury itself was a small, fortified building with the means to connect up easily to other walled Castle sets, but which also worked pretty well as a stand-alone piece. Certainly it's a simple structure, but there's some lovely detail here - rather than being plain blank walls, the sides feature arches with decorative columns; there's a small ledge inside with places for weapons either side, a seat for the armourer, and room on the roof for a figure to keep watch from should the need arise. The stand that went outside the shop was simple but effective. The armourer provided a sort of semi-civilian, and came with the still comparatively new "female" hair - surprisingly, this seems to be the only example of the piece being used as a knightly haircut in a historically-based Castle set (at least until the knight's portrait or the peasant child in MMV, if you count those). The mounted knight wasn't the typical Lion knight, either - with a black-and-blue colour scheme more reminiscent of the rival Black Falcons, he stood out from the crowd and (for me at least) had a certain air of mystery about him.
As well as having good basic features, this set also came with some excellent pieces. The selection of arms was fabulous - one lance, two swords (including the legendary black sword, unique to this set), a halberd, a spear, a bow with quiver - pretty much the full spectrum of weapons then available. Further to the Lion knight's own equipment, there was a shield for each of the two factions of the day and two helmets of different types. If you were looking to customise the armament of your existing troops, this set was great for doing so - and it was easy enough to substitute in other items if you wanted to continue to have a properly-stocked armoury! Two of the new goblets pieces were also included, something I found very exciting at the time, and there was a cloak for the knight, who also had the only printed Lion flag produced. The armoury itself was mostly built around a couple of castle wall pieces, which may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the rest was a decent selection of useful grey bricks, red roof tiles, and black pieces in the roof and stand.
This all granted the set a great deal of playability. Used as was, the armoury would fit in well with either faction or as a separate, neutral entity, having as it did both Lion and Falcon shields on display, and only yellow flags flying from the roof. The building itself offered a good number of possibilities for rebuilding, and with the large selection of weapons and armour available, the figures could easily be customised to suit whatever ideas you may have had for them.
With all this going for it, I feel that 6041 offered excellent value for money (around £6 or £7 when it first came out, from what I recall), and with so many useful pieces, I can't help but wonder if we wouldn't regard this as a great army building/parts set were it around today. But as I said in the beginning, its real value was just how much it meant to me back in the day - and without it, and all that it brought to my castle games, I don't think my childhood would have been quite the same.
I build, therefore I am.
Brave words coming from a guy called grapenuts.