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Is there any difference between European and U.S. Lego sets?

nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
edited June 2012 in Collecting
I live in California, and I've purchased various sets from Amazon France/UK/Italy to save a few bucks when I don't feel like waiting for sales in the US. Also, Amazon is going to start charging tax in California soon, so I suspect I will be buying even more Lego from the European Amazon sites (if they continue to not charge sales tax).

From what I've noticed so far, the sets are exactly the same, excluding slight variations on the boxes (for instance, the piece count is not given on the front, and the box contains English spelling). I actually like the simpler box fronts without all the extra wording such as suggested ages, etc. Is there anything else different? Just curious...


  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    With 8404 I noticed a difference on UK vs EU sets, the EU sets had some European toy award that it had won as a logo on the front box art.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,170
    Disappointingly, the only major difference is the price in most cases - you lucky American sods! ;-)
  • icey117icey117 Member Posts: 510
    The size of the instructions differs I guess... atleast you can choose between US and INT versions of them when you download them at
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,559
    Things like the battle cards in Ninjago sets also have US and international printings.
  • auslegofanauslegofan Member Posts: 6
    Apart from the brick counts, I have noticed some of the parts contained in the USA version are made in Mexico.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    ^^ I'm under the impression, rightly or wrongly, that the difference between the instructions are limited to the non-instructional bits of the booklets - promotional ads for Lego club, which other themes get promotional pages, that sort of thing.

    Sometimes there are small differences (like the use of the new life vest in the jetski polybag last year in the UK version, compared to the old, chunkier life vest in the US release), but usually it's just packaging differences. As well as the number of parts, some US sets that have a 'limited edition' banner don't in the UK.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    ^Aren't the European sets Metric? ;o)
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,559
    edited June 2012
    And the average American minifig is fatter than the average European one ...

    :-) (sorry!)

    [Deleted User]TheBigLegoskiBombTec
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    ^It would appear the American figures are also generally warmer and well armed while the European figures are a bit casual and in desperate need for hairstylists and bandaids. ;o)
  • OldfanOldfan Member Posts: 707
    ^^Sadly, I resemble that remark...I need to paint lines and curves on my shirts to give the impression of being thinner than I really am...
  • GrogallGrogall Member Posts: 159
    edited June 2012
    There are no Choking Hazard warning on the front of the packages guess we feed our kids a little better so they don't have to eat Lego :P
  • graphitegraphite Member Posts: 3,275
    ^ No, it is because the US judicial system is F-ed up and requires everyone to have every possible warning on everything to protect the stupid people that might file a lawsuit if the warning wasn't there. Every other country in the world assumes people have basic logic and reasoning skills and isn't a complete moron. But our country does. Which is why you get people getting million dollar settlements for spilling hot coffee on themselves. Yes it was probably hotter than it should have been but for goodness sake it's hot coffee don't put it places you don't want burnt.
  • julian977julian977 Member Posts: 65
    Some of the old US-issue pirates sets had cannons which didn't fire anything. :(
    instead of
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    ^ In my experience, an amazing number of people are indeed morons...

    No one here of course! ;-) But those "other people", they are all morons. ;-)

    Yes, I would agree our legal system allows for judgements out of all reality to the harm committed...
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP Member Posts: 1,917
    @CCC LOL!
  • kkskks Member Posts: 60
    I am always amazed that they have put on the bottom of many commercials here "Do Not Attempt" because apparently people are stupid enough to try to attempt utterly ridiculous things and then try to sue the company. Is this an American only thing or do commercials in other countries have these assinine disclaimers?
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP Member Posts: 1,917
    edited June 2012
    When they put "do not attempt", people tend to attempt it because they feel like a rebel disobeying what the commercial is telling you NOT to do.

    Canadian commercials also have "do not attempt" plastered in small print at the bottom of the screen. But I guess that is because most of our commercials come from the US. :P
  • khmellymelkhmellymel Member Posts: 1,314
    The only difference that I have noticed that really bugs me is the piece counts on the outside of the boxes. I really miss the piece counts, dunno why, but it's annoying when I shop for Lego in the UK and it's missing that bit of info!
  • tvihtvih Member Posts: 92
    Yeah, missing piece counts is what I've also found a bit annoying when browsing at LEGO shelves in stores.
  • LaziterLaziter Member Posts: 76
    Here in Denmark, not all sets have brick count on the boxes.
    Actually it's 50/50 if the count is present or not.
    Other than that, I haven't noticed any difference in sets, even imported a few sets from the US, no difference at all.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    I've been sorting polybags today, and I've noticed that in many cases the US version comes in a slightly larger polybag than the European version; usually the US version also has a cut-out for hanging the bag on a hook, which is usually missing from the Euro version.
  • weevinweevin Member Posts: 34
    I have ordered copies of #9450 and #9446 from recently that were lacking the set title, piece count, and some other minor groups of words that the US boxes have on them. It was weird not seeing "Destiny's Bounty" anywhere on the copies of #9446 that showed up today.
  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    Yes, Americans get extra figs. And any Lego food accessory comes with freedom fries.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 Member Posts: 2,146
    Americans also get HUGE discounts on even retail sets. I was in Denmark last year and I would estimate sets at twice the cost of what they are here. And with U.S. competition, consumerism, greed, etc ( everything Europeans know nothing about ) all the places like amazon, wal-mart and target offer discounts on even those prices! So we probably pay pennies on the pound/euro etc.
  • dr_tengdr_teng Member Posts: 101
    When one of my English friends visited, he noted the same. Considerably cheaper prices, he bought a bunch of sets to bring back with him.
  • kezkez Member Posts: 831
    Is there any difference between European and U.S. Lego sets?
    Yes there is a difference, the price in the US is a hell of a lot cheaper than that of in the UK. The boxes are also different in the US compared to the UK because in the US they have the piece count on them but in the UK they don't have the piece count on the box.
  • AanchirAanchir Member Posts: 3,044
    edited December 2012
    Additionally, certain US sets are packaged very differently than European ones. BIONICLE collectible packs in the US came in boxes; whereas in Europe many came in polybags (these sets are somewhat of an odd case though in that the polybag and boxed versions tended to have different set numbers).

    Bonus content in sets can also be different between regions. Some of the early BIONICLE sets came with mini-CDs in Europe but not in the US except through special promotions (the 2003 Bohrok-Kal and Rahkshi sets had mini-CDs in all regions). Additionally, I believe some regions did not get trading cards in their Knights' Kingdom II sets, while the US did.
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