Lego is learning that Asian parents are willing to drop some serious cash for nostalgia. I just had to get my hands on those teeny tiny dumplings! When my son received the Monkey King Lego set for Christmas, I shared a post about the lego fish and steamed buns that came with the set and so many moms inquired. I decided to put together this list of Chinese Lego sets and Legos for Chinese Language learners.
How does playing with Legos fit into language learning? Learning Chinese is more than learning characters. For Chinese language learners, learning about Chinese culture gives you context to the words. You can teach your child about the cultures that inspired these Lego designs. Talk about the traditions that are represented and introduce the vocabulary of the objects in the set. Play-based learning is a great way for parents to bond with their children. I’ve also included some Chinese vocabulary to help you get started.
These sets may have been designed for the Chinese market, but there is so much cross-over. We share many holidays, traditions, and symbols. These Lego sets can be enjoyed by anyone interested in Asian culture!
New Lego Sets for Year of the Rabbit
Lunar New Year Parade
Available on January 10, 2023
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with this 1,653-piece lego set. With so many pieces, it might keep your child occupied for the entire year! This set includes 18 lego people, three parade floats, the rabbit centerpiece, and a new year dragon.
Lunar New Year Display
Available on January 10, 2023
Now you can build traditional Lunar New Year decorations out of legos! These models symbolize wealth, prosperity and happiness with golden ingots, koi fish, red envelopes, and peonies.
Chinese New Year Greetings
Traditional Chinese: 花開富貴
Pinyin: huā kāi fùguì
English: Flowers bloom for prosperity
Traditional Chinese: 招財進寶
Pinyin: zhāocái jìn bǎo
English: Usher in good fortune and prosperity
Available on December 25, 2022
The Money Tree displays 20 tangerines, 14 red envelopes, and 10 gold coins. Mandarin oranges symbolize good luck and are traditionally given with red envelopes. The money tree is said to bring fortune and prosperity.
More Lunar Year Lego Sets
Lunar New Year Traditions
This 1,066-piece set features 6 Lunar New Year scenes—exchanging red envelopes, spring cleaning, shopping for food, good luck decorations, family reunion, and the God of Wealth with his cache of gold bars and ingots. Lego does a great job representing Lunar New Year as a time for families to be together.
English: God of Wealth
Simplified Chinese: 财神
Traditional Chinese: 財神
Lion Dance Guy
This adorable lego set stands 4.5″ tall. It has a moveable mouth and comes with two drums and a lantern.
English: Chinese ceremonial drums
Simplified/Traditional Chinese: 堂鼓
The lion dance is one of the most exciting festivities during the Lunar New Year celebrations. The loud drums, cymbals, and gong are meant to welcome good luck and ward off negativity, such as the Nian monster who is said to be afraid of loud noises and the color red.
English: Lion Dance
Simplified Chinese: 舞狮
Traditional Chinese: 舞獅
Pinyin: Wǔ shī
Chinese New Year Temple Fair
This festive temple scene is made up of 1664 pieces and includes a traditional temple entrance, plum blossoms, a puppet show, Lunar New Year decorations, and shops. There’s even a food hawker selling steamed buns and Tánghúlu, a traditional candied fruit snack. Outside of Asia, Temples act as cultural hubs for immigrant communities and are central to cultural education.
English: Candied Fruit
Simplified Chinese: 糖葫芦
Traditional Chinese: 糖葫蘆
Happy Childhood Moments
Introduce your toddlers to Lunar New Year festivities with this Lego Duplo set. The red envelopes seem to be larger than life, maybe that is a hint to the grandparents! The Happy Childhood Moments Lego set includes a rotating dim sum table, steamers with dumplings, and even a big teapot. This set also concerts into a preschool scene with a potty and nap room.
English: bamboo steamer
Simplified Chinese: 蒸笼
Traditional Chinese: 蒸籠
Lunar New Year Ice Festival
The largest ice festival in the world is located in Harbin, China, and takes place each winter. Lego’s Ice Festival set captures all the festivities such as ice skating, food hawkers, photo booth, ice sculptures, ice fishing, and even a snow-covered Christmas tree!
English: Harbin International Ice and Snow festival
Simplified Chinese: 哈尔滨国际冰雪节
Traditional Chinese: 哈爾濱國際冰雪節
Pinyin: Hā’ěrbīn Guójì Bīngxuě Jié
Minions Kungfu Battle
For their second ever movie theater experience, I took my kids to see Minions: The Rise of Gru. I wasn’t interested in watching a movie where the main language is gibberish, but it was a playdate so I just went with it. Turns out, I really loved the movie. It was so funny, even for adults. The best surprise was that the movie took place in San Francisco, with a big finale in Chinatown. I absolutely love how the artists recreated the trolleys, the golden gate bridge, and San Francisco’s Lunar New Year parade.
This is a fun movie for Chinese language learners. To watch the Minions movies in Chinese you can search 小黄人 (China) or 小小兵 (Taiwan). Minions: The Rise of Gru is still in theaters but you can watch the first Minions movie in English for free on Amazon Prime Video by signing up for the 30-day trial.
The Lego Minions Kungfu Battle set comes with a mini temple with lanterns, fireworks, and a Minion launcher. It also includes a toy dragon and kungfu training dummy that spins.
Simplified/Traditional Chinese: 唐人街
Chinese New Year Pandas
This Chinese Lego set includes a mama giant panda and her two cubs. It includes a lantern and a mandarin orange tree. Giant pandas are China’s national treasure. Conservationists have spent more than 30 years protecting the species and in 2021, were able to announce that giant pandas are no longer endangered!
English: Giant Panda
Simplified Chinese: 熊猫
Traditional Chinese: 熊貓
Folklore-Inspired Chinese Lego Sets
Chang e Moon Cake Factory (Mid-Autumn Festival)
This set is a futuristic version of a beloved Mid-Autumn Festival story of Chang e, the Moon Goddess. The Chang e Moon Cake Factory set comes with a carrot spaceship, bunny launcher, and tiny mooncakes. This lego set reminds me of Netflix’s Over the Moon, where Chang e is a pop star that lives in her ultra-modern moon castle.
English: Moon Goddess
Simplified/Traditional Chinese: 嫦娥
Monkie Kid Lego Series
Lego’s Monkie Kid is a modern-day hero inspired by the ancient Chinese legend of Monkey King. In Lego’s animated series and toys, Monkie Kid battles robotic demons and explores galaxies in his spacecraft. The characters are familiar yet new and exciting in this updated tale of Monkey King.
The Chinese title of the cartoon is 悟空小俠 and is dubbed in Mandarin. If you’ve got a Monkey King fan that loves legos, you can watch this series for free on Amazon Prime Video by signing up for the 30-day trial, however, it is currently not available to watch in the US. It’s the only streaming service currently offering two seasons of the Monkie Kid cartoon series.
The City of Lanterns
This extremely detailed city is part of the Lego Monkie Kid animated series. It’s dense and bustling like many Asian cities you can visit. This Chinese Lego set includes a food hall, hotel, bubble tea shop, and Skytrain. Can you spot the K-TV booth?
Simplified Chinese: 轻铁
Traditional Chinese: 輕鐵
Pinyin: Qīng tiě
Pigsy’s Noodle Tank
Monkey King’s 豬八戒 (Zhūbājiè) returns as chef Pigsy in the Monkie Kid series. Pigsy’s noodle tank is a rotating kitchen that comes with 3 different shooters and removable chopsticks. I spy a ramen egg, steam bun, fried egg, grilled fish, roast duck, tiny condiment bottles, and more!
English: Ramen Noodles
Simplified Chinese: 拉面
Traditional Chinese: 拉麵
Monkie Kid Lion Guardian
The Lego lion guardian has a snapping jaw and spring-loaded shooters on each side. The set comes with a mini arcade with dance machine and a claw game with a moveable claw.
English: Claw Machine
Simplified Chinese: 夹娃娃机
Traditional Chinese: 夾娃娃機
Pinyin: Jiā wáwá jī
Monkey King Warrior Mech
This is the ultimate Lego set for anyone that loves Monkey King. The final figure stands almost 16 inches tall. The best part for me, however, is the noodle shop that comes with the Monkey King. You can check out a short video of the noodle shop that I posted on IG. This reminds me so much of buildings in Taiwan. The shophouse has a garden on the roof, fish hanging to dry, neon signs from the second floor, and even a fan above the kitchen, just like the real deal. Just look at the little soup pots and steam buns!
Simplified/Traditional Chinese: 唐樓
Pinyin: Táng lóu
Monkie Kid’s Team Secret HQ
The cargo ship opens up to reveal Monkie Kid’s secret headquarters, equipped with a bathroom, sleeping quarters, workshop, kitchen, and a moving crane.
English: Cargo ship
Simplified Chinese: 货船
Traditional Chinese: 貨船
The Legendary Flower Fruit Mountain
My son is a huge fan of Monkey King. When he saw this Lego set, he knew right away this was the home of Monkey King! I didn’t even know what this was. Lego’s Flower Fruit Mountain is full of secrets! The waterfall opens to reveal a hidden cave. Monkey King hides inside a boulder. There are battle scenes in secret passages. This is a legendary set indeed!
English: Flower Fruit Mountain
Simplified/Traditional Chinese: 花果山
Pinyin: Huā guǒ shān
The Heavenly Realms
The cloud palace sits atop a fantastical mountainscape where Monkey King tends to his immortal peaches. The Heavenly Realms Lego set features a palace with golden cloud gates that part to reveal the entrance. The set also includes the Eight Trigrams furnace where the Monkey King emerges as an immortal.
English: Eight Trigrams furnace
Simplified Chinese: 八卦炉
Traditional Chinese: 八卦爐
Pinyin: Bāguà lú
Nezha’s Fire Ring
Monkie Kid and Nezha are the best of frenemies. In this set, Nezha wears fire ring boots that help him track down the Monkey King and trap him in the bone cage. His powerful spear makes him a tough adversary for evil. Lego’s Nezha set includes the fire ring monowheel with spring-loaded shooters.
Simplified/Traditional Chinese: 哪吒
Pinyin: Nǎ zhā
Cultural Symbols Chinese Lego Sets
Mopeds are synonymous with Asian culture. I have fond memories of scooting around town standing in the front of my aunt’s moped and now my kids do too. In Taiwan, a moped is called 歐多拜 (ōuduōbài), which is borrowed from the Japanese term オートバイ (ōtobai), a transliteration of auto bike. In Mandarin, it’s called 摩托車 (mótuō chē), which sounds a lot like motorcycle!
Simplified Chinese: 摩托车
Traditional Chinese: 摩托車
Pinyin: Mótuō chē
Orchids have played a significant part in Asian culture for hundreds of years. They are seen in paintings, mentioned in poetry, and offered as gifts for any special occasion.
Simplified Chinese: 兰花
Traditional Chinese: 蘭花
Are you wondering how Japan’s bonsai made it on this list? The art of bonsai actually dates back to China from 700 AD. The Japanese name for bonsai is borrowed from the Chinese language.
Simplified/Traditional Chinese: 盆栽
Landmarks Chinese Lego Sets
Approximately 75% of Singaporeans are ethnically Chinese. It’s no wonder there are so many Chinese language learners in Singapore. The Lego Singapore set features famous landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands, Lau Pa Sat, and the Singapore River.
Lego’s Beijing postcards feature the Great Wall of China and the Summer Palace. The Beijing dialect is the foundation of Putonghua, which is the standard Mandarin spoken in China. Beijing Mandarin is defined by the use of the “r” sound, known as 儿化 (érhuà).
English: Great wall of China
Simplified Chinese: 长城
Traditional Chinese: 長城
Wrapping up this post with a video of the noodle shophouse that came with the Monkey King set. I am absolutely obsessed with it. What do you think?