In Depth

Best new Lego sets: From Star Wars to Women of Nasa

A Ferrari F40 and the U-wing fighter featured in Rogue One can now be yours – in miniature

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Toy trends come and go, but there's one name that never fails to make the top ten – Lego.

Here are some of the toymaker's sets for fans to get excited about this year:

Women of Nasa

Lego has revealed a new Women of Nasa set celebrating five women who played important roles in space exploration.

It ties in with renewed interest in the female pioneers of Nasa, prompted by the recent film Hidden Figures, which tells the story of African-American women who worked as mathematicians and engineers at the space agency in the 1950s and 1960s.

Katherine Johnson, played in the film by Taraji P Henson, is one of the five women who will feature in the Lego set. A talented mathematician, she worked on calculating flight trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo missions.

The set also includes pioneering space scientists Nancy Grace Roman, who was known as the Mother of Hubble for her part in planning the Hubble Space Telescope, and Margaret Hamilton, who developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo missions.

Rounding off the set are two astronauts: Sally Ride, who became the first American woman in space in 1983, and Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space.

The figures were designed by science writer Maia Weinstock, the deputy editor of MIT News, in response to a call for Lego fans to pitch their own ideas for new sets, CNN reports. Lego plans to release Women of Nasa in late 2017 or early 2018.

Rebel U-Wing Fighter

The U-wing was developed and added to the fleet ahead of the Star Wars spin-off Rogue One.

The fighter is equipped with retractable wings to transform its shape and a see-through observation desk, as well as stud-shooters and spring-loaded guns to fend off any attacks from the Dark Side.

The 659-piece set comes with five mini figures from the film: Jyn Erso, Vistan, Cassian Andor, a U-wing pilot and a Rebel trooper, armed with two blasters and ammo.

Available here

Buckingham Palace

The Queen's London home is one of the best-known royal residences in the world, and this Lego set from the Architecture range brings Buckingham Palace to life in miniature.

Much of the set's charm stems from its attention to detail, from the faithful reproduction of the palace's neoclassical façade to the Royal Standard flying overhead.

As a finishing touch, the set also includes a dinky version of an iconic red London bus and black taxicab.

Other sets available in the Architecture collection include replicas of the White House, the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben.

Available here

Yellow Submarine

With so many Lego sets focusing on modern kid-friendly franchises such as Star Wars and Harry Potter, a set devoted to The Beatles' psychedelic 1968 comedy Yellow Submarine might seem like an unusual prospect.

However, adults and children alike will appreciate the detailed recreation of the titular yellow submarine, as well as the brilliantly realised mini-figures of Paul, John, George and Ringo. A groovy gift for Fab Four fans.

Available here

Ferrari F40

If you've ever dreamed of owning a Ferrari, Lego's F40 set offers a taste of life in the fast lane at the far more affordable price of £69.99.

With more than 1,100 separate elements to assemble before you reach the fully finished product, it's about as close to the real thing as a model can get.

Even the most hardened petrolhead will struggle to find a detail from the iconic supercar that hasn't been lovingly rendered in Lego, including a hinged, vented rear hatch, turbocharged V8 engine, pop-up headlights and cabled door handles.

Available here

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