This page is an overview of Lego Chess Sets and Chess Software, available from this popular family brand.
Lego have long been a trusted company when it comes to educational play toys, aimed not just at children, but the parents of young children who can use Lego to play along with and interact with their kids.
The toys are seen as safe, while the bright colors are an instant attraction for curious young minds.
Lego Chess Sets
At the time of looking - well, as far as I got on Amazon - Lego have two different Chess Sets available ...
LEGO Castle Chess Set - 852001
Not sure whether the 852001 is a standard Lego reference, or just something local to Amazon ... Anyway, that's what I found.
The pieces appear to come 'ready made', which will be seen a good by those who want to get on with a game of Chess; while others may have preferred it to be like normal Lego sets, where you get to put the bits together.
Regarding Board dimensions, the size is 10" x 10", so a decent scale for kids.
Staying with the Chess Board, the surface has the traditional Lego type blobs that allow the pieces to be lightly fixed to it and, in the ethos of Lego, easy to detach by a young child.
Price-wise, you seem to be looking at forking out around $160, on average ... One thing to consider may be if Lego decide to discontinue the range, they could become "collectors items". Who knows?
LEGO Castle: Fantasy Era Giant Chess Set
Everything about this set is bigger ... from the pieces, to the 17" x 17" scale Board and, unsurprisingly, to the price - put it this way, don't expect much change, if any, from $450.
Ignoring the price, the set does look impressive ... The good-size pieces appear wonderfully detailed, with the Rooks probably my favorite, as they have a little Lego man at the top of the turret.
As for the Board, it has a smooth surface, rather than the blobs of Lego's aforementioned 10" Castle Chess Set.
Because of the larger pieces, I imagine they're weighty enough to stand upright on their own, without having to be physically pressed into the Board.
As a novelty, it's certainly up their with the best of themed Chess Sets, like Star Wars and certain Medieval sets you can get. Definitely a Collectors item, as much as a fun Chess set for the kids.
Lego Chess Software
If you've got a PC, you can also find the Lego brand dabbling in Chess Software ...
Looking on Lego's own website (click here), it appears there have been a few bugs in the software that require you to download and install a 'patch' - basically, this is just extra software code that gets added to the main code, to make it work as intended.
Overall, the animation is great for kids, while the movement of the pieces might hold a child's attention for a bit ... but, long enough to properly learn to play Chess? Dunno.
The following video is probably the best currently on YouTube showing actual gameplay footage:
It's very possible that, by the time a child's mind is capable of understanding the rules and tactics of Chess, I think they'll probably be too old to sit down and play with this Lego Chess game and that something like Fritz 12 might be a better purchase - I could be wrong, but that's my view.