LEGO-style wooden toys stack and build just like the original. We love LEGOs — but we couldn’t help but wonder what an eco-friendly LEGO alternative might look like.
One quick fact is — before the 1960s LEGOs were made of wood. The company switched to plastic production after an unfortunate fire destroyed their wooden LEGO factory in the year 1960.
In retrospect, it was a wise decision. We love LEGOs.
Modern LEGOs are more and more environmentally friendly — yet plastic production is still not as sustainable as plain natural wood.
Maybe you’re wondering whether LEGO plastic is toxic? Or whether LEGO will ever stop using plastic. Or if there’s a natural alternative to LEGO?
Stop wondering, and start discovering!
Today, I’ve rounded up the best wooden LEGOs and other eco-friendly interlocking blocks you might take a liking to.
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Show me the toys!
For wooden LEGO alternatives, you’ve come to the right place. We share helpful tips & insights about the world’s best LEGO-style wooden interlocking blocks later in this article…
But if you need a gift for the LEGO fan in your life — and need it in no time — here’s your fast track to finding the right LEGO-inspired wooden building set.
- (01) ONCE KIDS Wooden Eco-Bricks an almost apples-to-apples wooden LEGO alternative.
- (02) LEGO Wooden Toy Minifigure (LEGO Originals #853967) is an official LEGO man 5:1 bigger than LEGO-scale.
- (03) ONCE KIDS Bamboo Eco-Bricks are the same eco-friendly Eco-Bricks — this time made of bamboo.
- (04) Big Future Toys Earthtiles are lightweight magnetic wooden tiles for building simple 3D structures.
- (05) Camphill Village Handmade Wooden Interlocking Blocks are like vintage wooden LEGOs that withstood the test of time.
- (06) PicassoTiles Pixel Magnetic Cube Blocks are plastic magnetic plastic cube blocks — not as eco-friendly, but with awesome buildability.
- (07) ROY TOY Classic Log Cabin Building Set (Lincoln Logs) are a throwback classic construction toy from a simpler time before LEGOs existed.
(01) ONCE KIDS Wooden Eco-Bricks
For close-to-exact wooden legos, Eco-Bricks is your best bet.
If you’ve ever heard about a Japanese wooden LEGO but never found where to buy it — here’s the wooden LEGO set for you.
The Japanese MokuLock blocks that started the wooden LEGO fad are hard to find this side of the hemisphere — but ONCE KIDS is an American company readily available for US shoppers.
ONCE KIDS Wooden Eco-Bricks are the closest possible you can get to replicating real LEGO-brand interlocking blocks.
Small and rectangular just like LEGOs, the most common Eco-Brick piece has eight small prongs on top to interlock with other Eco-Bricks.
Build, stack, and imagine just like you would with an original LEGO block set.
Mother Nature will be smiling too — because Eco-Bricks are a perfectly environmentally friendly toy.
Before you jet set on a plane to Tokyo — just to pick up a set of LEGOs made of wood — try ONCE KIDS.
(02) LEGO Wooden Toy Minifigure (LEGO Originals #853967)
Nostalgic wooden LEGO toys for LEGO fans of all ages.
Behold the original LEGO model number #853967.
Standing at a full 7” tall and 4” wide — this wooden LEGO man is a giant!
The figure stands up straight, and you can adjust it into different poses for an easy personal touch.
And if you want to get artistic — you can use household colored pencils to draw a superhero outfit on the surface.
Like any regular LEGO set, it comes in gifty-worthy packaging — plus instructions for 5 unique models you can build with the wooden LEGO minifigure.
What a thoughtful gift for the LEGO fan in your life!
Technical details for you LEGO experts include: it’s exactly 5:1 upscaled from a regular-sized LEGO minifigure, it’s got opposable plastic hands just like a regular LEGO minifigure — and even you’ll learn a little LEGO history.
What did LEGO look like back in 1978? Worth a gander!
(03) ONCE KIDS Bamboo Eco-Bricks
The same Eco-Bricks you love — this time made with sustainable bamboo.
What a delightful surprise — when you find out the wooden LEGOs you already love are also available in bamboo.
Bamboo LEGOs? Yes, please!
In East Asia, bamboo is a common plant known for its use in sustainable industry. Bamboo grows fast and is a staple of the eco-friendly side of East Asia’s manufacturing and construction.
I love the original LEGO brand — but these sophisticated bamboo interlocking blocks are a minimalist’s dream in simple earthy tones and made with sustainable materials.
Variety is the spice of life — as they say.
This bamboo version of ONCE KIDS brand’s Eco-Bricks LEGO alternative has the same playability as the wooden set.
This one’s just for people who prefer bamboo.
(04) Big Future Toys Earthtiles (3D Building Shapes)
Eco-futuristic magnetic wooden tiles (squares & triangles) for building simple 3D structures.
Big Future Toys Earthtiles are a peculiar pick — and a stretch when it comes to lego alternatives.
But just by looking at it, I bet you’re at least a little curious?
Big Future Toys brand’s Earthtiles are lightweight magnetic wooden tiles using for open-ended constructive play.
With different shaped pieces — squares and two types of triangles — the magnets are embedded along the edges so that the structure you put in place stays in place.
The magnets give you unlimited creative building options.
Earthtiles got their start on Kickstarter, and is finally available for sale this year.
Earthtiles are designed in USA and made in Indonesia using quality Baltic Birch — a sturdy lightweight type of wood for toys.
(05) Camphill Village Handmade Wooden Interlocking Blocks
Hand-crafted vintage-style wooden legos — like the old-style LEGOs that withstood the test of time.
Like rudimentary lego blocks that have withstood the test of time — these interlocking wooden bricks have entertained kids for centuries.
The woodshop at Camphill Village brand serves up big and chunky wooden lego blocks for an all-natural kids’ playroom.
Hand-crafted through a 100% natural 100% child-safe toy-making process — these vintage-style wooden legos are fashioned from finely sanded oak wood and finished in organic linseed oil.
They’re a stacking brick toy the entire family can enjoy. Place a set of these vintage American bricks on a coffee table at your next family gathering for an activity all ages can enjoy.
(06) PicassoTiles “Pixel & Mini Pixel” Magnetic Cube Blocks
Not exactly like LEGOs — but magnetic plastic cube blocks that let you design elaborate pixel characters and structures.
It’s called “intuitive play” — an all-in-one play experience where kids unlock their creative sides — from artistic and aesthetic to scientific and technical.
One look at the way PicassoTiles keep pixel-like constructions together — and your child will come up with all sorts of ideas for what to build.
Intuitively, they’ll decide what to build and for what purpose.
It’s kind of like designing characters out of a 1980s video game — though our kids might not know that.
PicassoTiles Magnetic Puzzle Cubes are available in two sizes. “Pixel” is ≈1-inch blocks appropriate for toddlers 3 years and up. “Mini Pixel” is slightly smaller and better for kids 5 years and up. On the box, both recommend 3 years and up.
Each set comes with a free idea book with over 50 things to build. PicassoTiles magnetic cubes open up endless play possibilities.
It’s true — these are not as eco-friendly as other lego alternatives we’ve looked at, but sometimes you have to optimize your purchase for build-ability.
These plastic blocks are an interesting medium to build 3D pixel structures — even if they’re not made from natural wood.
Certainly, something certain LEGO lovers would latch onto.
(07) ROY TOY Classic Log Cabin Building Set (Lincoln Logs)
Wooden log cabin building sets are a timeless classic construction toy from before LEGOs were invented.
Lincoln Log style wooden log building sets aren’t an exact match — but as a classic building toy, I do feel like log cabin building sets are a wooden lego alternative worth a peek.
I remember playing with a set of Lincoln Logs at my grandpa’s house when I was a kid.
It’s 2021, and wooden log cabin building sets are still a great toy similar to LEGOs.
ROY TOYS brand is an American toy company keeping the spirit of the log cabin builder alive — with modern-manufactured log cabin sets that keep their vintage wooden builder appeal.
Made from natural pine wood and colored from vegetable-based food dyes, ROY TOY brand is kid-safe and environmentally friendly.
It’s a classic wooden building set you might choose instead of LEGOs.
Over to you!
One disclaimer — LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies. Here we talk about toys from this brand by using terms like “original” and “official”.
The other toys we promote are NOT made by the official LEGO company.
We’re talking wooden LEGO alternatives. Are they knock-offs? That depends on how you look at it. The technical term for LEGO-style blocks is “interlocking blocks”. The prongs on the top fit into openings on the bottom.
For wooden interlocking blocks similar to LEGO-style construction toys — I guarantee you won’t find a better toy than the ones we’ve reviewed today.
As a gift for your child, for a friend, or for yourself — enjoy your eco-friendly LEGO alternative. I can’t wait to see what you build!