I am wondering why do LEGO boxes have a maximum age limit printed on them?
My girlfriend has just gifted me LEGO Starfighter (8088) and it has an age range of 8-14. Why not just write 8+? Are there any technical objective reasons?
I believe it shows the target age range of the model - perhaps kids who've been doing all the harder Technic or more complex models - for example the VW Camper Van is rated 16+ - and might find it a bit "simplistic".
Other examples include The Super Star Destroyer, also at 16+, the Tantive IV and Republic Drop Ship at 14+, and the Death Star and others at 12+:
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That's correct. The Creator theme used to mark sets aged X to 99.
I think the LEGO marketing team were going along with the idea that you're never too old to play with Lego. The Creator product line produced brick buckets and tubs that became popular with people wanting to expand their collection or pick up from when they last played with LEGO as a child.
Today's brick buckets and tubs are marketed towards children aged 4+, which I'm sure would make LEGO hundred year old fan's happier.
Set's age range shouldn't be taken overly seriously. The age range should act as a rough guide. A set with a higher age band tends to be more complicated and challenging.
It is an indication for the target audience for that set. It is mostly to guide people with little knowledge about child development toward a set. It's a rough guide, how much the child enjoys it is very much dependent on the child. But 10 year olds will be less likely to enjoy Duplo and be happier with Star Wars LEGO.
On the other hand, I really like building with Duplo especially with my nephew, or when my son is destroying my creations.