The Lego Book by Daniel Lipkowitz

In brief: The history of Lego, information and pictures on the many themes and associated paraphernalia (video games, Legoland etc.).

The good: Loads of great pictures, suitable for all ages.

The not-so-good: TWO pages on Lego Technic?!

Why I chose it: I’m an AFOL (obviously Technic focused).

Year: 2012

Pages: 296

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley

My rating: 8 out of 10

If you’ve had a look at my Instagram, you may have seen the odd Lego picture in there or two. I’m one of those people who grew up with Lego and still build in adulthood (my preferred theme is Lego Technics aka the ones that have gears, hydraulics and loads of tiny fingernail breaking bits). I bought this book for several reasons – to find out more about the company and its origins, to relive the Lego themes of my youth and to look at all the wonderful glossy pictures. I think this book is aimed more at the young (say 9 or 10 years and up) but it was still a fun read.

The book can be read in any chapter order, but being old and boring, I decided to start from the first page and read through. Younger fans may find it easier to jump straight to the gorgeous pictures of the different Lego themes (e.g. pirates, space, cars, castles etc.) and get inspiration for building. The history of Lego was fascinating about how the company started and the changes in the iconic bricks over the years. There are also pages explaining the brick and how there are unlimited possibilities to build and build. Illustrated timelines also show key points in Lego’s history and how Lego sets are designed is also mentioned. I would have liked a bit more on this because this is a big part of the AFOL world, but hey, I’ve got the internet too…

The section on the different Lego play themes make up the bulk of the book, covering every different theme over the years. Adult fans will be familiar with Town/City, Space, Castles and Pirates but the more modern sets demonstrate just how versatile Lego is. There’s Harry Potter, Star Wars, Monster Fighters, Ninjago, Bionacle and Mindstorms. Robots and monsters play alongside flying machines and vehicles to create play with the wildest of imaginations. I was really disappointed with just two pages on Lego Technic though – it’s evolved so much through the years with the addition of battery operated motors, remote controls and hydraulics (not to mention the size of the models). Technic seems to be a natural progression from Lego for me, but perhaps not everyone sees it that way. For AFOL fans, there are also pages on super models (I would love to build the Lego minifigure aka man that stands at 51cm tall) and modular buildings – the street set is still continuing in 2015. There’s also a small section about Lego CUUSOO/Ideas, where fans design their own sets and Lego builds the ones with the most votes. There are two pages about fan builders (those building their own models from Lego bricks).

The last section on other Lego merchandise was interesting – Legoland in Malaysia is something I’m torn about going to, because I’ve heard/read so many mixed experiences. It was useful to look at the pictures from other Legolands around the world, but I wasn’t really into the video game section. This book also predates The Lego Movie, so you won’t find anything about it here.

While this book is interesting, it’s aimed at a younger audience than AFOLs (understandably so). AFOLs may want to ‘share’ a copy with their younger fans or borrow it from the library.

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