Review of LEGO Collectors' Guide Book

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LEGO Collector

I've had my copy a week -- read my exclusive review. Find out what's in it, how accurate it is and whether it lives up to its claim of being an 'almost complete overview of all LEGO sets produced since 1958'.

14 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Looks cool! Nice review Huw! :D And Huw please don't EVER shut down Brickset, its the best! :D

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By in United States,

Nice review! Do you think think you'll add this data to the Brickset server?

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By in United Kingdom,

Ultimately, yes, for the sets of interest. I won't bother with Duplo, Basic etc., there are too many missing.

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By in United States,

Great Review! It must be a good book.

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By in Canada,

i still think brickset is better

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By in United Kingdom,

yer,much better

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By in Australia,

Well written Huw, I know I still want it, but now I can easily wait that bit longer. Also really great that we can report errors in the book. As you mentioned before the book is only as up to date as the day it is printed, so now it is out of date. The internet will always be the best place for up to date information. Still nice to have a hard copy, maybe you could make some form of pdf one for us to d/l. I bet yours could be better.

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By in United States,

Really great and thorough review, Huw.

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By in United States,

great review, can't wait to buy the book. One question I can't seem to find the answer too > How much does the book cost ??

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By in United States,

Where do you live, mrmitch? If you live in Great Britain it costs 16 pounds, but if you live in the U.S.(if it's available in the U.S.) then it probably costs about $30.

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By in Malaysia,

I'm from Malaysia.....wonder when this book will ever arrive? Looks like a fun book to have....

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By in United States,

Thanks for the fair review, Huw!

A few comments from one of the guys listed in the "advisory" section:

The AFOLs that contributed to this book had some influence indeed - but we couldn't make this book a pure "AFOL's guide", of course. This means it's dedicated to ALL people interested in LEGO - not only AFOLs, but also children and parents having some LEGO and being interested in getting more printed information about their product history.

As said correctly, the book is getting outdated very quickly, as a matter of the form of release as print media. On the other hand, it's a nice source that you can use independently - without the need for a PC with internet connection.

The reason for the lack of information about theme/subtheme is seen correctly as a combination of lack of space and inconsistency of this subject especially in the last few years.
The rating information IS actually explained in the introduction (page 6/7) - but I agree that it's an insufficient explanation if I consider the dozens (if not hundreds!) of hours we spent on determining the ratings for ALL (roughly 6300) sets in this book and the difficult subject of defining a standard to rate by one to six yellow 2x2 bricks.

Keep in mind that this rating evaluates the rareness of the certain item (and not its value!) considering a complete item in very good condition including building instruction, all stickers AND box (if applicable). Markets like eBay, BrickLink and other sources have been considered for this evaluation - on a global level.

The missing images reflect the sad situation that even though the Fantasia team spent two weeks in the Billund archives and took more than 20.000 images, they didn't get the chance to take pictures off ALL sets - many seem the be either locked in "secret" archives or went lost during several moves of their stock. They confirmed that many of the items I saw in the Vault back in September 2004 (see http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=269838 ) have not been there in late 2007 when they've been there.

Good catch with the item description of 1068 (year 1999) - of course, this is incorrect any most probably result of an incorrect link in the database behind the book - as well as the missing image.

Regarding the release years, we had to use official LEGO input according to their archives - unless we managed to bring evidence that their information is wrong (which is the case in several details, surprisingly). Therefore the release years might vary for one year in some cases - and you explained the reason correctly yourself.

Missing the Dacta items (and not even mentioning them in the introduction!) is very sad, but according to LEGO decisions. [...]

Nevertheless, I consider this book a very good first attempt for a printed database, even though it can't complete with online sources in many details (sorting, search options,...). I invite everybody owning this book to contribute to the second edition (yes, it's pretty certain that there will be one in roughly two years!) by providing PROVEN and DOCUMENTED additions and corrections to LEGO[at]fantasiaverlag.de - it will be highly appreciated!

Cheers,
Jan

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for your feedback, Jan. It's interesting to get an insight into the making of the book.

Sorry, I missed the rating explanation: it must have been a nightmare collating the information for it!

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By in New Zealand,

Nice review, Huw. I can't wait to get ours and I know I'll have to keep it out of the bathroom library because I'll never get the kids out of there!! This will be nice as a quick reference, but I think (I hope!!) Brickset will remain as the ultimate guide. As a collector of poly-bagged sets and promo items, I'm looking forward to cross-referencing my stuff. I'll be able to take it to work and not be bothered by the boss looking over my shoulder wondering what I'm looking at on the computer....Thanks and cheers :-)

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