We really are being spoilt for LEGO books this year. We've already had several excellent Dorling Kindersley books and now two more have been published. This one, however, is slightly different to the others in that it's been created with the help of AFOLs rather than the LEGO group, although of course it is licensed from them. (I'll be reviewing the other new DK book, the Star Wars Character Encylopedia, in due course.)
As its title suggests, this is an ideas book that provides inspiration for your own models. It's A4-ish in size and about 200 pages long. Its presentation is as stunning as we've come to expect from DK: superb photos on clean white backgrounds surrounded with snippets of text. It makes a superb coffee-table book.
It's divided into six chapters which set the theme for the models within: Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Town and Country, Out of this world, In Days of Old, A World of Adventure and Make and Keep. Most pages features a main model and variations of it. The book doesn't contain instructions for any models, but usually shows enough pictures of them to be able to reverse-engineer them should you want to. However, that's not the idea really, the models are intended for inspiration for your own creations.
I had to chuckle at the statement in the introduction about this "We don't show building steps or lists because it's unlikely you will have all the bricks for each model...' Actually, I think it highly likely that I do, and I suspect many of you do too!
Perhaps the best thing about the book is that most of the models have been created by AFOLs, the majority of whom are Brickish Association members: Barney Main, Tim Goddard, Duncan Titmarsh, Andrew Walker from the BA, and Debrah Higdon and Sebastiaan Arts. They have done a fantastic job, and it's interesting to see that they've sometimes used building techniques that LEGO set designers probably wouldn't, although I'm told all models had to be approved by LEGO.
Should you buy this book? If you build with LEGO bricks then yes, this is for you. If you're someone who just buys sets and keeps them MISB, then it probably won't be of interest. But nobody here does that, do they? :-)
It's available from Amazon for about half the publisher's price so there really isn't a reason not to add it to your bookcase.
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