LEGO Star Wars Character Encylopedia

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This book, along with the LEGO Ideas Book I reviewed earlier this week, has just been published by Dorling Kindersley.

It’s a hardback book that’s smaller than DK’s other LEGO books, at 23x18cm, but is still over an inch thick thanks in part to the thick front cover housing the exclusive Han Solo in ceremonial robes minifigure.

The book’s 200 pages are laid out showing one minifigure per page. Along with a large image of the figure, there are boxes containing background information about the character, data about when the fig was released and in which set, and also, if needed, a ‘Star Variants’ box showing other versions of the minifig. This accounts for the discrepancy between the ‘Featuring more than 300 minifigures’ claim on the cover and the 200 pages: many older variants of figures only appear in these boxes. The book does not claim to contain every SW minifigure ever made, and there are some notable exceptions, such as the white Boba Fett. It does, however, feature all those that are in the latest 2011 sets.

Dk Star Wars Character Encylopedia

The book is organised by movie, so the figures that feature in episode 1 are at the front of the book and those from 6, then Clone Wars and expanded universe are at the back. Within each section the order appears random and to be honest it can be a problem finding specific figures without resorting to the index which thankfully is comprehensive. Perhaps organising alphabetically would have made more sense, with Aayla Secura at the front and Zev Senesca at the back: at least then you could flick through the pages to find the character of interest and all of, say, the Luke variants would be in the book together.

The quality and accuracy of the information in the book should be spot-on because Ace Kim from FBTB and myself proof-read it. As I have mentioned here before I was also asked to provide around 100 photos for it. Strange as it seems, they asked me because LEGO could not provide DK with the minifigs to enable them to photograph them themselves. Luckily I had most of the ones needed and those I didn’t I sourced from BrickLink.

I haven’t yet identified all those that were used; the majority are the in the Star Variants boxes, or detail pictures of backs of heads or torsos. However the main images on pages 26 (Naboo Security officer), 78 (Greedo), 106, in the image above, and 138 (both Luke) are mine and I guess it’s satisfying that they are pretty much indistinguishable from the others taken by the pros, and in some cases better, which is one reason I haven’t yet found them all!

Dk Star Wars Character Encylopedia

I haven’t said much about the exclusive Han Solo minifigure yet. I guess if you’re a SW minifig completest it will be reason enough to buy the book but actually it’s the most disappointing thing about it. Unfortunately, it’s an inferior Chinese plastic figure which is a shame because otherwise it’s very nice. The exclusive figures on the covers of previous DK books have been normal quality so it was a let-down to see that it wasn’t the case here. I know most of you don’t notice or care about this, but to me, just like the collectable minifigs, it looks and feels cheap and nasty compared to the real thing. However, if you keep it sealed in the cover you'll never notice the poor quality.

So, to summarise, this is yet another essential book purchase for anyone remotely interested in Star Wars LEGO or minifigs, particularly with the deep discounts available at Amazon at the moment. Highly recommended, despite the minifig quality.

24 comments on this article

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By in Canada,

I will be boycotting this book, the fact that the figure is a worse quality than previous ones is unacceptable.

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By in Australia,

I know the back of the book lists Denmark, Hungary, Mexico and the Czech Republic as countries of origin, but the fig is undoubtedly Chinese Plastic. There is no printing on the neck, and there are rectangular indentations under the armpits. These features aren't found on regular figs, only Chinese made figs.

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By in {Unknown country},

To be honest? I like it. A lot. I find it very well presented. Initially i was a bit disappointed for not having the same measures than the SW VE or the MW HP, but it is quite interesting, and like i said to my kids, if they want to enjoy better learn english quickly :-)

The photos are outstanding, to me it is great work! I even find it quite cheap...

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By in United Kingdom,

The book is not the best lego book that has been released but it has useful information, if you want a better book buy the lego ideas book

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By in United Kingdom,

^ "Better" in which respect ? They're totally different books, with potentially very different audiences....

I share some of Huw's misgivings regarding the way the book is organised; unless you use the index it's hard to find what you're looking for, and an alphabetical listing would have made a lot more sense. I also think it's absurd the way that different minifig versions of the same character, e.g. Grievous, aren't shown on consecutive pages, and that you have to dig through the index to find a full listing of sets that a particular figure has featured in.

I do however agree that the quality of pics and overall presentation is outstanding, and at the bargain basement price it's available at, the book is a total no-brainer for Star Wars fans, even if it is flawed.

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By in United Kingdom,

Just a bit of info.....selling for a fiver in Asda!

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By in France,

Overall, the book is good for the money asked. Pictures are high quality, texts are ok and informative for kids who want to know more about LEGO SW. Otherwise it is not a reference book for minifig, organisation is poor, and some are missing.

It is also a great gift to your LEGO friends, kids or grown up

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By in United States,

Thanks for the review Huw! On my Christmas list. :)

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By in Canada,

Gerat review, Huw. I can't wait to get it. Can you add all these new DK books to the database, please?

At the NYC Comic Con TLG will be giving away Superman minifigs and will be unveiling the Batcave. Check FBTB for more info.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ They are it now, but no images yet.

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By in United States,

Thanks for the awesome review, Huw! I too cannot wait for this one.

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By in United States,

Looks like it is a good book, too bad about the organization though. I am hoping to get it soon!

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By in New Zealand,

Im just trying to buy this book now online but there are two versions, both have the mini figure but one is the UK edition and one is the US edition and both have different prices and different reviews. Whats the difference? I'd be grateful for any information please.

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By in United States,

@war44lock - I'm guessing they just spelled a few words differently, and the price for shipping or selling the book is different for each country. It's standard practice for two releases of the same book, primarily for books written in Britain (such as Harry Potter) to release two versions of the book with differences in spelling and, in some cases, changes in cultural terms (such as differentiating between Santa Clause and Father Christmas.) The two books shouldn't be much different other than this.

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By in United Kingdom,

@stagus - many thanks for the ASDA tip, got my £5 copy - a bargain!

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm not sure there are different versions - I'm in the UK and my copy definitely uses US spellings such as 'mold', 'gray' and 'color'. I really can't see that it would be economically viable to produce two versions for such minor differences.

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By in United States,

@LostInTranslation - some books do actually do that, though I wasn't sure if it occurred for this one.

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By in United States,

i dont like star wars but cool
i have read the whole entire book 8-)

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By in Philippines,

I havn't opened the minifig yet and I'm very sad to hear that it's Chinese plastic despite the label saying otherwise. I do believe it is a form of misrepresentation for merchandise. And the fact that there are stress marks on the hip joint gets me peeved.

The book is great and the pics are superb, although Aldar beedo appeared to be out of focus. :-) Other than that, everything else is fine to me.

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By in New Zealand,

Hey thanks Greyface, I have ordered the cheaper US version : )

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By in United Kingdom,

These are 5 pounds at ASDA

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