I'm actually going to keep my review brief because Mariann Asanuma has done such a good job of reviewing it at her Model Building Secrets blog that I recommend you read that then continue reading here for my opinion on it.
So, what did I think...
Well, overall I liked it and I think any AFOL will enjoy reading it. I'm not sure that AFOLs are the target audience though since we already know most of what's written and will probably also know many of the people and models that are featured. However, I think it will serve to bring closet/borderline AFOLs into the hobby because one thing it does make clear is that, if you love the brick, it's OK to, and you are not alone!
It will also be useful for educating NLSOs and proving to them that you are not as weird as you may seem, playing with LEGO as an adult :-)
There are some observations that I'll make which I hope will be read constructively:
- I didn't like the page design. It's very inconsistent. Some spreads are clean and well laid out but most have distracting backgrounds with the text inset in white boxes.
- The quality of the photography is variable. This is a bugbear of mine with Brick Journal as well. I know why it is -- because the photos are contributed by many people who've used differering equipment under less than ideal lighting conditions -- but I'm not sure how it could be solved other than have one person take all the pictures in a controlled environment, which I admit is not practical given the subject matter.
- The online LEGO community doesn't get much of a mention, just a couple of pages, which given the importance it plays in holding the community together, is disappointing, and brushing off Brickset as 'Peeron's European counterpart' does it no justice at all!
- It's very US-centric. Most of the models, events and people are from/in the USA. If you're in the USA you probably won't be bothered by this, of course.
Anyway, despite these niggles it's still an excellent work and worth adding to your book collection.
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