This isn't going to be a full review: just my first impressions (I've only had it 1/2 hour!), but enough hopefully for you to decide whether it's worth purchasing.
It's a 96-page book which is the same size as the Star Wars Visual Dictionary and Harry Potter Building the Magical World. Its thick front cover holds the exclusive minifig which we'll get to in a minute.
The book starts with an introduction and timeline of Batman sets, showing pictures of the boxes and models.
It appears to be complete and accurate and even includes the polybag sets that were released earlier this year.
The rest of the book is divided into four sections:
- The World of LEGO Batman covers the original sets and minifigs released between 2006 and 2008. You can see two spreads from this section in my flickr stream.
- LEGO DC Super Heroes covers the 2012 sets and includes Superman and Wonder Woman.
- Beyond the Brick takes a look at the design process and features interviews with the designers.
- Finally, Going Digital covers scenes and characters from the two video games. This accounts for 20 pages of the book and is of no interest to me whatsoever, and its inclusion is somewhat disappointing. I suspect it's only there because there isn't enough material to fill the book otherwise.
Right at the back of the book is a page showing all the minifigs, much like that at the back of the Harry Potter version. It does not include the SDCC exclusive Batman and Green Lantern, or the one that is included with the book.
The exclusive minifig is 'Electro-suit Batman' which is apparently the suit he wears to help him solve puzzles in the LEGO Batman 2 game. It's printed back and front, and even on his arms and cowl. It's very well printed, but as has been the case with other recent DK book minifigs, it's not made in Europe or Mexico.
In summary then, the book is OK. It's not as good as the other Visual Dictionaries, perhaps because the material is a bit sparse. In fact something I haven't mentioned yet is that there are a number of childish and superfluous cartoon strips littered throughout it, obviously more padding to fill the pages.
The photos don't look as good to me, either. They don't seem to 'pop' off the page, perhaps partly because many of them are of black things. In fact, looking through it now, it's a strange mix of real photos and the computer generated images that LEGO often use on the boxes and catalogues these days.
Definitely one for the Super Heroes completest, but unlike most DK LEGO books, not an essential purchase.
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