Typical isn’t it? You wait ages for a decent LEGO book to come along and then three arrive all at the same time!
The third DK book released this month is LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary. It’s a little larger than The LEGO Book at 260mmx310mm, and also a lot thicker because the inside front cover has a box attached to it for housing the exclusive minifig. It’s 96 pages long and consists of an introduction and four chapers: Movie Saga, Clone Wars, Specialist Sets and Beyond the Brick.
I’ll discuss the exclusive minifig first because that alone will be worth the purchase price of the book for some. Apparently called Throne Room Luke, it has printed dark brown legs and a yellow torso. It’s not particularly exciting but given that you won’t find it anywhere else, if you collect Star Wars minifigs, you’ll need to buy the book!
The book itself is typical DK in its design and layout (what a surprise!) so as usual it is a joy to flick through. Also the design and content is very similar to DK’s other Star Wars Visual Dictionaries.
The introduction consists of a time-line from 1999 to 2009 and does appear to be complete. It’s bang up to date and includes the mini sets (30004/5/6) recently available in the UK with the Daily Mirror newspaper and the yet-to-be-released 20010 Mini Republic Gunship. When you see them all laid out on 3 double-page spreads like this you realise just how many sets there have been.
The first chapter Movie Saga makes up the bulk of the book and is arranged by topic. So for example, there’s a page about Anakin Skywalker, another about Jedi Knights, one about Wookies, Bounty Hunters and so on. Each illustrates relevant sets and minifigs. The second chapter is much the same but covers the Clone Wars figures and sets. The Specialist Sets chapter covers mini sets, Technic and Ultimate Collector sets.
In these chapters, in most cases where a particular model has been superseded by an updated one, the later model gets a large picture and the old one a much smaller one, as you can see on the Bounty Hunters page shown here with Boba’s Slave I.
The final chapter Beyond the Brick features an interview with the LEGO Star Wars design manager, and pages on merchandising and the LEGO Star Wars community. The latter features two models by fellow Brickish Association members photographed by our very own bluemoose!
Running throughout the book, the bottom corners feature ‘flick animations’ of Luke waving his light sabre and marching Storm Troopers.
Try as I might, there’s nothing negative I can write about this book. For the subject matter it covers it’s just about perfect and because the subject matter is much newer than that covered by The LEGO Book/Standing Small, it is virtually complete too. (Although don’t expect to find pictures of every minifig variation).
It should appeal to everyone who has an interest in LEGO Star Wars and I suspect it will prompt some people who are not already collecting this theme to start doing so.
LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary is available for the ridiculously low price of £11 in the UK and $13 in the USA. It’s shipping already in the UK and should ship within the next week or so in the USA and elsewhere.
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