Following on from the success of the first two Brickmaster books last year (Pirates and Castle), Dorling Kindersley are publishing more this year: Atlantis, which has just been released and is the subject of this brief review, and Star Wars, due for release around October time, I believe.
Brickmaster Atlantis is very similar to the others in that it's a 1" thick hardback book consiting of a box attached to the front cover to hold the bricks (in this case 140 bricks and 2 minifigs: a diver called Bobby Buoy and the Manta warrior) and a 46 page book attached to the back cover. The book contains instructions for building 5 different models, each of which consist of 2 or more sub-models. What's more there are instructions for more models available online from dk.com and LEGO.com. Or at least that's what the book claims. I haven't been able to find them on the DK site at the given URL, although there is one model on the Atlantis downloads page at LEGO.com.
So, what are models like? In general they are excellent. They are mainly different submarines and sea creatures and I would not be at all surprised to hear that they had been designed by the same team that did the Atlantis sets, they are that good. (Update: now the reason they are so good is clear: they were all designed by Mark Stafford, who did indeed design many of the Atlantis sets. Good job Mark!)
The only criticism I can make is that the book is very childisly written (e.g. "Top Tip: Look at the drawings very carefully to work out which pieces you need next!) but I suppose given the target audience (6+) that can be excused. Actually there's another thing I don't like: the pages don't lay flat because of the box which makes building difficult!
This is easily the best of the three Brickmaster books published to date, because the parts are so versatile and the models so well designed.
I've posted more pictures on flickr, including the parts inventory and the submarine from the main model.
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