The first edition of DK's The LEGO Book was printed in 2009 and was one of the first LEGO books from the British publisher. The third edition has just been published, having been fully revised, updated and expanded.
It comes with an exclusive printed 2x4 red brick mounted in its cover to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the LEGO brick, which is both a blessing and a curse...
It's a blessing because it's a cool brick, printed on one face with a small section from the original patent diagram along with the dates 1958 and 2018.
But it's also a curse because it comes mounted in a 1cm thick cover which, if you have any other DK books with cover-mounted minifigs or bricks, you will know makes it more difficult to hold, lay flat and read the actual book.
The book provides a broad overview of everything LEGO: the history of the company and the product, a survey of play themes, which takes up the bulk of the book, and a chapter devoted to everything else: LEGOLAND, brand stores, games, films, art, fan builders, Ideas and so on. Given its scope it doesn't go into depth on any subject. Instead, it covers just about everything the casual reader would want to know about the product, all superbly presented, as we have accustomed to in DK books.
Since the second edition was published in 2012 a lot of new product ranges have been released and much has happened in the LEGO world. This is reflected in this new edition which now includes about 40 new pages covering Nexo Knights, Mixels, Elves, Boost, Jurassic World, the LEGO House, the LEGO Movie and so on. Pages concerning product ranges that retired prior to 2012 are, as far as I can tell, largely untouched.
One shortcoming it shares with earlier editions is that products released before the mid-1990s or so get minimal coverage, and those made in the 1960s and 1970s are almost absent altogether, particularly in the play themes chapter. I suspect this is largely due to suitable high quality images being unavailable.
When the first edition of The LEGO Book was published it was an essential purchase, because there was nothing else like it still in print. It remains an excellent book but is perhaps not quite as indispensable as that first version, simply because there are now dozens of similar DK titles that cover much of the same material, often in more depth.
It's not a book you'll pick up and read from cover to cover but it's great to flick through from time to time, so makes an excellent coffee table book, or indeed a Christmas gift for the young or old LEGO fan.
Thanks to DK for providing the book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.