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As a mum rediscovering the joys of making things out of bricks with her children, I've long felt that Lego has lost its way somewhat since the 1970's when I was playing with it and making a whole world of bricks. Modern sets are very prescriptive and plagued by big bricks, high on realism but often low on imagination I feel. This book redresses the balance and for any Lego loving family should be all the inspiration that is needed to build more interesting and creative models.
This hardback book, for which I paid £5 from the Book People (currently £8 or so on amazon), isn't a book filled with instructions for models, but as the title would suggest, it's jammed pack full of ideas of the kind of things you could make from the bricks you have. In typical DK style, real annotated photos show you a range of ideas in various themes, from planes, space, houses throught to castles, a world of adventures and things that you might actually be able to use in your home. There are 200 pages and 500 photos of models from the inspirational but unattainable, through to model cars and ships that will have you reaching for your box of bricks in a drive to emulate the master builders whose work peppers the pages.
The book is low on text and high on photos, in each section there are pictures of the type of bricks that you might need for the different areas. The book doesn't tell you specifically how to make the individual models but there are plenty of examples how to use different pieces, eg how best to make a tail fin for a plane or how to construct a duck or make a secret door. There are ideas on how to plan, or not, and lots of top tips. Though, truth be told, the master builders whose identities are hidden behind the identity of lego minifigures in the book whose ideas and builds feature throughout the book do come across as rather nerdy, there's no doubt about the fact that this book makes Lego cool and it's pretty inspirational. My young builder particularly found the idea of a hot air balloon an interesting one and had built her own version within minutes of first flicking through this book, which is one that we dip into for ideas when we are playing with Lego. I loved the idea of making coasters, mosaics, CD holders and board games from bricks, this book really gets you thinking of the possibilities of what is an excellent construction toy familiar I am sure to most of us.
This hardback book is beautifully laid out with nicely printed pages - I have removed the paper cover as it wasn't practical I found, but this book has been much used since we have had it and has been the inspiration for many a model so far. I think this book would make an excellent stocking filler if you are a Lego family, like other DK Lego books which I have purchased before (the brickmaster books are also very good) it really seems to get to the heart of Lego, in a way that ironically Lego itself no longer does if my experiences are anything to go by. If you are looking for a book of instructions you will be disappointed by this but if you want inspiration for playing with Lego then this is a pretty good place to look. Recommended.
Details from Amazon:
Hardcover: 200 pages
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (3 Oct 2011)
Product Dimensions: 27.2 x 23.1 x 1.8 cm
Be inspired to create and build amazing models in LEGO®! The LEGO Ideas Book is packed full of tips from expert LEGO builders on how to make jet planes reach new heights, create fantastic fortresses, swing through lush jungles, have fun on the farm and send space shuttles out of this world! The book is divided into six themed chapters - transport, buildings, space, kingdoms, adventure and useful makes. With over 500 models and ideas, this book is perfect for any LEGO fan - young or young at heart - who want to make their models cool, fun and imaginative.