Book Review: LEGO Awesome Ideas

LEGO Awesome Ideas Book Cover

RRP $39.99
Available from most retailers

When I came back to LEGO one of the first books that I got was a LEGO Ideas book. The concept behind these sort of books is to inspire the master builder within us all. Does this book live up to that? Read on to find out.

If you spot the Awesome Ideas book on a store shelf you may pick it up, admire the holographic 3D effect cover and then put it back disappointed that it doesn’t come with an exclusive minifigure or small set. In my opinion that would be a mistake. Even though it doesn’t come any actual LEGO, this book is easily my favourite so far (sorry Friends Adventure Guide).

The book features 5 different sections; Outer Space, Modern Metropolis, Wild West, Fantasy Land and The Real World. Each page is then further categorised according to the type of content:

  • Expanding your world – builds related to the overall section.
  • Builder Secrets – the slightly trickier builds.
  • Showstoppers – the larger more impressive builds.
  • Dioramas – combining the previous builds into an overall display.

After the contents there is also a brief section on the things every builder needs to know. It’s a great primer for the terms and techniques used throughout the book.

I don’t want to spoil the contents of the book in detail but here is a brief overview of each section that should give you a rough idea of what’s included.

Awesome Ideas feature Outer Space

Outer Space

Set on a strange alien planet the Outer Space section features builds for everything you need to create a thriving space colony on a foreign world. There are lots of aliens, robots and spaceships. I like that this section features details on how to add sci-fi style details to things like walls. Greebling is also specifically mentioned here – for those not familiar with the term it is widely used in the AFOL world.

The Outer Space chapter also features a great section on micro-scale building.

Modern Metropolis

While DC comic fans may think that this section is all about Superman, it is actually focused on building a realistic city setting. While some of the smaller builds fit in with the City theme, there are creations here that have more in common with the modular building series; think detailed interiors and plenty of streetscaping.

It’s not all big city though – the country also gets quite a few pages. I actually think farmhouse is one of the best builds in this chapter.

My only issue with this section is that there are no microscale builds. 10230 Mini Modulars is a great set so I would have loved some similar type builds.

Wild West

LEGO’s latest efforts in the Wild West had a fairly mixed response – mainly because the sets were based on a film that didn’t perform very well. Despite that the genre still has a wide appeal. Classic images like horse drawn carriages and saloons are well presented here.

I also found that this chapter had some really great tips, and some of the more advanced builds. The section on signs is the type of advanced technique used in sets like the modulars.

Fantasy Land

This was honestly my least favourite chapter in this book. That doesn’t mean that I hated it, just that builds are not something that I personally would create. Fantasy Land features lots of wacky colour combinations and some out-there designs.

Despite the wacky setting there are still some really interesting builds and techniques that I hadn’t seen before. The way they create a flowing water effect with flag pieces is pretty ingenious.

There were a lot of builds that, if recreated with a more subdued colour palate, would fit right at home in a city display.

The Real World

This chapter features brick-built versions of real world objects. That may not sound as interesting as something like a large minifigure scale display but I quite liked the builds presented.

Almost every page features part usage that you may not have previously thought of. A great example of this is the build for the scissors using large Ninjago sword elements.

There are also lots of LEGO versions of tasty treats. I was strangely hungry after reading these pages.

Awesome Ideas feature Real World

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The book concludes with a brief brick gallery. This 4 page spread features the name and photo of some of the more interesting parts used throughout the book. Obviously there is not enough space to include a detailed parts list for every build in the book. The gallery is still enough to give you a sense of the type of parts you’ll want to have handy.

I made it quite clear from the start of this review that I liked this book. I am glad that I received my copy of this book a few weeks ago because there were times when I would struggle to get through more than a few pages – I’d pick it up and almost immediately want to go and build something. I am not the most imaginative builder (I mainly stick to sets and stay far away from MOCs) but I found this book quite inspirational.

The way the book is written it was easy for me to take the general idea presented and in my head extrapolate it into something I wanted to build myself. I suspect that this is the response they were looking for. I didn’t want to go and build the things shown in the book, I wanted to go and build things like the stuff in the book. That is exactly what I want from an Ideas book.

If you read through those chapter descriptions and didn’t see something that appealed to you, I still suggest going and flicking through the book in a store. There are techniques and designs that are interesting beyond the category they fall under. For example you might see the way the windows are done on a Fantasy Land house and adapt that to your custom modular building. I often found myself looking closely at small details and trying to figure out how that result had been achieved.

I have been lucky enough to review a few LEGO books and LEGO Awesome Ideas is easily my favourite book so far. I can see myself coming back to it again and again for ideas and inspiration.

Bricking Around was sent a copy of LEGO: Awesome Ideas to review by Penguin Australia.

One Response to Book Review: LEGO Awesome Ideas

  1. HandyCap says:

    Nice review and looks like a good pick up.

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