The LEGO Book (Part 1)
Dorling Kindersley has a long association with LEGO and has published numerous children’s books as well as the highly acclaimed The Ultimate LEGO Book in 1999. That book is no longer worthy of the title because the just-published The LEGO Book surpasses it!
It consists of two hardback books (230mm x 270mm) in a thick card slip case. One is entitled simply The LEGO book and the other, the subject of this review, Standing Small: A celebration of 30 years of the LEGO minifigure.
Standing Small contains 96-pages each covered in photographs on a white background surrounded by snippets of text. It’s not a book you’d read from cover to cover, but one to pick up and dip into and marvel at the stunning images and design.
After a few pages of introduction, which includes pictures of prototype minifigs and interesting facts (like that there are 4 billion minifigs in existence, which is 12 times the population of the USA!), the bulk of the book consists of multi-page spreads dedicated to minifigs of different themes. Everything is covered from Castle, Space and Pirates to Agents, Star Wars and SpongeBob. There are some themes that have been missed out completely however, such as Arctic and Divers. There is also a page at the back of the book featuring custom minifigs.
The two images shown here, the Exo-Force page and one of the two Harry Potter pages, show the layout. Star Wars gets four double-page spreads so inevitably there is overlap with the Star Wars Visual Dictionary but I don’t think buyers of both books will complain.
One thing to note is that this is not an exhaustive and complete guide to minifigs because, as stated in the introduction, there have been over 2500 different ones made over the years. Instead it shows a representative sample for each theme. The photos are, as I keep reiterating, excellent except in a few cases where the figure is covered in dust (e.g. Aqua Raider page 52) which really is inexcusable!
So in summary, this really is a must-have book for every LEGO fan, minifig collector or not. What’s more, at £16/US$26 for this AND The LEGO book, it is a bit of a bargain.
Part two of this review will follow once I’ve put this book down and looked at the other one (so don’t hold your breath!)