Geek culture is a little hard to define. Does that mean Star Wars and Doctor Who fans? Magic the Gathering players? Cosplayers and prop builders? It's sort of all those things, and a million more. It falls under my mantra of "fearless passion", or celebrating and sharing love for something without caring what others think. Sometimes it takes us a while to embrace our own geekdom, but when you really decide you're a nerd, and seek out other like-minded nerds, you'll be so much happier. So what does this have to do with this book? Well, I suppose after thumbing through it a few times I'm maybe struggling with the title, mainly because it's so hard to define what's "geeky"
Don't get me wrong, there's tons of geekdom in here, from a NES controller inspired phone stand, to floppy disk coasters. But there's also things like the mounted deer and rubber duck, which besides being built out of LEGO and looking sorta 8-bit chunky, I really wouldn't consider them "geeky". I'd say about half of the models in the book are in geek territory, the others are nice (if a bit odd, Statue of Liberty fish tank?) but not really my cup of tea. I also tend to think of "crafts" as things serving some purpose or function, rather than just something nice to look at. Again, about half the book falls into this definition.
The book is nice enough, but not quite on par with what I expect from one of my favorite publishers, No Starch Press. It feels a little light has a matte finish on the cover, making it feel a little cheap for lack of a better description. The paper weight is good, and the print quality is great, but it's also an instruction book that refuses to lay flat, which will make it difficult to work with.
I do like a lot of the designs in the book, they're all almost exclusively studs up and simple brick constructions, but they have a chunky appeal. There's nothing terribly difficult to build in here, and I think most people could find something they like. I wouldn't have minded some more nods to pop culture, since that's where my geek heart goes pitter patter, but I do think there's some legitimately cool builds in here.
When I first saw the book I couldn't shake the feeling I'd seen it before, and I was right. It was released last year in the UK under the title "Just Brick It". I actually prefer that title, I have no clue why it was changed for the American market, but I'm sure there's some valid reason.
For a little dose of LEGO geekdom you can't go wrong with this book. The models are easy to build, and there's something for everyone. They may not all fall under the geek or craft category as I see it (and that is really just my opinion) but they're nicely designed and who doesn't want a few cool things build out of LEGO around? I give it 3 out of 5 Nerdlys.
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