Review - LEGO Awesome Ideas

Publishing powerhouse DK is no stranger to LEGO fans. Every year we can expect numerous publications from them, and this year is no exception. Especially with the holidays upon us it seems everywhere I go I'm spotting DK LEGO books on the shelves (yesterday at Michael's for instance). As the years have passed one thing has changed the way I look at these books, the talented writers and artists that provide the content in them have become familiar, even friends. So when I was thumbing through Awesome Ideas and saw the builder credits I was thrilled to see some very dear friends indeed. And they have collected a very impressive array of LEGO creations that will delight everyone.

The book should look at feel familiar to anyone who owns or has read DK books before. Heavy board glossy cover, sturdy binding, heavy paper and quality printing. Take care of it and it will last generations, and that's what I expect in a book. I could do without the lenticular cover on the copy that DK sent me, I find them distracting and a cheap gimmick, especially when you can't get a clean look at the imagery on the cover, no matter how you view it.

The models, techniques and ideas compiled are very diverse and fun. Everything from micro scale space building to real-world props and from city building to castle walls is in here, and plenty more. no matter what your style or genre, I bet you'll find something that appeals. I particularly enjoyed the Real World chapter, with it's clever recreations of every day objects. The contributing builders for this book are Yvonne Doyle, Alice Finch, Rod Gillies, Tim Goddard, Tim Johnson, Barney Main, Drew Maughan and Pete Reid, many of who should be familiar names to long time BrickNerd readers. The results is a giant collection of top-notch models presented in an appealing and revealing manner.

If you're expecting building instructions in this book you're going to be disappointed. There are a great many exploded views of models, allowing you to see some principals of construction, but there's no step by step instructions. I don't consider this to a plus or minus personally, instructions take up a lot of space that could otherwise be used for more pictures of more models, so it's a double edge sword. I very rarely take advantage of instructions to build from books, so I won't miss them at all, but it's something to be aware of if you're buying for yourself or someone who does.

I do have a couple minor complaints, and really they're a matter of personal taste. The castle walls section of Fantasy Land has many great tips for wall and structure construction, but it's a technicolor nightmare. It is in the Fantasy Land section, which I suppose you can argue should be fun and colorful, but like Batman visiting Cloud Cuckoo Land, I'm not a fan. I assume this is for the purposes of making it easier to reverse engineer so you can build your own, but I find it really aesthetically unpleasing. I enjoy looking at cool castle themed MOCs, but not when it looks like Unikitty threw up on them. The book is also really "busy", with a tendency to drift into information overload on a lot of pages. 

Overall, it's a good book. It is geared toward younger readers, and being that LEGO is a toy for kids (a fact I need to remind my readers of from time to time), that makes total sense. It seems a little silly of me to be too critical of it from an adult perspective, but that's sort of my job. I am a self-professed man-child though, so it appeals to me on many levels. I give it 4 out of 5 Nerdlys

LEGO Awesome Ideas
By Daniel Lipkowitz

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