What do you buy the LEGO fan who has everything? How do you find a LEGO related gift that won’t break the bank? Consider a LEGO book for Christmas 2022 to gift the brick building expert in your life something a little different.
It can be really hard finding a LEGO set for a big fan that they don’t already have and even trickier if the things they’re looking for are retired sets and specific loose elements. LEGO books are a handy alternative to actual bricks and there’s a lot of different types to choose from. Some are for adults, some are for children, some include instructions, some look at the history of LEGO products, some provide inspiration… there’s something for every type of LEGO fan.
Author: Stuck in Plastic and Brick Central
Price: £22.99, $30.00
Publisher: Chronicle Books
If you have spent any time exploring LEGO content online, you will have come across beautiful minifigure photography. There’s a good chance that much of what you have seen belongs to members of Stuck in Plastic or Brick Central, two communities of like-minded LEGO snappers. The photographers in these online groupings clearly find inspiration from one another, as they consistently create incredible images.
This beautiful coffee table book presents more than 100 photographs from the two communities and it is really nice to be able to sit and peruse the images in print. While it’s great looking at these pictures on a device, it’s much nicer to seem them given this kind of presentation. There is huge variety within the title, reflecting the variety found within the LEGO photography world. For many of the images, the photographers have provided a little context for how they created them, which only enhances your appreciation.
Author: Jeff Friesen
Price: £22.99, $24.99
Publisher: No Starch Press
This is a wonderfully surprising book; the cover hints at the various types of engineering-based LEGO build instructions you will find inside, but in actual fact this isn’t simply a collection of step-by-step instructions. While there are instructions for specific builds, the book contextualises each model within the world of engineering; for example, the section on boats presents a specific vessel and highlights some of the clever engineering behind it, before presenting a version to build using LEGO elements.
The level of information provided makes it a great book for dipping in and out of, while the builds are varied – not only is the subject matter varied, but some require just a handful of pieces so are achievable if you just want to construct something small. If you enjoy building things from the real world, this is worth adding to the bookshelf.
Author: Simon Hugo et al
Price: £19.99, $24.99
In this case, you can certainly judge a book by its cover. This updated edition of The LEGO Ideas Book is absolutely packed with inspiration, as the cover makes clear. It’s aimed at children, but there are some great tips for older builders too. All of the 200 pages are covered in text and images that will either give you a direct model to replicate or a spark that will give you a concept to build yourself.
Many of the builds in this book have been provided by members of the AFOL community, so the standard is high. This is where it holds appeal for adults as well as children; there are tips and tricks within these builds that will be replicable in your own models.
Different themed sections present builds on specific topics – the four broad categories are Build Your World, Go Explore, Express Yourself and Awesome Adventures. What’s really neat is that within each section there are builds at different levels of complexity, with some quick and easy, then others that will require a bit more time and thought.
If you’re looking to get serious about LEGO MINDSTORMS, it’s something well worth buying a book about. 51515 Robot Inventor doesn’t come cheap, so it’s worth investing a bit further to make sure you get the best possible use from it.
These two titles are presented as textbooks and really benefit from that format. The Getting Started book really does start from the beginning, demonstrating how to use the app and showing how to put together bare bones robots. Beyond this though, as the sections become more advanced, there continues to be instructions, examples and illustrations to make the concepts underpinning MINDSTORMS very digestible.
Once you’re ready to go beyond what the LEGO MINDSTORMS app offers, the Mastering title provides instructions for using Python to program robots. This really gets deeper into coding for anyone who is familiar with MINDSTORMS but wants to start programming more sophisticated robots.