Monday, November 14, 2005

Bully's Book Club: The Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide

If you know anything at all about me, you should know that I love Lego®! (Don't forget: a true Lego fan always refers to them as "Lego"...not "Legos.") Lego, Lego is my favorite toy. I have lotsa keen Lego sets and there are Lego bricks all over the place so I can play with them any time I want. They are the perfect toy! They snap together to form anything! Anything, I tell you: ANYTHING! I am pretty good at building things from Lego but as we all know, you can never know too much about your interests! That's why I highly recommend The Unofficial Lego Builder's Guide!

Now don't get me wrong. This is no book full of patterns and projects of robots and planes that you can build if you follow the instructions and have the right Lego pieces. Oh no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no, no. There are plenty of books like that and those are just fine. But this one is the single best reference I've read to understanding how to create successful and sturdy and most of all cool Lego models! It shows you the tips and techniques to create a structure that's not going to fall apart on you by learning how bracing works, how to use the pieces you have to approximate pieces you don't have (I never have enough archways and now I know how to create them out of small loose bricks!), and how to plan what you're going to build and turning your ideas into cool Lego constructs! I'd go as far to say that this is no mere Lego instruction book: it's actually the Zen of Lego.. Buy it, study it, and you will become master of your own domain...Lego domain, that is!

There's lots of advanced Lego hobbyist's hints and suggestions in here as well: how to create a dedicated area to work on your Lego (not a problem for me; I just dump mine on the living room floor and work on the rug, at least until Gus the Cat comes along and knocks things over and wants to lie on them. Bad Gus! Bad bad!), how to store your Lego, how to make tools to help you build and take apart your creations, and the proverbial much, much more!

There's even a neat section that catalogues most regular Lego pieces, gives a little history behind them and tells you whether they're rare or not. The only thing that would have made this section even more cool was if there was a pull-out card that I could take to the Lego Store as a shopping list to remind me what pieces I want to buy!

Finally, the author has a super-cool website and a very interesting blog in which he addresses more questions about Lego. Man, I never thought I'd see someone more obsessed with Lego than me, but this Allan Bedford guy certainly appears to be! (I just hope he didn't swallow a Lego piece once because it looked like yummy, yummy candy. I learned not to do that the hard way!)

So, to conclude, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Unofficial Lego Builder's Guide. It has taught me to understand about Lego mechanics and structures more than I ever thought possible, and it's inspired me to sit down and plan out my models ahead of time so they hold together properly and look professional. In the past I would always get too excited about playing with Lego and my models would get away from me. Not any more! This is the new Lego-master Bully at work! This I swear to you, world: Every one of my Lego models from this point onwards will be elegant and professional and will inspire awe and fear in mankind! You will not defeat me anymore, Lego!


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