Author: David Scarfe Publisher: No Starch Press RRP: $19.95
The chance to check out a book called Geeky LEGO Crafts is quite exciting. If the main title wasn’t clear enough about what the book contains, then its sub-heading ’21 Fun And Quirky Projects’ definitely is.
No Starch Press have a great track record when it comes to LEGO books. Many are suitable for all ages and cover a vast range of topics, but while some are more focused on presenting beautiful photos of models crafted by expert AFOLS, this book encourages you to get your bricks out and dive right in.
David Scarfe has added yet another element of fun to these LEGO models because they all serve more than one purpose. While you will primarily enjoy following instructions and can sit back to admire your finished model, you’ll then be able to use it in whichever designated manner is suggested in the book. Some of these include PC cursor bookends, a flame toast rack, floppy disk coasters and even a robot wine bottle holder. I love LEGO as much as the next AFOL, but when a completed build can serve a purpose in your day-to-day as opposed to just gathering dust on a shelf then I’m definitely a fan.
The book itself is a 128-page hardback with a clean and aesthetically-pleasing design that I cannot fault. It has just enough writing to introduce each model and then a set of custom instructions which are relatively easy to follow. Each model has a photo to entice you to build it, with an inventory below so you know exactly which bricks you’ll require and a key indicating a scale of difficulty – which might help the younger builder feel a sense of accomplishment should they attempt to complete a more challenging design.
Now I felt it only right that I should have a go myself and see how easy it is to follow the instructions. I wanted to attempt the very cool 8-bit style sword-in-the-stone paperweight as I have an abundance of loose paperwork, receipts and letters on my desk.
Once I’d dug out the appropriate bricks required I set about carefully placing them in the right order to build the model. The main thing you’ll notice throughout the book is that the vast majority of LEGO pieces required are fairly standard bricks in mostly common colours. This does make it more accessible to LEGO fans with modest brick collections, although sometimes rather a lot of bricks in one type/colour mean you might end up having to just do a bulk order on Bricklink.
I found that although the instructions were fairly straightforward, the model itself was a bit unstable until right at the end, so it kept crumbling in my hands, much to my frustration. It does look very cool though and serves its purpose as intended. I think you can tell which models might be more sturdy than others, but it definitely didn’t feel like the build experience you get from an official LEGO set. Not that that was a bad thing, but this particular model might benefit from a couple more connection bricks at the base.
Overall this is a great book that I’d highly recommend for the seasoned brick fanatic or someone that might have a passing interest. It would make a great Christmas gift and offer an activity that the whole family could get involved with. Geeky LEGO Crafts provides enough ideas to make even the rainiest of days that little bit brighter and I, for one, would definitely welcome a second volume in the near future.
NB. Geeky LEGO Crafts is available now in the US courtesy of No Starch Press, under license from UK publisher Michael O’Mara Books. It was originally released last year in the UK and currently available in good book stores as Just Brick It on this side of the Atlantic.
This product has been provided by No Starch Press.