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Friday, October 15, 2010

Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary Book Review

LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary 

LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary

I bought this book for my son about a year ago and we love it so much I thought it's time to publish a quick review of it on our blog.

My son is a fanatic when it comes to Lego and Star Wars, so naturally when this book was released we HAD to grab it.  One of the most notable features of this book is the fact that it comes packaged with an exclusive Luke Skywalker Lego minifigure*. I have to admit this free minifigure and the affordable price of the book made me a little skeptical. I immediately noticed before purchasing the book that the figure is packaged so it fits flush with the hard front cover of the book. This makes it necessary to use a thick spacer behind the front cover of the book to house the figure. No doubt this was done for aesthetics and to prevent theft of the mini-figure, but it can also be a little misleading to some consumers.  This thick front cover basically doubles the thickness of the book and gives it the illusion of having more pages than it actually does.

That is pretty much the only drawback we could find with this beautiful book! It is over 90 pages of Lego Star Wars heaven! It is organized into 4 amazing chapters covering the Star Wars Movie Saga, The Clone Wars, Specialist Sets (such as Ultimate Collector sets, Lego Technic, and Mini sets) and a cool "Beyond the Brick" section.

This awesome book features photos of every Star Wars Lego set released up to the book's release date.  The introduction of LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary features a time line outlining  when each Lego Star Wars item was released from 1999 up until the book's release date in 2009.

 Each Lego set featured contains awesome clear and colorful photos and a basic description.  Each set also has a "data box" which features the set's name, Lego number, the year issued, the film associated with the set, and the number of pieces included in the set!  The book also contains some very interesting boxes labeled "Brick Facts" which provide some very cool facts not obvious to the casual Lego collector. For example, in the Obi-Wan Kenobi section of the book, on page 14, the "Brick Facts" section states:
Obi-Wan's Padawan minifigure was also issued with a Jedi hood.  Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi also wore a hood in the Death Star (set 10188).  In the Ultimate Lightsaber Duel (set 7257), Kenobi had a light-up lightsaber.
As you can see LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary is packed with a surprising amount of detail in a relatively small book.  Considering this book covers 10 years of Lego Star Wars history, the amount of information contained in about 96 pages is astounding. I've actually seen some reviews of the book online that have criticized it for not going into enough specific detail of each and every lego set. Some people have complained that the book doesn't describe each and every piece and accessory included with each of the lego sets. Although it is true the book doesn't do this, I don't feel expecting it to do so is a fair expectation. After all, the book is titled as a visual dictionary.  A book describing each set in detail with photos and descriptions of all accessories would be a very cool book indeed, but it would be more of a Lego Star Wars Encyclopedia. It would also have to be much larger than 96 pages and would cost MUCH more than $15 or $20.  In my opinion LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary leaves up to its name and offers just the right amount of information and detail.

My son and I have spent hours reading and rereading this book.  We both love looking at all of the old sets, the sets we haven't been able to afford, and we've discovered a bunch of Lego Star Wars sets we never even knew existed! The book cover and binding have held up well to heavy use from an 7-8 year old boy and his dad over the course of the past year.

I am so happy with this book I actually just ordered a second copy to collect and keep pristine!  If you are a Star Wars fan, or know one, you simply can't lose with this purchase.  It is sure to be a hit with Star Wars fans and collectors of all ages. It also makes the ideal affordable Lego Star Wars gift.

*Not interested in the exclusive minifigure? There is also a LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary Library Edition which is a special edition designed for libraries which does not include the free minifigure.

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