As the rather wordy title above suggests, Extreme Bricks [available direct; $24.95] is a chronicle of taking LEGO to the extreme. It echoes another book I reviewed in October, Beautiful LEGO, but is a much more complete work. Full of photos, it also goes behind the scenes with the builders and their stories; the whys, the hows, etc.
The book itself is a solid, hefty hardcover with a dust jacket mirroring the coverart printed on the book itself. It’s pages are thick, heavy, with excellent color. However like many other books of this variety it suffers from “old picture plague,” which is a term I just made up. This happens when a book includes pictures obtained from outside sources like you and me, or other 3rd parties. The photos aren’t properly white balanced or edited, giving them a dim, dingy, dirty look that looks really terrible set against the nice new white book pages. But this sometimes can’t be helped – though in the digital era I’d hope any actual photos could be scanned to digital then run through some editing software, but I’m not a publisher so I don’t know how it all works. Don’t worry though, these poor quality photos are the exception, not the rule in Extreme Bricks.
Clocking in at over 240 pages, Extreme Bricks brings a ton of fascinating stories about Adult LEGO fans and builders, and their creations. There is a lot to read here, it is not just a picture look like so many LEGO showcases are. Author Sarah Herman has compiled not only a long list of builders and models, but all the facts behind them.
The entries run pretty similar throughout the book – featuring a “What is it?” section explaining what the model represents and where it’s inspiration came from, a “Project” section detailing the trials and tribulations of the actual building phases, and a “Factfile” detailing how long it took, how many bricks, when it was completed and where it’s located. Some entries have a few other sections depending on the material. Put together it makes a great handful of pages.
The book also goes beyond highlighting a few individuals massive builds. It also delves into the beginning of the giant statues at LEGOLand, enormous mosaics of LEGO, and other giant large-scale models around the world. Of course there are also some pages dedicated to some of the more recognizable landmarks like the Grand Palace of Thailand, The Sphinx, Mt. Rushmore, skyscrapers from the US, and even a stegosaurus. There is a lot for people of all ages to enjoy. Young readers can admire the photos while adults will be engrossed in the prose.
This is a pretty short review but don’t take that as a negative, there just isn’t much to go on and on about. That also sounds negative. That’s not what I mean. Extreme Bricks is great, and full of the kinds of things LEGO enthusiasts want to see and more importantly, read about. All kinds of spectacular, record-breaking, and astounding LEGO projects from around the world.
Extreme Bricks […]: A