The Ultimate Lego Manual – The Cult of Lego

Photo: No Starch Press

There’s a point, when you have a collection of Lego that would stock a small store, that you feel like you’ve seen it all and heard it all, when it comes to the colorful brick. Then along comes a book, like The Cult of Lego that makes you stop in your tracks. This amazing book was written by one of our own: awesome GeekDad writer John Baichtal, along with his writing partner, Joe Meno.

It’s the most comprehensive book I’ve ever seen on the topic of Lego, and it’s really fun to flip through, even for the hundreds of pictures alone. I couldn’t think of one aspect of this topic that hasn’t been covered in this collection. I’ve spent several hours poring through it and still haven’t technically “read” it all.

There is, of course, the history of Lego, including a nice explanation of the difference between the name brand brick and its most common knock offs. But then it moves on to eleven other chapters, covering a huge variety of topics that will interest every Lego fan.

There are profiles of adult fans of Lego (AFOLs) and professional Lego artists. There’s a long chapter covering the famous Minifigure. Did you know there was actually a minifig controversy? I have to say,  I was enlightened. There’s a chapter on Lego art and another on telling stories with Lego. I was introduced to the expansive world of building in microscale. The wealth of information in this book is just amazing.

Of course there are chapters covering the digital aspects of Lego, from Lego video games to computer aided building. More than twenty pages are devoted to Mindstorms and Lego robotics.

Photo: John Bergmann

And if you’re a Lego fan, you probably enjoy meeting up and sharing ideas with other Lego fans. Yup, there’s a chapter on Lego users groups too. Oh, and I was interested to find a chapter on other ways Lego is used in the world, like in autism therapy. As an amputee, I was intrigued to learn that prosthetic arms have even been built out of the pieces from a Star Wars droid kit. Is there anything this brick can’t do?

The Cult of Lego is full of pictures, which delighted my 11 year old. While his older brothers will dig into the text and read in detail about using Lego bricks in graffiti, my younger son is thrilled to analyze every picture and read every caption. This is a book that will appeal to all ages and all levels of Lego builders.

(To get a real sense of how much information is packed in the 304 pages of this book, be sure to click on the promotional video on its Amazon page.)

If you’re a Lego lover, or if you have one on your holiday gift list, this book needs to be in your shopping cart. It’s a classic Lego manual that will enjoy a prized spot in every Lego lovin’ household. It retails for $39.95 but you can pick it up at Amazon for less than twenty five bucks. For less than the price of a medium sized set of Lego bricks you too can own this exciting reference manual.