If you love LEGO as much as we do, you might often find yourself itching to create something new. However, 'builders block' happens to the best of us, leaving us short on inspiration. If you find yourself in need of a creative boost, check out DK's latest range of Build Your Own Adventure books, featuring a few parts, a minifigure, and a whole bunch of build ideas. We checked out the City edition.
This chunky hardback book from DK includes 99 LEGO parts to build a small fire and rescue truck. You also get a fireman minifigure, with the first few pages of the book given over to the instructions. Unlike the Brickmaster book that we previously reviewed, the parts included are designed to create just the one model, and rest of the book features ideas to build things using your pre-existing LEGO collection. So if this is your first ever LEGO purchase, you might be left feeling slightly disappointed.
But anyway, the build itself. As far as we know, this small but well detailed truck is exclusive to this book set, so if you like City builds, and vehicles in general, it is a nice addition to any collection in it's own right.
The built itself took about 15 minutes, and the finished model looks great with a roof that can be removed to fit in the figure, two opening storage lockers on the side, and a roof rack for other equipment. You also get a small piece of terrain; a barbecue. There's a sausage to sit on top, and also a pretty effective fire piece which gives the impression that things have gotten out of hand. We've all been to barbecues like that. We think that the fireman figure has been seen many times before, and so is nothing new, but the book actually names him – Ed – giving the character a backstory and adventure throughout the pages.
And that is what the book is all about; a narrative, following Ed, where he visits different parts of a LEGO city, prompting the builder to create scenes, buildings and vehicles from those areas. At first we found it all a little frustrating, as the models suggested look so great, but require a whole bunch of specific bricks. However, each page is designed to merely suggest what can be built, and how to go about building it, offering tips and hints on various types of construction.
If you have a nice big vat of LEGO sitting about (as we're lucky enough to have) you'll be in your element, as the Build Your Own Adventure book suggests colours, types of bricks, and building methods to create playgrounds, a cool little shower, a jetty, and a few different vehicles. All the models and builds are fairly simple and basic, with each requiring no more than 100 parts each.
Highlights have to include the bed (complete with alarm clock), a kitchen (complete with a great idea for a blender), and a burning tree! Sounds random, but as you follow Ed on his adventure, tailing some arsonist crooks, it'll all make sense.
So although this should not be anyone's first LEGO buy, for a kid with a pretty healthy collection of their own already, who also possesses a desire to get creating their own stuff, this is a perfect inspiring gift.