LEGO recently sent us four Star Wars books, published by Dorling-Kindersley. They are LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia,LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary: Updated and Expanded,LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side,and LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles.If you own any of these books, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, whether you agree with us or not!
This is a hard-cover book of 207 pages, currently listed at $11.33, down from $18.99. It a high-quality, glossy production as we have come to expect from DK. There is a cardboard spacer at the front of the book, to protect the exclusive Han Solo minifig, so the book appears to have 1/3 more pages than it actually does. As the title states, this is an encyclopedia of all the characters from the Star Wars universe that have been made into minifig form so far. I believe it is slightly out of date due to the sets that have come out in the last year or so. However this does not detract much from the usefulness of the book.
The book is divided up into eight chapters, Episodes I-VI, Clone Wars and Expanded Universe. Each minifig has their own page, with a brief biography, highlights of the figure and a “data file”. The data file is a really nice inclusion because it tells you which LEGO Star Wars sets the figure came in. That way you have some way to track down figures you may be missing from your collection. Some of the pages also list “Star Variants”, which are for those figures who came in multiple sets with slight differences. For instance, if you look up Princess Leia (Jabba’s Slave), you will see there were two variants. One had yellow skin and one was made in a flesh tone. Characters are not in alphabetical order but are easy to find via the table of contents or the index.
The book comes with an exclusive Han Solo minfig wearing his medal from Episode IV. This is the only way to get this figure. The printing is good, though his legs seemed a bit loose.
Overall, I liked the book. It is designed for a younger audience, so don’t expect any new information if you are a long-time Star Wars fan. But this is a great resource or reference for collectors of Star Wars minifigs and young fans will spend hours pouring over it and gleaning bits of information from its’ pages. My two boys (ages 8 and 11) really enjoyed the book. One of them tried to borrow it again as I was writing this review!
This is a hard-cover book of 144 pages, currently listed at $17.52, down from $21.99. Again, it is a durable, high quality book and there is a cardboard spacer, to protect the “exclusive” Luke Skywalker minifig, which makes the book appear thicker than it actually is. The book is an overview of the entire LEGO Star Wars Universe. It begins with really nice timeline that show every LEGO Star Wars set, the year it was released and which of sources it comes from (Episodes I-VI, Clone Wars or Expanded Universe). The timelins is followed by four chapters. The first covers the Pre-quels and Clone Wars. The second covers the original trilogy and the expanded universe. Chapter three covers “Specialist Sets”, such as the Ultimate Collector Series and the planet sets. The final chapter gives some behind-the-scenes information about designing the LEGO Star Wars lines, merchandising and such. The book concludes with a 12 page section that shows every Star Wars minifig that has been released. That was a lot of fun to look over!
Each chapter covers major characters, factions, ships and locations. For instance the section on the Jedi Order is a two-page spread that gives a brief history of the order, biographies and pictures of the famous members and what sets their figs came in. The book does a good job combining information from the movies and T.V. shows with information exclusively about the LEGO sets.
The book comes with an “exclusive” Luke Skywalker in his Tatooine clothes. The figure is a remake of the 1999 figure and looks nearly the same, including yellow skin. The wrinkles on his shirt have slightly more definition and the new figure has printing on the back. Otherwise it is the same figure. I would have liked to have somebody or something different.
Overall, the book was fun but wasn’t incredible for an adult. The book is designed for kids and that is where it shines. Young fans of LEGO or Star Wars or both will love the book. My boys like it a lot. My 11 year old prefered this book over the Character Encyclopedia because of all the information about the ships. It would make a decent reference for an adult’s collection or a good coffee table book to introduce non-LEGO fans to the brick.
This is a hard-cover book of 95 pages, currently listed at $10.70, down from $18.99. It is a durable, high quality book and, again, there is a cardboard spacer, to protect the exclusive Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious minifig, which makes the book appear thicker.
This book was different from the other LEGO Star Wars books I’ve seen from Dorling-Kindersley. This is an overview of The Dark Side. It appears to be short two-page articles talking about different aspects of the dark side of The Force. It is divided into three chapters covering The Republic Era, The Clone Wars era and The Empire Era. The articles cover such things as “Can a Sith Apprentice be defeated?” or “Why is Darth Vader’s Tie-Fighter Special?” It is really a book about Star Wars that uses LEGO as illustrations. There is no information about the LEGO sets themselves.
The book comes with an exclusive Emperor Palpatine minifig, in his Sith robes, with a tan-colored face.
I, myself, was not very impressed with this book. It is very short and geared towards a very young age (the cover says 6+). If you want to get a LEGO Star Wars book for a young child and they are a fan of the Sith, I suppose this would be good for them. But, if that is the case, do you really want to encourage a six-year-old towards the dark side? Anyway, at full price, I would pass this one by, but for the current price of $10.70 it’s probably a good deal as a present. You won’t need it as a reference in your LEGO room, unless you need the exclusive minifig. However, my boys disagree with me. They preferred the story aspects, the humor and the activities (“What path will you take?”) to the reference style of the first two books. So maybe DK onto something here.
This is a hard-cover book of 63 pages, currently listed at $11.30, down from $18.99. Again, it is a durable, high quality book and there is a cardboard spacer, to protect the exclusive Special Forces Commander minifig, which makes the book appear way thicker than it really is. In this book, the spacer is at least twice as thick as the actual pages. So, without this minifig, this book would be pretty tiny.
This book is very similar to the LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side. It is basically an book of short, two-page articles about Yoda, illustrated using Star Wars LEGO. There are no chapters but the articles cover information such as “Yoda the Teacher” and “Yoda’s Allies”. It is a great overview about Yoda for a young fan (again this book’s cover says 6+) who is a fan of Yoda, but the adult fan won’t get any new information out of it. However, again, my boys disagree with me. They really liked reading all about Yoda and the humor really appealed to them.
The book comes with an exclusive clone trooper, “Special Forces Commander”, who has some pretty cool printing, in my opinion. So he may be reason enough for you to pick up a copy of the book.
Overall, I like this book better than The Dark Side, but I don’t feel I need to read it again. If you need a gift for that young Star Wars LEGO fan in your life, pick this up and give it a quick read before you wrap it. They will thank you and so will Yoda.