From Cheerleader to Mr. Gold, the LEGO Minifigures Character Encyclopedia details all 160 figures released to date as part of LEGO’s individually sold Minifigures. With ten waves already released, and certainly more on the way, this book provides a great rundown on the huge variety of colourful characters that have been created just for this line.
Each Minifigure gets their own page in the encyclopedia with a little background and includes their likes, dislikes, and a good close-up look at their accessories and design. That includes refreshed versions of traditional LEGO favorites like knights and cowboys, plenty of real-world professions, lots of fantasy characters, and a few very blatant ripoffs of famous literary characters. Not surprisingly, the looks are all cute and colourful, with plenty of new pieces created for these Minifigures, rather than just reusing older pieces.
Rounding out the package is an exclusive Toy Solider Minifigure that can only be bought with the book, complete with rifle, windup key, and helmet.
The writing in the LEGO Minifigures Character Encyclopedia is very kid friendly, written in a very light and friendly tone and making each Minifigure seem like part of a real world, even when they are centuries or light years apart. It also makes for great, easy family reading as you can go through one character at a time, or just randomly open to any page and help your children read and learn.
What I love as an adult, and what is often missing from books like these, are the “real world” insights about how each character and Minifig was designed, Each minifigure’s page has a single fun fact about how parts were reused, new elements created, and even little easter eggs such as “The Sleepyhead’s stuffed bear is a favorite creation of sculptor Gitte Thorsen, who designs and collects real teddy bears” and “The Cyclops was produced in a new olive-green plastic color that was first introduced to LEGO sets in 2012”.
One other thing that also kind of stands out when you see the 10 waves as a whole, is that LEGO doesn’t always seem to be the most girl-friendly. In the early waves, female characters are limited to cheerleading, nursing, dancing, and fitness instructing, while the boys get to be rugged adventurers and explorers. It gets better in later waves, but it’s still hard to look at the book or the whole Minifigure line as being highly appealing to girls. I guess that’s what LEGO Friends is supposed to be for, but the designers of the core LEGO line could definitely do a better job of being more gender neutral if they want girls to feel included.
The GamerPops Recommendation
The easiest way to know if the LEGO Minifigures Character Encyclopedia succeeds?? I wanted to pop by Walmart on the way home and pick up Minifigs (note: and so I did!). Whatever quibbles I might have with the LEGO Minifigures, that’s not the fault of the Character Encyclopedia, which does an outstanding job showcasing the more than 160 figures that have been released to date in a way that’s very friendly to early readers. We can’t wait for more Minifigures and a second volume!
A review copy was provided to GamerPops.
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