One of the greatest joys in life is receiving packages in the mail. I was pretty stoked when Just Brick It, a brand new book aimed at Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOLs) arrived at my reception at work.
Just Brick It is published by Hardie Grant, a Melbourne-based outfit and authored by David Scarfe. You can buy it online from Readings or the ABC Online shop. I believe the RRP is $29.95.
UPDATE: Announcing the winner of the Just Brick It giveaway…. Congratulations to Jake G. and Isabella! You’ve won 1 copy of Just Brick It! Thanks to everyone who joined in the giveaway – I really enjoyed reading about your LEGO projects!
The premise of the book is pretty simple – the book contains over 20 LEGO projects for AFOLs, ranging from geeky builds to artsy looking pieces that build a really strong case for LEGO as an artistic medium.
Here’s a look at the back of the book with pictures of some of the projects and models. Do note that this is an unofficial LEGO book.
The format should be familiar to LEGO enthusiasts – you’re given a checklist of pieces used in a model, some instructions and off you go creating all sorts of wonderful models out of LEGO. From cute little Christmas decorations to ducks, Just Brick It has a bit of everything for LEGO fans.
When the book first showed up at work, I immediately showed it off to my colleagues. Unlike regular LEGO sets which unfortunately have a very prepubescent and childish vibe to them, the models and projects in Just Brick It were actually cool enough to make people go “wow, that actually looks pretty awesome”.
The Floppy Disk project immediately stood out for me and I made a mental note of building it as soon as I had time. It also helps that it was one of the easiest projects and one that I was pretty sure I had all the parts on hand.
Here’s the end result, a floppy disk coaster! Pretty geeky, but that’s totally right up my alley.
The instructions were fairly easy to follow and I put this together in less than 5 minutes. It’s a really simple build, but one that I would never have thought of building with my bricks.
And yes, it does its job pretty well as a coaster. The Floppy Disks are pretty cool looking and will definitely impress your guests. You’re only really limited by how many bricks you can rustle up to make as many coasters as you want, in as many colours as you’d like.
While there were plenty of awesome projects contained in the book, the only flaw that this book has is that most of the builds require a large amount of bricks to construct the designs. I was quite bummed that I couldn’t build a lot of projects in the book as I either didn’t have enough bricks or they were all the wrong colours.
Some of the projects are quite large, requiring dozens of the same element. Unless you have a massive collection of basic bricks, it’s going to be a big challenge recreating some of the projects in the book.
The good thing is that most of the projects only require very basic bricks so if there was a really cool project you’d like to take on, it shouldn’t be too difficult to jump on Bricklink and order the bricks you need. There are some really cool builds that I’d love to have either for my desk at work or home – but I’ll have to wait for the bricks I ordered from Bricklink to arrive before I can construct them.
Final thoughts: Just Brick It was a very pleasant read and I thoroughly enjoyed flipping through the book to see all the cool projects that I could do if only I had enough bricks! I haven’t mentioned it but I also really loved how svelte the entire book feels – I’m a big fan of hardcover books and it feels really great in your hands. The book is also just the right size to carry around or read on the couch without it being too cumbersome.
The projects and models included in the book are incredibly well designed and conceptualised – I already have a handful that I’m trying to source the parts for right now. The projects are a great mix of geeky, pixel-type models that will surely appeal to adult LEGO fans who grew up on 8-bit graphics.
As books go, Just Brick It would make an excellent gift for both children and AFOLs. I know that the book is primarily geared towards adults but I do feel that the projects will be a great introduction to younger kids to teach them to think about building other non-set objects using LEGO.
With Christmas creeping in on us, if you have an AFOL on your shopping list who has nearly every LEGO-related item, this book might make for a great gift as it’s a little out of the ordinary but LEGO enough for him or her to appreciate. If you want to go a step further, you can always pick a model out of the book, order some bricks from Bricklink and gift them together – just so that the recipient can at least be guaranteed to be able to complete one project!
Thanks to the wonderful folks at Hardie Grant, I’ve got 2 copies of Just Brick It that you can win! To win, all you have to do is:
- Leave a comment and tell me what was your most recent LEGO project
- Include your email address when you leave the comment (so I can contact you if you win!)
- Be a resident of Australia with a valid postal address (no PO boxes)
The winner will be selected randomly using random.org. Entries close at 11:59pm on Friday, 23 October and I’ll announce the winner the following week. Good luck!
Special thanks to Hardie Grant for providing me with a review copy of Just Brick It and 2 copies to giveaway. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter!
In anticipation of summer, I have built a beach scene still which included a beach café, lifeguard tower, ice-cream vendor, beach café, wind surfer and sunbakers all on a beach template. It’s very 1990’s…
Like the look of ‘Just brick it’ and would love to try my hand on the Lego projects in it!!!
Just discovered your blog! Really enjoying it so far.
My most recent build was Indiana Jones 7199-1: The Temple of Doom. Bought it second hand off someone on facebook. Great build!
Hi Tom, thanks for the kind words. Hope you’ll enjoy your stay!
Nice review, Jay! My latest build was the Super Secret Police Dropshop from the LEGO Movie. The Johnny Thunder minifigure is pretty cool 🙂
Thanks! Ah, I just picked one up from Target the other day. The set is sitting in my room now. I love all the Robot Police, haha.
I helped (took over) build a fire truck with a kid I was nannying. I realised my love of Lego and wondered why it can’t be an adult activity! This book gives me hope…
We just tried to make our dream home out of Lego… We would love a bigger house so thought why not try and create a plan with Lego 🙂
Would love a chance to win a copy of this book
My last project (with 8y.o. daughter) was customising the apple tree house. We have been messing about with adding hinges for it to open up and copying furniture designs from parisian restaurant to furnish it.
We have some diving to undertake in the “boxes of bulk” to find parts to raise the second level to make it more playable.
My last completed project was the portal for Lego Dimensions. I’m halfway through the Milano Rescue from Guardians of the Galaxy, but I’m halfway around the world at the moment. Legoworld Malaysia on Friday!
Oh wow, how exciting! I hope you have an amazing time there. LEGO prices there might be a little steep, but there are some cool souvenirs and exclusives such as the Miniland Scale set that you should pick up. You picked a great time to go, I believe that there are some Halloween activities going on in the park as well.
One more thing, if you have any spare minifigs on you, you can trade them with the park employees who will usually have LEGO minifigs on their nametags. You can always get some random minifigs from the Build A Minifigure station. You never know what you can trade for. I’ve gotten some really cool minifigs like rare Series minifigs by trading up 🙂
My latest project was Wall-E!
Just started on my first MOC, it’s going to be a church. I love the modulars, currently trying to Bricklink the green grocer and cafe corner as well.
Sam Still Reading says
Great review Jay! My last Lego build was the Technic fire plane (which is great – different techniques & lots of fun). I’m still a bit of a nervous AFOL – I build only sets with instructions (and all my spare blocks are bagged & labelled according to set!) but maybe this book could break me out of the mould.
How do they have the license to use LEGO bricks? Isn’t that illegal?
Oh nah, it’s an unofficial product. It’s stated right on the back cover. They’re really just selling the designs and instructions, so that’s okay.
but would LEGO be happy with that?
They seem to be okay, as long as it’s not infringing any of their patents or copyrights. Did you know that LEGO’s patent on the brick has expired so anyone can make/sell bricks?
My current LEGO project is called “Chain Reactions”. It is like science: one reaction triggers another! For example, I build a seesaw and a ramp. I put a ball at the top of the ramp and press the seesaw down on one side. The other side hit the bottom of the ramp and the ball will roll. I make other things like elevator ramps, pulley and bucket, funnel ramp, etc and link them together so that one ball can go a long way!
My current project is bricklinking all the parts needed for Drakmin’s Snowspeeder! Hoping to get it ready to celebrate the new Star Wars movie!
It’s amazing how many comments you get by offering the chance to win something! Is that a dual cassette tape I see? The height of 80’s technology…tape to tape recording. My last build was Poe’s X-wing. Actually it was the taxi from the Friends Grand Hotel set…the only part my daughter let me build.
Haha yeah, it got a better reception that I had expected! I think I’m going to do more giveaways.
Last build: Airjitsu temple. Last (and only MOC): Hall of Justice
Jake Gordon says
The last project that I completed was the rebuilding of my nephew’s Hulkbuster. Again. I rebuild it for him after each time he visits, so it’s complete and ready to go for his next visit. I think I’ve rebuilt it so many times that I don’t need the instructions! But I’m glad he’s playing with it and enjoying it. That’s what Lego is for!
Congratulations, you’ve been selected as one of the winners of the Just Brick It book! Thanks for sharing your project idea – think you and your nephews are going to enjoy the book and trying out the different projects! I’ll be in touch with you via email to get your details, so keep a lookout in your inbox!
Thanks for joining the giveaway and for your support!
Jake Gordon says
Thank you so much, Jay. He is going to be stoked. I love your blog too, by the way. It’s the first page I check every morning.
I will love all those geeky projects in the book.
My last LEGO project is the Simpsons Kwik E Mart. Had lots of fun building it.
My recent project was to make a lego badtz maru! (sanrio character)
Oh cute, would love to see photos of it!
My last creation was simple. My brothers and I simply made a lego box. Quite low and we used different colours to make picture. We then put pillows and a blanket inside the box and… We had a new dog bed for our dogs.
Simple but effective.
Congratulations, you’ve been selected as one of the winners of Just Brick It! Thanks for sharing your project ideas – I think you’re going to love the book! I’ll be in touch with you via email to get your details, so keep a lookout in your inbox!
Thanks for joining the giveaway and for your support!
Thank you so much, I think I will really enjoy the book as well. I look forward to attempting some of the designs.
Nice review. And nice blog by the way, I regularly check it.
My last project was also a Microscale spacebase – Blacktron Raid on a CS base.
my gosh that’s amazing! Classic Space totally needs some defensive turrets
John Geijsman says
Looks like a great book! My latest project was a big City display at my work. It had almost all the modulars, a fairground with the Mixer and Ferris Wheel, a construction zone, two trains, lots of parks, and plenty to see.
Really like the book. Always looking for projects for kids to build out of free play Lego.
My most recent build is the Ferris Wheel 10247.
Carol Heath says
I have just finished re-purposing an old lamp to make my own Lego lamp. Not happy with the colour scheme or the overall shape so will probably pull it apart and start all over again this weekend. ;).
Bianca Goodman says
My 8yr old son just completed the Ultra Agents Truck #70165. He is absolutely Lego mad. Loves to build random things.
Nice review. you should include a list of the more “cool” sounding projects to get us AFOLs salivating with geeky eagerness.
My most recent build was 41092 Friends Stephanie’s Pizzeria. Not the most sophisticated of builds but my girl liked it.
Belinda lane says
My last build was a haunted house/scene to put my series 14 CMFs in
Alex van Doorn says
Great review, might get the book now. I am currently building a MOC of a space command center that i hope to exhibit in Brickvention 2016, 5000 pieces+ so far.
Curious Charlie says
The last lego thing I made was a girly picture frame with pastels. 😛 While I don’t play with lego as much as I’d like I do carry around a couple minifigs to shoot with out and about.
Michael Terry says
I haven’t brought any Lego for myself in about 25 years but recently I just started building the First Order Special Forces TIE fighter (75101), now I think i’m back addicted to Lego and looking to get some of the Creator sets
Nadia Handaya says
hi Jay! Nice book
My recent lego project is the scooby doo haunted mansion. oh and I’ll be doing DIY cufflinks for my wedding
A recreation of my childhood bedroom!
Rebecca Butterworth says
That looks like a great book to help AFOL’s like me to gain some competence in building MOC’s!
My latest project was building a scene based around the Friends Heartlake Grand Hotel (that i did partly modify) for the Upper Hunter Brick Show!
Timothy Crawford says
That looks great. The neediness of the lego floppy disk coaster is right up my alley too!
My last project was sorting, cleaning and rebuilding Millennium Falcon (4504). I’m looking forward to being able to finish off my Speed Champions sets and possibly I’ll have a lash at building a large cityscape for my classroom.
Krystal johnson says
My latest project was the flying flusher set – loved it 🙂
Karina Latham says
Fantastic review Jay, my most recent project was the UCS Sandcrawler, my first UCS set, was a great build, LOTS of brown but really enjoyed it.
Lego on 😉
What an awesome book!
My most recent lego project has been trying to convert the Scooby haunted house into more of a modular (working on it conceptually at the moment as I have had to pack my Lego away whilst building a real life house!).
rudi zatya says
My project was a cafe utilising few small seasonal sets; and put in some S/wars + Simpsons twist in it.
this should do while I’m dreaming of the Parisian restaurant set 🙂
Lisa Skelly says
Just finished Wall-E a great Ideas set. Next project is creating my Lego city when I organise the space.
Ben Teoh says
Looks like some nice simple builds in there with a retro theme. The floppy disk looks pretty cool.
I spent the weekend working on a mech build from scratch. Finally got the bulk of the frame done but knowing me, I’ll probably strip it down and start again before I’m happy with it.
The Southern Bricks LEGO User Group will be doing a small display at the Adelaide Mini Maker Faire next month and there’s a handful of us bringing mechs along to exhibit so the pressure’s on for it to be half-decent!
ben.teoh at gmail.com
“fair” don”t have a “e” in it
Lee Battersby says
Last project was a micropolis spaceport, with hangar, gantry, control tower, observation platform, and alien abduction!
Ben Teoh says
That sounds pretty cool. Any photos?
Lee Battersby says
Not yet, Ben. My photography skills are, to say the least, limited 🙂
I’ll have something up at my blog, the Battersblog, in a day or so.
Chun Ye Pek says
currently just finished my technic 42042. I hope i can win this for my gf since she is a huge fans for classic lego