BOOK: Great LEGO Sets: A Visual History

Dec 19, 2015 3:41 am

Great LEGO Sets:
A Visual History

DK Publishing,
256 pp, hardcover, $40.00

If you are a LEGO Fan of any type, you would be interested in a history of the sets themselves. DK Publishing has released their book Great LEGO Sets: A Visual History with the LEGO fan in mind. Expansive and detailed, the book is a nice overview of sets from all of LEGO history and a nice visit through memory lane for builders.

The book begins with a foreward by Jette Orduna, head of the LEGO Idea House (which is basically the custodian of the LEGO Vault and history). She welcomes the reader as if he or she is a tourist to the LEGO House, but in this case, it’s a book she opens. The book itself is written by Daniel Lipkowitz, a frequent writer for DK and a member of the LEGO Editorial staff.

A timeline of LEGO set and theme history creates a sketch of the twists and turns that LEGO has had with making its products. This is the first ‘official’ timeline and is great in showing the duration of the LEGO brand and also finding where a favorite set was built.

spreadAfter the timeline, sets are highlighted chronologically. For the first time, designers were given an opportunity to talk about their sets, and the result is a lot of information behind-the-scenes that isn’t found anywhere else! That alone is worth the value of this book, but there is much more to read about. There are separate features on specialized LEGO items, such as animals and technology-oriented sets. Sets also have a visual tour done, so the reader can see how a set is made up.

The book ends on LEGO Scooby Doo, which is late 2015, so as of this time, the book is fairly complete. An index on the back makes it easy to find a favorite set or theme in the book.

The trade edition of the book comes in a slipcase and has a bonus mini Space Cruiser designed exclusively for the book. The model is simple and fun to build, and adds the experience of building to the book. Here's a time lapse of the micro build:


For the LEGO fan, this is a great book to get to get some insight to the rich history seen in LEGO sets, For the non-fan, it’s a great introduction to the company and building. The LEGO set is a nice flourish. Highly recommended for young and old.

You can get Great LEGO Sets: A Visual History at and the DK website.

Text and Photography reproduced by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House, from Great LEGO Sets: A Visual History (2015)
(c) 2015 LEGO