The Cult of Lego, by John Baichtal and Joe Meno and just released on November 12th, celebrates the superfans that take LEGO building beyond the instruction book. Bursting with photos of their awe-inspiring creations, the book is an inspiration to children and adults alike on the million different ways creativity can be expressed with bricks.
As the mother of three boys who have been obsessed with LEGO since before they were technically even old enough to be playing with them, I understand where the people in The Cult of LEGO are coming from. In fact, I have become so swept up in the love of those little inter-locking bricks that I would swell with pride if any of them took their childhood hobby to the levels that the men and women featured in this book have.
The Cult of LEGO highlights the work of LEGO enthusiasts on every scale — from an entire section devoted to the lowly mini figure (cleverly recreating movie scenes, impersonating iconic figures in history, and the customized “Pimp Your Fig”) all the way to colossal models and figures that taken months and hundreds of thousands of bricks to build. In addition to covering the many types of builds that enthusiasts flock to, i.e. the technical builders, the artists, the humorists, the re-creationists, etc., the book does a great job letting readers know where they, too, can share their enthusiasm for LEGO. It lists websites of interest, flickr groups, and has a full rundown of all the various LEGO conventions that happen around the USA, all places where the LEGO-obsessed can find an audience and each other.
Few toys have inspired such fanatical followers, and The Cult of LEGO is a testament to the massive creative potential that every tub of bricks holds. This book is a must for anyone who loves LEGO.
Relativity 1 of 9Artist M.C. Escher had it easy creating his optical illusions on paper — Henry Lim, commissioned by the Hong Kong Science Museum to create LEGO recreations for an Escher exhibit, had to figure out how the illusions could be sustained in 3-D brick form. Lim succeeded and pointed viewers to a "sweet spot" where the illusion could be seen, and then allowed viewers to walk around the models to see how he did it.
Photo Credit: Henry Lim, Escher (The Cult of LEGO p. 105)
The Last Supper 2 of 9Someone had to do it. Marco Pece's ode to this master work by Leonardo Da Vinci shows that the minifig can truly stand in for anyone.
Photo Credit: Marco Pece, Last Supper (The Cult of LEGO p. 107)
Mona Lisa 3 of 9Another recreation of a Da Vinci classic by Marco Pece. A LEGO minifig has never looked so enigmatically beautiful.
Photo Credit: Marco Pece, Mona Lisa (The Cult of LEGO p. 106)
Minifig 4 of 9LEGO goes political in the hands of Andrew Becraft. Working in the "vignette" format, Becraft makes a statement on the American government's policy that allows for the abduction and illegal transfer of a person from one nation to another.
Photo Credit: Andrew Becraft, Minifig Rendition (The Cult of LEGO p. 175)
Darth Maul 5 of 9Arthur Gugick created this mosaic of Darth Maul, the villainous sith featured in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, entirely from rare, preprinted bricks that only come in some LEGO sets and never in great quantities. That Gugick is able to capture the menace of the character in this form is a testament to his artistry and creativity.
Photo Credit: Arthur Gugick and Jerry Mann, Darth Maul (The Cult of LEGO p. 117)
Angel Sculpture 6 of 9Perhaps the most high-tech sculpture featured in the book, this angel statue built by David Winkler, is based on the Italian statue Bringer of Light, which was imaged by a 3-D scanner for Stanford University. Winkler downloaded the scans from the Stanford site and used software to slice the 3-D shape into build-able sections and created this gorgeous sculpture.
Photo Credit: David Winkler, Angel (The Cult of LEGO p. 208)
Stegosaurus, a Staggering 15-Feet Long Dino 7 of 9Henry Lim, posing with the baby stegosaurus he built over the course of seven months and with more than 120,000 bricks. He originally wanted to make a full-size, 30-foot stegosaurus, but compromised on building this "baby" one because of space constraints.
Photo Credit: Henry Lim, Stegosaurus (The Cult of LEGO p. 209)
Allianz Stadium at Germany’s LEGOLAND Deutschland 8 of 9Just one of the over-the-top models that can be found at LEGOLAND parks around the world, this huge stadium was built with 1.3 million bricks, weighs 1.5 tons and holds 30,000 minifigs. At night it is lit with lights exactly like the ones at the real stadium.
Photo Credit: Jan VanÄura, Allianz Stadium (The Cult of LEGO p. 206)
10-foot Version of Toronto’s CN Tower 9 of 9Allan Bedford originally built his LEGO homage to the CN Tower staying as faithful as possible to the proportions of the original. Despite his accuracy, something was amiss. He scrapped the old one and re-built the tower — this time staying true to the spirit of the tower and the nature of the brick. You can see the results are spectacular.
Photo Credit: Allan Bedford, CN Tower (The Cult of LEGO p. 92)
Images from The Cult of LEGO by John Baichtal and Joe Meno, published by No Starch Press. Photos courtesy of Andrew Becraft, Allan Bedford, Arthur Gugick, Henry Lim, Jerry Mann, Marco Pece, Jan VanÄura and David Winkler.
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