The publishing landscape for LEGO-related books is not that large, with the official books being published by Dorling Kinserley (DK) taking most of the shelf space. In the unofficial book space, there is No Starch Press in the US publishing the lion’s share of books. Of these, DK books tend to be more picture books with only a little bit of information (which makes sense, since DK started out with visual dictionaries) and No Starch is more oriented to building, especially with robotics.
A new publisher has joined this group with a surprising book. Rocobricks, a European publisher, released U2-CB (Ultimate UCS Collector’s Book – $78.15 on Amazon) in English and Spanish editions. At 236 pages and 25cm x 30cm dimensions, this is a larger book with a padded black cover:
It’s a heavy book too – so it looks and feels different than the usual LEGO-related book. It’s a cross between a reference book and a coffee-table book. It’s a dramatic cover, and a bookmarker ribbon hangs from the spine. The book collector in me is already impressed – this book wants to be read and used.
Opening the book yields a surprise – a poster that shows some of the UCS sets:
This is poster that is roughly 30″ by 22″ and is printed on heavy poster paper – it’s a nice addition to the book, and a hint to how the book organizes its sets.
Inside the Book
Once you get inside the book, though, you begin to realize what it is:
It’s a gorgeous catalog of the UCS sets from the beginning to late 2020, with the most recent set being the A-Wing set (#75275) set. Rafael López compiled a list of sets and got as much information about them as possible and made it into this book. Better, he created a timeline for the sets and defining ‘eras’ for organization. Everything makes sense.
There’s only copy in the beginning of each chapter, but in that light copy, there is an explanation to the numbering of the UCS sets and the book’s timeline. Set descriptions are in the front of each chapter, so the majority is done in the above form, so you can search for a set by the model, the box, or by the figures! Set info is also shown in a box, including dimensions, part count, and weight.
Other aspects of the production of the sets are mentioned – there are part color charts from 2010 and 2016 to show the differences in the LEGO parts library. Elements such as box art evolution are also featured. There’s a lot of information to go through – minifigure listings to Bricklink standard? Yes. Size comparisons? Yes.
If this info was on a website, it would be a pain to read and peruse. In a book, it’s a wonderful resource to use and refer to. And there’s another surprise – collectors can download a section of the book to note what they have. It’s a touch that only a collector would have thought of.
While I love the photos of the DK books, and the things that the No Starch books show and teach me, this book fills a void – it’s a collector’s book that is worth collecting. Rafael López should be proud of this achievement. And I endorse this book for any UCS collector or LEGO book collector!
You can order this on the Rocobricks site.
You can get some making of information on the book here. Pretty cool!
You can get this book on Amazon below: