I LEGO N.Y. by Christoph Niemann is a book that was released on March 1, 2010. It’s a series of photographs featuring mini NYC vignettes, created entirely out of LEGO pieces! It originated as a blog post on NYTIMES.com. As far as I know, Niemann isn’t known as an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO, the term used by the adult LEGO hobbyist community).
The book is a board book, printed on thick cardboard pages like a book for children who might be inclined to eat the pages. There are photos of cute little micro-models of LEGO parts representing aspects of New York culture and life, built usually with just a handful of basic LEGO parts. It’s certainly not a primer on advanced LEGO building techniques, but instead goes for a very minimalist approach. Each photo has a handwritten caption saying what it is, and that’s where a lot of the humor often comes from.
There’s no sense of story or continuity; each individual item would stand alone quite well. In fact this might have been better as a desktop calendar or comic strip format rather than a book.
I’m not a New Yorker, so perhaps I would have appreciated this more if I were. But while I felt a lot of the little models in the book were very clever, and in some cases hilarious, a number of them just didn’t do much for me. I think it’s enjoyable for anyone who likes LEGO, especially if you’re a New Yorker or a fan of New York, but I’m not sure it’s worth the $14.95 ($10.17 on Amazon). I’m not sure it’s something you’d want to read over and over, which is another reason I think a desktop calendar would have been a better format for this. Anyway, I’m donating my copy to Bricks by the Bay, to be given out as a door prize. Maybe you’ll win it!
(Disclaimer: I was sent a free review copy of the book, and the Amazon link in this review is an affiliate link.)