Lego Minifigure Year by Year


I only own a couple books about Lego, I’m not particularly into collecting Lego minifigures, but when I picked up a copy of Lego Minifigure Year by Year, I was struck. Here is a book that I didn’t even know that I wanted, full to the brim with nostalgia and inspiration. The cover alone portrayed some of my favorite minifigs, capturing whole eras of my life.

The book opens with a history of the minifig, with pictures of the rough prototypes and some of their Lego ancestors. I remember the segmented arms that I could never find all the pieces to assemble. After that is a timeline, highlighting the milestones of minifig evolution. Just skimming along, I could remember how excited I had been by some of those changes.

The meat of the book is year by year descriptions of all the minifigures (and their many cousins) that were produced. Some particularly interesting sets are highlighted, but the focus is on the minifigs. It’s a rich tapestry, paging through all those faces, all those hats and accessories. The occasional discontinued piece has me itching to hit the internet, looking for someone selling one.

Those early space men in their primary colors still get me. There is something so elemental to them, yet it resonates with my Star Trek childhood, especially poignant for their cheerful smiles. If Lego reissued those happy little space dudes, I might have to buy them in bulk. I digress, but that is the joy of this book, especially for a long time fan. As the reader browses the pages it is easy to get caught up in the potent nostalgia of their first and favorite minifigs.

As the years progress the minifigs get more complex. New themes come and go, as well as variations on the minifigs themselves. New pieces get introduced, new materials too. The pure variety is staggering and fun.

The book comes with three minifigs, bound into the cover. Some might be tempted to remove them, but I think that I will leave them right there, serving as a physical adjunct to their pictured brethren. The production values are as high as I would expect from a publisher like DK. Their books continue to please me with every purchase.

Really, I can’t recommend this book enough. I’ve only had it a short while, but I know that I’ll be going back to it over and over, mining it for inspiration. Even my kindergarten-age son loves it, leafing through the pages with a constant stream of questions. If you are a fan, do yourself a favor and pick one up!