As a parent who loves Lego just about as much as my kids do, I spend a bit of time surfing on the web looking at websites and blogs that write about Lego.
There are some wonderful sites out there, though not all are written with adults in mind. While some are full of information, lets just say their intended audience is younger and their opinions more inclined to be swung by the latest brand-new Lego sets rather than those that offer greatest long term play value for money.
I wanted to share with you a few of the sites I have found to be useful for their depth of information, balanced opinion and appeal to parents.
So this will be the first in a series of the articles about the my favorite Lego sites, called Best Lego Blogs.
Brickset (www.brickset.com) is my goto site when I need to find information about a particular set, no matter if it came out when I was a child or won’t be out for another 6 months. Brickset is both a database resource as well as a blog, as Huw and his team update information about old sets as well as regularly post about the latest news relevant to the Lego world.
Brickset has been around since 1997 and continues to grow in popularity, which shows you just how good a resource it is. As a librarian I can really appreciate the way Huw and his team have set up Brickset – the fun and intuitive design provides me with hours of nostalgic reminiscing and lets my son scan for new Lego sets he would like to recreate.
The Brickset Database
I want to find out about a set I can remember from my childhood. I can’t remember the set name, or the number. In Brickset the site is designed on a very logical and useful directory layout. If you can remember the basic theme of the set, say a space ship set then you either search for “space” in the search box or click the Browse button to be taken to a range of alphabetized search options.
If we know the set has a space theme, we can search down the list of All Themes and find the “Space” option. This leads us to a larger list of all sets released under the space genre since 1970 (over 200 of them). Although this main list is organized by set number rather than year of release, you can easily narrow down your choices by selecting the link to those space sets released in a particular year in the right hand column. If your set wasn’t released in one year, you simply select another year.
Every set in the list has a small thumbnail picture listed next to it so you can easily tell the set you are after by the image. I found my set in the year 1979. Set 479 The Galaxy Explorer was a space ship my brother received for Christmas in 1979 and I coveted for years after.
Ironically my husband had that same set tucked away in a trunk for years which he finally unearthed when my son was old enough to play with Lego. This 30 year old set still provides my son (and I) with endless play potential.
Lego Set Details and Ratings
When you select a set and goto it’s unique description page there is a wealth of information. As well as the set description there are reviews from people who own the set, price details (including price per piece ratio) the number of minifigs included in the set (including images of those minifigs) and lots more.
Each set is given a rating by people who own the set and wish to leave their opinion. By and large the overall rating given by reviewers on Brickset is an accurate appraisal of the set’s long term value to the Lego universe. Sets that stand out for design ingenuity or piece count are singled out by fans and given higher ratings.
In descriptions of the modern Lego sets there are also links to the set instructions in PDF format which is a wonderful resource for kids who just want to know how the set is put together and are happy to recreate that set as best they can with the Lego they already own (great also for parents on a budget!).
Latest Official Lego News
Often if you are after the latest news about upcoming sets then you will hear about it on Brickset.
Like most legitimate Lego fan-sites Brickset have a policy about not revealing information that hasn’t been officially approved by Lego. While other sites will show leaked and unconfirmed images you will only hear about legitimate news on Brickset. I find this policy reassuring as I don’t want to waste my time on sifting through rumours to get to the facts.
Best Lego Blogs – Brickset
Brickset is one of the best unofficial Lego sites on the web. Packed with a variety of resources it is often more informative than the official Lego site. So go take a look at Brickset sometime you have a few spare hours and find that set you have been dreaming about since Christmas all those years ago.
I’m off to Build…