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LEGO : a love story
Publication Information:
Hoboken, N.J. : J. Wiley, c2010.
Physical Description:
x, 270 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Corporate Author:


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 688.725 BEN 1 1
Book 688.725 BEN 1 1
Book 688.725 BEN 1 1
Book 688.725 BEN 1 1

On Order



An adult LEGO fan's dual quest: to build with bricks and build a family

There are 62 LEGO bricks for every person in the world, and at age 30, Jonathan Bender realized that he didn't have a single one of them. While reconsidering his childhood dream of becoming a master model builder for The LEGO Group, he discovers the men and women who are skewing the averages with collections of hundreds of thousands of LEGO bricks. What is it about the ubiquitous, brightly colored toys that makes them so hard for everyone to put down?

In search of answers and adventure, Jonathan Bender sets out to explore the quirky world of adult fans of LEGO (AFOLs) while becoming a builder himself. As he participates in challenges at fan conventions, searches for the largest private collection in the United States, and visits LEGO headquarters (where he was allowed into the top secret set vault), he finds his LEGO journey twinned with a second creative endeavor--to have a child. His two worlds intertwine as he awaits the outcome: Will he win a build competition or bring a new fan of LEGO into the world? Like every really good love story, this one has surprises--and a happy ending.

Explores the world of adult fans of LEGO, from rediscovering the childhood joys of building with LEGO to evaluating LEGO's place in culture and art Takes an inside look at LEGO conventions, community taboos, and build challenges and goes behind-the-scenes at LEGO headquarters and LEGOLAND Tells a warm and personal story about the attempt to build with LEGO and build a family

Whether you're an avid LEGO freak or a onetime fan who now shares LEGO bricks with your children, this book will appeal to the inner builder in you and reignite a love for all things LEGO.

Author Notes

Jonathan Bender is a freelance features writer; his work has appeared in Time Out New York , Women′s Health , , , and the Kansas City Star . This is his first book. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife, Kate, and has significantly more than the 62 LEGO bricks that exist for every man, woman, and child in the world today.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Ah, the tender story of a man and his plastic bricks. Like Stefan Fatsis' Word Freak (about Scrabble enthusiasts), or Stanley Newman and Mark Lasswell's Cruciverbalism (about crossword puzzlers), Bender's memoir offers an entertaining look at a rich, vibrant, and only somewhat eccentric subculture built around something many would consider a mere pastime. But, for some, including the author, LEGO is no mere pastime. There are conventions devoted to the stackable plastic bricks; at least one publication (BrickJournal); an online marketplace for collectors (similar to eBay); and a surprising number of fairly strict rules (do not, under pain of ridicule or worse, pluralize the word LEGO). LEGO has been around since the late 1950s, but it was only in the mid-'90s that adult fandom really came into its own the acronym AFOL, for adult fan of LEGO, was coined in 1995. Bender explores not just the AFOL subculture, with its superstars and wannabes and rivalries, but also describes his own rediscovery of a childhood toy and the impact it has had on his life. If you wanted to call the book a paean to LEGO, you wouldn't be far wrong, but don't think the audience for this utterly delightful work is limited to, well, LEGO freaks.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 Back to Schoolp. 1
2 I Need a Playroomp. 11
3 My First Conp. 23
4 Stealing from a Thiefp. 33
5 Color Changes Everythingp. 47
6 Brick Separation Anxietyp. 57
7 Pink Skullsp. 69
8 Everything a Princess Could Wish Forp. 79
9 I Go on a Playdatep. 89
10 I Give my Wife a Beach Housep. 101
11 The Stranger Side of Buildingp. 111
12 A Man and His Museump. 121
13 It's Okay, I Work Herep. 133
14 Becoming a Brickmasterp. 145
15 Danish Rocky and a Real Star Wars Expertp. 153
16 A Guest in LEGO's Housep. 165
17 Protectors of the Brandp. 177
18 Good Luck, Boys, that thing is Heavyp. 189
19 Building Blind and the Dirty Bricksterp. 199
20 Children Not Includedp. 207
21 Kate the Builderp. 215
22 You Can Go Home Againp. 223
23 There is No "I" in LEGOp. 233
24 Miniland Dadp. 243
Epiloguep. 257
Indexp. 263
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