Klutz has published a new LEGO® books, many of which are focused on STEM-themed activities. The latest addition to the range is LEGO Gear Bots. Which is unlike any other LEGO book as it combines LEGO elements with papercraft sections to create weird and wonderful kinetic models. Combining the 64 LEGO elements with the 10 sheets of papercraft pieces will allow you to build up to 8 different models. But does this unique blend of materials result in a decent LEGO book? Here’s my review of the LEGO Gear Bots book.
The exciting sequel to the popular LEGO Gadgets and LEGO Chain Reactions.
Build your own kinetic sculptures in this fun kit. All the LEGO elements are included, so you can build frames with axles and crankshafts that provide different functions like spinning or turning back and forth. Add paper-craft characters to the build and watch your new friend come to life! The non-fiction STEM content links the builds to real-life robotics and mechanical engineer applications.
- Book Title: LEGO Gear Bots: Create 8 Machines
- Includes: 62 LEGO Elements & 8 Papercraft Machines.
- Pages: 64
- RRP: £14.99/$24.99
- ISBN: 9781338603453
The package includes a book, a packet of card sheets and a bag of LEGO elements, with the focus of the book being mainly to provide the instructional steps to build the 8 different Gear Bots. There is a small section at the beginning which highlights how automated machines have helped to change the world, tying nicely into the STEM-focused aspect of the book. The instructional side of the book is split across 8 sections, one for each of the buildable Gear Bots creatures. The build steps are similar to those found in LEGO sets, but there is a lot more written explanation to read through, which may complicate the process for those used to the simple aspect of standard LEGO set instructions.
The book offers 8 different Gear Bots to build, which only one being able to be built at a time. The basis of each build is a frame built from LEGO elements, these are mainly Technic pieces. Older LEGO fans will recognise the old holed LEGO bricks, which were used in Technic sets before switching to beams. These match up with a mix of rods and wheels to create simple gear systems. They also act as anchor points for the papercraft cladding. It’s similar to the Japanese LEGO X MUJI sets, which both combined standard LEGO pieces with additional material sections and also the recent LEGO FORMA set, which offered a kinetic creation.
The papercraft sections are easy enough to pop from their backing sheets, although elements for each creation are split across several sheets, which can be confusing. Another annoying trait is that the instructions get you to construct all the LEGO elements needed for each Gear Bot, but then you have to remove some pieces to add the papercraft sections.
I’m always keen to check out new LEGO experiences and this book provides just that. Apart from LEGO FORMA, I’ve not built anything with LEGO that requires non-standard elements to be added. So this was a unique experience for me, which provided a mixture of fun and frustration. The final models are a genuinely interesting thing to play with, seeing how a simple gear system can interact with the papercraft sections is quite fun. However, some may find adding these papercraft pieces a little tricky.
The LEGO Gear Bots books is available now from Amazon and selected book retailers.