I think I have found my favorite LEGO® book, and it did not even come with an exclusive Minifigure. Recently, the LEGO® Group announced a crowd-funding initiative to make a book for AFOLs by AFOLs. The book went up for a vote on the LEGO® Ideas platform. However, prior to that, a panel of AFOLs weighed in on what would make a great book. Yours truly was involved in that discussion. I really lobbied for a brick encyclopedia containing every brick ever created. Ultimately, that book did not make the cut. Shortly thereafter, I came across an older book that fits a similar niche. I cannot believe I did not know this existed sooner. Today, we look at The Complete LEGO Minifigure Catalog: 1975-2015 by Dr. Christoph Bartneck.
In short, advertising calls the Minifigure Catalog a compilation of every Minifigure produced between the years of 1975 and 2015. There are two editions, the regular hardcover and the deluxe edition. I order the deluxe edition because the photo quality is reportedly better. It is more expensive though, and image quality and cover art are the only differences between the books. In Canada, the regular edition costs $104.80 at full price, while the deluxe version is $224.20.
This book covers over 6500 Minifigures!
Does the book contain every Minifigure ever produced up to 2015? No, not actually. It only contains Minifigures that were part of a set with a number. However, it comes awfully close to covering all Minifigures. Dr. Bartneck organizes over 6500 Minifigures using a unique classification. First, he places Minifigures into major categories such as “collectible” or “fiction”. Second, each character is organized by theme. Subsequently, they further divide by sub-theme, year produced, and serial number. Furthermore, Bricklink provided Minifigure codes and a rarity index.
One of great features of the tome is the index. You can look up Minifigures in the back by face print. The book presents an actual image of the face in the index. Finding a face tells you which Minifigures sported that expression and what page of the book they can be located on. I love that feature.
The index allows you to search Minifigures by face print.
In terms of negatives, the paper quality is not what I expected. For the deluxe edition, I expected glossy, photo quality paper to really get a crisp image. However, for the book-sniffers out there, the paper does makes this volume smell wonderfully book-ish. It transported me back to my university textbooks. My other gripe with the book is set numbers. I really want to know every set each Minifigure showed up in. I care about that more than the type of paper selected. This book would be perfect with that information included.
Overall, The Complete LEGO Minifigure Catalog is the closest I have come to my dream LEGO® book. While it does not have the layouts and information tidbits of a DK book, it is far more thorough. This book is an amazing reference for Minifigure collectors. I want more books like this. One with every Pirates set and Minifigure, another for Castles, etc. If broken down by theme, you could include more detail as well. However, having one book for all Minifigures is essential. I cannot believe this book has been out for four years and I had no clue. Do you have this book? Regardless, share your thoughts on it in the comments below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
Do you want to buy The Complete LEGO Minifigure Catalog?
Buy the standard edition of the book at:
Buy the deluxe edition of the book at: