LEGO Chain Reactions: Design and build amazing moving machines

chain reactions.jpg
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
January 13, 2015
ISBN
978-0545703307
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LEGO Chain Reactions is packed full of ideas, instructions, and inspiration for 10 LEGO machines that spin, swing, pivot, roll, lift, and drop. Each machine alone is awesome, but put them together and you get incredible chain reactions. Then, combine the machines in any order you like to create your own chain reactions. Our team of experts worked with educators and 11-year-olds to invent the machines, then wrote a book that teaches the skills (and some of the physics behind the fun) kids need to create their own amazing chain reaction machines. Our book includes 33 special LEGO elements that combine with basic bricks from your collection to make your machines go. But don’t worry that you won’t have the right bricks; we worked with the folks at LEGO to make sure you’ll need only the most common bricks, and that there are plenty of substitutes. The result is a chain reaction of fun, as one thing leads to another… and another… and another. Comes with: 78 page book, 33 LEGO elements, 6 LEGO balls, 6 feet of string, 8 paper ramps, 2 paper pop-up signs, 1 paper funnel ramp, 1 paper flag, 1 paper bucket, 1 platform

Editor review

1 review
Lego-Tastic fun for all builders
(Updated: June 29, 2015)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Learning Value
 
5.0
I go on record to say that I’m a HUGE LEGO nerd. My obsession began when I was an early teen. I don’t recall my first experience with LEGOs, but it quickly grew to a small obsession. I remember hitting the store with Mom and making my way to the toy aisle. Well, the LEGO aisle. I’d scan the offerings and debate between a couple of boxes before I settled on a purchase. The more pieces, the better. Ages 14+ you say? More than 1,000 pieces have you? Very well, I accept your challenge, LEGO!

That passion is still going strong, and let me tell you, working with LEGO Chain Reactions: Design and Build Amazing Moving Machines was positively delightful! What I love most about LEGO is the HOW they all come together to make something awesome. Itty-bitty pieces in a multitude of colors are put together piece by piece, magically ending in a killer spaceship or rover. EPIC! LEGO Chain Reactions takes that love to a whole new level. Not only does this book teach you how to put together super cool contraptions, BUT they all work together to make something way cooler: Action/reaction machines!

Nerd out, people. Nerd out.

LEGO Chain Reactions starts out with some simple machines. Using the included LEGO bricks, some string, and paper pop-outs, Chain Reactions guides you through the assembly process. Just like the instructions of your fave LEGO creations, Chain Reactions gives you the step-by-step with illustrations. After you’ve assembled, Chain Reactions lays down what Reaction is going to happen once you set your Action into play. Then it’s GO time.

Each trick gets increasingly more complicated and involved. As they get more involved, you bring in your OWN LEGO bricks into the equation to make bigger machines. Some of the machines even work in tandem, like an on-going Action/Reaction party!

Now, the collection notes an 8+ age, and this is pretty spot on for the kiddo working solo. The text is easy to follow and caters to the younger humor in places (take no offense, parents). But I worked through this book with my 5 year-old (who happens to be a Master Builder in training). He LOVED this book and thought the end results were pretty darn cool. He even showed the tricks to his dad several times, showing what he’d learned.

Educational toys equals parenting WIN!

The only issue I had with LEGO Chain Reactions was the packaging. It comes with the beginning set of LEGO bricks, LEGO balls, string, and wheels, but the paper pop-outs could use improvement. The pop-outs themselves were fine, but the plastic sleeve they’re in makes it near impossible to remove them. I had to literally dig through the pages and try to pop them out. It would have been much more efficient if the pop-outs could be removed in their entirety from the plastic sleeve so you can sift through them to find the ones you need.

LEGOs are cool. Science is cool. Pat Murphy and the Scientists from Klutz Labs brought the two together to make one epically cool educational play experience. Would I recommend this to all the eight year-old LEGO enthusiasts out there? Absolutely. But I would also recommend Chain Reactions to ALL of the LEGO enthusiasts out there no matter their age. LEGO building just got a coolness facelift. Now, go forth and build. Go forth and experience the coolness of science.
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