The Best Instruction Manual Ever!

tinylegowonderscoverBook Review: Tiny Lego Wonders

I have a whole file devoted to instruction manuals. No, I don’t often use them, but yes, I have needed them from time to time! Tucked away in my file cabinet, they’re uninspiring, droll little sheaths of paper. But I’ve happened upon a new instruction manual, one that turns convention on its head.

Tiny Lego Wonders by Mattia Zamboni would look great on your coffee table, even if you couldn’t tell a Lego from a legume. As a life-long
Lego user, I was excited to open the book but was immediately
Captivated and distracted by the quality of the book itself. Gloss and matte textures contrast playfully on the cover, and it’s well bound to stay open happily once you’re ready to build.

Inside, you’ll find 40 sets of instructions for a variety of models, from race cars to construction equipment, cargo ships to spacecraft.
Each model has a clear and simple bill of materials, plus further illustrations for variations and modifications. Beautify and simply laid out, they remind me of everything I never got from the instruction manual for my, er, toaster.

The real deal-maker is the stark, elegant page layout, bolstered by solid photography and interspersed with the models set among excellent large-scale dioramas. Like the engineering of Lego bricks themselves, it provides a clear path to success while offering your imagination unlimited headroom.

It’s as pleasing to page through as it is to use for it’s stated purpose, but one word of warning: the models were largely designed around contemporary Lego bricks, which include some specific pieces that make these small models realistic beyond their scale. If you’re working from a vintage selection of bricks, be prepared to get creative or you may have to go shopping for some new bricks.

But hey, who doesn’t like shopping for Legos?

About the Author
Mattia Zamboni is a fan of computer graphics, photography, and LEGO. He is the co-author of the LEGO Build-It Book series (No Starch Press), has contributed to several other LEGO books, and has been a LEGO Ambassador since 2015. He works as a researcher in the robotics lab at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, and in his free time, he pursues his passion for 3D computer graphics. Check out his work at

Tiny LEGO Wonders
Publisher: No Starch Press
Author: Mattia Zamboni
Print ISBN: 978-1-59327-735-2
Price: $24.95
Publication Date: July 2016
Specs: 208 pp., 4C, Hardcover