ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡ: New LEGO Products by Chronicle Books

The LEGO Group has partnered with Chronicle Books to produce a range of products aimed squarely at Adult Fans of LEGO. Let’s see if they stand up to our high expectations for LEGO-branded products…

Note: The Erasers, Notebook, and Note Cards, & Books are available now. (The puzzle is currently out-of-stock.)

Chronicle Books released a diverse selection of products this April & May: A LEGO-themed journal, two colors of brick-themed notepaper, Erasers shaped like a classic 2×4 LEGO bricks, a 1000-piece puzzle, two coffee table books, and a collection of 100 LEGO Art postcards.

We’ve assembled the puzzle and put the paper products through their paces around our home. Since we’re geeks here at Brick Architect, we even tested these products to see how well they match the dimensions and colors of real LEGO bricks!

LEGO Brick Erasers

I can’t say that I’ve always wanted pencil erasers shaped like LEGO bricks, but now that I have them, I’ll smile whenever I need to erase something using what looks like a classic 2×4 LEGO Brick! The box is a bit deceiving—there are only eight erasers included inside the $16 box. (That’s $2 per eraser.)

LEGO Brick Erasers, $15.95

LEGO Brick Erasers, $15.95

The four colors represent an odd choice of rare LEGO colors. Out of the 42 solid colors in the LEGO palette, they are in 31st, 29th, 34th, & 40th place respectively (based on the analysis I presented a few weeks ago at Brickworld Virtual.)

The erasers come in Cool Yellow, Aqua, Bright Bluish Green, and Spring Yellowish Green.

The erasers come in Cool Yellow, Aqua, Bright Bluish Green, and Spring Yellowish Green.

The color match is decent, although the rubbery eraser material is significantly less shiny than a classic LEGO brick. (Of the four colors, 226Cool YellowBright Light Yellow is a bit too dark, and 326Spring Yellowish GreenYellowish Green is pretty far off.) That said, I’m honestly surprised that they matched three of the colors as well as they did.

The moulding is good, but not perfect, with visible moulding mark on one side of each eraser.

The moulding is good, but not perfect, with visible moulding mark on one side of each eraser.

The erasers are based on the classic 2×4 brick, and they even have visible “LEGO” logo on each stud. The moulding is not perfect though; as you can see, there is a visible indentation on one side of each eraser.

The proportions are a very close match for a real LEGO 2×4 brick.

The dimensions are a very close match for a classic 2×4 brick. They have a flat bottom so you can not interlock the erasers. That said, the precision on the studs on top is good enough to attach the erasers to genuine LEGO bricks! The clutch power is actually pretty good, too! The only downside is that this does chew up the edges of the studs, since a bit of the eraser comes off as you connect and remove the studs from the much harder ABS plastic brick. Nonetheless, this is a great choice if you need to add an eraser to your LEGO Mindstorms robot.

At a whopping $2 per eraser, this is not a practical product for a mainstream audience of younger LEGO enthusiasts. That said, pairing these erasers with a high quality dot-grid notebook, mechanical drafting pencil, and a pocket-sized drafting ruler would make an awesome gift for an older LEGO enthusiast. While it’s a nice product, it earned our “Acceptable” (2/5 star) rating due to the very high price tag.

LEGO Brick Notebook

Over the years there have been a number of LEGO-branded notebooks, including a collaboration with Moleskine. This new journaling notebook by Chronicle Books is aimed squarely at the adult fan of LEGO, with a beautifully textured front and back cover, high quality construction, and 2×4 LEGO bricks in 12 colors printed on the corner of each page.

LEGO Brick Notebook, $16.95

LEGO Brick Notebook, $16.95

The front cover features the following 13 colors:

  • 1White
  • 199Dark Stone GreyDark Bluish Gray
  • 326Spring Yellowish GreenYellowish Green
  • 119Bright Yellowish GreenLime
  • 28Dark GreenGreen
  • 141Earth GreenDark Green
  • 323AquaLight Aqua
  • 322Medium AzurMedium Azure
  • 212Light Royal BlueBright Light Blue
  • 102Medium Blue
  • 135Sand Blue
  • 23Bright BlueBlue
  • 140Earth BlueDark Blue

I found 13 different colors on the front, and 12 on the back.

The back cover features the following 12 colors:

  • 1White
  • 5Brick YellowTan
  • 283Light NougatLight Flesh
  • 18NougatFlesh
  • 353Vibrant CoralCoral
  • 21Bright RedRed
  • 154Dark Red
  • 106Bright OrangeOrange
  • 38Dark Orange
  • 226Cool YellowBright Light Yellow
  • 24Bright YellowYellow
  • 191Flame Yellowish OrangeBright Light Orange

The print quality on the front and back cover is very good—It even features a gently raised “stud” pattern which is perfectly aligned with the printed bricks on the cover. It’s a gentle effect that is pleasingly tactile aspect of holding the book in your hand. (The same gently textured effect is also present on the top cover of the gift box included in the two LEGO Note Brick products.)

The color matching on each page isn't perfect.

The color matching on each page isn’t perfect (Bright Bluish Green / Nougat).

Each page has a 2×4 brick in one of twelve colors in the corner:

  • 322Medium AzurMedium Azure
  • 222Light PurpleBright Pink
  • 24Bright YellowYellow
  • 135Sand Blue
  • 321Dark AzurDark Azure
  • 353Vibrant CoralCoral
  • 226Cool YellowBright Light Yellow
  • 119Bright Yellowish GreenLime
  • 107Bright Bluish GreenDark Turquoise / Teal
  • 191Flame Yellowish OrangeBright Light Orange
  • 18NougatFlesh

Perhaps the best of these new products is this new LEGO branded notebook. $17 is pretty typical for a high-quality notebook of this size, making this a pretty good value, too. The excellent print quality, pretty good LEGO part color reproduction, and the pleasant tactile effect make this a really nice option for folks who prefer lined journals. I personally only use Dot-grid or Graph paper notebooks, which is too bad since this is a really appealing design. That’s why it earns our Highly Recommended (4/5 star) rating.

LEGO Note Bricks

Even in our increasingly digital world, there’s something very convenient about jotting a quick note down on a piece of paper. If you want to do this while showcasing your love of the LEGO Brick, you might enjoy the new LEGO Note Brick.

LEGO Note Bricks, $12.95 (Available in two colors)

LEGO Note Bricks, $12.95 (Available in two colors)

You get to choose from two options: a version containing seven shades of blue, green, and white , or a selection of seven shades of yellow, red, orange, and white.

The colors of the note sheets are not a very close match for the colors of real LEGO bricks.

The colors of the note sheets are not a very close match for the colors of real LEGO bricks.

Unfortunately, the note sheet colors are very poorly matched to the colors of real LEGO bricks. While it is well known that re-creating vibrant LEGO colors using traditional CMYK printing is hard, the color matching is even worse than what I’ve seen in LEGO instruction booklets. In particular, the Green and Red note sheets are completely different from current LEGO colors. (The “Red” note sheet is probably closest to the retired Sand Yellow color.)

The note sheets are not very realistic for a couple other reasons. For one, there’s no such thing as an 8×14 Plate. Further, the printing on the note sheets is incorrectly scaled to real LEGO bricks. The stud spacing results in 10.8cm / 14 studs, but 14 studs should really be 11.2cm. (About 4% too small.)

The proportions of the brick pattern printed on the glossy gift box is a good match for real LEGO bricks, but the printed pattern on the note sheet is slightly too small.

The proportions of the brick pattern printed on the glossy gift box is a good match for real LEGO bricks, but the printed pattern on the note sheet is slightly too small.

For $13 you not only get a stack of 224 LEGO-branded note sheets, but also a very nice glossy cardboard box. (While it’s still a premium gift item, it’s much more reasonably priced than the Brick Erasers.) While the note paper colors do not closely match the color of real LEGO bricks, it is a nice product that earns our “Good” (3/5 stars) rating.

Paint Party Puzzle

This is exactly what it looks like—a standard 1,000 piece puzzle featuring a photo of LEGO pieces which were sorted by color into one-gallon paint cans. It’s a fun image which showcase many of the brightest hues in the LEGO color palette

Paint Party Puzzle, by Chronicle Books

Paint Party Puzzle, by Chronicle Books

The puzzle is of pretty typical quality for a mass-market cardboard puzzle. The vast majority of the pieces were correctly separated on arrival, and I was pleased to see that all of the pieces arrived in a sturdy zippered plastic bag.

The puzzle contains 1000 pieces.

The pieces are extremely regular in shape, with exactly two tabs and two pockets on each piece (excluding the edges, of course.) There were a couple instances where the tabs bent slightly when trying to assemble the puzzle, but nothing outside of the ordinary for a basic cardboard puzzle.

The puzzle piece are cut in a familiar jigsaw puzzle shape.

The puzzle piece are cut in a familiar jigsaw puzzle shape.

The puzzle was fairly easy for us to build, since there are lots of easily recognizable colors that you can use to help sort the pieces. I found myself building one color at a time, which was enjoyable as a LEGO color nerd. I’m afraid that I did not compare the accuracy of the colros in the printed puzzle to real LEGO bricks, but that’s in part because it seemed accurate enough that I didn’t think to do it before diassembling the puzzle.

The image on the puzzle is fun, representing many bright colors in the LEGO palette.

The image on the puzzle is fun, representing many bright colors in the LEGO palette.

The only real problem with this puzzle is that it is sold out online, and from what I understand it’s hard to purchase from the few retail stores which are open due to inventory issues. (I guess the manufacturer didn’t factor in the additional demand due to an unprecendented global pandemic when placing their intitial print run.) Due to the fair price, interesting image, and decent quality of this puzzle, it earns our “Good” (3/5 star) rating.

These are great options if you want some good quality LEGO Brick Erasers, a LEGO Notebook, some fun LEGO Note Paper or a fun LEGO-themed puzzle. (If you do decide to buy one, please consider using our referral links. It helps!)
Chronicle Books provided these products for the purposes of this review. The opinions in this article are strictly my own—providing products for review does not guarantee a positive review. Photos in this article are by Tom Alphin unless otherwise noted. Visit the About page for more info about our journalistic standards and affiliate programs.

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