Category Archives: Lego

How to have a clever Christmas online (and how to shop local both here and overseas)

It’s that time of year with just over two weeks left to frantically wrap parcels and pop them under the tree. This year has been somewhat bonkers and so we thought we would show you how to have a Clever Christmas shopping from your sofa and let the postie wrestle with your gift delivery instead…no matter where in the world you’re shipping to.

Here’s a little table we whipped up for you to remind you when the postie will be making his final rounds.

Handy Hint: If you are sending parcels overseas and have missed the dreaded cut off dates, fear not! You can simply change the location setting at the top right hand corner on the Booko website and shop like a local in that country. 

We have made you a clever guide stepping you through the process which you can read here

Stuck for gift ideas? Not to worry, the Booko team has been keeping an eye on which books have been popular this festive season for all ages. Sit back, have a read and then get clicking. 

Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts by Mary Berry

Mary is always a crowd pleaser and her baked creations never fail to delight. While you may want to keep this for yourself, if you do gift it, then there is always a chance that the recipient will invite you back for dinner! Win win.

Mary Berry shares over 120 of her ultimate food recipes, all made simply and guaranteed to get smiles around your kitchen table in her new cookbook. Mary’s utterly reliable recipes are perfect for days when you want tasty and dependable food. Come home to the delicious simplicity of a Whole Roasted Squash with Garlic and Chilli Butter, or a warming Spicy Sausage and Red Pepper Hot Pot. Treat your family to Slow Roast French Lamb with Ratatouille, and spoil everyone with a decadent Frangipane Apple and Brioche Pudding. Featuring all the recipes from Mary’s new series, plus many more fresh from Mary’s kitchen, every single dish is accompanied by a photography of the finished food, so you know exactly what you’re making. Each recipe includes Mary’s trademark no-nonsense tips and techniques for getting ahead, and has been rigorously tested to make your cooking stress-free.

Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain

Here’s another gift that may offer you a dinner (or possibly dessert) invitation. Nadiya Bakes is one series on Netflix that our family binged during our first lockdown and inspired the children to hop into the kitchen and whip up a storm.

At last, Nadiya returns to baking. This is her long-awaited reunion with her true love incredible cakes and bakes that we can all achieve at home. It’s a fact that baking makes us happier and this book is bursting with recipes that will bring a little sunshine into your world and the lives of your friends, family and neighbours. Nadiya explores all areas of baking, conquering cakes and tray-bakes, no-bake bakes, tarts and pies, desserts, celebration bakes, biscuits and buns as well as breads and savouries. Recipes include Money-Can’t-Buy-You-Happiness Brownies, Baked Chilli Churros, a beautiful Baked Rhubarb, Rosemary and Olive Oil Polenta Cake and a wow-factor Layered Honey and Soured Cream Cake. Yummo!

Guinness World Records 2021 by Guinness World Records

All aboard Guinness World Records 2021 for a life-changing journey of discovery! This year, there is a chapter devoted to the history of exploration, starting with the story of the very first circumnavigation, along with a “History of Adventure” timeline, featuring a host of remarkable achievements. The fully revised and updated best-seller is packed with thousands of incredible new feats across the widest spectrum of topics, providing a whistle-stop tour of our superlative universe. Travel through the Solar System and see the planets come to life with a free augmented-reality feature. Encounter the cutest, weirdest, most dangerous and exotic creatures on our home planet. Meet the world’s tallest, shortest, hairiest and heaviest humans. Marvel at the latest high scores, speed runs and players at the top of their game in eSports and beyond. Get the lowdown on the world’s most successful and prolific actors, musicians, TV stars and influencers. Review the greatest sports achievements from the past year and celebrate today’s top athletes.

Code Name Bananas by David Walliams

David Walliams’ stories are a delight to read, and always make us giggle. Code Name Bananas is his newest book and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Eleven-year-old Eric spends his days at the place that makes him most happy: London Zoo. And there’s one animal in particular he loves: Gertrude the gorilla. With bombs falling all over London, Eric must rescue Gertrude. Together with his Uncle Sid, a keeper at the zoo, the three go on the run. But while hiding out at the seaside they uncover a top-secret Nazi plot… Join David Walliams on this action-packed, laugh-out-loud adventure for all the family!

Brickman’s Family Challenge Book by Ryan McNaught

We’re slightly biased with this book (ahem…Booko has a new website in the family www.bricko.info in case you need to buy for a LEGO fanatic). 

Challenge each member of your household to a building competition that is the brainchild of Brickman himself, star judge of smash hit TV show LEGO® Masters and a LEGO Certified Professional. Each of the 30 challenges can be attempted at beginner, intermediate or advanced levels. So whether you’re 5 or 105, an infrequent brick builder or a huge LEGO fan, these challenges will get you off your screens and get your creative juices flowing with even the most basic of LEGO collections. Including: Maze runner: build a maze with obstacles and design themes, Get crazy: roll a die to determine which hybrid model you need to build in under 2 hours – a Supersonic Banana Plane, anyone? Self-portrait: one of the hardest things to build with LEGO is curves, but Brickman helps you crack the techniques for building a recognisable 3D portrait of yourself. Packed with pro tips and suggestions on how to take your builds to the next level, as well as a ‘know your bricks’ glossary, this book will turn you into a Master LEGO Builder in no time. Do you know someone up to the challenge?

Stuff You Should Know: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant

From the duo behind the massively successful and award-winning podcast Stuff You Should Know comes an unexpected look at things you thought you knew. Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant started the podcast Stuff You Should Know back in 2008 because they were curious. Curious about the world around them, curious about what they might have missed in their formal educations, and curious to dig deeper on stuff they thought they understood. As it turns out, they aren’t the only curious ones. They’ve since amassed a rabid fan base, making Stuff You Should Know one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Armed with their inquisitive natures and a passion for sharing, they uncover the weird, fascinating, delightful, or unexpected elements of a wide variety of topics. The pair have now taken their near-boundless “whys” and “hows” from your earbuds to the pages of a book for the first time. Featuring a completely new array of subjects that they’ve long wondered about and wanted to explore. Each chapter is further embellished with snappy visual material to allow for rabbit-hole tangents and digressions, including charts, illustrations, sidebars, and footnotes. Follow along as the two dig into the underlying stories of everything from the origin of Murphy beds, to the history of facial hair, to the psychology of being lost.

Enjoy!

The Ultimate Kris Kringle Gift Guide

It is that time of year when the tinsel is glistening, carols can be heard everywhere and the Christmas cheer is a welcome sight. While our working life has been rather different this year and the tradition of the office Kris Kringle may take a slightly different approach, it’s always fun to give a little gift that brings a smile to a friend’s face.

We have rounded up six of our favourites from the three Booko family websites. Oh yes, you read that right, THREE. Dan has had the busiest of lockdowns where he not only baked sourdough and pieced together thousands of puzzle pieces, he has also made shopping that little more clever for everyone. We now have Bricko and Popz.deals. They both work in the same vein as Booko; scouring the world for the best prices on LEGO and Pop Vinyls, showing shipping prices and converting it all into your local currency. You can even make lists and set price alerts on each site. Pretty clever really.

Here are our picks to make your Kris Kringle smile this year.

From Booko

Pizza: History, recipes, stories, people, places, love by Thom Elliot and James Elliot

Everyone loves pizza, right? Saver of parties, empty fridges and hangovers the world over – pizza has come to the rescue of the human race more times than is worth counting. So, if your Kris Kringle can’t imagine your world without dough, cheese and tomato, then this is the book for them. All things pizza are here, from its history and family tree, to world famous pizzerias and even an exploration into the pizza variants we love to hate (hamburger crust pizza anyone?). The Pizza Pilgrims, Thom and James Elliot, have spent years researching the best pizza that the world has to offer, and producing their own pizzas across 16 restaurants in the UK (and counting). Alongside pizza maps of their favourite global pizza cities the book is also packed with over 30 recipes to make sure you finally delete your local takeaway from speed dial #1. From an NY slice, to true Neapolitan pizza made in a frying pan, Pizza offers classic and new creations, including guest chefs’ signature takes, and the Pilgrims’ very own Nutella pizza ring! Oven fresh and packed with interviews, pizza facts, movie scenes, world records and even pizza tattoos, Pizza is illustrated with all manner of pie-based fun and written with a hearty dose of humour. The perfect companion for the pizza lover in your life. Fact.

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

From the Academy Award-winning actor comes an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction. “I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me. Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges, how to get relative with the inevitable, you can enjoy a state of success I call ‘catching greenlights’. So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops. Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears. It’s a love letter. To life. It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights-and to realising that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too. Good luck.”

From Popz.deals

Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child Baby Yoda

It’s the series that’s taking the galaxy by storm. Set five years after the fall of the Empire as depicted in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and before the emergence of the First Order, Star Wars: The Mandalorian follows an independent Mandalorian bounty hunter “in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic”. In Chapter 1, the Mandalorian takes a job to collect a 50 year-old bounty, which is actually “The Child”, or as he’s commonly referred to as “Baby Yoda” (even though we all know it’s not actually Yoda). You can now gift your Kris Kringle the cutest star wars character ever in a pop vinyl format.

Elf Movie: Buddy Collectable Vinyl Figure

Buddy was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn’t fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. As it happens, this is Walter Hobbs, a cynical businessman. After a DNA test proves this, Walter reluctantly attempts to start a relationship with the childlike Buddy with increasingly chaotic results. It’s a great feel-good movie with a delightful character…this Pop Vinyl will remind your Kris Kringle about the joy of Christmas.

From Bricko

Super Mario Adventures with Super Mario Starter Course Building Kit

For the past 35 years, Super Mario has been running, jumping, and saving the Mushroom Kingdom from bad guys. Now you can give the gift of Mario to your Kris Kringle this Christmas with this great starter course kit.

Star Wars Resistance Y-Wing Starfighter Set

Inspire your Kris Kringle with this LEGO Star Wars Resistance Y-Wing Starfighter model. This updated version of the classic fighter-bomber, a.k.a. wishbone, featured in the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker movie, has a new colour scheme, open cockpit with space for a minifigure inside. This starship playset makes a great addition to any fan’s collection.

Enjoy!

The best card games to play with the family

We’ve all been staying home safely for a while now and have been playing, reading, exercising, crafting and watching many things and we thought some of you may be running out of fresh ideas. So, we have scoured the internet and had a look at what’s popular and we have rounded up six fun and fabulous card games that you can play at home with the people you are staying safe with. 

Did you know you can source LEGO, card and board games with Booko? If not, have a look at our ‘how to’ guide here.

Let us know what you are playing in the comments below. 

Unstable Unicorns

This is a strategic card game that will destroy your friendships…but in a good way. It’s one of Kickstarter’s Top 50 Most Backed Projects of all time! You start with a Baby Unicorn in your stable (super cute). But don’t get too attached, because even Baby Unicorns aren’t safe in this game! There are over 20 Magical Unicorns to collect and each has a special power. Everyone is aiming to build a Unicorn Army as fast as you can, or be destroyed by one of your so-called friends! You can seek revenge or protect your stable using your magic. But someone could have a Neigh Card and send the game into madness. The first person to complete their Unicorn Army shall hereafter be known as The Righteous Ruler of All Things Magical..at least until the next game.

Ramen Fury

The use-your-noodle card game! Rush to prepare and slurp up delicious bowls of ramen filled with tasty ingredients. Collect combos of cards to score for different recipes while adding garnishes to boost your points. At the same time, watch out as other players throw spicy chilli peppers your way or swipe foods right from your bowls! It’s “take that” fun that will have you calling for takeout!

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

This is the social card game that is going to change your game days forever. This addictive game is as unique as its name. It’s a power packed quick and simple party game. Race against each other to SLAP a match between a card and spoken word. But – watch out! – your mind will play tricks on you.

As in Snap, each player places a card from their hand face up into a community pile while saying taco/cat/goat/cheese/pizza in player sequence. When the card matches the mantra everyone slaps their hand on the deck, with the last one to slap picking up the cards. Whoever rids themselves of cards first wins!

Gonuts for Donuts

Strategy…Choices…Tension…the three essential ingredients to any great game. All of them play a vital role in this easy-to-learn and instantly engaging card game from first-time inventor Zachary Eagle. This game has a unique twist on set collection card games. In addition to the whimsical variety of donuts inside, part of what makes this game stand apart from the crowd is the secret bidding. This adds a delicious layer of tension that will surely tempt you to come back for another round! A tray of tempting treats awaits your bid, will you go for a stellar cruller or grab a glorious glazed? A double chocolate is sure to score, but in the long run Boston cream may be worth more. Choose carefully because if two or more players go for the same donut, nobody gets it! End with the highest score and victory will taste sweet. 

I’m Not Saying You’re Stupid

How long can a dolphin hold its breath? At what temperature does popcorn pop? I’m Not Saying You’re Stupid is a fun and fresh game featuring over 400 questions that are random, hilarious, and almost impossible to answer just right. The answers are always numbers in this game, which sounds simple enough. But watch out! If your opponents think your answer sounds hopelessly wrong, they can stick you with an I’m Not Saying You’re Stupid…card. Correctly guess who will be furthest from the right answer and watch the points pile up!

The perfect game for anyone who loves new trivia, wild guesses, and uproarious laughter! A dynamic and entertaining game for an evening at home!

Trash Pandas – The Raucous Raccoon Card Game

In this super fun card game players are raucous raccoons, tipping over trash cans for food. Trash is treasure. In this raucous card game, paw through the deck to find sets of day-old pizza, half-eaten candy, and other luscious leftovers. Roll the dice to tip over the garbage or raid a rival’s rubbish, if there’s no Doggos standing guard. The more you roll, the more actions you can take, but get too greedy and your turn is scrapped. Stash the most trash and you’re pick of the litter.

Enjoy!

The clever way to buy Lego with Booko

We are mid way through the school holidays here in Melbourne and we thought it was the perfect time to let you in on a pretty cool secret. You can buy Lego through Booko. Oh yes, you read that right. Booko is now the clever way to buy Lego online!

What’s super exciting is that our handy alert function (where you get to set the price you want to pay for a book or DVD) also works with Lego! So if you’ve been eyeing up a Lego version of James Bond’s Aston Martin or Harry Potter’s Hogwarts set or something else special for Christmas for an ultimate Lego collector, you can now log in, set a price for the bricks you’re looking to buy and sit back while Booko hunts for the best price for you. 

Here’s a little guide to help you along with six of the most inspiring Lego books for budding brick master builders. 

Start by typing in the name of the Lego set you are looking for.
When the search appears, either click through to your store of choice to buy, or…
…click on ‘Add an Alert’ and a drop down box will appear. Pop in the price you’d be happy to pay and select if you are wanting a new or used Lego set. Then enter in your email address so we can let you know when your price has been found.

Lego Ideas by Daniel Lipkowitz

You have what it takes! Did you ever wonder what you can do with all of those Lego bricks after you have created the project they came with? Now with The Lego Ideas Book, you can take what you already have and make something new. This book is divided into six themed chapters; transportation, buildings, space, kingdoms, adventure, and useful makes, each with basic templates of key models and spreads to inspire you to create your own. Hints and tips from Master Builders can help you turn your classic car into a race car or add a bridge to your castle.

Don’t be concerned if you haven’t got all the bricks you need: this book also shows how to simplify details, making this a great user-friendly guide for any building ability. Featuring all-new Lego building projects, tips to supplement and enhance your Lego creations, inspirational builds, and expert advice from Lego Master Builders. The Lego Ideas Book will keep kids of all ages creating for hours.

Awesome Lego Creations With Bricks You Already Have by Sarah Dees

This book creates hours of fun, new worlds and new toys from the collection of Lego kids already have. Each project includes a parts list so you can verify that you have all the pieces and even buy supplemental pieces if you want, but most projects avoid specialty pieces and feature ones likely to be in most people’s collections. The book engages kids with fun, kid-friendly language and cool facts about the things they are making. Like other popular Lego idea books, this book is packed with characters and life-like scenes, but takes the next step with detailed step-by-step instruction photos to help you build more complex animals, robots, vehicles and buildings. The book features full-size photos of life-like scenes that are simple enough for children to build on their own. Also included are a few no-instruction challenges where kids can create a unique toy using only the photo as inspiration. This family-friendly book is sure to spark the imagination for everyone.

365 Things to Do With Lego by DK (Dorling Kindersley)

365 Things to do with LEGO Bricks inspires you to look at your Lego bricks in new and exciting ways and enjoy Lego fun every day of the year. Featuring imaginative play and building ideas, from Lego games that take just a few minutes and require a handful of bricks, to inspirational build ideas and activities to keep you occupied for hours. 365 Things to do with Lego Bricks is packed with fun and quirky activities, such as: build your own Lego pet; challenge your friends to make the tallest Lego tower against the clock; and learn how to make a stop-motion Lego movie. 365 Things to do with Lego Bricks includes a countdown timer and activity selector, allowing you to choose an activity at random, to time your activities and to race against the clock.

The Lego Neighbourhood by Brian Lyles and Jason Lyles

In The Lego Neighbourhood Book, you’ll create buildings with real world details like cornices and facades, and try your hand at interior design by filling your buildings with furniture and light fixtures. Then add the finishing touches to your models with plants, traffic lights, scaffolding, and park benches. Snap together a few houses, shops, and apartment buildings to create your own neighbourhood! Inside you’ll find step-by-step instructions for four multi-storey buildings, dozens of inspiring ideas to use in your own models, mini builds for a recliner, old-time lamp post, traffic lights, and more. 

The Lego Animation Book by David Pagano and David Pickett

Have you ever wondered what your toys would look like on the big screen? In The Lego Animation Book you’ll learn how to bring your creations to life with the art of stop-motion animation. Before you know it, you’ll be making your mini figures walk, talk, jump, and fly. Inside you’ll find step-by-step guides for making your first animation, techniques for creating special effects like explosions and flying mini figures, acting methods for your mini figures and the secret formula for bringing inanimate objects to life The book also offers advice for dealing with practical problems like lighting, framing, and capturing consistent photos. Along with building ideas for Lego-based camera dollies and rigs there are instructions and inspiration on the filming process, from storyboarding to post-production, recommendations for cameras, software, and other essential animation tools This book will help you dive into the world of animation and discover a whole new way to play!

Lego Minifigure: Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle by Gregory Farshtey and Daniel Lipkowitz

One of the most iconic toys happens to have the cutest little people – the Lego Mini Figure. This book features more than 2,000 of the most significant, popular, and rare mini-figures, this engaging reference guide explores mini-figures chronologically by theme. Fans will learn little-known facts about their favourite mini-figures in this first-ever publishing of the evolution of the famous Lego mini-figure. This visual history shows the evolution of this classic toy for the first time ever, with exquisite photography and fascinating facts about each and every mini-figure included. 

Enjoy!