‘The Cult of LEGO’: It’s all about the bricks

Authors John Baichtal and Joe Meno document the thriving subculture of AFOLs (adult fans of LEGO) in their new book, "The Cult of Lego." See how LEGO has transformed from a simple plaything into an iconic object of popular culture.

First introduced in 1949 in Denmark, LEGO started off as a humble construction toy designed to encourage children to use their imaginations and piece together creations such as castles, cars or virtually anything. Their colorful design coupled with a seemingly endless supply of building options swiftly elevated LEGO from simply a popular, must-have toy to a virtually ubiquitous pop culture object. Having grown up with LEGO over the last several decades, a veritable nation of zealous LEGOphiles has spawned. Authors John Baichtal and Joe Meno document this thriving subculture in their new book by No Starch Press, “The Cult of LEGO” a beautiful, coffee-table tome rich with examples of LEGO’s appeal and limitless versatility.
Revered theoretical physicist Albert Einstein is depicted at a LEGO minifig

1970s disco legends The Village People are re-imagined in LEGO.

Vincent Vega and Jule Winnfield from "Pulp Fiction" get the LEGO minifig treatment.

Italian LEGO artist Marco Pece loves to recreate celebrated works of art using LEGO bricks and minifigs. Here is his reverent take on Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper."

Devout LEGO superfan Heather Braaten finds the minifig representation of herself dangling precariously over the bow of a lovingly detailed homage to James Cameron's "Titanic" at a LEGO fan convention.

Meticulous LEGO builder Henry Lim, as commissioned by the Hong Kong Science Museum, built a series of LEGO representations of the works of M.C. Escher, the Dutch engraver renowned for his brain-twisting penchant for optical illusion. "Waterfall" posed a particularly perplexing challenge to Lim, as Escher's zigzagging water design needed to be viewed at a precise angle to replicate the effect. Viewers were invited to walk around the sculpture, however, revealing the secret of the illusion.

Avid LEGO builder Henry Lim stands by his life-size sculpture of a baby stegosaurus. It involved more that 120,000 bricks and took seven months to fully assemble.

Seattle software engineer David Winkler built this striking replica of an Italian statue called "The Bringer of Light" with the help of a specialized 3D scanner and custom software to pinopint how to mimic the original's shape in LEGO blocks.