New Book Shows How to Build Lego Guns, Catapults

Legos — they're not just for good kids anymore.

A book written by two former employees of the Danish plastic-brick giant is burning up the sales charts — and raising eyebrows on the other side of the Atlantic.

"Forbidden LEGO: Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against" was published in August by No Starch Press, a small independent publishing house based in San Francisco.

Its authors, Ulrik Pilegaard and Mike Dooley, both worked at the Lego Mindstorms robotics division before leaving to join an independent robotics firm.

"You'll learn to create working models that LEGO would never endorse," the book's page on the publisher's Web site promises. "Try your hand at a toy gun that shoots LEGO plates, a candy catapult, a high voltage LEGO vehicle, a continuous-fire ping-pong ball launcher, and other useless but incredibly fun inventions."

• Click here to watch the Lego automatic pistol in action, and here for the official 'Forbidden LEGO' Web page.

Americans have embraced the idea in stride, putting the title at No. 244 on the Web retailer's book-sales chart as of midday Thursday. But in Britain, the constantly hysterical press added the book onto its ever-growing pile of Things That Threaten Society.

"Lego is set to turn slightly more sinister with the launch of an unofficial book that teaches children how to make weapons out of the iconic plastic bricks," warned London's Evening Standard.

The Daily Telegraph dubbed the tome "the Anarchist Cookbook of the nursery" and stated with some authority that it was "topping the Santa Claus wish list for naughty children and their parents all over the world."

A commenter on, which houses the Evening Standard's online content, sarcastically took the sensationalism even further.

"This is a very dangerous idea," he wrote with tongue firmly in cheek. "Kids could make atomic bombs out of Lego, and just think what would happen if some Islamic terrorist get hold of a copy. The possibilities are terrifying."

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