REVIEW: Monster Book of Monsters

Since its appearance at the Shanghai LEGOLAND Discovery Centre a few weeks back, the availability of the Monster Book of Monsters set has been surrounded with mystery. But then today, when I was our doing my first LEGO display since the start of the pandemic, the store next door had just put it on its shelves for retail sale. I quickly bought one and found a quiet corner to sit on the floor to build…

30628 – Monster Book of Monsters

I’ve heard rumours that most (if not all) LEGO stores will get it, so hopefully this will soon be available in all regions. Barnes and Noble should get it in the US too. But that’s what I know for now – apart from the fact that the LEGO Certified Store at Dreamworld in Australia sold out all 180 it had in a few hours. That’s where I got mine.

Sitting on the floor in a corner of the exhibition, I started building…

But let’s look at the set.

Box and content

The box follows the normal Harry Potter themed layout. The front shows a photo of the book on a wooden background (floor or table) and illustrates in the lower left corner that a Draco Malfoy minifigure is included.

The back shows the book from different angles and with arrows indicates that you can push it along to make it open and close slightly, as if it was snapping as in the movies.

Inside the box is four numbered bags (two bags 1 and two bags 2) as well as an unnumbered bag with plates. You will also find the instruction booklet and a small sticker sheet. The set has no printed parts.

The Build

For a pretty small set, it still packs quite a few bricks, as it includes many small ones. But it won’t take you much more than a cup of coffee to finish.

You start with building Malfoy Draco. The combination of parts used for his figure may new (I haven’t checked), but all minifigure parts do exist in previous sets. He has the Slytherin sweater torso, duel faced head, and “teenager” legs.

Then you get started on the bottom half of the book. Here are a few progress photos.

The build is quite interesting, as it got a good level of detail, as well as the “snapping” mechanism.

Here is what it looked like at the end of the first bags. The spine of the book may look a bit unfinished, but that is how it looks in the end. I had hoped for more curved sloped bricks to come in the second step.

Continuning with bag two, the focus is shifted to the upper half. The stickers are all used on the front cover of the book.

Here is the completed model.

Watch out Draco!

But the really cool thing is when you push it along and the mouth starts snapping. Here is a video of how it looks.

To work, you do need to apply some good downward pressure to ensure the wheels doesn’t just slide along.

Conclusion

This is a great Gift With Purchase (GWP) set. But some shops may sell it instead. I’m not sure if there is an official retail price – it may be up to the shops getting it. It was reasonable where I got it – but I wouldn’t pay say $50 from Ebay, as it is a rather small set – and only with one minifigure, which isn’t really exclusive.

That said, I do love the book otherwise. It is well executed and with a clever mechanism for “snapping”. I am hoping the rumoured books to come in January will supplement it well.

As said, I have heard that both Barnes and Noble as well as (some, if not all) LEGO stores in the US should have it soon, and I would expect LEGO stores in general globally will get access to this set. So hopefully it will be available to most soon. I’ll update further with availability as I hear more…

Till then, Build the Magic!

Hermione with her Book of Monsters

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