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Review of the lovely LEGO Creative Storybook

The limited-edition #40291 LEGO Creative Storybook set is now available! This is a free exclusive set with purchases of $99 or more until June 20th at official LEGO stores and the Online LEGO Shop. As this is one of the largest free sets LEGO ever released, and one of the nicest ones, it deserves its own separate review. So let’s take a look. 🙂

The #40291 LEGO Creative Storybook comes in a pretty large box (10.25 x 5.5 x 2.75 inches and just about 1 pound), and with 307 pieces. This is no keychain or other small freebie, but a full set in its own right.

The front of the box displays the storybook itself, with a row of colorful Danish houses in the background. There is also a red seal at the front, with the name and silhouette of Hans Christian Andersen in minifig form. The back of the box features a series of lovely scenes depicting Andersen and a little boy in a park setting – which is the subject of the storybook.

Inside the box, you will find four bags with the pieces to build the set, as well as four 6×10 plates loosely added. I was very surprised by the quality of the instruction booklet. It’s printed on thicker paper than most LEGO sets and is very nice quality. The first couple of pages feature some alternate building suggestions that could be used to replace the little pond in the storybook. Please note that pieces and minifigs for these alternate models are not included. They are merely suggestions, each referencing a scene from a famous Hans Christian Andersen fairytale; The Princess and the Pea, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Ugly Duckling, The Snow Queen, The Nightingale, and Jack the Dullard.

Although no building instructions are included for these alternate models, none of them are difficult builds, and you should be able to build them with your own pieces just by looking at the pictures. It’s interesting to note that while the scenes in the book are built on 6×8 plates, the alternate models are on 6×10 plates. I’m not sure why LEGO designers took this route, as all of the alternate models could easily fit on a smaller plate, and thus ready to be inserted into the storybook. In any case, just keep this in mind if you plan to build the alternate models.

The storybook itself is built of three sections; the spine of the book, and the two pages. Once assembled, they connect with clips. Although the two pages can be moved slightly from completely flat to somewhat angled, the book cannot be closed. It is meant to lay open, with the two little scenes creating a pop-up book effect.

As mentioned above, both of the scenes are built on 6×8 plates, and they are inserted into the book at an angle, using hinge-bricks. The rest of the book (pages and cover) are built using mostly plates, tiles and some curved bricks in tan, brown, and bright-light-orange. The nameplate is a 1×8 printed tile. I’m very impressed that LEGO chose to print this piece, instead of just giving us a sticker. After all, remember, this is a free set!

The left side of the storybook depicts Hans Christian Andersen sitting on a park bench and writing one of his stories. He is holding new style book with hinged opening, and a 1×2 printed plate attached inside. Although this printed plate is not a new piece, it only appeared in a couple of other sets, so it’s a nice piece to get. The printing says: “Once upon a time…” with some gold decoration around it. Next to the park bench, there is a simple street lamp. Strangely, LEGO designers choose a trans-neon-green piece for the lamp instead of a trans-yellow one. It’s not too bad, but a trans-yellow one would have matched the era better. The 6×8 light-gray plate is covered with round tiles in two sizes (1×1 and 1×2), and four colors (tan, brown, dark-gray, and olive-green) to create a cobblestone effect. It looks lovely!

On the right side of the storybook is a small pond built on a 6×8 medium-azure plate with trans-light-blue 1×2 tiles to create a water effect, along with some other trans-light-blue elements for a water fountain. There are also a few green plates and tiles, as well as some plant pieces to add a bit of greenery around the pond. A brick-built swan completes this side of the book – another reference to The Ugly Duckling story.

The storybook is meant to be viewed in its open state, but in case you are curious about how the bottom looks, below is a picture for you. While the front and back of the book are just the bottoms of plates, the spine is actually really nicely detailed with four bright-light-orange stripes.

The two minifigs included with the #40291 LEGO Creative Storybook are pretty generic, but they serve their intended purpose well with useful pieces and accessories. I like how Hans Christian Andersen is dressed in a 19th-century fashion, while the little boy is wearing a modern striped shirt and hoodie. This indicates the timelessness of Andersen’s stories and how they continue to inspire new generations of children.

As far as parts selection, you get a good number of basic elements (particularly plates and tiles) in nice colors. The most outstanding piece is the 1×8 printed tile nameplate, which is exclusive to this set, and the 1×2 printed tile inside the book. Other nice pieces are the large selection of tiles in several different colors. And as usual with LEGO sets, you also get one extra of each of the smallest pieces (see picture below).

If you would like to see the #40291 LEGO Creative Storybook in more detail, I have included the video-review below by JANGBRiCKS.

Overall, the #40291 LEGO Creative Storybook is a fantastic set! It looks great on display, and it also has a nice play-feature which encourages you to swap out the pages with your own fairytale scenes. Even if the set wasn’t free I would recommend it, and as a free-with-purchase set that is valued at approximately $19.99 (according to the set information at the Online LEGO Shop), this is a very generous offer from LEGO. It’s also a nice precursor to the recently approved LEGO Ideas Pop-Up Book set by Jason Allemann which will be released before the end of the year.

If you would like to get the #40291 LEGO Creative Storybook, you have until June 20th to stop by at an official LEGO store or place an order at the Online LEGO Shop. There are plenty of new sets to choose from to meet the $99 minimum purchase amount, and you will also receive free shipping if you order online. Below are some recently released sets that you might be interested in and were recently listed at the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? How do you like the #40291 LEGO Creative Storybook set? Are you planning to make a purchase to get it? Or do you have it already? Feel free to share your thoughts and own reviews in the comment section below! 😉

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Hayato June 9, 2018, 8:53 PM

    This is a very nice offer indeed. I’m also surprised by the printed tile. I was sure it was a sticker when I first saw pictures of the set. Will definitely have to get one.

  • SPMom June 9, 2018, 9:44 PM

    This is a great display piece. I wish the minimum was a little less but totally worth it. Let’s see if we can manage before the deadline. Does lego ever offer these sets for purchase?

    • admin June 10, 2018, 12:35 PM

      LEGO only makes them available with purchase and they don’t sell them separately. However, you could get the set separately on BrickLink or eBay from private sellers for around $25, which is not a bad price.

  • Rob June 10, 2018, 10:11 AM

    I had the best idea last Friday! I finally got some monies enough to buy the #60051 high speed train and went up to the Lego store to see if they had this model and in the process get this set as well. They were sold out at the store and didn’t expect more. As it turned out a local Target had two sets of the high-speed train, so I bought one of them. I felt fortunate enough to find one locally so I’m gonna keep it rather than take it back and bother to see if Lego has any of the train sets to buy through phone ordering.

    Hey, I finally got the train, though! 😀

    • admin June 10, 2018, 12:46 PM

      Good for ya! That’s such a sleek train! LEGO is replacing both the high speed train and the cargo train with new models in August, so it’s great that you were able to get it before it disappears from store shelves. Enjoy the build! 😀

      • Rob June 10, 2018, 5:30 PM

        Thank you! I was both excited and relieved to find this model after the new trains ones were announced and the older models no doubt picked up quickly from Lego stores and other retailers. I have in my mind big future expansion of my Lego city with an other side of the street with a second elevated track running a second high speed train (I have one running now).

        Hopefully Lego keeps the modular buildings going until I have enough for a second side of the street… and a room that can be dedicated for my Lego collection. 😉

        Dream big, ya know! 😀

        • admin June 10, 2018, 5:40 PM

          Sounds like a good plan! The Modulars were specifically developed to work with trains (at least initially), and they look great together. If, for some reason, LEGO discontinues the Modulars, you can always design your own in the same style, or download building plans from others. I highly doubt this will happen though. If LEGO discontinues the Modulars, AFOLs would be all grabbing their old-brown and reddish-brown pitchforks, and throw at LEGO every version of their trans-orange flame pieces! 😀

          • Rob June 11, 2018, 7:22 PM

            I suspect you’re right about rioting AFOL’s on the modulars and that definitely works in favor of my future plans. 😀

  • brickmaster June 10, 2018, 12:27 PM

    Really nice set. I’m surprised how much effort Lego put into a freebie. I also like that the stories can be switched out.

    • brickmaster June 10, 2018, 12:28 PM

      I don’t have the set yet, although I plan to get it before the deadline. Is it easy to swap out the 6×8 plates? Looks like they are locked in by the 2×4 tiles. Or do they just slide out?

      • admin June 10, 2018, 12:51 PM

        To replace the 6×8 plates with the displays you need to remove the two 2×4 tiles. They are pretty easy to remove as their purpose is to hide a gap, and are attached only by four studs each. The 6×8 plates themselves are attached to two hinge bricks, so you just need to separate them from those. Then, replace the 6×8 plate, and put back the two tiles. Easy peasy. 😀

  • James June 12, 2018, 12:54 AM

    I was worried that the existence of this set would make it less likely for https://ideas.lego.com/projects/cfaf7a52-02a4-4dc0-8ec3-6b94d7c36069 to be approved, but I guess I wasn’t paying attention, because it looks like it was approved a couple of weeks ago.

    • admin June 12, 2018, 3:39 PM

      Yeah, I can’t wait for that set! So much customizing potential! But it is certainly interesting that LEGO released this small book shortly before the LEGO Ideas version. 😀

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