I first noticed this book weeks ago on a the bottom shelf in the middle of the aisle across the bike racks near the toy section at my local Wal-mart. Each visit, each week, my curiosity grew about this little bundle, as did the thin layer of dust accumulated over it. So, I finally picked up one copy today.
As it says on the front, it "Includes
3 great books, 500
stickers plus a 61-piece
LEGO X-wing model!"
I do not have the full version of the visual dictionary, so I can't say much about how the excerpted edition compares. Although from skimming through it, it does seem like a great addition to any magazine rack that you may have next to the toilet.
Moving along to the sticker books. Each sticker book contains 250 stickers. Much like other LEGO sticker books, the first part of each book includes silhouettes of characters and vehicles. And, the second part of each book contains the actual stickers to match the silhouettes. However, each sticker book contains one set of stickers, unlike most other LEGO sticker books that contain two sets.
Now on to the good part...The X-wing Polybag!
When I first found out about this LEGO Star Wars: The Essential Book Collection, I was mostly curious about the included X-wing model. Doing a little research before whipping up this review, I found that 30051-1 was a recent Easter Polybag from 2010 (but you might have already known that). Anyhow, in case you wanted to build one yourself and already have the existing parts in your collection, here's pics of the parts and the instructions.
Here's the final with its spare pieces.
Pros: Just like it says on the box, 3 books, 500 stickers, and x-wing model.
Cons: A Wal-Mart Exclusive, This collection has low availability. I only found five of these at a Wal-Mart out of the 3 that are in my area, and it's listed as sold out on Walmart.com. You'll find it twice the price on ebay and more than three times the price on Amazon
At $11.97 and tax, if you're just after the the polybag, that would seem to make it cost about 20 cents per piece. For me to justify this purchase, I put a $3 value on each book ($9 total) and $3 for the polybag(5cents per piece).