LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree review

Even for those unfamiliar with its cultural connections, 40648 Money Tree is an affordable and attractive alternative to the Botanical Collection.

40648 Money Tree might not look like much, but this relatively inexpensive Chinese New Year creation is a great method of celebrating the season on a budget, especially compared to the annual Chinese Traditional Festivals sets for 2023 – 80110 Lunar New Year Display and 80111 Lunar New Year Parade.

Like many of the annual LEGO Chinese New Year models before it, there’s cultural significance to 40648 Money Tree. Whether given as a gift or bought as a treat to decorate the home, some sources believe that money trees bring good luck, money and fortune and they are usually decorated with red envelopes and coins, as seen in the set.

The inclusion of tangerines in 40648 Money Tree doesn’t appear to be a common occurrence across real money trees, but others say they are believed to bring good luck and happiness, with the Chinese word for tangerines closely resembling the words for luck and wealth. The combination of coins, the tree, the envelopes and the tangerines make this an all-encompassing interpretation of a money tree. However, you don’t have to understand the cultural significance to appreciate the set.


— LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree set details —

Theme: Seasonal Set name: 40648 Money Tree Release date: December 25, 2022

Price: £21.99 / $24.99 / €24.99 Pieces: 336

LEGO: Available now

— Where to buy LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree

40648 Money Tree is a seasonal model and one in line with the likes of the Chinese Traditional Festival range too, so don’t expect it to be available outside of and some LEGO Stores.

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— LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree build —

There’s only one model in 40648 Money Tree and the name gives it away. The Money Tree is made up of an ornate red planter and the tree itself with dozens of branches to hang the 20 tangerines, 14 red envelopes and 10 coins. In case you couldn’t infer by that description, this is an extremely repetitive build with many of the branches being identical in structure. However, despite the nature of this model’s assembly, the final result is sizeable, detailed and suitably colourful. It’s worth the time and repetitive build process to put it together.

The eye-catching red planter’s use of curved pieces placed on their side allows for a simple but effective piece of detailing. When combined with the dome elements, it creates a symmetrical and seamless effect that adds some much-needed shape to what could have easily been a bland and uninspired build.

The variety of coins, tangerines and envelopes scattered in no recognisable pattern across the tree provides plenty of colours, especially for a natural build mostly made up of brown and grey. It makes for a stark contrast to the plant-inspired creation in the LEGO Botanical Collection. Although this set isn’t an entry in that range, it could easily sit beside them or as a budget-friendly alternative to the likes of 10281 Bonsai Tree.

— LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree price —

With 336 pieces, including lots of printed elements, for £21.99 / $24.99 / €24.99, both the piece count and the volume of plastic you get for the price feel like good value, though not too generous in terms of volume. As for how it compares to 10281 Bonsai Tree, at around half the price, it feels like exactly half the build in terms of complexity and size, but still with a good amount of details to appreciate.

Add to that the cultural connection and the many colours, and it’s a well-sized package to display around the home at any time of year. Thanks to its smaller surface area, it will fit into smaller spaces too – which can’t be said for the likes of the LEGO Botanical Collection’s entries.

As an affordable alternative to those more challenging creations, it’s worth noting that the upcoming 40646 Daffodils, which is cheaper than 30648 Money Tree at £10.99 / $12.99 / €12.99, doesn’t come with a brick-built planter, so you’d have to source that yourself. For a bit more, you can get 40648 Money Tree with an ornate planter included.

— LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree pictures —

— LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree pros and cons —

Comparisons to the likes of the LEGO Botanical Collection may not seem fair, but 40648 Money Tree sits alongside them well and manages to hold its own. That’s thanks in no small part to a mixed variety of bright colours, along with cultural decorations to bring abundance, prosperity and good luck as well as its small surface area (despite its decent volume of bricks).

40648 Money Tree is likely going to be appreciated most by those who know more about the cultural significance behind the build, but we’d be lying if we said this set hadn’t impressed us more than we were expecting despite this. While its appeal to those who don’t annually celebrate the Chinese New Year will be limited, you may understand it a little more when looking at the set as an affordable introduction to the LEGO Botanical Collection.

Even as a parts pack, the printed envelopes, coins, drum-lacquered gold and pumpkin pieces could all be used as decoration elsewhere, and it’s cheap enough for that to be a viable option. Don’t completely overlook 40648 Money Tree, as its versatility may surprise you – even for those who have no context of its cultural significance.

Seasonal 40648 Money Tree prosSeasonal 40648 Money Tree cons
Takes up a good amount of space for a low price, but is still easy to fit into small areasThe appeal may be limited unless you understand the cultural significance, but that’s expected in a set such as this
It’s complex enough to be an introduction to the LEGO Botanical Collection and has enough details to sit alongside them without being overshadowedIt’s an extremely repetitive build by design
An assortment of printed and uncommon pieces that will be useful elsewhere

This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

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— LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree FAQs —

How long does it take to build LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree?

Surprisingly, it took us around 45 minutes to put together 40648 Money Tree, which was longer than we expected for the relatively low price.

How many pieces are in LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree?

336 pieces are contained in 40648 Money Tree, including 20 pumpkins acting as tangerines, 14 printed red envelopes and 10 printed coins, as well as lots of foliage elements for other natural builds.

How big is LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree?

At 16cm high, 14cm wide and 16cm deep, the size of this model may take you by surprise, but it’s still small enough to fit into any cracks in your collection, or sit aptly on any minimal surface space you have in mind.

How much does LEGO Seasonal 40648 Money Tree cost?

40648 Money Tree is a good value build at £21.99 / $24.99 / €24.99 with 336 pieces, including 24 elements with detailed printing and some drum-lacquered bricks too.

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