Indiana Jones grail diary replica review

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indyjones grail diary 2

REVIEW – If you’re a regular here at The Gadgeteer, you already know that love journals. But you might not know that I also love the Indiana Jones movies and those movies solidified my love of diaries in journals when they showed the “grail diary”. So when I saw an opportunity to buy a replica, I threw caution to the wind and ordered one. Let’s see if it was money well spent or money squandered.

What is it?

The “grail diary” was a worn handwritten diary from the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade movie. It was the character Doctor Henry Jones, Sr’s diary where he collected all of his findings on the topic of the Holy Grail.

*Image of the grail diary is from the Indiana Jones Fandom page.

What’s in the box?

  • Grail diary replica

On the site where I ordered the grail diary replica, it was advertised to be a “stunning hand bound replica” with the image below.

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But what I received looks like this:

indyjones grail diary 5

As you can see, the book looks brand new and is not bound in leather, but just a brown covered modern machine bound book with an elastic band holding folded documents.

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Maps, telegrams, and other documents (watch the video below to see all of the included documents).

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The book itself has printed pages.

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With sketches.

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I remember some of the sketches from the movie.

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There are also loose documents, papers, etc inside the book too.

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And then I noticed that the cover detached from the book block! ARGH

Video flip-through

What I like

  • Movie nostalgia
  • Fun flip through

What I’d change

  • Show what you’re really getting on product pages
  • Better quality control

Final thoughts

I purchased this replica because I’m both a fan of the Indiana Jones movies and journals. I didn’t expect this book to be a perfect copy of the movie prop, but I expected it to be a representation of what was shown on the product page from where I ordered it. This wasn’t the case. The book that they advertise does not look anything like the one I received and then there’s the fact that it split open within minutes of me flipping through the pages.

Also note that their website says that this book is made in the USA and ships from the USA. That’s not true. It ships from China and then is repackaged and shipped from New Jersey via USPS. I know it shipped from China because they gave me the tracking number when I asked about it a couple of weeks after I ordered it. It took a full month for me to receive it.

I emailed them with pictures and complaints and they offered to reimburse me a whopping $8. Wow… Then after doing some extra googling, I noticed that there is what looks like an identical book on Amazon for substantially less money. I wish I’d seen that one first. At least I could make an easy return of a defective or unwanted product if I would have purchased it from Amazon! Oh well…

Price: $49.88 on Highhishoes and only $19.99 on Amazon
Where to buy: and Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was purchased with my own funds.

23 thoughts on “Indiana Jones grail diary replica review”

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  2. This book has not been yet reviewed on, but there is one review from the website, here is the summary: it’s a scam.

    1. Fred, It’s not like they took my money and didn’t send me ANYTHING. But what they sent is not what they advertised. I have already complained and first, they offered me an $8 refund. I replied and demanded all my money back and they’ve upped the refund to $10. 😉

      1. So, I just found your review. After I got my own version. I did find it on Amazon for the 19.99 which is what prompted me to buy. I have been working on making my own for the last 3 years and while I’ve made some of the inserts that I’m happy with, the book its self is probably going to wait until I’m retired or have nothing else left to do. I will say while I agree 100% with your issues with the book, my take (given I only paid $20) is this is a good take on it if I were buying for a younger child and don’t want a nice version ripped up. It looks to me like a toy in the simplest terms. For $50, I would expect much more. Since it is a little more than the book I plan on using the pages to work on my own. In my cursory look, I don’t see any pages duplicated like I expected. and it does appear they paid attention to making sure “MOST” but not all pages were together but I have noticed most of the date ranges were kept in a range of order… for instance there are no pages dated 1920s in the front of the book and no 1800s pages in the back. however the dates are not always sequential. I don’t think this qualifies as a replica, more a toy, and if they marketed as such I wouldn’t have an issue. I do agree, that was not what was advertised. Mine so far hasn’t broken in half, (I’ve only had it 2 days) so we’ll see when that happens. So when it does, I think thats when Ill work on my rebinding with real leather (maybe find an Old lether jacket or bag to get it from and make sure the pages go back together in the best order possible. And I’ll add my own inserts some might be scanned from theirs and reprinted on better paper etc. Thanks for your review and I hope you find a better version. I really like Mark Ramsey shows on his Etsy store, just out of my price range.

  3. Actually there are 2 one-star reviews both saying that the received product looks nothing like the seller’s pictures.

  4. If you bought it from Highhishoes that’s the issue, they’re a known copyright infringing setup, they’re hidden behind multiple business names, there’s no product from them that’s real/OEM.

    I know this from my experience last fall ordering a National Parks Monsters calendar from them, it was very poorly made and I would even suggest the print master for the mages were just screenshots from the official site.

      1. The good news is that there is no doubt a real version of this made properly since they used it as the basis for their clone, it would probably be as nice as the pictured item which I would buy in a heartbeat, since I have the Indy set from the UK that came in a replica of the journal

  5. Robert Grenader

    Caveat Emptor. It has happened to all of us who purchase some products from China that arrive in unusable condition.

  6. Julie, you’ll find the real one (the one that’s pictured) on Etsy. Significantly higher priced, but that’s because it’s actually very good.

    1. I sell a Grail Diary replica on Etsy..been selling since 2017 and the cost $220.00…sold over 600 since i started and have excellent reviews. I had to put up a fight when that same Chinese outfit started using pics of my diary they stole from my site. Now all my pics are watermarked.

          1. Hi Mark, your diary looks amazing! Really intrigued to buy it 🙂

            Can you comment on differences to other higher quality diaries from other vendors on etsy, e.g. Redrommel? Any major differences in quality? Same content and writing? Same inlays?

  7. Hi Sascha!
    Well, for one, many other diaries (the ones that sell for more that twice what mine does) are hand-written & hand-illustrated…which is awesome if you have the time to do it. Believe me, if I were to write & draw it all by hand I never could have sold over 600 of them since I started in 2017…plus I’d HAVE to charge WAY more for them than I do now.
    However, every page seen in the movie diary is in mine too…my diary is a “story” version…a coherent, chronological diary of Henry Sr’s grail quest, leading up to the events of the movie (and slightly beyond in the form of an insert that acts as a bit of a “prologue” to the story)…speaking of inserts, my diary has 42 of them….photos, letters, currency, tickets, etc. Some are glued into place but most are loose…and they arent randomly stuffed into the book, either. Most of them are related to whats written in the diary where they are inserted, and in some cases directly referenced to by the diary entry itself. I spent 2 years before i started sellinng them to learn book-making, perfecting my aging techniques, finding the best leather for the cover, and insuring accuracy in the writting & inserts. I did take one bit of liberty with mine, however….the writing in my diary has a fountain pen font instead of the handwriting font of the mivie diary. The one made for the movie needed to be easily read when it’d briefly appear open & up close in the film scene. I, however, chose to be “technically accurate”, knowing Henry wrote with a fountain pen (the one he squirts in that Nazi’s eyes inside the tank)…I felt it gives my diary an extra touch of realism.
    And just for an added touch of realism, the punched tickets were punched using a vintage, 90 year old ticket puncher. 🤠

  8. Mine just arrived, very disappointing, had no idea it was on amazon for half the price or would have gone for that. Don’t recommend this one to anybody. Costs a lot of money and nothing like the original.

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