What I see a monster as:
There are lots of times where really good animatronics have helped a movie win awards. For example, in 1995, John Cox was the Visual Effects Academy Award Winner and was a BAFTA Award Nominee for Best Achievement in Special Effects. Both of these were for his work in Babe. Another example of famous animatronics is when Carlo Rambaldi designed the E.T. figure which was used in Steven Spielberg's movie E.T. It was capable of 150 different movements including many different facial expressions, neck, hand, and of course, finger movements.
When prototyping, our group got out the box of legos and we just put random things with each other to test different parts with each other. We made different things each time using a different variety of the lego parts. An example is when we were testing out the wheels. We didn't get to do too much prototyping but we did get to have a look at all of the legos so we get an idea of the things our monster can be made from.