Rumours surrounding a LEGO Harry Potter set based on objects had been swirling around for a while. I can’t lie, it sounded odd, if anything because it was to be so different. With minor exceptions like the promotional 6346097 Yoda’s Lightsaber, it’s uncommon for licensed sets in particular to go against the expected location or vehicle builds. So when 76391 Hogwarts Icons – Collector’s Edition was revealed, I was pleasantly surprised.
Some might balk at the set’s eccentric quality; many would have preferred an extension to 75978 Diagon Alley in the form of Gringotts, the wizarding bank, and a few other shops. However, in the past year especially, the designers behind the LEGO Harry Potter theme have really been experimenting with different set types, whether that be the tidy dioramas in the Hogwarts Moments sets or the buildable Harry Potter and Hermione Granger models (set number 76939).
Why, then, should we be put off this new set? Hedwig especially looks gorgeous, an unsurprising improvement on 75979 Hedwig the Owl from 2020 given the increased price point.
You’ll be able to read our review of 76391 Hogwarts Icons – Collector’s Edition in Issue 83, which will feature the set on the front cover. To get Blocks, the ultimate LEGO magazine for fans, every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the chocolate frog to Hermione Granger’s potions set, so many of the build elements are sleekly designed. The golden snitch especially is both cleverly and elegantly designed, capturing one of the franchise’s most unique and dainty objects beautifully.
The chocolate frog card and extension for the anniversary minifigures are also lovely added touches, reminding us that this year the LEGO Harry Potter theme has been celebrating 20 years of magical builds and designs. In this time, we’ve seen many buildings from the Wizarding World represented (some faithfully, some less so), but never do I think have we seen something quite as unique as this.
Speaking of minifigures, the chosen designs for Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall are some of the best Harry Potter minifigures ever. The absence of these figures alongside Hagrid from the 2021 anniversary line’s golden figure choices was severely felt – this set fills these essential gaps.
Of course, there are some foibles. The books look a little bland and serve more as a creative base than offering any extra details – a complaint that is especially clear with Tom Riddle’s diary, which has little to indicate that it is so. The scarves are also disappointing: the colour schemes for some of the houses look a little off, and the builds themselves seem uninspired and lazy. Then again, no LEGO set is without flaws.
Whilst there’s perhaps not much scope for this set to be expanded – perhaps LEGO wands might become a thing, as Harry’s is tapered brilliantly and very neatly designed – it’s a wonderful celebration of the license.
When I first read Harry Potter over 15 years ago, I like many of my friends dreamed of going to Hogwarts. If the continuation of the license is anything to go by, this dream continues today not only in the newer, younger audiences whom the newer waves have targeted but also for the older builders for whom Harry Potter means so much. Whichever group you’re a part of, with this set you too can write your name and receive your own (LEGO) letter for Hogwarts.
76391 Hogwarts Icons – Collector’s Edition then might have been an unusual choice, a hodgepodge of various ideas and items barely thought about in the Harry Potter world. For some, this set will be an easy pass because it doesn’t give a new location the LEGO treatment, but for me it’s an elegant and detailed exploration of what the theme means for its many fans. For years, LEGO Harry Potter helped us build and create our own wizarding worlds; this set makes sure we still get our letter for Hogwarts, even if it’s slightly late.