76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition is the most polarising LEGO Harry Potter D2C yet

76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition is proving polarising with LEGO Harry Potter fans, and currently has the lowest score of all the theme’s D2Cs at LEGO.com.

The 5,129-piece rendition of the Wizarding World train has been sitting at the station (or at LEGO.com and in LEGO Stores) for almost two weeks now, and it already has 35 user reviews at LEGO.com. Of those, 25 have given it top marks ­– but another 20 have awarded the set either one or two out of a possible five stars. At the time of writing, its overall rating is just 3.5 stars.

Compare that to the theme’s three previous direct-to-consumer sets, and the difference is striking: 75978 Diagon Alley is currently rated 4.4 with 168 reviews; 71043 Hogwarts Castle has an average score of 4.7 from 317 reviews; and last year’s 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition tops the list with 4.8 stars out of five from 87 reviews.

LEGO Harry Potter 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors Edition review scores

So, what’s gone wrong with the brand new 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition? A quick glance at the reviews at LEGO.com suggests the biggest complaints involve the set’s price, scale and incompatibility with both other trains and the LEGO Group’s own motors. 

“As a fan who grew up with the books and films and who has kids who are experiencing it right now, I enjoy the [Harry Potter sets] for their playability,” one reviewer wrote, taking to task the set’s cost, lack of play features and part-intensive track. “I very much looked forward to this set since it was announced and I have been very disappointed.”

“This set does look good as a *cough* FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR display piece, I can’t deny – but the fact that it is so oversized, not track compatible, etc. is so irredeemably disappointing,” another chimed in. “My worry now is that if this set does poorly, future train sets may be questioned due to falsely perceived lack of interest.”

Seven design secrets behind LEGO 76405 Hogwarts Express
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According to the set’s designer Marcos Bessa, 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition was deliberately designed out of scale with standard LEGO track to prevent fans from attempting to motorise it, because the engine and carriage are too big to handle Powered Up components. That hasn’t stopped plenty of fans from questioning the original intent behind the set, however.

Even the five-star reviews regularly call out the set’s high price of £429.99 / $499.99 / €499.99, although they’re full of praise for the model itself. “I understand the price is high and may limit the audience, however I have really enjoyed the set and [it] has been a fun discussion piece in video calls,” one reviewer explained.

LEGO Harry Potter 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors Edition review 2

“This set is beautiful! Love the overall size and look of the train,” added another. “My wife and I are huge Harry Potter fans and couldn’t wait to add this to our collection. We collect several LEGO themes and truly love the larger sets like this one. This set is for 18+ and was not designed to ‘play’ with.”

Perhaps the clearest distinction between 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition and its Wizarding World contemporaries, however, is the percentage of fans who would recommend the set. For the train, that currently sits at 49%, or less than half of all users. By contrast, 86% of fans would recommend 75978 Diagon Alley; 94% say yes to 71043 Hogwarts Castle, and 95% think you should buy 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition.

Those are all extremely high approval ratings, and proof positive that 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition is an outlier for the wider LEGO Harry Potter theme. You can check out our verdict on the 18+ set by clicking here, or make up your own mind by purchasing the set from LEGO.com. For now, here’s a quick comparison of how all four sets stack up by user reviews…

Set nameUser rating (out of five)Recommendation level
71043 Hogwarts Castle4.794%
75978 Diagon Alley4.486%
76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition4.895%
76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition3.549%

Click here to read more about our stance on LEGO Harry Potter, and consider donating to charities that support transgender people, such as Mermaids and Stonewall.

Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

One thought on “76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition is the most polarising LEGO Harry Potter D2C yet

  • 12/09/2022 at 19:38

    If you redesign the train to be LEGO compatible scale, it’s no longer a detailed display piece. Instead it would go right back to being the previous Hogwarts Express train set which is a small little set. You can have big and detailed, or small and compatible. You can’t have it both ways. I think what’s ruffling builders’ feathers is that the big train’s wheel track is only one stud wider than standard. So close, yet so far. If they could have made the new train set two or three studs wider, then the difference would be stark enough to not wish so much for compatibility of scale.

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