LEGO designers explain obscure Harry Potter minifigure in summer 2021 set

The LEGO Harry Potter designers have revealed why they included an incredibly obscure minifigure in one of this summer’s 20th anniversary sets.

Among the minifigure line-up in 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets (review) is Professor Sinistra, a background character who appeared intermittently in the Harry Potter films – and never actually had any lines. While the renewed Wizarding World theme hasn’t shied away from obscure characters, particularly in the summer wave (do you remember Mr. and Mrs. Flume?), Sinistra still feels like a surprise choice for a set focused on such a pivotal moment in the Harry Potter canon.

Tips & Bricks queried the astronomy professor’s inclusion with the LEGO Harry Potter design team at this year’s LEGO Fan Media event, and Senior Designer Yi-Chien Cheng and Design Master Marcos Bessa explained that the character choice actually hinged on key issues of diversity and representation.

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“We’re definitely trying to bring forward representation within the restraints of the IP,” Yi-Chien said. “I remember when I was young, there were nine male figures and one female figure in a set, and for me the sole female figure was a treasure that I wanted more of! We definitely are trying to provide a more gender-neutral balance… we’re limited by the source material, but are trying our best to improve diversity.” 

“[Professor Sinistra] is a great example of the product of dialogue we’ve been having internally and with partners,” Marcos added. “We want to bring representation to the table where we can. We do see Professor Sinistra in the films, even if not much, but we definitely wanted to include her for representation.”

You can expand the diversity of your own LEGO Harry Potter minifigure collection by picking up Professor Sinistra in 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets, which is available to order now (alongside the rest of this summer’s 20th anniversary wave).

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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.

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