Since the films first arrived in cinemas more than two decades ago, the LEGO Group has produced a wide selection of sets inspired by the Harry Potter franchise. Covering a full 20 years (and change) of brick history, LEGO Harry Potter has reflected changing design trends while introducing parts that have found wide use beyond their parent theme.
Despite its long association with the LEGO Group, a total of only 120 sets have been released under the Harry Potter umbrella – a far cry from the likes of Star Wars, which currently boasts more than 800 products. These sets have depicted numerous locations and scenes from the movies, although the dark subject matter of the later films have produced some unexpected clashes with the LEGO Group’s brand values.
LEGO Harry Potter history
The first LEGO Harry Potter sets appeared in 2001, marking one of the first times a licensed theme had appeared in the LEGO range (Star Wars beat it to the punch by a couple of years, thanks to the 1999 release of The Phantom Menace). As an early licensed release, the initial waves of Harry Potter models exhibit some unusual design features. The yellow minifigure heads are the most obvious, as well as the looser relationship to the source material. Early sets like 4721 Hogwarts Classrooms, for instance, are rather more colourful than their on-screen counterparts.
Sets from 2001 and 2002 recreate many of the key locales from the movies (which have always been the primary inspiration for the LEGO Group). LEGO fans at the time could purchase familiar models like 4709 Hogwarts Castle and 4707 Hagrid’s Hut. Sets like 4714 Gringott’s Bank and 4728 Escape from Privet Drive also capture something of the world outside Hogwarts itself.
In 2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban arrived in cinemas. The darker tone of the movie seems to have inspired a more mature direction for the broader Harry Potter theme. Harry Potter and his fellow minifigures sported realistic skin tones for the first time, and the vivid colours of the early sets were replaced by the grounded colour scheme of the movies. 2005’s sets (inspired by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) took a similar approach, although play features – like a magnetic dragon egg – persisted.
From then on, the release of Harry Potter sets would become more fragmented. Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix received just one tie-in set upon its initial release in 2007, and the next wave (running from 2010 to 2011) made only passing references to the later movies.
The theme would return properly in 2018, with scenes from across the film series referenced. There were also new models like 75979 Hedwig released; designed for display rather than play, these arguably reflect the increasing age of the Harry Potter fanbase. The Fantastic Beasts film series also received two tie-in sets – one for each of the films released thus far.
Scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows remain in short supply, but this is perhaps to be expected: the original book, and the films it inspired, are notoriously dark, with a number of key characters dying as the story unfolds. The LEGO Group says its values are ‘more in line with the first movies’. However, 2022 has seen some scenes from this movie make an appearance in LEGO form.
LEGO Harry Potter sets
Though heavily merchandised, the Harry Potter franchise offers a relatively slim volume of source material. As such, LEGO Harry Potter sets tend to be more iterative than other licensed models. While themes like Star Wars and DC Comics Super Heroes can draw from multiple sources (or even introduce wholly new models) LEGO Harry Potter tends to return to some familiar ideas over and over again.
The Hogwarts Express is an obvious example of this. As the train that brings students to Hogwarts, it’s an attractive prospect for any Harry Potter fan. Five minifigure-scale models of the train have been produced so far, and later models capture the on-screen train’s appearance much more accurately. The latest model is 75955 Hogwarts Express, which includes a depiction of Platform 9 & 3/4, complete with a wizards-only barrier.
That said, the Harry Potter range has played host to some innovative ideas. 4756 Shrieking Shack features a unique box that can transform Sirius Black into his canine form. 4767 Harry and the Hungarian Horntail includes a magnetic ball, which Harry can grab with a specialised tool.
Other innovations have popped up in more recent sets. Products like 75945 Expecto Patronum feature a Harry with mid-length minifigure legs. Falling between regular legs and the short leg piece, these feature full articulation and are ideal for teen characters. A number of Hogwarts students use these new leg pieces, and they’ve popped up in sets like 75810 The Upside Down as well.
Sets from this period also introduced a new wand piece. Available in many different colours, these wands are more detailed and better scaled to minifigures than older pieces. These have also gravitated to other themes recently. The Violin Kid (released in series 21 of the Collectible Minifigures) uses one as a violin bow, for instance.
While other places like Privet Drive and Hagrid’s Hut make multiple appearances, others are genuinely new additions to the range. 76966 Hogwarts Room of Requirement depicts the training grounds of the Order of the Phoenix. Released in 2020, it remains the room’s only LEGO appearance.
76392 Hogwarts Wizard’s Chess, meanwhile, recreates the chess match from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. While LEGO chess sets are nothing new, this is the first with a Harry Potter flavour to it.
Other sets offer new formats for Harry Potter sets. The Hogwarts Moments range depicts Hogwarts classrooms within the pages of a book, including Transfiguration, Charms, Potions and Herbology, Divination and Defence Against the Dark Arts. 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition represents a very different direction for the theme, meanwhile, recreating various familiar elements from across the franchise. A particularly unusual feature is a Hogwarts acceptance letter, with space for fans to write their own name.
Several more 2022 sets take their cues from The Prisoner of Azkaban. 76407 The Shrieking Shack & Whomping Willow depicts the abandoned Hogsmeade building; its doors and windows are boarded up to reflect this state of affairs. The Whomping Willow is positioned nearby; its branches can grip nearby minifigures, while an internal mechanism can spin the branches around.
The interior of the Shack is sparsely furnished, although a chair, a bed and a piano can all be found inside it. Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew are also included with this set, as are their animal forms. Lupin’s werewolf form is concealed behind a rock element, and revealed when the moon appears above him.
76406 Hungarian Horntail Dragon is inspired by The Goblet of Fire, and it’s similar in design to sets like 75979 Hedwig. The dragon is mounted to a display stand with a crank attached to it; turning this crank causes the dragon to flap its wings. A number of slope and tooth elements lend the dragon’s skin extensive texture, while bespoke fabric pieces are used for its wings. A flame element is used to depict its fiery breath.
The Hungarian Horntail appears as part of a challenge in the Triwizard Tournament, so Harry is included as well. He appears with his wand, his Firebolt broomstick and a golden egg – which he must retrieve from the dragon to succeed at the task in question. A transparent bar piece allows the broom to mimic flight, and be positioned in front of the dragon for display.
Rather than using a conventional broomstick element, this set features a new bristle element instead. The piece can accommodate a LEGO stud on both the top and the bottom, allowing a pair of stirrups to be attached to it. The new broom assembly has gone on to appear in several other LEGO Harry Potter sets, and (like its wand elements) will likely see use outside it.
76408 12 Grimmauld Place takes most of its inspiration from The Order of the Phoenix, recreating the Order’s London headquarters. The building itself is concealed behind two other buildings, which can be slid aside to accommodate number 12.
The interior of the house includes a dining area, a simple kitchen and a Black family tree across two walls. A piano and a chair are also included on this floor, with a radio (from The Deathly Hallows) atop the piano for news of Death Eater movements. Bedrooms for Sirius and Regulus Black can found on the top level, with a locket tile concealed here.
Nine minifigures can be found in this set; some of the included characters are debuting in LEGO form. Harry Potter, Sirius Black, Ron, Fred, George & Molly Weasley and Kingsley Shacklebolt all make an appearance; while they’ve appeared elsewhere, each of these minifigures comes with unique outfits. Minifigures of Nymphadora Tonks and house-elf Kreacher debut in this set; the latter comes with alternate facial expressions and hair elements, reflecting her shapeshifting abilities.
76400 Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals is also inspired by The Order of the Phoenix. It features a simple cart drawn by an adult Thestral; a Thestral foal accompanies it. with a small tree suggesting a Forbidden Forest setting.
The Thestral is very similar in design to the one found in 75951 Grindelwald’s Escape, but its offspring is new to this set. Minifigures of Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood can ride in the carriage, and come with accessories like food, wands and an issue of the Quibbler magazine.
76403 The Ministry of Magic is a rare LEGO Deathly Hallows set, bringing the total number of sets in this sub theme to three. The architecture of the Ministry is suggested rather than modelled, with two large columns forming an archway. The different sections of these columns can be easily detached, allowing the Ministry’s layout to be extensively modified.
Locations recreated here include offices for Arthur Weasley and Dolores Umbridge, the Hall of Prophecy and the Ministry’s courtroom. An entryway statue and a red phone booth can also be found in this set. Disguised versions of Harry, Ron and Hermione make an appearance alongside Arthur Weasley, Pius Thicknesse, Corban Yaxley, Mary Cattermole and Dolores Umbridge. A solitary Dementor makes an appearance, as does a translucent-blue cat to depict Umbridge’s Patronus.
LEGO Harry Potter minifigures
The Harry Potter range has straddled twenty years of product design. The result is a collection of minifigures that has seen dramatic redesigns over the years.
Early Harry Potter minifigures tend to reflect contemporary minifigure trends. Most feature the familiar yellow skin tone and vivid clothing colours, reflecting the smaller range of colours at the time. An exception to this rule is Professor Snape; his minifigure received dark clothing, grey hands and a glow-in-the-dark head, in a notable deviation from the movies.
The mix of non-human characters has also demanded totally new elements. The Gringotts goblins and Dobby the house-elf use brand new head pieces, while Hagrid sports a larger body to reflect his half-giant heritage. These elements would see significant refinement as the years went by. Characters like Dobby received new moulds and printed details, while Hagrid got hands that reflected his skin tone more accurately.
The 2018 relaunch came with new, more accurate hair pieces for characters like Harry and Hermione. Other non-human characters demanded creative approaches. Beauxbatons headmistress Madame Maxime uses a tall slope piece to represent her skirt, while centaurs also debuted in 75967 Forbidden Forest: Umbridge’s Encounter. These feature a brand new horse leg element, which the Collectible Minifigures have also made use of.
LEGO Harry Potter has also received two Collectible Minifigures ranges. In addition to more detailed renditions of the core cast, these have offered new versions of more obscure characters. Professor Trelawney, for instance, received a minifigure with more complex printing than her 2004 rendition. Others like Kingsley Shacklebolt made their debut in LEGO form for the first time, offering a tangible point of distinction from the broader Harry Potter range.
LEGO Harry Potter castle
As the centre of activity for much of the films, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has made many LEGO appearances. The school’s castle building and surrounding grounds offer many unusual features for LEGO models to recreate.
A common theme in Harry Potter sets is a core castle set, which can be expanded with complementary models. 4709 Hogwarts Castle appeared in 2001, accompanied by classrooms, bathrooms and the challenges guarding the Philosopher’s Stone. 4730 The Chamber of Secrets depicts the eponymous room, and can be physically connected to 4709 for a more realistic layout. Other Harry Potter models from this era can be similarly linked together.
While later Hogwarts sets were more standalone, this modular philosophy has re-emerged in recent Hogwarts models. 75954 Hogwarts Great Hall can connect to sets like 75953 Hogwarts Whomping Willow and 75948 Hogwarts Clock Tower for a more coherent Hogwarts scene. 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets leans into the modular concept more deeply; several accompanying sets can be combined with it, and the specific combination is very flexible.
For certain fans, 71043 Hogwarts Castle may be more attractive. This set depicts the castle in its entirety, albeit at a smaller scale than older models. Nanofigs populate much of the castle, and minifigures of Hogwarts’ founders also debut in this set.
Serving as a broader history of the film series, this version of Hogwarts captures many different areas of the castle. Obvious areas like the Great Hall and various classrooms appear, as do underground sections like the Chamber of Secrets and the chamber of the winged keys. Unusual features of the set include Hogwarts’ rotating staircases, as well as Dolores Umbridge’s extremely pink office. A swarm of Dementors and a tiny Hungarian Horntail add additional visual interest to an already distinctive model.
2022’s Harry Potter sets have recreated scenes from across the films’ history, from The Philosopher’s Stone to The Deathly Hallows. Many of these sets depict different areas of Hogwarts Castle, and conform to the new modular castle design introduced in 2021 with sets like 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets.
40577 Hogwarts: Grand Staircase takes its cues from The Philosopher’s Stone, recreating the shifting stairways within Hogwarts Castle. A portrait of the Fat Lady and a Hermione Granger minifigure can be found in the set, suggesting a trip to the Gryffindor common room is on the horizon. However, the set’s status as a promotional release may make acquiring it difficult nowadays.
76402 Hogwarts: Dumbledore’s Office is technically inspired by The Chamber of Secrets, with the office itself and a baby Fawkes appearing in it. However, several references to other films can be found here. The memory-storing Penseive and the Sword of Gryffindor are located in the upper levels, while a chunk of Hogwarts’ library (and a new Madam Pince minifigure) appears on the ground floor. Books can be made to fly off the shelves by pressing on a tree branch behind them.
76398 Hogwarts Hospital Wing allows Harry, Ron and Hermione to recuperate from their werewolf encounter. It includes three beds and various potion bottles, including a bottle of Skele-Gro from The Chamber of Secrets. Madam Pomfrey is on hand to take care of the school’s invalids, marking her debut in LEGO form.
Hermione comes with her Time-Turner, which allows her and Harry to travel backwards in time. Twisting a section of the roof causes the clock tower’s hands to spin as well.
76401 Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue depicts Harry and Hermione’s successful release of Sirius and Buckbeak. A section of courtyard is modelled, as is a small room with a desk and a broomstick. Several golden frogs can also be found on the outside.
Sirius is imprisoned in a small cell at the top of the tower, but can fly away on the included Buckbeak figure. Minifigures of Harry and Hermione can be found here as well, with a printed Time-Turner element included.
LEGO Harry Potter Diagon Alley
This London street is a common destination for Hogwarts students. As one of the films’ most densely-detailed areas, it has received various interpretations in LEGO form.
While sets like 4723 Diagon Alley Shops gave us a glimpse at the street, it wasn’t until 2011 that we got a larger look. 10217 Diagon Alley features recreations of Ollivanders, Gringotts Bank and Borgin & Burke, host to many dangerous objects. 2018 and 2020 gave us two more accurate takes on the street, though the latter model – 75978 Diagon Alley – is arguably the best of the bunch.
This model features the highest piece count of any Diagon Alley set to date, as well as a considerably higher level of detail. While shops like Ollivanders and Quality Quidditch Supplies return, others (like Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes) make their debut in LEGO form. Existing shops also introduce new features, such as bespoke wand boxes.
Even without new parts, the shops of Diagon Alley feature numerous details. Scribbulus sells quills, inkwells and rolls of parchment, while Quality Quidditch Supplies offers uniforms and brooms. Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, meanwhile, has multiple display stands of enchanted pranks and potions.
Taking a page out of the modular buildings book, the buildings of Diagon Alley can be combined in multiple ways. The set’s design facilitates display in a single line, or back-to-back for a more compact approach.
LEGO Harry Potter Knight Bus
An emergency measure for stranded witches and wizards, the Knight Bus makes few appearances in the Harry Potter franchise. Its most prominent role is in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, following Harry’s ill-fated encounter with Aunt Marge.
Despite this, LEGO Knight Buses have made numerous appearances on store shelves. Its purple colour scheme and triple-decker design makes it one of the franchise’s most recognisable vehicles.
The Knight Bus’s first appearance in LEGO form was – unsurprisingly – in 2004, when Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban debuted in cinemas. 4755 Knight Bus preserves the structure and purple colour scheme, while Sirius Black (in dog form) makes a rare appearance. 4866 The Knight Bus – released in 2011 – continues in a similar vein, but includes bus driver Ernie Prang for the first time.
75957 The Knight Bus (released in 2019) makes the improvements you’d expect after eight years, offering more accurate shaping and a new hat piece for Stan Shunpike, the Knight Bus’s conductor. This version also features a sliding bed and swinging chandelier, reflecting the bus’s chaotic traversal of Muggle roads.
LEGO Harry Potter 2023
Six new LEGO Harry Potter sets have appeared so far in 2023. Most of these offer a new look at Hogwarts house common rooms, with four different LEGO sets produced for this purpose. Each one also functions as a wall-mounted banner, with elements integrated to make wall-hanging more straightforward.
The four sets – 76409 Gryffindor House Banner, 76410 Slytherin House Banner, 76411 Ravenclaw House Banner and 76412 Hufflepuff House Banner – offer similar form factors, although their colour schemes vary to echo each house’s colours. There are also subtle references to the film’s events and Hogwarts alumni: Sirius Black can be seen in the Gryffindor set, for instance, while a portrait of Newt Scamander appears in the the Hufflepuff one.
A new innovation for these sets is the use of lenticular 3D elements. These display different images depending on your perspective to them, and reference the magical portraits that appear in the Harry Potter franchise. With luck, these will gravitate to other LEGO sets as other elements from this theme have.
Each banner comes with three Hogwarts students, including one in a Quidditch uniform. Some of these characters (like Michael Corner) are appearing for the first time in LEGO form, although others (like Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy) are relatively more commonplace.
The other two 2023 Harry Potter sets are 76420 Triwizard Tournament: The Black lake and 76413 Hogwarts: Room of Requirement. The former set references events from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and is a remake (of sorts) of 4762 Rescue from the Merpeople. Both sets feature Harry, Ron, Hermione, Viktor Krum and a mermaid, as well as a stretch of underwater scenery to explore. Shades of blue and green (as well as various plant elements) help to convey its watery nature.
Harry and Krum can be launched from a small observation platform, which can be attached to the top of the underwater scene or separated from it. Pressing a lever on the rear of the platform drops the two into the lake, with Krum equipped with a shark head to reflect his transformation. His face features an alternate expression of a shark’s throat when this shark head is in use.
76413 Hogwarts: Room of Requirement takes inspiration from the second Deathly Hallows movie, depicting Harry and Hermione’s search for Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem. It’s designed to connect to other sets in the modular Hogwarts range, mimicking their architecture and colour scheme.
The room is filled with various items of junk, which can be stacked haphazardly – and the diadem itself is also concealed within it. A more unusual occupant of the room is the deadly Fiendfyre serpent, which uses a variety of orange elements to depict its fiery body. Sections of the serpent can be split up and attached to the room’s walls, reflecting its supernatural nature.
Minifigures of Harry, Hermione, Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zabini and the Grey Lady can be found in this set, along with a solitary Cornish pixie. However, you can conceal the room’s doors behind a pair of sliding wall panels if you prefer to keep them out of it.