as the most sprawling and expansive of the four sets. That’s largely thanks to the symmetrical folding walls both books share, but also through the sheer number of mini-builds packed inside.
Together, they create the closest approximation of a traditional classroom as you’ll see across the range: there are desks, benches, a display cabinet, shelves and a blackboard. Frustratingly, the latter two in that list rely entirely on stickers placed on the inside of panels, which is the least fun you can possibly have with
, but it does carry a few Charms-specific touches: the display cabinet’s key and goblet are readymade for levitation, while the stack of books for the new Professor Flitwick minifigure to stand on is a fun reference to the films.
The same problems that plague short-legged characters generally persist here, though: Harry and Cho Chang can only stand on their benches, which looks pretty naff on display, and isn’t really conducive to realistic play (as much as a
– at least this is another shade of blue, instead of a different colour entirely – but we’re sticking to our guns with wishing for brighter hues across all four sets, to better match those of the Hogwarts houses.
Where it shares flaws with other sets in this range, though,
also deserves similar praise for how it takes all those scattered sub-assemblies and packs them oh-so-neatly away into the confines of the book cover, allowing it to easily fold shut with very little drama.
— Characters —
Once again, the staff take centre stage in the Hogwarts Moments range: we’ve seen Professor Flitwick before, but only as he appeared from
and the Prisoner of Azkaban onwards. This version draws on his character design from the first couple of films, big, bushy beard and all, and it’s much the better for it.
By contrast, Harry and Cho Chang represent pretty minor upgrades over previous iterations: they’ve both got new house crest prints on their torsos, but that’s basically it. Harry is Harry – you’ve got a million already, we know – and Cho still has that same ill-fitting skin tone she’s had for years. (Quick, someone tell the
begins to feel like pretty good value. That’s a sentiment true of the entire range, but given most of us don’t have that kind of sprawling display space to spare, you’re more likely to slide this one on to your shelf as a closed book.
And when all’s said and done, it’s in that form that the price tag of £27.99 / $29.99 / $29.99 feels a little heavier to bear. To repeat a suggestion we’ve made across all these reviews, a fourth minifigure – say, a student we’ve never had before – would have gone a long way.
won’t quite charm your socks off, but if you’re already invested in this smart range of buildable books, it’s definitely worth picking up to complete the series.
The colour scheme is more tolerable purely because sand blue is such a cool hue; the foldaway book format is no less impressive than in the other three sets; and this is as close to a traditional classroom setup as you’ll find among all four. The new Flitwick variant is just the cherry on top.
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.