Perhaps theHarry Potter line-up with
Not only is it not a playset in the traditional sense, but
Just a fun factoid, but did you know that this isn’t the first big buildable minifigure the LEGO Group has released? That title goes to 2000’s 3723 LEGO Mini-Figure, which retailed for $149.99 in the US and stood over double the height of Harry and Hermione. If you thought the LEGO Group just came around to releasing giant display pieces for adults – think again!
With that background in mind, let’s find out if
— Set details —
Theme: LEGO Wizarding World Set name:
Price: £119.99 / $119.99 / €129.99 Pieces: 1,673 Minifigures: 0
— Build —
That’s not to say building one of these big figures isn’t enjoyable, but it’s not ‘I want to do this twice in a row’ levels of enjoyable. Once we mustered the energy for a second go around, there turned out to be a subtle difference in the torso build: Harry’s arm connection needs to leave space for his wonderful large fabric cloak, while Hermione’s arms sit flush against her torso. Of course, there’s also the major difference between the figures, their respective hair, which wind up being the most fun and rewarding parts to build given all the intricate details that look random until they come together.
Besides those two differences, the builds for Harry and Hermione progress identically. Each separate part of a standard LEGO minifigure gets built separately – left and right legs, hips, torso, left and right arms, each hand, and head, though unlike a minifigure the head and hair are fused as one. This choice to replicate each minifigure part as a separate and separable element has to be commended, since it does make you feel like you really are building a giant minifigure, and not a statue that will just look like a minifigure once it is completed.
Given all the different types of components to build, the whole process has good variety to it, even including some old-fashioned brick-stacking in the legs. Much like
Thanks to that internal stability, the figures themselves can be picked up, moved around, and posed without any fear of things breaking off, besides the tips of the wands, which splinter apart quite easily. The size chosen for them also feels right – they’re larger than you might imagine, but not so ridiculously large that they become cumbersome or take up too much real estate. Once completed, the models do look terrific and perfectly capture the iconic visage of the minifigure.
However, while they look very much like minifigures, they are not 1:1 (or in this case, 6:1) replicas of the specific minifigures they are modelled after. Their heads and hair very clearly match the Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets minifigures of Harry and Hermione, but changes have been made: the big figures have regular minifigure legs instead of short legs; Hermione has a grey stripe through her legs; and Harry has a wonderful cloak, which fans have been dying to get in minifigure-scale for the likes of Wizarding World robes, Jedi robes, trench coats, and much more.
You could sour at these differences given that they demonstrate enhancements to minifigures that don’t exist, but the designer also had to make the best choices for this set as a big display piece. Immobile legs on the first set of this type would be no fun, and Harry’s big cloak undeniably looks and feels awesome, so these changes seem justified. One unfortunate aspect that is carried over from the minifigures is Hermione’s utter inability to turn her head because of her hair being in the way.
There remains one huge question hanging over this set, though, which is: why Harry and Hermione? Or, why two figures at all? As characters, Harry and Hermione do not make a natural pair. Sure, they have their share of scenes with each other alone, but if you’re thinking duos in Harry Potter, you’d think Harry and Ron. More likely, you’d think the trio (#JusticeForRon, anyone?). We’re not suggesting that this set should’ve included Ron and cost £180, but after building the set, and looking at it, and sitting with it, it does feel like it could’ve been just Harry and cost £60.
As a pair of big, buildable objects, this set inherently lends itself more to display than play. Yes, the figures can be posed and played with just like minifigures, so in that sense kids could use them as giant dolls. However, the LEGO Group’s own description underlines how these figures will end up on display, with lines like: “When the action stops, kids can pose the adjustable models to make a magical display for their room,” and, “Give kids aged 10 and up the two iconic Hogwarts students to build, play with and put on display to amaze their
Is there anything inherently better about displaying these two students, that are obviously missing their friend Ron, than displaying just one? In this reviewer’s opinion: no.
We’d like to see this style of set succeed and pop up in different themes, but having the test case be an odd couple of characters – and, therefore, a higher-priced set – seems like the wrong way to go. The LEGO Group could’ve released just Harry, seen how he did, and then followed him up with separate Hermione and Ron sets, allowing us to assemble the trio at our own pace.
— Characters —
Nil, or two that make up the entire set, if you want to see it that way. While other display-oriented sets come with stands and often a minifigure or two, this set certainly doesn’t need them since the characters speak for themselves. Plus, Harry and Hermione are both readily available in a host of other current sets, including
— Price —
One thing the non-playsets all have going for them is superb price-per-part ratios. With 1,673 parts for £119.99 / $119.99 / €129.99 and resultant big models that make a big impact, there’s nothing to fault with the price for what you get. The Euro price is on the higher side though, even starting at €129.99 in a fair few Eurozone countries, which hurts compared to the cost in other regions.
The only issue on the price side isn’t with what you pay for what’s included, but with the choice to include two figures in the first place. For just one big minifigure and half the price, this set would’ve been a much easier recommendation than as it stands.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
If this was a review of a set that contained just one big, buildable minifigure, it’d be an easy 10/10, 100%, five stars, go out and buy it now. But it’s not; it’s a set of two. Two builds, turning the overall experience into a bit of a chore after the first one. Two big figures, bumping the price up quite significantly. Two characters that do go together somewhat, but hardly make a classic pairing.
Therefore, it’s a harder sell. You’ll get good value for money, and good designs, but you have to want to spend that much money on big minifigures, rather than traditional playsets or the myriad other display pieces that the LEGO Group announces every other week. With so much worthwhile LEGO vying for your money, it’s a shame that the first big minifigure design requires this much commitment.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
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