Perhaps the LEGO Group tried to signal to us that things were going to be different when it filled a spot in the 2020 LEGO Harry Potter line-up with 75979 Hedwig, but this summer has cast a spell on all expectations. A whopping three out of eight slots are taken up with non-playsets in 76394 Fawkes, Dumbledore’s Phoenix; 76392 Hogwarts Wizard’s Chess (which yeah, could arguably be a ‘playset’, but it’s really a chess set); and finally the subject of this review, 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger.
Not only is it not a playset in the traditional sense, but 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger clocks in at a higher piece count and price than ANY of the wonderful Harry Potter sets released from 2018-2020 besides 75978 Diagon Alley and 71043 Hogwarts Castle. The design team must either have a lot of faith in this product to make it bigger and more expensive than a typical Hogwarts set, or they’ve been drinking some bootleg Felix Felicis (aka liquid luck) and it’s going to have worn off by the time the sales figures roll around.
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 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger is worth both your money and a place on your mantle, or wherever you show off the ever-growing number of LEGO display pieces. Plus, we’ll get to the question on everyone’s mind: where’s Ron?!
— Set details —
Price: £119.99 / $119.99 / €129.99 Pieces: 1,673 Minifigures: 0
— Build —
Just like 76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit, the build for 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger has been pleasantly and sensibly split into two booklets, making it ideal for a joint building experience between family members, partners, friends, et al. You may indeed want to share the build with someone else; after tackling Harry, we weren’t in much mood to do it all again, and had to let the set sit for a couple of days before coming back to build Hermione.
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 76394 Fawkes, Dumbledore’s Phoenix, 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger showcases the design team’s deep knowledge of LEGO geometry, as well as the LEGO Group’s vast catalogue of generally useful parts for both detail and internal stability.
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 friends.”
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 76387 Hogwarts: Fluffy Encounter and 76386 Hogwarts: Polyjuice Potion Mistake (even if they’re not exactly the same versions).
— 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 —
Paradoxically, 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger ends up a terrifically-designed set that feels hard to fully recommend. The iconic LEGO minifigure we all know and love has been beautifully rendered at a large scale, making it a joy to build and to behold once complete. The design makes the most of all the parts available, with nothing looking terribly awkward or blocky, besides perhaps the area where the head curves up from the neck to the face. It even moves in all the ways a minifigure can move, so can be posed standing, sitting, or teased into a slight walk.
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.
— FAQs —
How long does it take to build LEGO Harry Potter 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger?
It takes about an hour and a half to build just one of the figures in 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger, so three hours in total, though you might want to take a break between them. Déjà vu could occur at any time.
How many pieces are in LEGO Harry Potter 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger?
There are 1,673 pieces in 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger, including a number in light nougat (the same colour as the heads and hands of the characters’ standard minifigures), which up until recently only existed in model shops at LEGOLAND parks.
How big is LEGO Harry Potter 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger?
Each figure in 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger stands about 26.5cm tall and 17.5cm wide, which is large enough to make quite an impact in any display.
How much does LEGO Harry Potter 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger?
76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger is priced at £119.99 in the UK, $119.99 in the US and from €129.99 in the EU, depending on country. That makes it the second-most expensive set of this June 2021 Harry Potter wave, and more expensive than any of the Harry Potter sets from 2018-2020 besides 75978 Diagon Alley and 71043 Hogwarts Castle.