LEGO Harry Potter

LEGO Harry Potter 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors Edition MAIN

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. 

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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’, so it remains to be seen whether it will ever attempt to depict such a bleak story in a children’s toy.

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.

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.

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.

75978 diagon alley harry potter

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 Black Friday

Check back here around Black Friday for our predictions on Harry Potter discounts.