Clearly taking their cues from LEGO VIDIYO’s BeatBits, the Harry Potter design team has spread a total of 16 different printed 2×2 tiles throughout the six 20th anniversary sets: 76386 Hogwarts: Polyjuice Potion Mistake, 76387 Hogwarts: Fluffy Encounter, 76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit, 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets, 76392 Hogwarts Wizard’s Chess and 76395 Hogwarts: First Flying Lesson.
Grabbing all six of those sets will net you a total of 19 individual Collectible Wizard Cards, which – were they not randomised – would obviously be enough for a complete collection. But they are randomised, which means you’re probably not going to end up with them all even when your Harry Potter collection is up to date.
That’s my biggest beef with the Collectible Wizard Cards, but it’s not the only one. I’ve already built four of this summer’s sets for our reviews, which will go up over the course of this weekend (hit the reviews tab to check them out). And across 76386 Hogwarts: Polyjuice Potion Mistake, 76387 Hogwarts: Fluffy Encounter, 76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit and 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets, I’ve amassed a total of 14 of the printed tiles.
Among those were just two duplicates, which means I’ve ended up with 12 unique Collectible Wizard Cards. That feels like pretty good odds, all told. But my drive to collect the rest will basically only go as far as whatever I end up with from 76392 Hogwarts Wizard’s Chess and 76395 Hogwarts: First Flying Lesson, because they’re just not that great.
Yes, they replicate the actual Chocolate Frog cards in colour and design with as much authenticity as you’d expect within the limits of a 2×2 tile, and the minifigure versions of the wizards and witches emblazoned on them are pretty endearing. But any desire to collect them all has been eroded by the fact that it’s weirdly difficult to tell the difference between them without careful examination.
That could have been avoided by printing the characters’ names on the tiles – even just their surnames would have done, with consideration to the space required – instead of making you refer to a list in the back of each set’s instruction manual. (Especially given that list uses the same image for Rowena Ravenclaw and Garrick Ollivander – a mistake repeated across all four sets I’ve built so far.)
Instead, you’re basically left feeling like Harry himself upon pulling out his first Chocolate Frog card, squinting confusedly at what’s in front of you with no real idea of who it’s supposed to be.
But even the fact that that’s required is an indication of just how generally okay these tiles are, because if it’s not easy to distinguish them with a quick glance – and it isn’t – you probably aren’t going to be compelled to collect them all. There’s just not enough variety between them.
All of this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. After all, if you pick up all six sets and still find yourself short of a few Collectible Wizard Cards, there aren’t really any models in the collection that lend themselves to multiples. That means you’d probably want to turn to the aftermarket for any extras, which is a hassle in and of itself.
So if, like me, you find that the Collectible Wizard Cards are one collection you can do without, it’s probably not going to keep you awake at night. I know I’m sleeping better already…