The secret behind the LEGO Harry Potter direct-to-consumer sets

The LEGO Harry Potter design team explains the secret behind the theme’s four very ambitious – but altogether different – direct-to-consumer sets.

The renewed LEGO Harry Potter theme now spans four wildly disparate D2Cs in 71043 Hogwarts Castle, 75978 Diagon Alley, 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition and 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition. Those sets run the gamut from a microscale display model and minifigure-scale playset to buildable objects and a giant vehicle, each bringing something different to the Wizarding World table.

For each of those models to have made the cut in the first place, though, they have to pass rigorous checks to ensure they’re worthy of filling the LEGO Harry Potter theme’s flagship slots. And the same process applied to this year’s biggest Wizarding World set (and the most expensive to date), 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition.

“One thing we were talking about [was whether] the Hogwarts Express is a strong enough icon to hold a Collectors’ Edition model,” says LEGO Harry Potter Design Lead Andy Seenan. “Obviously, Hogwarts Castle is the most iconic in this universe, but there’s a few other ones [like] Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express, things like that, which we feel are so iconic, that they can hold this kind of prestigious Collectors’ Edition.

“But that’s definitely one of the discussions from a strategic point of view – which are the items that deserve this kind of special treatment that this model gets?”

The iconicity of any given subject matter is just one piece of the magical puzzle, however. The real secret behind the four different direct-to-consumer sets actually lies in their disparity – or, rather, the variety they offer to collectors buying into everything the theme has to offer.

“With every product we do, especially in these ranges, we want to offer different things, because we cannot deny that it’s such a commitment to take on a purchase of this size,” LEGO Design Master Marcos Bessa tells Brick Fanatics. “I have to remind myself often that I’m very fortunate that I get a copy myself because I designed the set. But you know, if I had to purchase all of these, I acknowledge that they are very deliberate decisions you need to make.

LEGO Harry Potter 71043 Hogwarts Castle 75978 Diagon Alley 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors Edition 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors Edition comparison 1

“So we want to make sure that if you are going to make those commitments and take those expenses that we give you as much of a variety in rich experiences as possible. I think that has been our effort throughout the last few years, to make sure that whatever we put out there is bringing something new, and it’s exciting and different.

“That’s not to say that there isn’t more of each of these type of experiences to explore, but only time will tell what might come or not. The intention has always been to give as much richness as possible in the experiences.”

LEGO was worried 76405 Hogwarts Express would be too big
LEGO Harry Potter 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition review

That may go some way to explaining why the LEGO Group didn’t immediately follow 75978 Diagon Alley with a Gringotts-flavoured expansion, as many LEGO Harry Potter fans were hoping for. Instead, 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition took things in a completely different direction in 2021 – not only offering variety for those fans buying everything, but speaking to an entirely new Wizarding World audience in the process.

The good news for those fans who would have been content to buy and build a huge Gringotts so soon after splurging on 75978 Diagon Alley is that the LEGO Harry Potter direct-to-consumer sets will apparently keep flowing out of Billund.

“I think there’s always going to be a plan to have [the adult-focused sets] as an offering, knowing that a large portion of the fan base for LEGO Harry Potter is adult consumers, or at least those consumers that want those types of builds,” Seenan tells Brick Fanatics. “So definitely, the plan is to have those and more of those in the future. They’re a part of this assortment that is there to stay.”

All four of the LEGO Harry Potter direct-to-consumer sets (so far!) are available now at, including 71043 Hogwarts Castle, 75978 Diagon Alley, 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition and 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your LEGO sets using our affiliate links, and read more about the wider issues surrounding LEGO Harry Potter.

Chris Wharfe

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.

Leave a Reply