By Barry Kay (SAFOLs Brick Boss, CapeLUG EXCO, Batman … Ssshhhh!)
Once again LEGO® has brought out a new range of wonderful Harry Potter sets, which allow children and adults alike to build, recreate and relive treasured scenes from the Harry Potter books and movies.
This review introduces three of the smaller, but no less enjoyable sets, that have been released in the second half of 2020.
Hogwarts™ Room of Requirement (75966) – 193 pcs / R349.99
Help Harry teach Hermione and Luna the charm to conjure their Patronus, in order to defeat the dark Dementors.
This set features the entrance wall to the room with a sliding wall panel that reveals the door. Turn the wall around and you are inside the room with a warm fire raging in the fireplace. The minifigures included are Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, all with dual face prints to change the mood of each character. There is also a Dementor practice dummy.
Some great new parts in this set are the glittery Trans-light blue hare and otter with are the Patronus forms for Luna and Heroine. You can add Harry’s stag to the mix that was bought out previously in the Expecto Patronum set.
The set doesn’t have printed tiles but does come with a sticker sheet. One sticker being the noticeboard with a photo of the original members who formed the Order of the Phoenix and another photo of “remember Diggory”.
The set is fun and easy to build with great play-ability. It is also built to be able to connect and integrate onto other sets to form part of the greater Hogwarts Castle.
Forbidden Forest: Umbridge’s Encounter (75967) – 253 pcs / R549.99
Have your revenge on Delores Umbridge in yet another set featuring a scene in the Forbidden Forest. The minifigures include Harry, Hermione and Professor Umbridge (dressed in her out of place shocking pink dress suit). All three have dual printed faces. We also see the introduction of two Centaurs. Both with exactly the same face and torso prints with bow and arrow. The new horse body torso is a great addition not only for this set, but for any fantasy MOC builder who would like to create their own Centaur variations.
We have built “BigFigs” in other LEGO® sets before and we get to do it again. Hagrid’s giant half-brother Grawp is a nice little build. Designed to function the same as a standard minifigure, the only difference is that his arms can move forward, backward, up and down. A particularly nice touch is the use of a 1×2 jumper plate as his belly button.
We get to build another sturdy tree similar to the one we built in Aragog’s lair, but this one is bigger and not only half the tree. The tree opens up to reveal Grawp’s hidden stash of items he has collected.
The set has lots of playability with the changing faces of the minifigures and the fact that you can use Grawp to catch, bash and throw the awful Umbridge.
Hedwig™ (75979) – 630 pcs / R699.99
LEGO® has given us a different Harry Potter set compared to all the other scene recreations sets. We get to build a sculpture of Harry’s beloved Snowy Owl, Hedwig. Not only is this a wonderful display piece, it is also a kinetic model with wings that gracefully flap up and down by turning a crank at the bottom of the perch.
We start with building the stand and perch which is quite a sturdy design, considering it needs to hold the owl in place while the wings are flapping up and down. The perch is cleverly angled to give the model the look that Hedwig is taking flight.
The mechanisms inside have also been very well thought out in order to reproduce the fluid motion of a bird’s wings. You need to turn the crank slowly for better fluidity. Turning it too fast causes the wing to flop down fast due to the weight, so if you are going to use power functions to automate the movement, make sure you run it slowly or you could cause the mechanics to dislodge if you go too fast. It is very interesting to see how it all fits together and watch the motion while still a skeletal construction.
The wings are well detailed, and the separate parts are manoeuvrable to make the sculpture look like it is in motion when being displayed as a static piece.
The head fits onto the body with a Technic connector pin allowing you to turn it and give the owl a tiled head look, which is rather quite cute.
Hedwig carries a letter with the red Hogwarts seal. The letter folds and seal are stickers that come on a sheet along with a Hedwig name sticker for a tile that fits on the base.
The set comes with one Minifigure of a young Harry Potter in uniform with a Gryffindor scarf that “wraps” around him with printing in the front and back of the torso. As with the other new sets, Harry has dual face printing for happy and scared. There is also a new mini Hedwig Owl with wings outstretched. They can both be placed on a small stand with Hedwig on a pearl gold telescope as a perch. This stand can be placed either next to the sculpture or clipped onto the 2×2 jumper plate just behind the Hedwig name sign on the base. This is more of a display set than a playable one, apart from the mobility, but all in all, it is an amazing set and highly recommended.