REVIEW: The Knight Bus

75957 – The Knight Bus

Certain things from the Harry Potter series are so iconic that they have appeared multiple times as LEGO models already. So when I saw “yet another” Knight Bus being among the 2019 LEGO Harry Potter sets, it was one I though I probably didn’t need – having the 2011 version already. But in the end, I found one I could get cheap and couldn’t resist the temptation. And actually, I quite liked it…

Background

The Knight Bus is a purple triple-decker bus that assists stranded wizards or witches through public transportation. It operates at a very fast speed and through magic it will be invisible to muggles and make obstacles jump out of its way, and can also fit through deceptively small spaces.

As for the name, JK Rowling herself has said:

The Knight Bus was so-named because, firstly, knight is a homonym of night, and there are night buses running all over Britain after normal transport stops. Secondly, ‘knight’ has the connotation of coming to the rescue, of protection, and this seemed appropriate for a vehicle that is often the conveyance of last resort.

JK Rowling

Another interesting fact is that JK Rowling named the driver and the conductor of the Knight Bus in in the books after her two grandfathers, Ernest and Stanley. As we shall see, both appear as minifigures in this set.

When it comes to LEGO, before its reappearance in 2019, the Knight Bus had already appeared twice – the first one (set 4755) released back in 2004 (around the release of The Prisoner of Azkaban movie) – and subsequently we got set 4866 in 2011 to tie in with the release of the last of the movies.

Box and content

The box is nice and square, which is the best fit when having a photo of the bus on the front.

The front otherwise follows the style of all other 2019 sets, with the golden Harry Potter logo at the top and the trio (Hermione, Harry and Ron) shown to the right. The bus is shown with blurry houses in the back giving an effective illusion of the bus speeding through the streets of London.

In the lower left corner we see the three minifigures included in the set.

As usual, the back shows the various play features. We will get back to them.

Inside the box you find three numbered plastic bags with parts, the instruction manual and a small sticker sheet.

Minifigures

The set comes with three minigures: Harry Potter, Ernie Prang and Stanley (Stan) Shunpike.

None of them comes with any printing of the legs, but the all three comes with torsos printed both on front and back. The print quality is excellent as we are getting used to – and in particular a huge improvement over the 2004 era printing. Harry is the least interesting of the lot, with a rather generic dark blue jumper. The same figure was included in the Expecto Patronum and Hagrid’s Hut sets. Both Ernie and Stan on the other hand have specially made torsos made to match their appearance in the movies, with particular detail on the front.

The set comes with Ernie Prang, Stan Shunpike and Harry Potter

The printed hair (or lack of hair) piece for Ernie and the three colored conductor cap look great and set these figures apart from the 2011 set, which had pretty detailed figures otherwise.

The backs of all three torsos have some printing, but far from the detail on the fronts.

The backs of the torsos have some printing.

Only Harry Potter comes with dual printed face, with an alternative “determined/angry” look as well.

Building the bus

Starting on bag 1, you first got to build two of the characters and a few accessories.

Then you got on to the bus itself. One of the thing that did caught my eye was the new 3-stud wide window piece, which you get heaps of. Hope to see them in other colours soon for my own models.

Finishing with the front

The front of the bus itself is dominated by a large 2×4 sticker. I would have preferred a brick build solution as in the 2011 model.

One interesting feature is the opening side, which we also saw on the train carriage in the 2018 Hogwarts Express set.

Passengers in the bus can get the latest copy of the Daily Prophet. That is how Harry first heard about Sirius having escaped from Azkaban.

Bag 2 completed the second level of the bus, including a chandelier hanging from the third floor.

Two first levels done

Bag 3 completes the bus – adding the third level (mainly for storage) and a bed for Harry to sleep in while travelling. It also includes Ernie Prang, the busdriver.

Level three has room for Harry’s chest and a stack of newspapers

The bed fits on level one of the bus and will slide back and forth as the Ernie speeds up and breaks. Such movement will also get the chandelier swinging as we saw it in the movie.

Harry ready to get some sleep – if just Ernie could drive a bit more careful…

Conclusion

Below a few photos of the completed model. Overall, I’m quite impressed with it. Close-up there are a few gap around the angled window at the front top and the curved window at the back that may be a detraction, but looking at it just a meter away, it blends in quite nicely and represents what I think this bus should look like better than the previous versions.

A nice feature is the opening side that makes it a lot easier to access and play with the interior (while many collectors may not “play” with the models as such, it is still an neat way of looking at the interior).

While the set generally ticks all the boxes, it was pretty pricey and if you do have the 2011 version, there is not any strong reasons to get this one as well, though of course if you are a collector, it is hard to say no, but you might want to look for a good deal.

We know from the book that a trip with the bus costs eleven sickles, and for thirteen sickles, the passenger also gets hot chocolate. Adding a red mug would have been a nice touch.

All in all, this was a nice set to build – though not challenging and adding all the windows could feel a bit repetitive. I still enjoyed it and are more happy with it than I though I would be and it would look great next to my Leaky Cauldron model.

Got a few more other sets to complete before the 2020 wave arrives, so I better get on with them.

Till next time – Build the Magic!

All aboard! Next stop the Leaky Cauldron.

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Knight Bus

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