75979 – Hedwig
One surprise when the 2020 LEGO Harry Potter sets were announced was Hedwig (set 75979). This is basically a display piece, where previous Harry Potter sets (with very few exemptions, like the Brickheadz figures) were all minifigure scale play sets. I was therefore interested to see how it would stack up to other sets in the 2020 release….
When rumours started emerging in early 2020 that we would see such a model, I initially thought it would be a remake of the US Target exclusive model from 2018, now made available as normal retail. While that would have been nice (as I’m still chasing that one), I am pleased they went with something different, as it is a pretty amazing set they have released.
It would be an great Christmas present to any Potter-heads (including yourself, if you haven’t got it already). At least, that is my view. Let’s have a look at what you get.
Box and content
The front of the box has a large photo of the model. Hedwig looks pretty cool on the box, but as I’ve found out, it looks even even better in real life. The age indication of 10+ shows it is not an everyday kids set, though I would think the real target audience is a lot older. The lower left shows as usual the included minifigures, which in this case is only one!
A small insert photo to the left suggests that the wings can move. Once you turn over the box, that becomes more clear.
On the back of the box a series of small photos show the dimensions (20 cm long, 35.4 cm wing span), and that the head can turn from side to side. But otherwise the back is dominated with by a large photo shown from the back of the owl. It is a weird angle to show, but has probably been selected to best illustrates that when you turn the crank, the wings flap up and down.
Inside the box you find four numbered bags, the instructions and a small sticker sheet.
The sticker sheet is loose inside the box. I have been pretty lucky with mine most of the time, but in this case the sheet was slightly creased, though once applied, it isn’t noticeable on any stickers.
At this point of a review, I would talk about the minifigures in more detail. In this case, there is only one,but I’ll throw the minifig-scale Hedwig into the mix too.
The included minifigure is of course Harry, who was given Hedwig by Hagrid on his eleventh birthday. He is positioned on a small stand along with the Hedwig, which uses the new owl mould with spread out wings. While new, it has been included in a number of sets already and I would not consider it rare anymore.
Harry comes the short kids legs and is wearing a black robe with a Gryffindor sweater visible underneath. He has a Gryffindor coloured scarf around his neck, and bright blue gloves. Many have been puzzled over them, so I’ll return to them in a second.
The torso is beautifully printed on the back, really showing the scarf well (photo below). Harry’s head is dual printed, with one side (photo above) showing a determined Harry, and the other side (below) showing a scared Harry.
And why the blue hands, then? I have noticed that most figure are made from either good still photos from the filming or – in many cases – from promotional photos taken separately. The photo below, I believe is the source material of the included figure. I don’t recall seeing Harry with as blue gloves in the actual movie.
You start with building the small minifigure stand and then the big stand for Hedwig. The stand includes the crank to make Hedwig’s wings flap.
Next up is Hedwig’s body along with the letter the owl is carrying in its claws. This part has a significant amount of SNOT building (stud not on top), but I mostly liked the progression of the mechanism to make the wings flap.
The third bag focuses on the wings and part of the tail. One wing is basically finished, while the second has the structure in place, but is missing a few decorative pieces and the feathers at the end. It is the same with the tail, where it s mostly done, but not quite. It is interesting why they didn’t complete either the wings or the tail with this bag. Maybe they decided to alternate between wings and tail instead to break up the repetitiveness of building two wings?
Of course, it doesn’t really matter as bag 4 includes the last pieces needed to finish the last wing, the remaining tail but otherwise focuses on the head. The head is built in an interesting triangular shape. It works really well having the eyes on an angle that way.
Here is what the final model looks like.
But what about the movement of the wings? This is a really cool feature. I’ll post some videos in a follow up post along with ideas for how to motorise it. There are two options, each with pros and cons, as you will see.
This is a different set, but I really like it for being different. I think it is a great idea LEGO is supplementing all the minifigure scale sets with various display pieces as well (though my bank account seems to have a different view). The upcoming wall art set (review coming soon) and buildable books both due in January 2021 fit with what can be considered display pieces. I should start looking for more glass cabinets.
What really sets it apart is the kinetic motion. Not just a simple motion, but realistic movement of the wings. But as said, more about that will follow in a future post.
While we know what sets that are coming in January, and they are all static models, we might see another kinetic sculpture in mid 2021. What would be your favourite?
Having read this review, are you tempted to buy one? Consider using our affiliate links to LEGO.com to make the purchase. You should be able to get it before Christmas.
Finally, a big thank you to LEGO’s AFOL Engagement Team for sending me the copy for review. As always, the opinions expressed in my review are my own. LEGO actually sent me two copies. Given the success with my previous competition, I’ll soon announce another competition with a Hedwig set up for grabs, so stay tuned!
Till then, Build the Magic!