REVIEW: Hogwarts Great Hall

When LEGO revived the Harry Potter theme in 2018, it released the Great Hall set. This was the first of a series of modular Hogwarts sets, which can be combined into a large Hogwarts castle. Since they have added additional modules, allowing fans to build an impressive castle. For some reason, I have reviewed all the other modules but the Great Hall set itself. It is time to correct this – in particular as this set is expected to be retired mid 2021…

75954 – Hogwarts Great Hall

Hogwarts is the most important building in Harry Potter, and a lot of the key moments happen in the Great Hall specifically. So it featured in the very first Hogwarts castle (set 4706) back in 2001 (this set is mentioned in my 20 years of LEGO Harry Potter post), and also in the forth version of Hogwarts released in 2010 (set 4842).

But that was a while ago, so it was therefore not surprising to see the larger Hogwarts Great Hall set when the theme was brought back in 2018. The 2018 releases focused on the two first movies: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and the specific scenes and characters included in the set aligns with those movies.

One interesting aspect of the Great Hall set was the ability to connect it with the smaller Hogwarts Whomping Willow set that also came out that year using Technic pins. This was the start of a modular Hogwarts castle series.

In 2019, the Hogwarts castle could be expanded further with the Hogwarts Clock Tower set being released, covering scenes from the third and forth movies. In 2020, we once again got two sets in the series. One was the Hogwarts Room of Requirement set, which is the smallest in the series so far, only featuring just the Room of Requirement as it appeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The other was the Hogwarts Astronomy Tower set, which focuses on key locations and characters from Harry Potter and the Half-blood prince.

Box and content

The front of the box shows the buildings included in the set – the Great Hall and the Central Tower. Behind the buildings we see the shadows of other parts of Hogwarts, including the Astronomy tower (which we got in the 2020 set).

As usual, the lower left shows the minifigures included in the set. In this case we get ten figures, which is pretty impressive considering what we had been used to from earlier (pre-2018) Harry Potter sets.

The side of the box gives us an alternative view of the included figures, posed for interaction, and showing the size of the figures in 1:1 scale.

The back of the box shows various play features and a number iconic scenes that can be recreated from this set, such as Harry’s battle with the basilisk. At the top an insert shows how this set can be linked up with the smaller Whomping Willow set to create an even larger castle.

Opening the box, you’ll find six numbered bags generously filled will LEGO, an unnumbered bag with larger plates, the instruction book and two sticker sheets. Luckily the sticker sheets are packed with the instructions in a plastic bag preventing them from being damaged within the box.

But let us open the bags and see what we get!

Minifigures

I will start with the minifigures. As previously mentioned, we are given ten of those, and interestingly this include two new characters that haven’t appeared in minifigure form before. These are the Gryffindor ghost Nearly-headless Nick and Susan Bones, who started at Hogwarts at the same time as Harry, and was sorted into Hufflepuff.

I should also mention Professor Quirrell, which appears for the first time with flesh colour skin. His only other appearance was in 2001 in the Final Challenge (set 4702), back when licensed themes still used yellow skin colour.

Here is a detailed review of the figures.

Not surprisingly, the set includes all three characters from the “trio”: Harry, Ron and Hermione. They come in Gryffindor sweaters and with the short, non-posable legs as shown below. The face print and included hair pieces represents the look of the characters in the early movies well. The back of their torsos are printed too. And as usual, the head pieces comes with dual face prints, showing both a glad and a scared version of the characters.

Next, we will look at Hagrid, the huge, but gentle friend of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Again, compared to what we have been used to from pre-2018 sets, the new moulded figure is an improvement, looking more well proportioned. The long moleskin jacket looks great, though some printing on the back would have been appreciated. He comes with a pink umbrella, which he used to hide his wand.

We also get two other students in the set: Draco Malfoy and Susan bones. They come with similar sweaters as Harry, Ron and Hermione, though obviously in their own respective house colours: green and silver for Draco’s Slytherin, and black and yellow for Susan’s Hufflepuff. We had never seen Hufflepuff uniforms in previous Harry Potter sets, so this printed torso is a great addition, allowing you to create additional Hufflepuff students, like Cedric Diggory. As we saw with the Gryffindor students, the sweaters are printed on the back – and the heads have dual face prints too.

The set also includes three Hogwarts professors, and a long time Hogwarts resident – Nearly-headless Nick. The professors are Dumbledore, McGonnagall and Quirrell. The two former have been released a number of times previously, but as mentioned earlier, this is the first time we get Professor Quirrell with flesh skin, which is something I had been looking forward to for a while. All four figures have printing on the torso backs and three of them also on the leg fronts too. The printing is highly detailed and really enhances the figures, which all have dual face prints too.

The use of white head and hands for Nearly-headless Nick works well to depict him as ghost.

Next up is building the castle itself!

Hogwarts Great Hall and Central Tower

The first bag of parts is used to build various minifigures, accessories and two magical creatures – Fawkes the phoenix and the basilisk from the Chamber of Secrets.

Finished with bag 1

I was pretty impressed by the phoenix, though I would have preferred a moulded version rather than a brick built one to be honest. The basilisk head looks great, but should have been greenish rather than black, and the body itself looks half finished. Those 2×2 black plates just don’t look right as finish.

But that basilisk is a minor part of a large set, which really focuses on the castle itself. So I hurried on with bag 2 to get started on the castle.

This bag gives the foundation to both the Great Hall and the neighbouring tower. But to make it more interesting that simply building walls, this step also also provides all the bricks to do the detailed interior of the Great Hall.

With bag 3, we really get some height added to the walls. A main part is building all the windows for the Great Hall, which can feel a bit repetitive, but pays off as you see the shape of the building taking form.

Bag 4 adds the wooden doors and pretty much takes us to roof level of the Great Hall. The Central Tower is still stalled at ground level though.

This is a good point in time to have a look at the details around the big window behind the teachers table and the front entrance, as illustrated on the figures below. Those parts of the build look great – and I also like the mix of tan and medium nougat for the walls. The weakest point here is the small dock for the boats with the first year students to arrive at. It could have used a few more bricks to make it look more impressive.

Bag 5 allows us to complete the roof of the Great Hall and start to put our attention back to the tower. We also get to complete the fence around the front yard of the Great Hall. I really like how well the Great Hall looks completed.

But we still have the tower to finish, and just one more bag left. Luckily that bag 6 is enough, so here is what the completed model looks like.

Overall, I’m in partcular impressed by the Great Hall, which captures the atmosphere well within a limited space, and a step up from the Great Hall we got in the 2010 Hogwarts Castle set.

Looking at the Central Tower, it is just big enough to look reasonably impressive next to the Great Hall. Larger would have been better, but that would have come at a cost. The interior of the rooms within the tower is a bit of a wasted opportunity though. We have a potion room, but no potion teacher included (in fact, we get both Professor Snape, his office and potion classroom in the Whomping Willow set). Why not do a different room? The room above this only has the sorting hat, a chest and a spider, while the attic space has the Mirror of Erised (with a space for Fawkes to sit behind). Nothing really useful or exiting.

That said, the set as a whole is pretty amazing, with plenty of interesting scenes you can recreate, including welcome feasts in the Great Hall and the sorting ceremony.

I also like the inclusion of the Mirror or Erised, which got four different stickers to show different “desires”.

The Mirror of Erised (“desire” spelled backwards) is a magical mirror, which shows the deepest desire of our hearts when looking at it. Professor Dumbledore apparently wants some warm socks. Guess it can be cold at Hogwarts during the winter.

Overall opinion

In summary, this set provides a great selection of minifigures (as other sets in this wave), a fantastic looking Great Hall and a decent Central Tower, and the set therefore provides good value – in particular bought as companion to other of the modular Hogwarts sets.

There are a few weak points as mentioned, the basilisk and the wasted opportunity to create some more meaningful rooms in the Central Tower. But overall, this is a great set, both to collectors to display and for kids to play.

As mentioned in the introduction, this particular set is expected to be retired mid 2021, so if you don’t already own it, now is the time to pick it up.

I’m looking forward to comparing it with the upcoming 2021 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets set, which I will be reviewing along with the other 2021 sets in the coming weeks. So stay tuned!

Till then, Build the Magic!

3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Hogwarts Great Hall

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