REVIEW: Hogwarts First Flying Lesson

The recent wave of Harry Potter sets celebrates the 20th anniversary of LEGO Harry Potter. It includes the First Flying Lesson set, which is a larger, and much refreshed version of the 2002 Flying Lesson set. And unlike its predecessor, it includes a section of Hogwarts. Being modular, it connects up to the other Hogwarts based sets from the series. Should you get it to expand on your castle? Read on to see what you’ll get…

Set 76395 – Hogwarts First Flying Lesson 264 pieces

Price: US$29.99 / €29.99 / £27.99 / AU$49.99 / 269.95 DKK

I have previously reviewed the other Hogwarts based sets from the mid-2021 wave. They have generally been good, with the small Polyjuice Potion Mistake being particular good value for money. Slightly bigger than that, with 264 pieces, is the First Flying Lesson set. It covers the scene from the first movie, where the new first year students are given their first flying lesson by Madam Hooch.

“At three-thirty that afternoon, Harry, Ron, and the other Gryffindors hurried down the front steps onto the grounds for their first flying lesson. The Slytherins were already there, and so were twenty broomsticks lying in neat lines on the ground”

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

More specifically, the set reflects the scene when Draco is taking the remembrall from Neville, who are both included in the set along with Madam Hooch. It is somewhat refreshing to see a set that does not include any of Harry, Ron or Hermione.

LEGO has kindly sent me a copy to review. Conveniently, it came just as my region once again entered lockdown. So one morning, I sat down and started to build…

Let us have a look at the set…

Box and content

The front of the box shows the part of the wall, which is seen as backdrop to the flying lesson in the movie. On top of the wall is a status, which I assume is the one that caught Neville’s cloak on his first flight. At the bottom left is the 20th Anniversary of LEGO Harry Potter logo and the usual banner showing the included minifigures. In this set, we get four of them including a golden anniversary edition of Professor Quirrell.

The back of the box shows how you can rearrange the wall modules into a taller tower, and otherwise shows small insert photos with ideas for play. We also learn that the set includes two collectable Wizard Cards. I have covered the wizard cards previously in this post. They seem to be popular and many are seeking to get a full set of 16 to display.

Like the other boxes in the series, the top shows the included minifigures posed with some of the accessories that are also found in the set. It also shows a minifigure in 1:1 scale.

Inside the box are two numbered bags with parts, an instruction booklet and a small sticker sheet (slightly creased in this case, but nothing that affected the ability to apply them).

Let us open the bags and start building.

Minifigures

I’ll start with discussing the minifigures within the set. We get three “normal” minifigures: Neville Longbottom, Draco Malfoy and Madam Hooch. In addition, it includes an exclusive golden anniversary minifigure of Professor Quirrell along with two random wizard cards.

The golden Professor Quirrell minifigure and the two wizard cards are shown below. The figure is nicely printed, with dual face prints. As mentioned in some of my previous reviews, unfortunately the anniversary print is on the back of the torso. I would very much have preferred it on the minifigure stand instead.

For completeness, I should also mention the statue, so in reality, the set could be seen as including five minifigures as shown in the lineup below.

But getting back to the three normal minifigures, we get Madam Hooch, Neville Longbottom and Draco Malfoy. Madam Rolanda Hooch is a relatively rare character, which we last saw in the 2018 Bricktober minifigure pack, with earlier versions in 2010 and 2002. This one uses a different hair piece, and a newly printed torso. Overall, it is a great representation of her and it is nice to see her included in a cheaper set, more easily available than the Bricktober pack. Neville and Draco both have the short kids legs and printed uniforms representing Gryffindor and Slytherin respectively. All three figures have printed back torsos too (though you obviously can’t see it on Hooch as long as you keep her with the cape). They also have dual face prints.

Overall, three very good figures that supplements well the army of Harry, Ron and Hermione minifigures I have accumulated over time.

The Build

As earlier noted, the set comes with a section of Hogwarts to use as “backdrop” for the flying lesson scene, just as we saw it in the movie. It consists of a small wall section with an entrance to the castle, and two “towers” on either side. Calling them towers may be a stretch as they are the same height as the wall itself.

Bag 1 gives us the bricks needed to build the base of the two towers, along with Madam Hooch and Professor Quirrell.

Both towers follow the modular scale introduced in this series and are 8×8 studs in size and can be stacked as it was illustrated on the back of the box.

As shown below, the exterior side has banners for each of the four Hogwarts Houses. Otherwise, they are build nicely using tan and medium nougat coloured bricks, as the other sets in the series.

Turning them around, one of them is a storage space and has a box with Quidditch equipment, while the other tower represents the trophy room, and includes a plaque with James Potter’s name on it.

Overall, a very good start.

Bag 2 allows us to finish the build, including the section of wall with the entrance and two 8×8 roof sections that goes with the two towers we got in bag 1. Also included are the Neville and Draco minifigures and the two random wizard cards.

Here are a few photos of some of the details with the different modules combined. The barrel in the storage room for instance is perfect for storing the booms.

But I must mention the statue on the roof again. As it happened during the first lesson, Neville’s broom took him on a wild ride, and in the end he fell off, but his robe was luckily caught by a statue on the wall behind the training area, preventing him from being severely injured from the fall. However, without a cape, he cannot be held as in the movie, but borrowing the cape from Hooch, you can make it look rather similar. Otherwise, he can be held up by the swords as shown. It would have been nice with capes included for Neville and Draco as well, as the printing on the Madam Hooch doesn’t look well without it on.

Here is the completed model.

The transparent bars can be used to “make” the minifigures fly as illustrated below. I prefer the ones on the roofs as they can easily be removed in case you want a more clean look. The one built into the wall next to the entrance requires a bit more effort to remove, and I’m not quite sure why LEGO didn’t stop with just two bars on the roofs to use for flying.

Conclusions

Overall, a nice set that takes us back to the early days of Harry Potter, and with a nice connection to the 2002 Flying Lesson set (which also included Draco along with Neville and his remembrall).

It has a good selection of minifigures and it comes with a decent amount of “Hogwarts”, though I had hoped for slightly more considering the price step up from the Polyjuice Potion Mistake set. The two rooms with Quidditch equipment and the Trophy room complements the theme well.

Apart from the price, there is not really anything negative to say. It may be a set to wait to buy till it get on sale, though it is in some regions restricted to a subset of retailers, so it may be hard to find with a reasonable discount.

I’m looking forward to integrate it with the remaining Hogwarts sets from this wave and maybe start designing some modules myself. But first there are a few more sets to review too, so look out for them.

Till then, Build the Magic!

(Note that this set was kindly provided by LEGO for review. The views expressed here are my own however).

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Hogwarts First Flying Lesson

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