REVIEW: Fawkes – Dumbledore’s Phoenix

While different from the typical minifigure based sets, one of the most popular LEGO Harry Potter sets in 2020 was the model of Hedwig. I had therefore expected something similar this year, and LEGO did deliver – releasing a very similar model – this time representing Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes. Here is my review…

Set 76394 – 597 pieces

Price: US$39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99 / AU$69.99 / 349 DKK

Looking at the set, my first thought was how similar it looked to last year’s Hedwig.

While I wasn’t surprised LEGO would release another display model, the choice of model did puzzle me. I had expected something more different from Hedwig, like the Golden Snitch. This is basically the 2020 Hedwig set in new colours. It is not that I don’t like it – I had just expected something different.

With its bright colours, it looks amazing though on the box, and I am curious to see how great it will look next to my Hedwig set. So I better start building.

Box and content

Before digging into it, I’ll however briefly discuss the box.

The front of the box shows the phoenix model on its stand. In the lower left corner, we can see it comes with a small stand with Dumbledore and Fawkes in minifigure scale, similar to the 2020 Hedwig set, which had Harry Potter and Hedwig included on a similar stand.

Turning over the box we see an illustration of Fawkes from the left rear, showing that by turning the crank at the base, the wings will start flapping. Again a similar feature to what we had in the Hedwig set.

Small insert photos shows that the head can be positioned in various ways, as well as the dimensions overall. The completed model has a wingspan over 13.7 in. (35 cm); and is over 9.4 in. (24 cm) from beak-to-tail.

The top of the box shows the small stand with the Dumbledore minifigure and mini-Fawkes. There is also a 1:1 scale photo of the printed 2×4 tile used as nameplate attached to the base, showing this is a model of Fawkes.

Opening the box, we find four numbered bags with parts inside, along with the instructions. No stickers in this set, which is nice for a change.

Let’s get building…

The stand

In bag 1, we start with building the small stand with Professor Albus Dumbledore and the minifigure scaled model of his phoenix Fawkes.

Starting with the latter, this excellent model of Fawkes has appeared once before, in the Harry Potter Collectable Minifigure Series 2. Dumbledore himself is however a new representation of the character, with new printed torso and legs. A such, it is a nice model, though when viewing it from the side, the unprinted dark orange side of the torso and legs does detract.

The Phoenix

The rest of bag 1 gives us the parts needed to complete the stand for Fawkes. The stand includes the crank to make the winds flap – and the perch to have the phoenix hold on to with its claws.

Bag two completes the body and the base of the wings, along with the mechanism to make them flap.

Bag three allows us to finish one wing and about half of the other.

The fourth and final bag completes the second wing, the tail, the head and the claws. Below is the completed model shown and I must say it looks awesome. The head is pretty much perfect, with interesting part usage. Overall, a great finish of the set.

The wing mechanism works fine (as for Hedwig). The movement looks nice and realistic – and I find myself amazed that you can build something like that in LEGO. I will cover the movement in more detail in a later post. I feel I have to try to add a motor…

Before I finish, it is impossible not show Fawkes next to Hedwig. So here they are.

As seen the sizes are very similar, though head and tail in particular are wider for the owl (as they should be). I find the feet of Hedwig do look a bit simple in comparison with Fawkes, but as an owl have most of the feet covered with feathers, I guess the lack of detail is not that important.

Conclusion

Fawkes is an important character in Harry Potter (and may be worth a separate post in my magical creatures section), so it is good to get to see it in larger scale in LEGO.

Harry Potter: “Professor. Your bird — I couldn’t do anything — he just caught fire —

Albus Dumbledore: “About time, too. He’s been looking dreadful for days; I’ve been telling him to get a move on.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

As mentioned several times, there are many similarities with the Hedwig model we saw last year. But given how amazing it looks, it doesn’t bother me at all. There isn’t really anything negative to say about it, apart from the side view of the Dumbledore minifigure, where the lack of torso/legs printing shows.

Otherwise, if you do like display pieces, this is one you definitely should consider getting!

I have another review of two coming up in the next month, but otherwise I will focus on finishing a couple of MOCs I’ve been working on. And there will also be another MOC building competition coming soon. So look out for that announcement.

Till then, Build the Magic!

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

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