When I saw the photos of the upcoming Hogwarts Icons set, I was captivated by the beauty the photos portrayed. But is the real set as good as the photos suggested? Having now built the set, these are my views…
76391 – Hogwarts Icons – Collectors’ Edition
Price: 249.99 EUR / 249.99 USD / 229.99 GBP / 1999 DKK / 399.99 AUD / 29980 JPY / 449.99 NZD / 349.99 CAD
When this set was revealed, it triggered a lot of attention among LEGO Harry Potter fans. Speaking for myself, I literally said WOW when I first saw the photos of this upcoming set. This was something unexpected, something beautiful and very special.
So I was over the moon when I learned that LEGO would send me an early copy to review.
So how does it stack up? Let us have a look…
Box and content
The box itself well reflects well that this is not an ordinary LEGO set. The black colour and clean look shows it is exclusive – very similar to how LEGO Architecture sets generally have been presented.
The front of the box shows a photo of the completed model – I was about to say from the front – but the setup can be seen from all angles. Obviously, seeing Hedwig from the front would make most sense, but the set does look good from all angles. Apart from the photo, there is very little to clutter the box – though we do have the LEGO logo (surprisingly not in the top left corner as usual), the Harry Potter logo and the name of the set: Hogwarts Icons – Collectors’ Edition. At the bottom is a blue banner where the recommended age (18+), set number and number of pieces are listed.
With 3010 pieces, this is actually only the second largest Harry Potter set released in 2021 – as the Hogwarts Crest Wall Art set from January had more than 4000 pieces (though mostly small 1×1 round plates). By weight, Hogwarts Icons would however by far be the largest 2021 LEGO Harry Potter set.
The back of the box follows the same design philosophy, with a photo of the set, this time showing Hedwig’s back. It also shows the stand with the three included golden anniversary figures, Professor McGonagall, Professor Dumbledore and Hagrid. The stand and minifigures are absent from the front, where they would normally be present. As they really add to the set, I’m not quite sure why they are only shown on the back.
While the figures are branded as anniversary versions, the set doesn’t have the 20th Anniverary of LEGO Harry Potter logo seen on the other 2021 sets in the range, nor does it include any of the collectable 2×2 wizard card tiles. But as seen, we do instead get a real life sized version of such a wizard card with Dumbledore included.
The back of the box also include three insert photos showing some details – including the scarf, which can be built in any of the colour combinations representing the four Hogwarts houses, the Hogwarts admission letter that Hedwig is carrying and a schematic drawing showing the dimensions of the set (measuring approximately 44cm high, 50cm wide and 33cm deep).
I’ll briefly mention the top of the box too, which shows the four bottles with potion ingredients and the vial of liquid luck. The bottles are beautiful, and it is good to see them close up here as they are somewhat hidden in the photos otherwise. Also shown is a 1:1 scale photo of one of the printed 8×16 tiles making up the Hogwards admission letter.
At this point my fingers were itching to open the box, so that is what I did.
Inside the box I found 22 numbered plastic bags (some of them stored in a white cardboard box inside the bigger box), the instructions and three printed tiles.
It was great to see the Hogwarts admission letter is made out of three 8×16 sized printed tiles – without relying on stickers. In fact, the sticker sheet is very small – only used for potion labels. The sticker sheet is packed with the instructions in a plastic cover ensuring they don’t get creased.
Enough talking – let’s start building…
I’d normally discuss the minifigures in the set first, but in this case, I’ll continue straight to the build itself – as we wont see the minifigures till the bags towards the end.
Opening the instructions, you once again get to see the focus on quality. This is a product for collectors.
On the early pages, before you get to the instructions, you’ll find a timeline of the key highlights of the last 20 years of LEGO Harry Potter, with many references to items in these previous sets that are represented in Hogwarts Icons too.
You’ll also find information about the designers and an overview of all the included artefacts in the set.
Continuing to the instructions parts, it is a good start, with the first bag giving us the bricks needed to build Harry’s glasses, his wand and a vial of felix felicis (commonly known as liquid luck). The latter is built from “glow-in-the-dark” pieces and is a rather good representation of the vial seen in the movies. The glasses are mainly built from Technic pieces, but looks quite amazing and sits surprisingly well, even on my own rather large head.
The wand, however, is by far the biggest item to build from the first bag. It is very sturdy, and somewhat bigger than what I had expected. It does sit well in the hand though and I really like the dual coloured appearance, with the handle in darker brown – just as how Harry’s wand look in the movies too.
Also note that at the end of the building process of each unique model, there is a small description of the artefact in the instructions along with some interesting facts.
Overall three very good models to get us started.
Next up is the centre core, which holds the main model together and gives Hedwig a solid place to be attached. It is built from Technic beams and is integrated into the bottom item, which is Tom Riddle’s diary lying open with blank pages.
I really like the pages, which is created from stacked 1×4 and 1×3 panel pieces, placed sideways.
On top of that curved slopes completes model, so it truly looks like an open book, with lots of pages.
Two books lies on top of the diary. They are somewhat similar in design, though the attachment points to each other (and the diary below) differs, to give them different angles. First we build a blue book.
This is followed by a red book, as said in a very similar design.
Looking at the outcomes, the spines are perfect, and the profile bricks used for the sides give a good impression of pages (unfortunately it doesn’t come as a corner piece, which would have improved the visual appearance of the corners slightly).
The reasoning behind the book colours was given in my post about the Easter eggs in the Hogwarts Icons set. Basically the colours refer to the Hogwarts houses of the lead designer Marcos Bessa (blue and silver for Ravenclaw) and one of the graphic designers, Djordje (red and gold for Gryffindor).
The two books are untitled. It seems like a missed opportunity to have put in more references to actual books, such as Hermione’s trusted copy of “Hogwarts: A History” (which is normally shown as being dark red) and Harry’s “Quidditch through the ages” or “Advanced Potion Making” books (which both were blue). I am tempted to create stickers with titles for their spines myself.
The two books are stacked on top of the diary, snapping well onto each other for a pretty solid build.
Next up is the potion box. It is black with the initials H.G. written on it (printed tile). The box sits on top of the books and covers most of the still visible parts of the centre core.
The initials on the box of course refer the Hermione Granger, who led the brewing of the polyjuice potion in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In the movie, the box was wooden, but I do like the black box included in this set.
After this, we continue to the centrepiece – the absolutely stunning model of Hedwig landing with its wings spread out, holding on to the Hogwarts acceptance letter with its talons.
The first bag in this series allows us to build the two owl legs attached to the centre core above the potion box. In my eagerness to continue, I forgot to take a photo at this point.
Then we build Hedwig’s body and tail. This is done in two two different sections that snap together with Technic pins.
Here is the body, once snapped together.
With the body done, the next bag gets us started on the wings, with the base of each wing being completed after this step. I may replace the 1×1 yellow Technic bricks with white ones at some point, as the yellow colour can from some angles be seen (but not from the front).
Surprisingly, we don’t continue with the wings – as the next bag gets us started on the head instead.
It is an interesting design, with a nice round shape, apart from the front, which is cut off in an angle.
The next bag gives us Hedwig’s face and feathers for the wings.
The face is built on a base of rounded plates and slopes, and it clicks nicely onto the previously constructed head, covering the cut-off section perfectly. This is one of my favourite parts of the build to see how well the geometry has worked out here.
Having attached the head to the body and the feathers to the wings, I now added the body onto the model base. You can now really get a feel for how amazing the final model looks.
The last two bags with parts for Hedwig complete the feathers for the wings.
The last of those bags also includes the bricks to build the golden snitch. I really like how it looks, with the pieces originally created to make hot air balloons cleverly used as the wings.
Here is the model with Hedwig completed and the snitch added.
With Hedwig completed, the remaining bags allows us to build the last of the smaller models.
First up are the bottles with potion ingredients. They look absolutely amazing when built. The labels are all from stickers, and there are many Easter eggs hidden in those numbers as explained in this post, along with some information about the content of each of the bottles.
The four potion bottles all fit within Hermione’s potion box we previously built – or you can mix it up with the liquid luck vial as shown below. The model does look better with the bottles spread out a bit.
The three remaining bags, each gives us a minifigure and part of its stand (to be discussed further down) and another model.
Bag number 20 (in total) adds the Hogwarts House scarf and appropriately includes sufficient colours to allow you to build the scarf that represents your own house. Gone are the early days of LEGO Harry Potter where everything was centred around Gryffindor (with the occasional Slytherin reference).
As shown in the instructions, you can actually build two different scarf ends, as only the grey and yellow parts are used for two different models.
I therefore built both the Gryffindor and Slytherin scarves, but I could have done Ravenclaw instead of Slytherin for example.
Bag 21 adds a chocolate frog, similar to those Harry bought from the trolley witch in the Hogwarts Express. The frog looks fantastic, but is probably a bit larger than what I would have hoped. The back legs are very posable, but the font legs are not, so you can’t pose it in that many different ways. Bag 22 adds a collectable wizard card to supplement the frog. These items are rather iconic and I’ve previously designed my own versions (instructions available here) of both as well as box that can fit both. The box unfortunately will not fit the larger frog included in this set, and is build in blue and gold, as the right pieces are not available in dark purple.
I’m glad to see these two items included, as they work well together. But as we shall see later, the wizard card also has a special function when it comes to display the included minifigures.
Bag 22 also included the pieces required to build the Hogwarts acceptance letter that Hedwig carries in its talons. I like how it is build from those three large printed tiles, looking perfectly like a letter that has been folded.
As explained in this post, there is unfortunately a minor spelling error in the Hogwarts Crest, with the last of the words written as “Titillandos” instead of the correct “Titillandus”, though I doubt any would have noticed if not told.
The completed letter can be clipped onto the stand so it looks like Hedwig is carrying it. And with that the model has been completed. But I have yet to talk about the minifigures, so let’s hurry on to do that.
The set adds three more golden anniversary minifigures to your collection: Professor McGonagall, Professor Dumbledore and Hagrid, the Gamekeeper and Keeper of Keys and Grounds of Hogwarts.
The printing on the minifigures is nicely done – highly detailed and keeping to the golden theme of the figures.
But we don’t just get the figures. They come with a beautiful stand and celebratory tile to mark the 20th anniversary of LEGO Harry Potter. Now it makes sense why the previous 20th Anniversary sets didn’t include stands for the minifigures apart from the golden 3×4 plate (something I complained about in most of my reviews of those sets).
The most eye catching part of the stand is the collectable wizard card (discussed further up) used to frame Professor Dumbledore. The label with his name as well as the LEGO Harry Potter label for the stand itself are both printed. No fear of misaligning stickers here.
The three minifigures complement the 6 figures we have got from earlier 20th Anniversary of LEGO Harry Potter sets well – and the set luckily includes two extension pieces for the stand to allow you to add any others of the golden figures you may have.
It is a rather long display stand, but I do like how it looks – and it could work well in front of the main model in many homes.
So here it is – the completed model. I’ve had it standing on the desk all day and every time I looked at it I’ve smiled. It just looks stunningly beautiful, with everything coming so well together in the whole composition, including the mix of colours and the various detailed real-life sized objects.
So is it perfect? Should you buy it?
There are a few things to note. Firstly, this is not a kids playset. It is a display set. Don’t buy it to give your kids and think they will love it – if their interest in LEGO is to play. The age classification of the set should clarify this.
Also, there are some silly minor spelling mistakes, as noted on the letter – and a few on the potion labels (see my post on Easter Eggs in the Hogwarts Icons set). I don’t thing anyone would really notice, but it does detract from a set which is otherwise excellent when it comes to quality.
In terms of the build process, a few parts a bit repetitive (the two books and the feathers on Hedwig’s wings), but it didn’t bother me too much really, as I was so pleased every time I added a bit to see how well the model looked. And apart from those few repetitive parts, the build process is full of interesting building techniques that I learned a lot from.
So overall, this is a set that really would please any serious LEGO Harry Potter collectors.
If you after having read this are interested in buying, please consider using our affiliate links when ordering from LEGO (it doesn’t cost you more, but I’ll get a small commission that helps paying for the costs of hosting the blog). Simply follow the link above and select your regional LEGO store if shown and proceed to order as normal, then everything will be happen automatically.
The set includes a lot of school items and is accordingly released 2nd September – matching the first school day at Hogwarts (students travel there 1st September for the welcome feast, for a school start the following day). In the meantime you could check out the Back to Hogwarts MOC competition, we have just announced, where you have a chance to win the Hogsmeade Village Visit set.
Till then, Build the Magic!
EDIT: The launch date has subsequent to this post been postponed till September 15th in the US, Canada, and Mexico, rather than September 2nd as originally planned due to a shipping delay in the US. The set will be available for online only pre-order at LEGO.com beginning September 2nd. The product will be available in LEGO Retail stores on September 15th. In the rest of the world, the set should be available from September 2nd as originally planned.
A big thank you to LEGO’s AFOL Engagement Team for the advance review copy of the set. While the set has been given to me by LEGO, the views expressed in this review are my own.