June is rapidly approaching and with that comes a new wave of LEGO Harry Potter sets. LEGO has kindly provided me with a number of sets to review. In this post I will look at Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue, which is one of the smaller sets in the series. Here are my thoughts…
Set 76401 – Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue
Price: US$49.99, £44.99, €49.99, CA$64.99, AU$79.99, DKK449
A step up in size (and price) from Hogswarts Carriage and Thestrals, the Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue set is the second smallest in the new wave. It fits nicely with the new modular Hogwarts style (introduced in 2021) and allows you to recreate the scenes when Harry and Hermione went back in time to save two lives (as Dumbledore said they could) in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It makes it a nice companion set to Hogwarts Hospital Wing, which we got back in March.
The new set is more or less a remake of Sirius Black’s Escape from 2004 (set 4753) – having the prison tower, Buckbeak the hippogriff and three minifigures, though it slightly bigger and includes part of the courtyard as well. It also has Hermione instead of a dementor compared with the predecessor.
Looking at both Buckbeak and the minifigures, you can see what step change in quality we have seen since 2004.
But let’s leave the past behind us and focus on what 2022 is about to bring!
Box and content
The box comes in the normal blue colours with logos at the top and a large photo of the included model otherwise taking up most space. We see Harry riding on Buckbeak to free Sirius from the prison tower. The background shows a night with full moon casting a silvery light over the courtyard and other Hogwarts towers further back.
A banner in the lower left corner highlights the three included minifigures.
Turning over the box, the back shows the inside of the tower – highlighting the modular nature of the set, as the courtyard part here has been split to have half of it sitting on either side of the tower.
Three small insert photos shows Harry and Hermione feeding Buckbeak, Sirius behind bars and Harry flying on his Firebolt broom (though he seems to struggle…)
As seen in the lower left corner, the set also includes two collectable wizard card tiles.
Inside the box you find the instructions, three numbered bags with parts, a small sticker sheet and a bag with the body of Buckbeak.
But let’s open the bags and start building.
Minifigures and creatures
Firstly, I’ll discuss the minifigures included in the set. We get three of them: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Sirius Black. For Harry and Hermione, the torsos, legs and hair pieces are similar to those included in the excellent Shrieking Shack set. The heads are different though, with slightly different emotions shown. Hermione comes with a round tile representing her time turner, which played a pivotal role in the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The figures look great with detailed torso printing and with Sirius Black also having printed legs (which he didn’t have in the Shrieking Shack set).
As we’ve come to expect, they all have printed torso backs too – and duel printed heads, showing an alternative face. I’m surprised, this version have two rather similar emotions for Hermione. Maybe she was having a bad day back then…
Sirius Black was first released in 2004 (see picture of that version of him in the set shown in the introduction further up) in a couple of sets. He eventually became very hard to find till he was released in a much improved version in the 2019 Expecto Patronum set. That version might be hard to find now too, but do not fear as this year we will get no less than three versions of him! Two of them represent Sirius in prison clothes. Below you can see how those stack up with the 2019 version. They are all really good, though it is really a shame the Shrieking Shack version didn’t have the printed legs.
In addition to the minifigures, we also get Hagrid’s hippogriff, Buckbeak. In LEGO form, we first saw him in two sets back in 2004. That was a simpler design (as seen in set shown in the introduction) with no printing of the head. We got a much improved one in the 2019 Hagrid’s Hut set, but that set is getting really hard to find. So it is great to see Buckbeak in a new release again. Somewhat surprising, they have opted to provide it in new colours – white body/head and pearly grey wings, while the 2019 version had a light grey body and darker grey wings.
For comparison, here is a screenshot from the movie. It is clearly white on the front of the torso, though legs, head and back part of the torso are all light grey. I would probably have added some white printing to the grey torso rather than make it all white, but it the model still looks great, with the shiny pearl wings giving a more realistic feathery feel.
Finally, you’ll find two of the collectable wizard card tiles in this set. There are 16 different to collect, and I’ve had a full set for a while and is probably close to a second. But it is good to see them continue as those who have started collecting later probably still are missing some.
With the minifigures and Buckbeak covered, I’ll now continue with the actual castle part. You start with building the courtyard, which is made from two very similar segments, which more or less mirror each other. Here is the first segment being build – seen from the inside.
The following photos shows the building of the second segment, this time seen from the outside (as it would have been very similar to the first photos otherwise).
I really like the outside look – in particular the golden frogs used as decorative parts.
Below you can see the two segments – side by side and then combined into the courtyard.
Next up is adding roof elements to our courtyard. These are very simple but add nicely to the overall look.
Next up is the bottom of the prison tower. It has a spiral staircase getting to the level above but otherwise nothing really.
In the photo below, I’ve attached it to the courtyard. As you can see, Technic pin holes are on the back side too (and front as well, as first photo above might indicate). This model therefore allows a lot of flexibility in terms of splitting your Hogwarts castle into two parts meeting each other in a 90-degree angle. None of the 2021 sets allowed that.
Moving a level up the tower, there is room. I’m not quite sure which one to be honest, but it has a table with Harry’s firebolt broom lying on it. There is also a lit candle and a feather. The broom uses the new “broom” piece I first saw in the Hungarian Horntail Dragon set that I reviewed a week ago.
The two walls with windows are made using wall panels. These look fine from one side and typically that is facing out. In this case the fine, flat side is facing inwards though. Further down however, you will see that this does detract from the external view then. I would very much have preferred if they had used a normal brick built wall with windows pieces instead.
Finally, we need to build the prison cell, which goes on top of the tower. It is small and quickly built, but looks reasonable. Sirius fits inside (just), but doesn’t get the luxury of being able to lie down to sleep.
The prison cell goes on the roof of the previous tower section. Below you see the simple roof section (left) where the prison cell has been added on an angle using a turntable plate (right). I do like when LEGO sets move beyond every angle being 90 degrees, so this is a nice twist!
Now we just have to combine it all. Here you can see what it looks like from the “inside”.
And below is what it looks like when seen from the outside. Here, you can really see the panel used on the middle floor of the tower. Maybe I simply turn those panels around as their inverted side wouldn’t detract as much inside a dark room. But even better, those walls could (and should) have been built from bricks.
So when can I get it, you may ask? The sets are available 1 June 2022 in Europe, Australia and I assume most other countries as well, though for USA and Canada it is slightly later: June 19, 2022. Are you thinking about heading to LEGO.com to preorder/order? If so, please consider using our affiliate links to go there. It is the same price for you, but Blockwarts will get a minor commission as well, which I use to help running this site.
With three minifigures and Buckbeak this set is a step up from the smaller Hogwarts carriage and Thestrals set, but what a jump in price. You go from US$19.99 to US$49.99 – an increase of 150%. You do get a decent amount of castle, but it is rather bare (little furniture in the rooms). So it is quite a steep price for the amount of figures and only 345 pieces.
In comparison, last year’s Hogwarts Fluffy Encounter set costed US$39.99/€39.99 and included 397 pieces (as well as four minifigures plus Fluffy).
On the positive side, the minifigures are nice (as always) – in particular Sirius Black, and with the 2019 Hagrid’s Hut set getting hard to find, it will be a good way to pick up Buckbeak. The courtyard is a great addition, which we haven’t really seen in a set before. We only get a small part of it though and it would have been nice with a small fountain for the courtyard.
While there are positive aspects, this set does appear overpriced compared to what you get. Hopefully many of you will be able to find it on sale at some point, as it is a really nice set to have along with the Hospital Wing (and even better if you have Hagrid’s Hut too).
Next up is my review of the larger Hogwarts Dumbledore’s Office set. Look out for it on the Reviews page in the coming days.
Till then, Build the Magic!
(Note that this set was kindly provided by LEGO for review. The views expressed here are my own however).
You can check all my other reviews here.