REVIEW: Hogwarts Dumbledore’s office

The calendar is now showing June and the new wave of LEGO Harry Potter sets can be found both online and in stores in many countries around the world (though North America at least has to wait a bit longer). One of the new sets is Hogwarts Dumbledore’s office. Apart from the headmaster’s office it also brings a room long neglected. Read on for my full review…

Set 76402 – Hogwarts Dumbledore’s Office

Price: US$79.99, £69.99, €79.99, CA$109.99, AU$129.99, DKK749

Hogwarts Dumbledore’s Office is the largest modular Hogwarts set in this wave. We have seen a few “remakes” recently, and this set one of those, as it to is quite similar to the Dumbledore’s Office set we got in 2002 (set 4729). We’ve had other Hogwarts sets include the Headmaster’s office though, such as the 2010 Hogwarts castle set (set 4842) and the 2019 Hogwarts Clock Tower set. But not since 2002 has Dumbledore’s office been the focal point of a set.

Dumbledore’s Office (set 4729) from 2002

Compared to the 2002 set, the new one doesn’t have a brick built gargoyle guarding the entrance, nor does it have the moving spiral stairs leading up to the office. Instead, as something new, the 2022 set includes for the first time a decent library (though it should be noted that the 2010 Hogwarts Castle (set 4842) did have a small “restricted section” of the library). Even better, the set also comes with the librarian Madam Pince, which I’m really pleased to see.

This modular set connects with others in the series to create an entire Hogwarts Castle. Having hinges, it adds flexibility in terms of how to combine your different sections. I should do a future post about that.

But for now, let’s get to business…

Box and content

First a quick look at the box. It uses the well known blue colour scheme with logos shown at the top, with the majority of the front otherwise taken up by a large photo of the set. The section of Hogwarts is seen from the front, with the figures posed in various scenes around it. A banner in the lower left corner shows the six included minifigures and lists their names.

On the back, the box shows the included castle segments seen from the back, allowing you to see the details in the various rooms. A number of insert photos show particular details, including highlighting how modular the set is, and that books can “magically” move in and out from their places on the shelves in the library. Often dimensions are shown on the back, but not in this case.

Finally, as seen in the lower left corner, the set includes three collectable wizard card tiles.

Inside the box we find an paper envelope with instructions (see later), a loose 8×16 dark tan plate as well as five numbered plastic bags with parts.

The envelope is an evidence of LEGO’s move towards sustainability, where over time all plastic bags in the packaging will be replaced by paper-based alternatives. The envelope in this case holds the instructions and a small sticker sheet, replacing the plastic wrapping of those otherwise typically seen in larger sets.

The manual is white – a noticeable change from the typical blue Harry Potter colour scheme. That is a change made across all LEGO themes to make them more aligned with the paper packaging being introduced according to LEGO’s official explanation. I wonder if it is also more sustainable if not using as much ink for the printing. It does look pale compared to what we have been used to, but for me it is really the LEGO model that matters and the colour of the instructions much less so.

Let’s open the bags and check out the minifigures…

Minifigures

The set includes 6 minifigures: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, Madam Pince and Argus Filch.

Starting with the first three, they are nice (though somewhat ordinary) figures – Harry and Hermione in their Gryffindor robes (printed torsos) with the small “kids” legs generally used to represent first and second year students at Hogwarts. Dumbledore got a nicely printed torso as well (though mostly covered by his beard) and a printed leg piece too, nicely extending the printing of the robes. He’s sometimes represented with a “dress” piece rather than legs. But that doesn’t allow the figure to sit – so in this case he is provided with legs, so he can sit behind his desk in his office.

All three figures have printing on the torso backs too – and dual printed heads. Dumbledore actually got two different smiley faces – it is otherwise typical that the heads have a happy face and an angry/scared face.

The three characters above exists in so many versions already that they are hardly exiting. The next lot of three is different though.

Professor Snape is quite common, but the set also include the librarian Madam Pince, who is represented in minifigure form for the first time. Finally, we also get Argus Filch along with his cat Mrs Norris. This is a welcome return since we last saw him in the 2018 Hogwarts Great Hall set.

Professor Snapes torso print is somewhat simple, but Pince’s and Filch’s prints are highly detailed and extend nicely onto the dress (for Pince) and legs (for Filch). I really like Madam Pince’s hair/hat piece which has feathers attached.

Turning them over, we note that all three got printed back torsos. As seen, while Professor Dumbledore had two happy faces, the opposite is the case for Professor Snape. Guess we rarely saw him smile…

Mrs Norris appears to be a new version of the cat in terms of colour and printing.

Below you can see that both Madam Pince and Filch are excellent representations of how they appeared in the movies (though Pince didn’t get a lot of screen time).

Before continuing with the actual build, there are two more things I want to cover. Firstly, while the included Harry Potter minifigure wasn’t particularly exciting, the inclusion of Harry’s Invisibility Cloak was very much so. It is shiny on one side (we’ve seen that before) but beautifully printed on the other side.

The last thing I wanted to cover is Dumbledore’s Phoenix Fawkes. We’ve seen different versions of him in adult form – both brick built (from the 2018 Great Hall set) and moulded. This time we get him as a baby, just as it has been rising from the ashes.

I couldn’t resist creating a series of photos of Fawkes, from bursting into flames and falling to the ground as ash, as baby/young phoenix and grown up phoenix.

The Build

With the minifigures and various animals well covered, I’ll now put my attention to the actual build. You start with the main floor of Dumbledore’s office (as we shall see, it covers multiple floors).

A couple of bookcases are built sideways and attached on either side of the podium.

Finally, we add Dumbledore’s desk to the podium as well as stands for the Sorting Hat and baby Fawkes.

Now we just need to add two small roof segments to complete this floor.

As seen above, the roof leaves open a space. This is where the next floor goes. Given its small size (in only just fits the pensieve), it is quickly built.

One more level goes on top – though you may call it an attic instead. It has the Sword of Gryffindor stored there and a couple of candles to lit up the attic.

With its spire added and placed on top of the previous floor, it starts to look impressive! Also note the two side towers added on one side.

And here it is when added to the main floor of the office – this time seen from the back.

LEGO’s press release announcing this set states that the tower has four levels. It is technically correct, but the two top floors are quite restricted in space and value, in particular the top one being just an attic. But we’ve only made three levels so far as shown above. So let’s continue at ground level, where we’ll have the library. For this, we need the last two bags.

We start in the middle. On the outside wall, a plant is growing up the wall.

Branches from this tree is used as a play feature where you “magically” can move books in and out of the bookshelf.

The bookshelf looks nice – quite similar in style to the ones in Dumbledore’s office upstairs.

It is the only bookshelf in the library, but sufficient to make the room recognisable, with a number of reading desks for students too, as you can see being added in the photos below.

I like the use of clips to create angled reading desks.

Here is the completed library.

The arch on the right hand side (when viewed from the back) has a panel attached. It depicts the gargoyle that guards the entrance to Dumbledore’s office – see comparison with the actual one on display at Harry Potter Studios in London below.

It is a nice inclusion, but would have been nice if it a door that could open (it isn’t, though the panel can somewhat easily be removed) – and if the other side was leading to a staircase to the office, rather than into the library. I may see if I can move things around a bit.

Here is a look at the library from the outside, including the very last thing to build – the roof segments.

Now we just have to stack it all up.

The right photo below shows how the two side segments of the library are hinged and can be placed in an angle. This may help you display the castle to make it better fit where you have it – or simply make it look better as all modules no longer are stacked in a long straight line. We’ve seen such flexibility built into a number of the Hogwarts sets in 2022, including the Hogwarts Hospital Wing and Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’ rescue sets.

Looking at the outside, it puzzles me why LEGO has mixed black and golden window lattice panes. I’d have preferred a single colour.

Here you can see it with the figures added.

It looks great overall and I’m looking forward to combine it with all the other Hogwarts sets.

Coming soon

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.

Also note that this set has been flagged as potentially increasing in price from August or September as per this post.

Conclusion

It is an impressive looking tower, though the modular nature of the series makes it hard to achieve the same aesthetic outcomes as the 2018-2020 Hogwarts sets. But is is close.

But while it does look quite good, it is also quite a step up in price from the smaller Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue. With the expected price increase of another 10 US$/€ in August or September flagged above, this may be hard to justify getting a full price.

On the positive side, you get both a brand new Madam Pince and an updated version of caretaker Filch. Both these figures look amazing. The remaining four: Professor Dumbledore, Professor Snape, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger are also good figures, but so common that they don’t really excite me. The beautifully printed invisibility cloak is a plus however, though you can hardly see the printing when Harry is wearing it.

The gargoyle on the arched panel, the play feature with the books and the baby phoenix are other nice additions.

The set is also versatile, when it comes to recreating scenes from the movies. The inclusion of the invisibility cloak and Filch allows you to recreate the scene, where Harry explores the restricted section at night from the first movie, baby Fawkes can be used for when Harry saw him on his Burning Day in the Chamber of Secrets, and the pensieve allows you to recreate scenes from the Goblet of Fire and some of the subsequent movies. The third floor could be used for the stand-off between Snape and Dumbledore in the Half-Blood Prince as well (as the Astronomy tower included in the 2021 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets set doesn’t really allow that).

I also like the hinged design, and I’m looking forward to see how it allows me to reshuffle my other sets and make it all look a bit more like Hogwarts.

On the negative side, apart from the price – and the potential price rise, there are only minor things – like having four quite common characters included and the mixing of black and golden lattice windows panes.

With this set, I’ve almost reviewed all the new Harry Potter sets, though two still remain. Next one my list to review is 12 Grimmauld Place followed by the Professors of Hogwarts Brickheadz set (once I’ve sourced a copy). Look out for those reviews on the Reviews page over the next couple of weeks.

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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