REVIEW: 12 Grimmauld Place

LEGO has in recent years been busy releasing LEGO Harry Potter sets that cover characters or locations that had previously not been represented in LEGO. The sets released mid-year 2022 cover more of those gaps, including one of the most iconic locations: 12 Grimmauld Place – the Headquarter of The Order of the Phoenix. Here is what you get…

Set 76408 – 12 Grimmauld Place

Price: US$119.99, £114.99, €129.99, CA$149.99, AU$199.99, DKK1199

Number 12 Grimmauld Place is the ancestral home of the Black family and is found in a traditional muggle neighbourhood in London. As it was protected by a Fidelius Charm, the actual house was invisible to the local residents.

After Lord Voldemort’s return the Order of the Phoenix was resurrected, and Sirius Black allowed his home to become its headquarters, with Professor Dumbledore being its Secret-Keeper to keep the location safe from the Death Eaters.

Harry didn’t learn about this place till the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and its appearance, when emerging from the row of town houses, was truly magical. You can revisit this scene in the video below:

As most Harry Potter sets have focused on the earlier more kids friendly movies, we have never seen 12 Grimmauld Place as a LEGO set. The 2022 mid-year wave includes several sets that cover the later movies though, including:

It is great to see this iconic location in an official LEGO set for the first time – and even better that it include the ability to appear in the middle of the row of town houses! Let us have a closer look!

Box and content

The front of the box shows a moonlit Grimmauld Place, with number 12 emerging into view from between numbers 11 and 13. As normal we have logos at the top and a banner in the lower left corner listing the included minifigures by name. Three smaller insert photos illustrate how the model allow the facade to change from having no number 12 visible to have it in line with the other buildings.

The back of the box shows the building from the back. While the front had three different houses (numbers 11-13), the inside all covers scenes from 12 Grimmauld Place. Insert photos show close-up photos of various details and the play feature with the facade transforming. Maybe it was not enough to have it on the front? (though I must admit it is a pretty cool feature)

Inside the box, we find a bag with instructions and stickers, eight numbered bags with parts (numbered 1-7, as two bags were numbered 5) and one loose flexible string.

Unlike some of the other sets in the mid-year wave, the instructions and stickers were packed in plastic rather than the new paper enveloped. It will be interesting to see how fast LEGO transitions away from plastic in its packaging. I have yet to see a paper bag for bricks I should add.

The sticker sheet looks nice and crisp and I’m in particular impressed by the family tree of the Black family.

I better open the bags for a closer look at the parts.

Minifigures

The set include 9 minifigures. While that is quite a lot, that is what you’d expect from a set at this price point these days. Let’s have a look at them in more detail.

Firstly, I’ll cover Harry Potter, Kingsley Shacklebolt and Nymphadora Tonks. It’s a bit of a mixed bag. Yet another Harry is hard to get excited over, in particular when its torso printing is pretty minimal. But it does the job. Kingsley is better – with some more colours and the rather detailed printing extending down onto the legs as well. It would have been better with a printed hat too, as we had it in the CMF series 2, which is the only previous release of Kingsley. And then we got Tonks (don’t ever call her Nymphadora!), with highly detailed print – showing her slightly disarranged clothes. Being a Metamorphmagus, Tonks could change her appearance at will, and often changed her hair colour depending on her mood. In this set, she comes with an extra hair piece, so she can can have either red or lavender coloured hair. Like Kingsley, she’s only appeared once before as minifigure, in her example in the Attack on The Burrow set from 2020.

All three have their torsos printed on the back too, though much less detailed than what we saw on the front. Harry and Tonks both have a additional face prints (Kingsley’s hat doesn’t cover the back of the head, so dual face print doesn’t work for him). Harry look somewhat upset, while Tonks look – let us say different. She has a pigs nose from the time she was joking around with Hermione and Ginny at Grimmauld Place, and changed her nose into a pig nose resembling Dudley’s.

Next up are some of the Weasley siblings. We get Ron, Fred and George. There’s a lot less to say about those than the previous three figures. It is sufficient to say that all have printed torsos and of course ginger hair! But they look fine overall – and while they are not as rare as they used to be, it is still nice getting new versions of Fred and George.

They also have their torsos printed on the backs – and dual printed heads. Ron’s alternative expression is the typical upset look you’d normally get. Maybe that’s not an emotion that Fred and George know of, because their alternative faces show them laughing – just as you’d expect it from the twins.

I should also mention the included extendable ear – a fantastic Fred and George invention, which they often used to eavesdrop on discussions held by Order of the Phoenix in the kitchen of 12 Grimmauld Place, where kids were not allowed. The ear is made out of the long flexible string included, with a printed tile at the end. I guess it should look like an ear. I’m not sure it does!

Finally, we will have a look at Sirius Black, his house-elf Kreacher and Molly Weasley.

Sirius Black used to be quite rare, but in recent years we’ve seen him numerous sets, but always in his prisoners clothes. This is the first version with him in “normal clothes” (though I did design my own version a few years back).

Kreacher is an all new minifigure, having never been represented in LEGO before. I’m pleased to see him, as he plays an important role in the later movies.

When it comes to Molly, she’s not that as rare anymore as she used to, but I do like this rather colourful version of her.

Also included is a very orange version of Hermione’s cat Crookshanks, which is an interesting addition, given Hermione is absent from this set.

From the photo below, in particular Sirius stands out with superb printing of both torso and legs. Kreacher’s print is more simple, while Molly’s print also extends onto her legs and is best characterised as a very Molly-ish style.

All three have the expected torso print on their backs as well. Kreacher has a moulded head, so no ability to have an alternative face print on that, but we get that for both Sirius and Molly.

And before I continue – I will mention the three brooms included in the set. They are based on the new broom base part with an antenna added on top as the handle. This does look better than the old broom and it comes in different colours as seen.

With the minifigures thoroughly covered, I’ll start with the actual build.

The Build

The first couple of bags are used to build the base, including the mechanism that allows the hidden 12 Grimmauld Place to slide into the row of houses through numbers 11 and 13. That mechanism is probably one of the things I’ve been looking most forward to build, so that’s a good start.

Below you can see the mechanism working.

Continuing with bag 3, you get to build the front entrance of 12 Grimmauld Place – and the kitchen where the Order often had meetings. There is no less than 8 coffee cups in the kitchen. That must be a new record in a LEGO set.

Also note the new printed Daily Prophet tile on the table. It is nice to have another front page to look at rather than the one that has been included in most sets since 2018.

Here you can see what the front looks like. I like the detail around the window. You may notice the green frog. Not sure why it is there. It made me wonder if the set is designed by Nick Vás, who tends to add frogs to his models (with the Chamber of Secrets set being a great example).

With bag 4, we continue with the ground floor, adding it for the houses numbered 11 and 13, while the interior behind still belongs to number 12. To the left we get Kreacher’s den, built using a couple of back to back door frames (and a door of course).

I wish it would have had a bit more detail. A couple of goblets are placed on top of the cupboard, but it would have been nice with maybe some kitchen utensils hanging from the wall as well? Or stored food as in a pantry.

On the other side of the kitchen (to the right) we have the hallway containing a troll leg used to store umbrellas, and the portrait of Walburga Black – half hidden (but never very effectively) by a curtain. There is also a small table with a lamp and a bowl.

The troll leg uses a sand blue barrel, which is the first time this is seen in that colour. It is the same colour the troll had in the 2002 Harry Potter set – Troll on the loose (set 4712) as seen below. The troll leg used in the movie is also shown below. Overall, a very good representation of this.

Below, you can see it from the outside. The two houses follow nicely what we saw for 12 Grimmauld place in terms of style, though its neighbours are in more traditional colours rather than the grey and black colour scheme of the Black family home. The two doors for numbers 11 and 13 cannot open, but I can’t see any reason why you would want that anyway. So I’m happy for those to be panels rather than doors as it is easier to apply stickers to those.

Before finishing this step, another row of bricks are added on top and two streetlights are added on either side.

That takes us to the two bags 5. These are used to add the next two floors in the centre building and its roof.

In the room above the kitchen the main feature is the piano, where Hermione was teaching Ron playing Für Elise in the Deathly Hallows. On the piano is a lamp and the radio the trio used to listen to news about Death Eaters attacks. It doesn’t look that much like a radio though.

Above this is the disturbing sight of skulls under glass. These represents the shrunken heads displayed along the wall of the dark staircase. Harry eventually learned that it was a Black family tradition to cut the heads off of their house-elves when they were too old to carry tea trays!

Here you can see this module added to the main model.

That leaves us with bags 6 and 7. They are used to complete the two side buildings (bag 6 does the left seen from the back while 7 does the right).

On the left – above the ground floor, we get a simple room with just a lounge chair. To the right we have one of my favourite things – the tapestry of the Black family tree complete with Sirius Black and other unpopular family members blasted off.

Maybe the lounge chair is for Molly to relax after cleaning the house for doxies and boggarts.

The upper level gives us two bedrooms. One is decorated in Gryffindor colours – which would make it Sirius’ room, though you could also use it as the room where Harry and Ron slept. Above the bed two tan coloured bats are hanging. I assume it is some kind of decoration? Nice to get bats in this colour. I’m sure it will be useful for decorating castles or buildings in general in some clever way.

The bedroom to the right I believe is the one that used to belong to Regulus Black. Above the window it has the Slytherin Locket.

As you may remember (spoiler alert), Regulus found the Slytherin Locket in the cave, but was unable to destroy the locket. It was subsequently stolen by Mundungus Fletcher from 12 Grimmauld Place. When the trio learned from Mundungus that it was taken from him by Umbridge, they infiltrated the Ministry of Magic and retrieved the locket (this is covered in the Ministry of Magic set).

I often post separate photos of some of the small mini-models because they look amazing by themselves. I will here add a photo of the beds – not because they look awesome, but to state that these must be some of the worst beds that LEGO has designed in recent years. It is as taken out of a 4+ set, not a set that mainly would be targeting teen and adult collectors.

Now the only thing remaining is to put it all together. Let us first see at it in its ‘collapsed’ form:

As you can see from the back, it effectively blocks all the side rooms for view – so for both play and display, you will need it folded out. You can see how the completed model looks that way below.

To finish off, here are a few close up photos from the set.

Availability

The set became available 1 June 2022 in Europe, Australia and I assume most other countries as well, but for USA and Canada the release date was 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.

Conclusion

This is the most expensive of the mid-year LEGO Harry Potter sets, and it is impressive. I really like the selection of minifigures, including Kreacher (new), Kingsley Shacklebolt and Tonks (rare) and Sirius Black (not released in normal clothes before).

The front looks really amazing, and the appearing number 12 is a super-cool function. On the back, it generally captures the most relevant rooms, though some are rather sparse in interior, partly because of the very limited space in the side buildings, as the triangular floors are needed for the “appearing/disappearing” mechanism to work. And yes, I’m not a big fan of the beds at all.

So is it worth it? It is not as big as I had expected. Folded up, it doesn’t look much bigger than Dumbledore’s office. But it does look cool and for me at least, it is tempting to get another one to supersize it – similar to what I did with the Beauxbatons’ Carriage.

So overall, I will still recommended to buy if you find it within your budget given its excellent selection of minifigures, the detailed front, and the cool feature of the appearing building.


I’ve now reviewed all the new Harry Potter sets apart from the Professors of Hogwarts Brickheadz set. It may be a while till I get to that, as I’m eager to start my review of the 2018 Hogwarts Castle – the only D2C (direct to consumers) set I haven’t reviewed yet. So look out for this in the coming weeks – as I clear my build table and get started on this.

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: 12 Grimmauld Place

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