Accidentally revealed: Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition

We finally have the official photos of this year’s exclusive LEGO Harry Potter set. Long rumoured, it was no surprise that it was a model of the iconic Hogwarts Express. It looks absolutely stunning along with the small section of Platform 9¾. But if you want a train to run around your Hogwarts Castle, this is not the set you’re looking for. Read on to see what you’ll get…

Set 76405: Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition – 5129 pieces

Price: US$499.99, £429.99, €499.99, AU$799.99, NZ$849.99, DKK 3899

Since the revival of Harry Potter as a LEGO theme in 2018, we have been given a large exclusive so-called direct-to-consumers (D2C) set each year, apart from 2019. Another such set was therefore expected this year – with the hopes and rumours that surrounds it as the subject of this annual set is typically covered in great secrecy.

This year the set was leaked early. Typically leaks are from sneaky photos taken at the back of a shop ahead of an official announcement. This time LEGO itself accidentally sent the new Hogwarts Express train sets to a few customers instead of the Castle set they had ordered. So yesterday, the internet got flooded with photos of both the box and its content.

LEGO then decided to get the product pages up with the official photos.

With today being LEGO’s 90th birthday, it is an appropriate day to post about such a set. Let’s see what we will get…

So what will I get?

This year’s set is a highly detailed display version of Hogwarts Express, built in 1:32 scale, along with a small section of Platform 9¾.

With 5129 pieces, this is a substantial set, measuring over 26 cm (10.5 in.) high, 118 cm (46.5 in.) long and 20 cm (8 in.) wide.

It has four main components: train engine, tender plus section of track for display, passenger carriage and then the platform itself. Each of those components come with its own set of printed instructions to allow up to 4 people to share the building experience (click on photos to enlarge).

The engine itself looks great. It doesn’t actually sit on the track, but is lifted slightly. Using a crank on the top of the engine, you can make the wheels roll in the mesmerising motion of a steam train.

Use the crank to see the wheels turn

The tender looks realistic with a decent amount of coal stored for the engine.

The passenger carriage comprises 3 compartments. Interestingly, this is the first time a Hogwarts Express set has included doors for the passenger carriage. Guess they otherwise had to use magic to get in. Being no less than 56 studs long, it totally dwarfs the carriage of the otherwise excellent 2018 Hogwarts Express set, which was only 20 studs long.


Apart from looking great as a whole, the set captures four specific scenes from the Harry Potter movies.

Three of those are linked to the the passenger carriage’s three compartments, which each depicts a classic scene:

  • When Harry, Ron and Hermione meet in the series’ first film
  • When Professor Lupin saves Harry from the Dementor in the third film
  • When Luna saves Harry from Draco’s spell in the sixth film.

All three compartments have a light brick on top you can activate pressing a button on the roof, so you better can see the scene inside.

Press the button on the roof to lit up the inside

And if that is not enough, you can take out a section of the wall to see it close up. A brick with a small quote from the scene sits on top.

The model also depicts the scene on Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station, where the adult Harry and Ginny wait with their children, Lily, James and Albus, ready for Albus’s first trip aboard the amazing Hogwarts Express. As for the the scenes in the train compartments, there is also a “quote” brick here.

Overall, the set includes 20 minifigures to recreate the scenes listed above. It also includes some generic students from the often forgotten Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw houses (while also adding some cultural diversity).

So will it run?

The photos of the train have been discussed by many online already – and they showed that given the train is of a slightly bigger scale than the normal LEGO trains, it will not run on normal LEGO train tracks. It has probably not designed for running at all, other than showing the realistic movement of the wheels when the crank is turned as discussed above.

Being 1:32 scale, the train body is 10 studs wide – compared to the six studs wide 2018 Hogwarts Express train, which is more something like 1:45 scale. That extra size allows it to be a lot more detailed. When it comes to the tracks, photos reveal there are 5 studs between the tracks rather than the four used for LEGO CITY trains. But even if it had been reduced to four, it would probably not have been able to run. The train features a new larger drive wheel than the existing. Having three of them spaced out as on this train would not be able to take the tight curves you have using standard LEGO train tracks, even if the middle had been a so-called blind wheels (those without the flange). I’m sure that train enthusiast hope for this new sized wheel to become available in a blind version though.

This photo triggered a lot of discussion among train enthusiast about track width, train wheels and its ability to run

If you want a running train, you should seek the 2018 Hogwarts Express version (see review here). It is still available in some regions, but has been flagged for potential retirement by the end of 2022. Maybe a new version is coming next year? But it could also be a few years till a new LEGO track compatible Hogwarts Express becomes available again, so I can’t really give any firm advice here.

How do I get it?

The set is listed as coming soon – with 31 August 2022 given as the date. Preorders may become available ahead of that for VIP members. I’ll update as I know more.

Are you thinking about heading to LEGO.com to preorder/order – either this set or getting the 2018 Hogwarts Express if still available in your region? Please consider using our affiliate links to go there. It is the same price for you, but Blockwarts get a minor commission as well, which I use to help running this site.

Conclusion

So, how does it stack up?

To me, it looks amazing, and I’m positively surprised how well it is carried out compared to what I expected from the rumours, with the various display features. But the price is pretty extreme and that will be a barrier to many!

The set is really targeting those who like display items, like last year’s Hogwarts Icon’s Collectors’ Edition set. Those, who are building a minifigure scale setup with castle parts, maybe Hogsmeade and a bit of the Forbidden forest will be disappointed though as it is not really that scale – and it cannot run on track. Others will be disappointed for it not being Gringotts (let’s hope for next year, as that would be a really cool set too).

For what it is, I do think it is very well done. That extra size being in 1:32 scale allows a lot more detail and couldn’t have been achieved with a running train. An alternative would have been a smaller train – maybe with a bigger platform as the Disney Train a few years back. That would probably have had a broader appeal, but with a less detailed model as result.

Apart from the price, my main issue is that a set this size seems to come with many stickers. Those who accidentally got it has been busy looking through the content and the set appears to rely almost exclusively on stickers rather than printed parts, though a printed 8×16 tile looking like a Hogwarts Express ticket is included, which is a nice addition.

Will you get the set, have decided against it – or are you still on the fence? Personally, I do really like the set – but not the price! Maybe when world supply chains become normal again, prices may be lowered. One can only hope.

I also do hope that I’ll be able to source a set to review in the near future. Till then, Build the Magic!

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