Since the revival of the Harry Potter theme in 2018, we’ve had an impressive line-up of LEGO Harry Potter sets every year. It appears this is not going to stop. At least, the rumours say so. I’m not presenting any such rumours here, but rather the thoughts I formed over the Christmas break, which I never got around to write down till now…
I’ve been posting about the speculations I’ve done for the coming year’s Harry Potter sets for a number of years now. And while still unsuccessful in finding the March 2023 sets in the shops, I better continue the tradition.
In early 2019, I speculated that they brought it back for a three-year schedule, which they seem to use for many themes. Themes like Chima, Nexo Knights, Exo Force, Dimensions, Friends Elves, etc. were all planned for three year – though some got canned before the final year.
It seemed to follow the schedule pretty well – 2018 focusing on the first two books/movies and 2019 on the next two books/movies. I expected 2020 would round it up covering the last three books/four movies – they are less child friendly and I didn’t expect many sets for each of those movies. We ended up with sets covering mainly books 5 and 6 – but not a single one representing The Deathly Hallows, while the 4 Privet Drive set took us back to the early movies.
With the 2021 Anniversary sets – LEGO started from a blank, which does explain the new style where Hogwarts is now highly modular which many refer to as a dollhouse style. It seems like they had planned to finish the series after 2020, but the theme must have sold well – and it was indeed listed as one of top five best-selling themes in the latest LEGO Annual Report.
In 2022, LEGO added to the new modular Hogwarts system they had introduced in 2021, and they also covered some of the later movies well with sets. These are otherwise not well represented in LEGO – probably because the later movies are not that kids friendly. But there were also sets related to the third movie, so it was a bit of a mixed bag really.
So, what may be coming in 2023? These were my thoughts I started forming over the break…
Of course, we have already seen six regular Harry Potter sets released here 1 March, with three DOTS sets also to come. That is a huge start of the year.
Obviously, there is no point in me trying to predict those. Nine sets are definitely more than what I thought would come this early in the year. So I will rather concentrate on the expected mid-year wave.
Guided by previous the years, I’d expect 5-6 sets mid-year with a potential second wave of 1-2 sets in September to coincide with the September 1st “Back to Hogwarts” day. But with so many sets early in the year, I’ll go for 5 “play sets” and a “display set” in June/July and an advent calendar and the usual large direct to consumers (D2C) set in September, probably with a promotional “Gift With Purchase” running around that time too.
As for the theme of the sets – I’m not sure they will have a focus on particular movies. We haven’t really seen that last year. So I’ll rather think they will use this year to be filling gaps in the movies – where scenes have yet to be released as sets (or haven’t been covered in many years). Harry Potter will be like Star Wars where iconic places like Hagrids Hut will see a new iteration every 5 years or so (I have lost track of how many X-wings we’ve seen so far in Star Wars). Any sets covering Hogwarts, I’d expect to be compatible with the “doll house” modular system introduced in 2021.
Based on that, here is my list, covering a wide range of price points as you would normally expect.
Play sets – small
There is normally a small set with about four minifigures, useful as birthday party gift or reachable with pocket money. Often these small sets have covered scenes from the Forbidden Forest, but I don’t think that’s a design aim by itself. So I’ll go with something different this time.
Hogwarts: Armour Gallery: Small add-on section to the modular Hogwarts Castle with a corridor with suits of armour. The set could include Professor McGonnagall, two suits of armour and one or two attacking dementors.
Play sets – medium
For the medium sized sets, I feel that there is often a gap here, with a big price gap between the small set usually available and the next cheapest set. Maybe that segment is more than filled with the March wave of sets. Anyway, I will still propose two sets in this category:
Escape from Aragog: We have seen Aragog many times – most recently in 2018, but it might be due for an update – this time as a slightly larger set with Aragog, a few slightly smaller spiders – which can come down from the trees above – and with the wild roaming Ford Anglia coming to the rescue. Minifigures would be Harry and Ron. Hagrid and Fang would be a nice addition too.
Tri-wizard tournament: The Third Challenge – The Mace: I have long wanted to see the third challenge at the Tri-wizard tournament be turned into a set. It could include some cool features like moving hedges, with the contestants and monsters like spiders and boggarts. At one end, from a grand stand, spectators (head of schools) will be watching who to touch the trophy first. Minifigures could include: Harry Potter, Cedric Diggory, Fleur Delacour, Viktor Krum, a dementor/boggart, Professor Dumbledore, Professor Moody and Igor Karkaroff (a remake of him is long overdue – last version was in 2005!).
Play sets – large
For larger sets, we are typically very well served – and if you ask my wallet – too well served. I’ve come up with two ideas below.
Hogwarts Express w. Hogsmeade station: Large set which is basically an updated version of Hogwarts Express, which has been around since 2018. I don’t expect the train to be too different, but maybe the would opt for a motorised version this time. And it could be made with Hogsmeade station rather than Kings Cross, to tie in with the 2021 Hogsmeade Village Visit and 2022 Shrieking Shack and Whomping Willow sets. Minifigures could include Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Train driver, Professor Lupin and a dementor.
Another option could be a set that includes a bigger Hogsmeade station (like the MOC by Russell and myself above) and maybe another (smaller) Hogsmeade shop and not have a train included.
Hogwarts Owlery: Larger set with focus on scenes from The Goblet of Fire. It should of course include a room with the Goblet of Fire, but also a closet where Rita Skeeter can interview Harry Potter, and Snape’s potion storeroom where Dobby found gillyweed for Harry. It could also include the Prefects bathroom where Harry with some help from Moaning Myrtle discover the secret of the golden egg. Finally, it should include the Owlery, where Harry can ask Cho if she want to be his date for the Yule Ball. Minifigures could include: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Cho Chang, Dobby, Moaning Myrtle, Professor Snape and Professor Dumbledore.
Another option for a larger Hogwarts sets (which I’d expect) is one covering the final battle scenes from the Deathly Hallows part 2.
In this category, I did also consider a potential return of the Durmstrang Ship (which we haven’t seen as set since 2005). But it did see very little screen time – and will be expensive for something you only see from the distance. So I don’t think it would sell well.
With the four crest sets and three DOTS sets from the March wave – I think that mid-year we may only get one set without minifigures, but only intended for display. But what kind of model? Initially, I discarded the idea of another kinetic model – we’ve had three, which displays nicely together: Hedwig, Fawkes and the Hungarian Horntail. Though maybe a snitch could be a case (which was my suggestion from last year) hovering above a carrying box, similar to the Hogwarts Magical Trunk from last year?
An alternative could be a large buildable figure supplementing Harry and Hermione from last year. The obvious candidate would of course be Ron – maybe with a spell book or scabbers (Hedwig would be nice too). But the set with Harry and Hermione has been on sale many times and I’m sure they sold well enough to trigger a companion set. So my first choice will be the snitch mentioned above.
In September I expect another drop of sets. First of all, another Advent Calendar. An interesting theme could be the Christmas at the Burrow from Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince.
I will also expect another large, exclusive D2C set. For this, I will reuse my prediction from last year about a Gringotts bank with Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon. This is of course guided by the strong push from LEGO Harry Potter fans to get such a set. There has been a change in HP theme lead at LEGO, and while Gringotts wasn’t on the cards previously, this may have changed. Surely, it will add a great focal point to any Diagon Alley – as exemplified by my own version shown below.
The release of the D2C set typically coincide with a promotional offer with a Harry Potter themed gift-with-purchase set. What could that be? We got the Ministry of Magic set last year – which was modular. But it didn’t have that many modules to move around. So maybe we will get an expansion module or two as promotion? It could be Arthur guarding the entrance to the Hall of Prophecies? Or Sirius and Bellatrix in the Death Chamber of the Department of Mysteries?
That was all! I’ll wait a day or two till I look up the various rumours posted on other sites in the last month or so, I’ve tried to avoid looking at them till I had this post done. It will be interesting to see how well my ideas align. But we’ll have to wait until the official reveal of course till we know for sure.
Till then, Build the Magic!