LEGO Harry Potter 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets [Review]

Harry Potter has been at school for a long, long time. Even in LEGO minifigure form, he started at Hogwarts way back in 2001. That means that 2021 marks the 20th Anniversary of Harry’s LEGO journey, and this year LEGO is celebrating by branding the Harry Potter sets with a special logo and including exclusive gold versions of key characters in the sets. Today we’re looking at the biggest set from the new wave, 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets. Set in Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts, the set includes 11 minifigures, including several characters who have never appeared in minifigure form before: Professor Aurora Sinistra, Colin Creevy, and Justin Finch-Fletchley. On sale now, the set contains 1,176 pieces including 11 minifigures and will retail for US $129.99 | CAN $169.99 | UK £129.99.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

For LEGO, the “Hogwarts” in the set’s title doesn’t just mean the Chamber of Secrets is in Hogwarts (as any fan of Harry Potter already very well knows). Instead, it denotes the set as part of LEGO’s ongoing minifigure-scale modular Hogwarts castle. The series began in 2018 with 75954 Hogwarts Great Hall, and this new Chamber of Secrets set is focused around Harry’s second-year adventures from The Chamber of Secrets. But befitting the “modular castle” idea, the set is best thought of as a series of vignettes that can be rearranged or appreciated individually, rather than an accurate representation of the layout of Hogwarts. For instance, the set includes both the Great Hall and the Astronomy Tower, positioning them right next to each other, even though they’re in separate buildings in Hogwarts. And some of the locations have already appeared in previous sets with a great deal more detail. One of the largest portions of this set is a small rendition of the Great Hall, which was obviously the focus the 2018 Great Hall set. Similarly, a tiny version of the Astronomy Tower is included here, even though LEGO released an Astronomy Tower set last year.

Today we’ll be looking at the Chamber of Secrets set as a standalone model rather than in conjunction with other sets as a part of the modular Hogwarts system.

The box and contents

As befits the biggest set of the wave, Chamber of Secrets comes in a large box and has an appropriate good weight to it. The box features the 20th Anniversary logo in the bottom left corner, and the new Wizarding World design elements around the edges. Inside the box you’ll find 10 bags spread across nine numbered steps, plus two large dark tan plates, and the instruction manual and sticker sheet bagged together.

The sticker sheet mostly consists of Harry Potter flavoring for wall art, rather than key details that couldn’t be brick-built.

The set is a treasure-trove of recolored elements, with quite a few handy pieces showing up in new colors. Some, like the 3x3x2 curved window frame in brown also appear in other sets (that one’s in the new Creator 31120 Medieval Castle), while others like the olive green animal tails are exclusive to this set for now. Interestingly, the light nougat 1×2 brick with studs on the side is completely hidden in the final model and could have been any color.

The set also includes a few brand-new elements. The pixies and the basilisk head were obvious from the box art that we revealed back in April, but the candelabra was quite a surprise to me. After I knew what I was looking for, I spied just the corner of it on the box art. The candelabra is also included in this summer’s 43196 Belle and the Beast’s Castle. The basilisk head uses the existing raptor jaw from last year’s Jurassic World set for the hinged lower jaw.

The pixies have an anti-stud on the bottom, as well as short arms that can be gripped by a minifigure’s hand. The candelabra is a very nicely designed new element with open studs on each of the three prongs, and an anti-stud on the bottom. The horizontal segments of both arms and the main stalk are standard rods.

There are only a few non-minifigure printed elements in the set, such as a new color for the owl, a printed 1×2 potion page that goes inside the Lockhart’s textbook, and a printed head that appears to be a jar of candy–the exact reference escapes me at the moment but I’m sure our readers can identify in the comments.

The majority of the printed parts in the set are tiles. Each of the new Harry Potter sets this wave comes with a few “Wizard Cards”, which are printed 2×2 tiles featuring 16 famous witches and wizards. The cards are randomly distributed in the sets, so there’s a collecting aspect to them. This set has the most of any current wave set with six, so you’ll need to buy quite a few sets to get all 16, especially when you consider that you’re not guaranteed to get all unique ones even within the same set. My copy’s six tiles only had five unique prints.

Ironically, even LEGO’s own guide in the back of the manual shows a duplicate, with the image for Garrick Olivander having been accidentally used again for Rowena Ravenclaw.

The build

Bag one gets you started with lots of action, so you’re not waiting on the build to come together before having something to play with. It includes the top sections of the astronomy tower, along with the all-important basilisk, and Professor Aurora Sinestra, Harry, and Ron.

The last time we saw the Basilisk was in the Great Hall set, which I excoriated in my review, saying that LEGO should have not included it at all rather than include something so bad. No such problems here, as this Basilisk is LEGO’s best yet. I have a certain fondness for the classic Basilisk from 2002, but the new design is more accurate even if it can’t hold a minifigure in its mouth. The new 2×2 tubes work wonderfully for the body, though I do wish LEGO had made the 2×2 round tile that connects the neck pieces in olive green instead of leaving it dark tan.

One thing I particularly love about this set is that with the addition of the new 2x2x3 “drill” cone in sand green, the tower can come to a beautifully pointy tip. This was also possible with the 2x2x2 cone (which appeared in quite a few Harry Potter sets years ago, but has been oddly absent for the last decade) but the drill cone adds an interesting texture.

Next the instructions have us skip down a layer, right past Professor Gilderoy Lockhart’s office on the third floor (or second story, if you’re using British numbering, as I suppose Hogwarts would), to the second floor, which contains Lockhart’s Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. Here we get to see the candelabra in use, along with the odd use of the light nougat 1×2 brick with 2 studs on the side, whose only function is to hold an exterior detail in place and is completely hidden in the final model once Lockhart’s huge self-portrait is placed on the wall in front of it. It’s very odd that that color was chosen here instead of tan or even light grey.

Next up the instructions have us build Lockhart’s office, but let’s skip over to the miniature great hall, which includes quite a few more brown windows and black lattice insets. The construction is quite a bit simpler than the 2018 Great Hall design, and while it’s perfectly adequate, it’s not as nice as that one.

The roof of the Great Hall is also modular, allowing plenty of access to the interior spaces. The stud-and-tile combo on the top of the walls means you can also stack other Hogwarts modules on top, if you want to get a more compact layout.

The underground sections of the Chamber of Secrets round out the build, and like the others they’re built on modular segments 10-studs deep. One section features a small slide for the fall into the chamber from Moaning Myrtle’s Bathroom (not included), while the other features the statue of Salazar Slytherin.

The completed set

Much like the Great Hall set before it, this set gives a great atmosphere of Hogwarts. The smaller design of the Great Hall included here isn’t as detailed as the previous one, but that’s OK. This set is meant to explore the second-year adventures of Harry & co, and as a playset, it’s marvelous.

Of course, being a playset it’s pretty much a thin facade. This doesn’t allow as much detail on the interiors as a fully scaled building would, but it also makes it much easier to access all of the interior, and keeps the price at least somewhat reasonable.

Broken down into its constituent modules, you can see there’s actually quite a lot to it, helping make it clearer where the almost 1,200 pieces have gone.

The castle naturally divides into a few large sections, either horizontally or vertically.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the interior spaces now, starting with the astronomy tower. On the top there’s the observatory, which features a glow-in-the-dark crystal ball along with a telescope made with an old-school video camera element. It also contains one of my favorite easter eggs, a star chart featuring a constellation of a Bionicle mask. Below that is Professor Lockhart’s office filled with portraits of him in dashing poses, while his desk has a stack of magazines and a spare wig.

Moving down another layer and we get to Lockhart’s Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, which of course has a giant portrait of Lockhart front and center.

Sitting on the same level as the classroom is the Great Hall. As I’ve already noted, it’s a smaller rendition than the Great Hall standalone set, but it’s still pretty solid. Filled with benches and a new design for the winged podium, it’s good enough details to make it feel complete. The rafters house a variety of small details such as a tiny chess board, the Sorting Hat, some potions, and a crystal ball.

The glow-in-the-dark crystal ball is awesome and exactly the sort of cool thing that a Harry Potter set should include.

There’s also plenty of food to stock the tables of the Great Hall, from chocolate frogs to a few types of wizardy cereal.

Finally, let’s delve into the dungeon–er, chamber, that sits below everything else. The Chamber of Secrets has a few hideaways on the front for secret entrances. A large section of stone can slide out, taking with it the lower portion of Salazar Slytherin’s statue, which provides a tunnel in which the Basilisk can hide waiting to ambush Harry and his friends. The other rock chunk gives access to the slide from Myrtle’s Bathroom.

Like most of the rest of the modular Hogwarts series, the actual geography is a bit jumbled, but all the key pieces are here. The slide from Myrtle’s Bathroom is (by default, at least) connected to the chamber, while the fancy vault door to the chamber is on its own module on the other end.

The minifigures

With 11 minifigures, this set doesn’t skimp on great characters, including several that are first-timers: Professor Aurora Sinistra, Colin Creevy, and Justin Finch-Fletchley.

First up, there are the 2nd-year students in their Hogwarts robes, which follow the more recent designs and have beautiful details for each of the houses. This set includes second-year students from three of the four houses. From left we’ve got Colin Creevey, Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter, Ginny Weasley, and Justin Finch-Fletchley.

Each student gets a wand, detailed front-and-back printing, and double-sided heads with an alternate expression.

There are a few extra accessories sprinkled through the set, such as Tom Riddle’s diary, Colin’s camera, and Lockhart’s Year with the Yeti textbook.


Next up there are the Hogwarts professors: Aurora Sinistra, Albus Dumbledore, and Gilderoy Lockhart. Like the students, each of them has detailed printing and double-sided heads.

Of course we’ve gotten a lot of versions of Dumbledore by now. This version is clearly modeled after Richard Harris’ portrayal from the second movie, and it most closely resembles the version that came in the previous Great Hall set, though it uses a robe brick for the bottom instead of minifigure legs, and goes with white hair instead of grey.

Next up we have a few important characters to round out the setting: Nearly Headless Nick and Tom Riddle. Neither is new to minifigure form, though Tom Riddle has been missing from the LEGO Harry Potter lineup since way back in 2003.

Nearly Headless Nick, on the other hand, is nearly identical to the version included in the Great Hall, except with one key distinction: this one actually glows in the dark.

And just like the effect on the crystal balls, Nick’s glow-in-the-dark effect is excellent, making the perfect spooky spectre to float over Hogwarts (thanks to the included clear stand). The one disappointment is that Nick’s hands are regular white instead of glow in the dark, which spoils the effect a little.

And there’s one last minifigure to count: the collectible, golden Lord Voldemort. Much like the Star Wars theme did for its 20th Anniversary in 2019, many of this year’s Harry Potter sets are including an exclusive collectible minifigure. As the largest set in this wave, this one gets the gilded dark lord himself. He wields a gold wand, and the back is printed with the 20 Years of LEGO Harry Potter logo. He also comes with a pearl gold minifigure stand, which is so far unique to just the sets with gold minifigures.

Conclusion and recommendation

When scaling down as huge a place as Hogwarts, some choices must be made on what to include, what to size down, and what to leave out. The real question becomes whether or not the result captures the essence of Hogwarts and includes the key scenes and locations. And on that measure, Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets is a resounding success. It manages to pack a remarkable amount of detail into its walls, and look good doing it. The locations are recognizable, and the ability to rearrange the modules or take them apart for access works perfectly. Like most of the previous Hogwarts modular sets, this is an excellent way to get a big chunk of Hogwarts at once. And the new Basilisk, arguably one of the most important aspects of any Chamber of Secrets set, is the best yet and feels like a proper LEGO rendition of the fearsome snake, completely putting to rest the bad memories of the last version. The assortment of minifigures feels right for a set this size, with a good mixture of important figures like Harry and Dumbledore along with new exclusives like Colin, Justin, and Prof. Sinistra.

And if you’re looking at the set for parts, there’s a lot to love here, too. There’s a great assortment of new elements and colors, and most of the rest of the set’s 1,176 bits are highly useful pieces. Once you include the 11 minifigures, the price point feels correct, though $130 is still a lot to drop on a playset.

76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets is available now and contains 1,176 pieces and 11 minifigures and retails for US $129.99 | CAN $169.99 | UK £129.99. It may also be available on Amazon and eBay.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

1 comment on “LEGO Harry Potter 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets [Review]

  1. kuwanchao

    “and a printed head that appears to be a jar of candy…”I think it may be Love Potions(Amortentia)

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