Any fan of the Harry Potter movies can recall the iconic scene where he is introduced to his first chocolate frog. Unfortunately, it jumps out the train window before he can taste it, but the real focal point is the included trading card. All at once, Harry is introduced to wizarding candy, a hobby, moving portraits, and, of course, Professor Dumbledore. (Plus, as we recall later, the existence Dumbledore’s important friend, Nicolas Flamel.) These trading cards have now become a “collect them all” feature of recent sets – a smart move by LEGO. If you’re hunting for the cards (2×2 tiles), or completing a Hogwarts castle, you may want to consider planning your next LEGO shopping trip between October 25th and November 7th, where you can get 40452 Hogwarts Gryffindor Dorms as a free gift with any Harry Potter themed purchase over US $100 | CAN $100 | UK £100.
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.
Unboxing the parts and instructions
The box is the same size as the Amelia Earhart gift with purchase, though her set is 203 parts and this one is only 148. While they are valued the same, that’s the price you pay for licensing I guess… The box also makes it very clear that the collectible tiles within are randomly picked.
Inside you’ll find your typical small instruction booklet along with 3 polybags a 4 loose items: a tan 1×16 brick, a tan 1×14 brick with a garage door groove, a dark tan 8×16 plate, and a medium nougat 8×8 plate.
This set contains 4 of the 16 available collectible trading card tiles. It’s a bit of a big deal if you’re a collector, because comparably, only two other sets contain as many – 76388 Hogsmeade Village (an $80USD set) and 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets (a $130USD set). They have 4 and 6 tiles respectively. Of course, with the random nature of the tiles, you could technically buy the entire line of Harry Potter sets and not get a complete lot of 16. Naturally, the tiles were first to be sorted from the polybags, and this particular kit came with Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Seraphina Picquery, and Garrick Ollivander.
Because this is the Gryffindor dorm room, it’s quite fitting that it comes with him. It wouldn’t be surprising if he was “randomly” in every copy of this set, but that’s probably not the case. The Slytherin tile is disappointing, as the printing is a bit off. A few of the lines look a little broken or smudged, and the black space behind him didn’t get completely filled in. He also doesn’t look angry or scary enough. On the other hand, Seraphina Picquery (the President of the Magical Congress of the US in Fantastic Beasts) and Ollivander the wandmaker both look crisp. Although, Seraphina is portrayed with light skin complexion, while she is an African American woman.
As expected, the larger of the plates lay the groundwork for the tiny dorm room, complete with columns and a rug featuring the house colors of Gryffindor. The sides are nearly identical, except for a couple of decorative medium nougat bricks.
Next, we build a pair of mirrored sections. The reddish-brown lattice-style fences make great castle windows. Sandwiched between the windows of each section is a black modified 2×8 plate with a rail. They stick out into the room with their rails facing each other.
Between the window sections is a simple tan window panel, completed on each end with medium nougat profile bricks, just to make it interesting. It’s all held together with that long 1×16 brick and dark tan tiles.
Now that our room is finished, it’s time for the furniture. Along with a simple trunk (treasure chest), a letter, and a candle, is a pair of four-poster beds. They’re cute, though they miss the fancy draped canopies. On one hand, these are really nice little models for being so small. The pearl gold lightsaber hilts give them great detail. On the other, there are questions. Was there really no way to add drapes? And how were the colors chosen? Perhaps the fact that the hilt doesn’t come in reddish-brown was part of it. Also, pearl gold and red are a bit more interesting than simply dark red and brown, like the real ones.
The finished model
Once the furniture is in, the place becomes a little cramped but cozy. Unfortunately, the trunk doesn’t contain anything. But the beds are easy to access through the archways on the sides.
Speaking of those archways, I’d never really paid attention to how lovely this mold is. Instead of your average cross-bracing, element designers gave this one an eloquent swirl. It’s a nice bit of detail in a focal point that might otherwise be boring.
Both sides also have 1×1 bricks with holes, which, when inserted with a pin, allows this set to be connected with others in the modular Hogwarts line. They’re not very visible, so this is nitpicky, but it’s odd that these bricks aren’t tan to blend in, as it’s not an uncommon part. (Even showing up in other HP sets this year.)
A dorm is not a home without students hanging stuff on the wall. In the movies, the boys typically had Quidditch memorabilia on the walls, but in LEGO, this a perfect environment for the chocolate frog trading card tiles. The 8×8 plate slots perfectly into those aforementioned rails, and has enough room to accommodate all 16 possible tiles.
Because the chest/trunk sits on a jumper plate, it allows room for the tiles to slide behind it. Nifty, although you won’t be able to see/display them very well that way. At least the wall behind it isn’t entirely empty or uninteresting in case you rather not display it this way.
It’s always nice to have a couple more good figs in your collection, although these ones aren’t overly exciting. From head to toe, all of their parts have been in more than one other set. But again, having more decent figs, even if it’s just for parts, is a win.
We’ll start with a look at Harry. He sports a dark red flannel with a blue-grey undershirt. On the bottom, he has short dark grey legs. His trademark tousled black hair conceals the back of a dual-sided head. On one side Harry is smiling, while on the other he looks shocked. He also carries his customary dark brown wand.
Ron wears a wrinkled, dark tan sweater with thin stripes or ribs and a red shirt underneath. In addition, he has dark brown legs. And like Harry, his face is dual-sided. One shows a smirking smile while the other looks terrified. He also has the trademark Weasley freckles on his cheeks. Ron’s hair is interesting to note because the mold line is really obvious in this copy. You can easily see and feel it in the form of a crown or halo ridge.
Conclusions and recommendations
So you’re wondering if you should shell out a hundred bucks to get this freebie. Well, the holidays are swiftly approaching. If you were already planning on making a Harry Potter themed purchase soon (perhaps 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition or another you might have missed from the Harry Potter summer wave) it would certainly be worth the opportunity to snag a little extra bang for your buck. In particular, if you want to collect all of the trading tiles, this gives you a great shot at getting closer to completing the set.
LEGO Harry Potter 40252 Hogwarts Gryffindor Dorms includes 148 pieces and 2 minifigs. Though the website suggests the value to be $29.99 USD, it will not be offered for individual sale. Instead, this Gift with Purchase (GWP) will come with a qualifying Harry Potter themed purchase of US $100 | CAN $100 | UK £100 or more. It will be available between October 25th and November 7th.