LEGO Harry Potter 76396 & 76397 Hogwarts Moments: Divination and Defense Classes [Review]

Last year we got four new Harry Potter books to add to our shelves celebrating the subjects taught at Hogwarts School. In addition to the initial Transfiguration and Potions classes, we were also given the Charms and Herbology lessons. These clever little sets expanded on previous Disney storybook playsets that provided younger LEGO fans with portable scenes and characters, and the translation to the Wizarding World has been fantastic. Back at again this year, LEGO is giving us two more lessons Tetris-ed in between custom printed covers. The first new lesson is 76396 Hogwarts Moment: Divination Class which has 297 pieces and comes with Professor Trelawney, Harry Potter, and Parvati Patil minifigures for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99. The next is 76396 Hogwarts Moment: Defence Against the Dark Arts Class with 257 pieces and Professor Moody, Hermione Granger, and Neville Longbottom minifigures for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99. Both are available on the LEGO Shop starting March 1st.

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 sets and contents

Since this is no longer a brand new theme, we’ll be reviewing both sets together. Comparing both can show just how different these sets can be. The art on the boxes does a great job showing off the different features while teasing new prints and pieces.

Following the fronts, the back art provides an extra setting specific to each class. These are eye-catching and mood-setting if nothing else. At least the Defense Against the Dark Arts (DADA) box changes things up with insets showing the alternate, Barty Crouch, Jr., and terrifyingly printed trophy-figure version of Moody. I would never disparage a disabled veteran for their appearance but I have mixed feelings about LEGO’s execution of the trophy figure print for the one-eyed, one-legged imprisoned ex-Auror (or at least the print on mine). It does bring up some questions about Polyjuice potion, that’s for sure.

You can see my print below amongst the other characters and pieces of note with each set. New book page prints of The Grim and The Dark Mark make for great finds. Meanwhile, Trelawney doesn’t seem to be the only one with a new outfit, as it looks like this Moody/Barty is a recolored version of the series one dark blue, grey, and tan Collectible Minifigure.

I’m sad they abandoned the little flask piece that came with the Harry Potter Series 1 Minifigures but I was stoked to see Barty, Jr was licking his lips just like David Tennant did in the role. The new chest piece holding the tiny Moody also seems purpose-made for this set (and the Magical Trunk) since the old rounded treasure chest top probably took up too much room in the compact design.

The builds

The first bag of each set ends with very different results. The DADA class focuses on the folding class structure (with a place for the book to be stored on the shelf in the spine) and a few pieces of furniture. Meanwhile, the Divination class focuses on building up the furniture pieces that will later fit together and stack inside the negative space created by the folding setting. That owl fixture and diamond display are both great scene elements for this class, as are the crystal ball table and cushy red chair. Both sets knock out the big stickers early, all of which can be tricky to properly place. My only gripe is that there really isn’t a way to delicately peel off and reset these large sticker pieces without ruining them.

The second bag fills out each scene with the remaining architectural and furniture elements. Trelawney’s class gets folding curtains that obscure the lower anti-stud portions of the covers and help complete the images in the stickers.

Moody’s classroom glows up the most in the second bag, finishing the class setting and making a raised desk and tall chalkboard. The majority of the stickers are applied to that central portion in the first half of the build, complimenting the fireplace and display case. I couldn’t identify them all but it was cool seeing such a plethora of bottles and tools in sticker and piece form.

And there you have it. Both finished builds are ready to be populated and played with. Each book comes with pieces to connect it to the cover of another book, allowing you to create a round mega-playset with all six sets fanned out in a circle. When you’re done playing, you can take the furniture from each, fold in the scene elements,  and stack them all securely together between the covers, like so.

Put these and their minifigures on a shelf with your Harry Potter collection for a great display or check them out of your library one at a time while you’re re-watching the series.

Conclusion and recommendation

Between the two sets, there’s a good balance of decorating and furniture building. The curtains in the Divination class may be relatively simplistic but the owl fixture and inset gem kept me from feeling disappointed with the details. The big chair and table are the real stars among the brick-built elements while that Grimm print is certainly a score. Trelawney’s pants outfit looks great and much more detailed than the dress from before but it would’ve been great to get more of the printed plates that were introduced in Trelawney’s Collectible Minifigure.

Moody’s Defence Against the Dark Arts class was full of delightful pieces and prints that had me wishing that LEGO would start labeling the stickers or instructions. The Foe-Glass on the swingout shelf is an obvious reference for fans of the series but some of the knick-knacks in the stickers are tantamount to T.G.I. Friday’s decorations. The new Moody/Barty Crouch, Jr. figure and the trophy-figure Moody in the trunk are a great pairing, even if the print for the trophy-fig leaves a little to be desired. Given the details they were able to put on the trophy figures for the giant Hogwarts castle, you’d think LEGO would be able to provide a little more contrast and detail on a basically plain figure. Still, while limited, the furniture in this set was pretty nice. I mean, that clawfooted chalkboard is well executed for the scale and functionality of this set.

The price point hasn’t changed from last year’s Moments sets, which means if you found those affordable and worth it, you’ll probably be prone to pick these up too. These really do make fun, durable playsets for kids, though I wish they had been designed with space for the minifigures. I was a kid once and I know I wouldn’t enjoy a pocket full of loose pieces that I was prone to lose.  All that being said, these are definitely affordable parts packs for Harry Potter builders. There’s potential here for harvesting the parts and stickers to build your own modular version to fit in with the castle sets. Beyond that, these provide a wealth of different minifigures and expressions.

Six books seem like a small number for these sets so I hope that means we’ll have more in the future. Each of the current ones focuses on a particular iconic lesson from the series, of which there are quite a few worth remembering. Even the mind-numbing Professor Binns stands out from the series and I’m sure Harry Potter fans would love having a minifigure for him. Whether they’ll continue this series or not remains to be seen but it’s certainly a great excuse to pump out new collectible prints and pieces along with new versions of characters.

LEGO Harry Potter 76396 Hogwarts Moment: Divination Class includes 297 pieces, comes with three minifigures, and will be available starting March 1st, 2022 from the LEGO Shop for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99.

LEGO Harry Potter 76397 Hogwarts Moment: Defence Against the Dark Arts Class includes 257 pieces, comes with three minifigures, and will be available starting March 1st, 2022 from the LEGO Shop for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99.

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.