The 2022 summer Harry Potter sets are now available for purchase, so let’s take a look at the next one on our review list. In the 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets from January, LEGO included smaller versions of locations that have already appeared in the modular Hogwarts series. In 76402 Hogwarts: Dumbledore’s Office, we see a more detailed version of a location that has appeared in smaller renditions since 2018. Is it worth the dedicated attention? How does it fit into the modular Hogwarts collection? Let’s dive in and take a look at this set, featuring 6 minifigures and 654 pieces, which is available now for US $79.99 | CAN $109.99 | UK £69.99.
This set is based on a license The LEGO Group has with the Warner Brothers films, not J.K. Rowling directly. The transphobic views expressed by Rowling do not reflect the values of The Brothers Brick or, indeed, those of The LEGO Group. The magical world Rowling created, in which many who felt a bit different could see themselves, meant a great deal to so many people, including those that Rowling now demeans. TBB affirms each individual LEGO fan’s choice to claim a piece of the world for themselves, or to reject it entirely.
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.
Contents and build
As usual, the back of the box highlights the play features of the set with some inset detail shots. Inside, we found one of the new cardboard envelopes protecting the instructions and sticker sheet. These are slowly replacing plastic sleeves and are quite welcome; they feel higher-end than the plastic wrapping as well. We also find 5 numbered bags and one large loose plate. We know we’re not alone in looking forward to paper parts bags making these content shots largely irrelevant, or at least much less full of glare!
Bag one starts with Dumbledore’s office with his desk, some very nice bookshelves, the sorting hat, and a perch for Fawkes – who is represented in the small just-reborn form here, with a welcome new red color of the small bird piece. Interestingly we’re not building from the bottom up, but starting in the middle. The bookshelves are one of the highlights of the building in this set, using a variety of pieces to represent different bindings and textures, several different colors, and several sideways techniques. The result is on par with Creator Expert builds and something worth re-using in your own creations.
The next floor has an alcove for the Pensieve. There isn’t much to say about the structure here – you can clip some turrets to the side to give it a bit of visual interest, and from the outside, it looks like a perfectly good tower section, but not notable for anything. The Pensieve itself uses one of the new opalescent blues, which is a very appropriate and lovely shimmery effect. It should be on the same level as the rest of Dumbledore’s office, but that would take a larger scale than the interior of these modular sections gets.
The top of the tower has a Hogwarts crest on the outside and holds the Sword of Gryffindor on the interior. This is another area that makes sense for exterior detail, but on the inside, should not be a separate floor. The Sword itself has appeared twice before – once with Griphook in the Collectible Minifigures, and again in last year’s 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets. It’s a great fantasy sword even if you already have one.
Lastly, we go down to the ground floor and build a section of the Hogwarts Library. The section is outfitted with desks, lamps, and of course, many books. The shelves are similar to the ones in Dumbledore’s office, but also incorporate a function to make two of the books levitate or fly out into the room when assemblies on the outside are pushed in. The pieces are disguised on the outside wall as a tree growing from or next to the wall; it’s a good thing that we already broadly accept that the interior and exterior of these modular sections are not connected, since otherwise, we’d really fear for the root damage occurring to the books! The function works reasonably well though it is a little fragile, especially where the books connect by a single clip.
And that’s it! When assembled per the instructions, the exterior makes a nice castle section. The lower two levels include side areas where minifigures can be posed, almost like a display stand.
Harry and Hermione, with short legs given their ages in the Chamber of Secrets, are understandable but uninspired choices. All of the elements included here have appeared before; the exact Hermione minifigure is in 76387 Fluffy Encounter, and all that makes Harry unique is the Invisibility Cloak.
The Cloak is similar to the one that appeared in the Harry Potter Minifigures line but subtly different. In the photo below, the cloak in this set is on the left, and the previous version is on the right. The new one has a border which is quite attractive, though the borderless version might be closer to the source material. It’s tough to tell, though, given that the dang thing is, you know, invisible. The new one also feels a bit more substantial. It isn’t stiff like a starched minifigure cape, but the collectible minifigures cape does feel a bit flimsy by comparison. If you already have the older one there isn’t any must-have upgrade here, but it’s a very attractive accessory.
Next are three of the four included Hogwarts staff members. Snape has appeared before with these exact pieces and many similar variations. Dumbledore gets another unique print, gold details on an attractive dark red base. The star of the show, though, is the never previously seen in minifigure form Madame Pince, Madam Librarian (Maaariannnn!… oh, sorry, wrong movie). She has a lovely sand green print and a new hat + hair mold, with a square instead of a round brim.
Dumbledore minifigures often have lovely printing on the front of the torso that’s almost entirely obscured by his beard, and this one is no exception. Here’s a look at the unobstructed front of the figure, where you can see the design continued nicely between the torso and legs. There’s nothing that makes this only a Harry Potter print, and no flesh color of any sort, so it’s a versatile print to make your own wizard or otherwise elegantly robed characters.
Argus Filch is the final character and staff included, along with his beloved cat Mrs. Norris. Filch has appeared before but this version has all-new printing for the torso and legs, giving him a reddish-brown outfit; all of his previous outfits have been dark gray. The head also appears to be a new print. Mrs. Norris brings a new unique color and print to LEGO cats, which is sure to be popular well beyond Harry Potter fans. Between Mrs. Norris and Crookshanks in 76408 12 Grimmauld Place, the Harry Potter theme is doing feline fans a major service in providing diverse fur colors!
Finished Build and Recommendation
The impression of this set may come down to how you feel about books. I really enjoyed the bookcase construction and the variety of colors and textures. They’re relatively small parts of the overall model, but they left me with a good feeling about the build experience. And the overall build is nice. It’s perhaps generous to call it four stories, but it’s reasonably substantial, especially on the outside.
The instructions include an illustration of what you can do with many of the modular Hogwarts sections combined. The example looks great and makes good use of the modularity – the sets aren’t just stacked next to each other, but pieces are swapped around here and there to make an impressive whole. Below are some photos of this set combined with 76401 Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue, the other modular section in this wave. The possibilities aren’t quite as broad with just these two sets, but it still shows the possibilities. Certainly, as an eight-year-old, I would have been all over mix-and-match towers to populate with all kinds of knights and wizards.
So it’s a nice set, but is it a good value? $80 for about 650 pieces, with six minifigures but only three of them being substantially new, and only one unique character, feels very expensive. Even 76403 The Ministry of Magic, which we found ultimately disappointing, seems better value for parts and figures, with 990 pieces and 10 largely unique minifigures for $100. There are some large pieces for the walls and roofs, but not a huge number. There are no large animals or other big specialized molds. Perhaps this is the new normal with recently announced price increases, but our recommendation is that you probably want to wait for a discount on this one.
76402 Hogwarts: Dumbledore’s Office contains 654 pieces and 6 minifigures. It is available now from the LEGO Shop and worldwide for US $79.99 | CAN $109.99 | UK £69.99 or from Amazon. It may also be available from third-party sellers on eBay.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Check out the gallery for even more images: