Continuing our reviews of the summery 2022 Harry Potter sets which are now available, today we take a quick look at the second-smallest set in the wave: 76401 Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue. This set is in many ways a modern version of 4753 Sirius Black’s Escape, featuring Harry, Sirius, Buckbeak, and more. Is it worth picking up? The set, featuring 3 minifigures and 345 pieces, is available now for US $49.99 | CAN $64.99 | UK £44.99.
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
This is a relatively small set – the back of the box shows some highlights and reminds us that there are two of the Wizard Cards included. Inside the box are the instructions, a loose sticker sheet, three numbered bags, and a separate sealed bag for Buckbeak.
Bag one starts with building a corridor area. Greenery is worked in and the large archways are appealing, but there’s nothing very recognizable or distinctive about the area. It is built in two pieces so that the individual 8×8 sections can be attached anywhere in a modular Hogwarts arrangement. It would be tricky to use them anywhere other than the ground floor, though.
Next, we get an 8×8 section with a spiral staircase, and above that, a room with Harry’s Firebolt broom in it. This is a bit of an oddity, given that the LEGO Harry Potter sets usually follow the movies, not the books, and in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, Harry doesn’t receive the Firebolt from Sirius until after the escape portrayed in this set! Even in the books, the broom has been returned to Harry before this scene. The choice to have the window panels facing inward also seems strange; even looking at the whole Hogwarts modular example in the instructions, no other sections appear to be this way. It could be an attempt at making them seem inset, but it doesn’t come off.
The top level gives an impression of a turret and tower top from the outside, though again the reversal of the outer panels representing crenelations seems an odd choice. On the inside, there’s a cell just big enough for a minifigure representing where Sirius was held in the movie version, in the topmost cell of the Dark Tower (in the books, he’s locked in Flitwick’s office). The sticker above the cell does resemble movie stills of the location, but the effect still seems … jumbled.
And that’s that. We’re left feeling like the anonymous corridor pieces might come out best; most of the tower segment has pieces that seem obviously “backward” when viewed from outside in ways that are distracting and that hinder modular re-use.
The Minifigures and Buckbeak
The included versions of Harry and Hermione feature common outfits for both, but with additional printing showing tears and mud from their rough night leading to Sirius’ capture. However their heads have appeared before, and the same muddy printing appears both in the Hospital Wing from earlier this year and The Shrieking Shack & Whomping Willow in this wave. Sirius has unique printing, but it’s very similar to the ones that appear in Expecto Patronum and again in the new Shrieking Shack. It does have leg printing, though, a significant upgrade over the version in the new Shack.
This mold of Buckbeak has appeared once before in the revived Harry Potter line, in 75947 Hagrid’s Hut: Buckbeak’s Rescue. That one was light blueish gray, vs. the white here. Going by the movie footage, the hippogriff should be somewhere in the middle – some shots make it look like the body is closer to white with a grayer head. Almost 20 years ago in 2004, two sets had an earlier version of the hippogriff, all gray with no printing but which did have some nice feather texture molding. Not having that molding is a loss, but the printing here is a huge advancement. This white version vs. the light blueish gray is going to be your personal preference, I think, and it’s not essential to have both.
Finished Build and Recommendation
This would be a great $25-$30 set – a few essential characters, one big unique animal, and some scenery to play with them in.
However, it isn’t a $30 set — it’s $50. For less than 350 pieces, 3 figures of which only one has new printing, and Buckbeak, that seems very pricy. Furthermore, the scenery here is largely forgettable – apparently, the corridor area appears in some of the video games, but it’s all very generic. We can’t help but feel like this one is just missing too much to recommend it. For your money, 76398 Hogwarts Hospital Wing has the same muddy printing for Harry and Hermione, a unique character in Madame Pomfrey, a key recognizable location, and more pieces. Pick this one up only if you missed Buckbeak in Hagrid’s hut, you must have every modular piece of Hogwarts, or you find a steep discount.
76401 Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue contains 345 pieces and 3 minifigures. It is available now from the LEGO Shop and worldwide for US $49.99 | CAN $64.99 | UK £44.99 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.
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