Have you ever had that friend who you try to act all cool around, but who’s definitely much cooler and more talented than you? Well, I have a few, actually, but when it comes to LEGO Harry Potter, there is only one true master. Eric Law has awed and inspired many times over with his dazzling and ginormous recreations of the Wizarding World. This time, he brings us an exceptional model of the Hogwarts Entrance Hall. There is so much going on here, it’s a little shocking. Dare you to take the time to count all the frames!
The core Harry Potter books and movies may be wrapped up now, but the merchandising is still chugging along at top speed. Today, LEGO has unveiled the summer 2021 wave of Harry Potter sets, which brings new additions to the modular Hogwarts castle series, a chess set, and even a totally new series: giant brick-built minifigures. LEGO says that a selection of the sets is available for pre-order starting today, though at the time of writing they haven’t clarified specifically which sets will be available. With prices ranging from $20 to $130 USD, all of the sets will be released on June 1, though most of them are exclusive to specific retailers until August 1.
One of the things in the Harry Potter universe that always caught my attention was the charmed tents. Nothing as magical as 3 people entering a really small tent to discover that it is very spacious on the inside. Caleb Schilling takes this setting and gives us the Quidditch World Cup scene where the Weasley family camps in a borrowed charmed tent during the sport event. The tent is made of fabric, which is really hard to create with a hard plastic construction toy. However, Caleb managed to make the flowing fabric feel come across quite beautifully thanks to the round wall, patterns on all the walls, and the curtains hanging from the ceiling. The tent has everything a family needs to camp in comfort: beds, couches, chairs, tables, a heating stove, and even a rug with fringe!
Since 2018 the LEGO wizarding world has been expanding via collectible minifigure series as well as sets based on the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. All of the newly available minifigures and elements have really stirred up the imaginations of Potterheads and have inspired some great work. One of these exemplary builders is Kale Frost who invites us to sit in on a lesson at Hogwarts with his build of a Herbology classroom.
Kale’s brick-built greenhouse is a truly magical creation, the stars of the scene I would say are some of the newer elements he included as well as the latest Professor Pomona Sprout minifigure. Also from the second Harry Potter collectible minifigures series, is the potions book featured in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He incorporates elements from other themes such as the geode from LEGO City Space and the teal headphones from Monkie Kid, both pieces also being fairly new. This vignette certainly makes me wish I was a minifigure, I could throw on those teal headphones and cultivate some mandrakes to whip up various restorative potions.
For the promotion of the new Harry Potter 75978 Diagon Alley set, LEGO invited two very special guests to take us on a walk by the magic stores of the most famous shopping venue of the whole city of London. James and Oliver Phelps, the actors who play the Weasley twins in the Harry Potter films, share their impressions of the new set as well as a couple of funny stories from the filming location.
Today, LEGO reveals the next Harry Potter exclusive set, 75978 Diagon Alley. The new version of the iconic shopping venue consists of four buildings and includes 5,544 pieces, which makes it the 5th biggest LEGO set released so far. The models are accompanied by 14 minifigures, including two characters that have never appeared in any other LEGO Harry Potter set. The set will retail for US $399.99 | 399.99EUR | UK £369.99 beginning September 1st.
One of the most popular movie quotes (and memes) of the past couple years is, “I am Groot!” The lovable Marvel character found his way into our hearts with his unique personality and this singular repeated phrase. Always the kind to help out a friend, and certainly a brethren, it’s only natural for him to lend himself to a fellow famous tree. Builder Letranger Absurde has expertly crafted a microscale Whomping Willow using a LEGO Groot bust as the trunk. Topped with an adorable Ford Anglia, it’s a perfect representation.
Great minds must think alike, because as wonderful as this is, it’s not the first Groot-trunk. Back in 2017, our contributor, Benjamin Stenlund (Henjin_Quilones) used the same piece on his “South Gate of Lleidr Castle” build.
LEGO has revealed six Harry Potter sets coming this summer, expanding the Wizarding World with new minifigures and scenes from multiple films. Hogwarts-based sets include the Astronomy Tower, the Room of Requirement (with new Patronus figures), and the Forbidden Forest: Umbridge’s Encounter (with new LEGO centaurs). The other three sets include Attack on The Burrow, 4 Privet Drive and a brick-built mechanical Hedwig.
These six new LEGO Harry Potter sets will become available on August 1st in the US and two months earlier in other select regions starting on June 1st (though LEGO will be offering pre-orders starting April 30th in some regions). In the US, the Burrow will be a Target exclusive and the brick-built Hedwig will be a Barnes and Noble exclusive–both likely to be available eventually from LEGO as well.
I must admit that animals often catch my eye by themselves, but this immersive group of builds by Sven Franic is even better. It’s easily recognizable as Hedwig and a collection of Harry Potter’s possessions. But what impresses me the most is the exceptional attention to detail and unique use of parts. Take the ink-spill or the black hotdog wick on the candlestick, for example.
The conical hat from LEGO Ninjago sets was an excellent way to finish off the handle of the wand. Additionally, the 6-stud shooter and gold wheel were a great solution for the lamp filament. I admire the body-shaping for Hedwig, as it’s not an easy feat to produce nice feathers on a bird looking straight on, let alone from the side.
Sven is not a stranger to building birds. Back in June he produced a pretty epic toucan. You could even build your very own cuckoo clock bird using Sven’s excellent instructions!
This lovely model of Harry Potter’s famous owl, Hedwig, is the work of DOGOD Brick Design. He does an exceptional job producing streamlined, organic shapes with LEGO. One of my favorite aspects of this model is the use of the automobile hoods to resemble chest feathers. I also love that she is posable, and that the handlebar used for the wink is easily replaced with a matching eye.
If you like this, check out his adorable Niffler! We also recently covered his excellent Frankenstein for Halloween.
To celebrate the release of the new Fantastic Beasts movie this month, LEGO is releasing 40289 Diagon Alley as a giveaway on LEGO Shop purchases over $99. LEGO sent us an early copy of the set to review. The microscale set is built to the same scale as 71043 Hogwarts Castle, and includes 374 pieces along with a minifigure of wand shop owner Mr. Ollivander.
Robert Maier has opened the LEGO Chamber of Secrets and unleashed a fantastic beast of a basilisk! If you’ve followed Robert for a while like we have you’ll note this model, while a bit of a departure from his usual post-apocalyptic fare like a toxic wasteland and a world without trains, displays his typical knack for textured, murky worlds.
In this scene you can see Tom Marvolo Riddle (AKA teen Voldemort) near the climax of the book/movie after he has spent months manipulating Ginny Weasley with his diary-Horcrux. Here she’s unconscious just before Harry Potter swoops in to save the day on Fawkes the phoenix in a bit of deus ex machina. The ambiance of the scene is perfect with bones of victims past, rotting plant life, and foggy water. The basilisk model itself dominates the chamber as it slithers out of Salazar Slytherin’s statue. I especially like the vertical nature of the statue against the horizontal striations of the chamber walls. You can check out some finer details of the basilisk itself in the closeup shot below. It’s a far cry from the basilisk we reviewed in the Hogwarts Great Hall!