This year marks 20 years of Harry Potter LEGO sets since the first sets back in 2001. Our family enjoyed the Harry Potter movies and books and really love Castles. So this set seemed like a match made in heaven. If we are honest with ourselves though, we almost bought it just for the Basilisk which looks epic. We love minifigs and the various new animals released. It’s always really enjoyable watching your minifig army expanding. The 10 minifigs, the basalisk and a couple of small animals in this set really helps the cause.
This set is quite modular and is broken into 9 bags. Each bag can be built completely independently of the others. It’s only at the end that they are put together. The use of the LEGO building instructions app also makes this a great set if a few people want to build at the same time. We start the set with the Basilisik (hoorah!) and the top layer of the castle along with 3 minifigs. Harry Potter, Colin Creevey and Aurora Sinistra. The Basilisk is constructed well with the ability to rotate various elements so it can easily twist and turn and chase unlucky travellers.
The build for this bag focuses around an astronomy setup along with with a perch for Hedwig the delivery owl. One area that seemed a little strange to me was the placement of the telescope. As there is no cutout for the telescope lens, it’s just staring at the wall. It would have been nice to enable it to actually look at the stars. I will forgive the LEGO designers this time as they made the fortune telling ball a glow in the dark dome.
Bag 2 introduces Luna Lovegood, two little Cornish pixies and a spell book. We build the classroom for level 2. There are a few nice micro builds here including the candelabra and the blackboard. The external awning with the shield and 1×1 brick with scroll pieces makes a nice building facade.
We’re then onto Dumbledores desk. In this part of the set we see the 1 x 1 brick with scroll pieces used again for more intricate woodwork underneath the desk. Like any well used desk it’s covered with documents in partial stages of being read. There’s also a spare hair piece (something I should consider doing too!) as well as a few photographs on the wall.
The next build introduces Aibus Dumbledore and Justin Finch-Fletchley along with a snake element. The prints on both minifigs respresent the characters well with Dumbledores robe blending nicely with his epic beard. This part of the build is perhaps the longest in the set and revolves around the dining hall. The recessed windows always look a treat and that trend continue here. A fireplace compliments the hall as does the golden owl statue watching over the room.
My favourite minifig of this set arrives in bag 5. Nearly Headless Nick is a ghost and made from glow in the dark pieces. We then build a small spire with a place for the sorting hat hidden behind the hanging flag. Interestingly the wizards hat is sitting on top of a 1 x 1 horizontal swirl stud. Also know as either the cupcake or or poo brick in house. We also build a couple of side smaller spires to flank the main spire. There are a few little trinkets to keep it from being a boring attic space.
Next comes the lower dungeon area of the build along with a (new) secret escape slide from the upper dining hall. The old bones on the floor are great to add ambiance. The external rock face elements help make the appearance of being mounted onto the mountain rock face.
Bag 7 is a quick build, but great fun. It reminds me of a cutdown version of the safe found in the Brick Bank. The Chamber of secrets doorway has a hinged door that is protected by four serpents. It can open and close easily. It’s also sized to allow mini figures to easily sneak through it as long as they aren’t scared of snakes. This bag is also quite colourful and fun to build due to the various elements in use. As a bonus we get a new little owl perched on the turret.
The detailed external facade on this level continues with added elements. The top of the windows looks excellent with the grill mesh added to round out the large vertical panels. There’s even more glow in the dark bricks pieces at this stage. We love the glow in the dark bricks. They definitely add swooshability to any set that includes them. This part of the build is a little technical as the use of channel pieces permits the mouth to slide into the wall. This allows for the basalisk from emerge from the mouth and it’s a fun part of the build.
We finish the build completing the upper level with the front food table. We particularly liked the Pixie Puffs and Cheeri Owls cereal! There’s another frog on this level and you get a fair few frogs in this set. We’re not complaining. Who doesn’t like frogs?
Overall, we are huge fans of the large LEGO modular series, and the approach LEGO has taken for this set works well for us. It allows a lot of fun with the detail throughout, but also has been built with scalability in mind. Plus with 11 minifigs, it’s a minifig bonanza. If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, this is a set you should pick up.
Build enjoyment: ★★★★★★★★★★
Check this out moments: ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Value for money: ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Set: Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets
Theme: Harry Potter
Set #: 76389
Number of Minifigs: 11
Number of Pieces: 1176