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Review: 76391 Hogwarts Icons: Collectors’ Edition

Posted by CapnRex101, 15 Aug 2021 14:40

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75978 Diagon Alley provides excellent potential for expansion and considerable speculation has surrounded additional models. 76391 Hogwarts Icons: Collectors’ Edition has therefore received particular surprise, although positive responses have outweighed the negative.

This model definitely represents an appropriate celebration of LEGO Harry Potter and includes superb detail, which should ensure impressive display value. Hedwig appears particularly outstanding and the combination of various items has proven successful, maintaining complete cohesion between Wizarding World accessories.

Box and Contents

76391 Hogwarts Icons: Collectors’ Edition belongs to the 18+ range and features accordant branding, which seems reasonably effective here. Colourful creations generally appear most attractive against the dark backdrop, although I think the focus upon display value has proven decisive here. Nevertheless, displaying the model in an authentic Hogwarts environment would probably have appeared even better.

The box contains 22 numbered bags, beside a small sticker sheet and the instruction manual. Various accessories decorate the cover and 412 pages are found inside. They include several which document the history of LEGO Harry Potter, highlighting where minifigure-scale versions of the supplied accessories were introduced, such as Tom Riddle’s diary or the Chocolate Frog Card.

Information about the development process is present too. The concept reportedly originated from a promotional owl model, designed by Wes Talbot. From there, the designers proposed various items associated with the Wizarding World which might constitute an official product, resulting in 76391 Hogwarts Icons: Collectors’ Edition!

Nine stickers are included, decorating the different potion and ingredient bottles. I think these represent a suitable use of stickers, especially because the original props were also identified using stickered labels. Moreover, several printed elements are provided, the most important of which are undoubtedly the three 8×16 tiles comprising the Hogwarts acceptance letter.

Minifigures

Six golden minifigures have already been produced, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of LEGO Harry Potter. However, several prominent characters were originally omitted, including Anniversary Albus Dumbledore. This figure retains the combined hat and hair element from his Collectable Minifigure, exhibiting the same decorative stars and intricate texture. However, the colour combination of pearl gold and metallic gold is distinctive.

Anniversary Minerva McGonagall matches the outstanding minifigure from 76382 Hogwarts Moment: Transfiguration Class, featuring robes with the same pattern. However, metallic gold, metallic bronze and pearl gold have replaced the standard colours, assuring consistency with other celebratory minifigures from this anniversary collection.

The most unusual of these minifigures is definitely Anniversary Rubeus Hagrid, which again combines shades of gold and bronze. The character’s enormous jacket exhibits brilliant details, with accurate buttons and the twentieth anniversary branding on the reverse. These minifigures feature single-sided heads and include appropriate accessories, as Hagrid carries his umbrella while Dumbledore and McGonagall wield golden wands.

The Completed Model

Among the numerous items which constitute 76391 Hogwarts Icons: Collectors’ Edition, many are attached around the central structure. This model reaches 40cm in height and accordingly achieves impressive presence. Furthermore, focusing attention upon this substantial structure undoubtedly enhances the coherence between completely different accessories.

The weakest of these accessories is connected at the base, where scarves are supplied in the four Hogwarts house colours. They are constructed with their studs exposed which is relatively unusual throughout this model, although the resulting texture is reminiscent of wool. This range of display possibilities is brilliant too, since Gryffindor and Ravenclaw or Slytherin and Hufflepuff scarves can be assembled concurrently.

While the texture and options are reasonable, such vibrant colours seem inappropriate. Bright red, blue and green should definitely have been replaced with their darker equivalents for absolute accuracy, which is exceptionally important here. 31201 Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests was impacted by the same problem, so I am disappointed that this mistake has been repeated.

Fortunately, each scarf can be detached easily. They are secured using a 4×6 plate which fits underneath the neighbouring book and removing this plate creates no unsightly gaps. Such alternatives for display are welcome and I can imagine many people wishing to detach the scarves, which have already attracted significant criticism.

Despite its concealment beneath other accessories, Tom Riddle’s diary remains recognisable. The black cover and golden corner protectors distinguish this book from others and the open pages appear fantastic, particularly along their edges. Several 1×4 panels are stacked along each edge, employing the same ingenious building technique as the steps in 21045 Trafalgar Square!

The gentle curvature of the pages seems realistic too, making good use of 2×8 curved slopes which have never appeared in tan before. However, there is nothing on the pages to identify Tom Riddle’s diary, which is slightly disappointing. Perhaps one of the curved slopes should have displayed Tom’s written message to Harry, or ink staining near where the Basilisk fang punctured the book.

Additional books are stacked atop the diary, featuring the colours of Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. Their pages lack the same intricate texture as Tom Riddle’s diary, integrating 1×2 profile bricks rather than layered panels. The resultant design looks adequate, although I dislike the corners where the limitations of these bricks become obvious. Nevertheless, the haphazard stacking is absolutely perfect.

The conspicuous ball joint which appears above anchors Harry Potter’s wand. Unsurprisingly, this accessory is constructed around bricks with studs on four sides, with layers of plates and tiles enveloping those bricks. The tapering shape therefore looks superb, while the mixture of studded and smooth surfaces produces an appropriate wooden texture.

Beyond its impressive appearance, the wand also feels absolutely rigid and may be swished enthusiastically without fear of breakage! The handgrip appears excellent too, including dark brown elements which contrast against the reddish brown shaft. Unfortunately, no wand core appears inside and the external ball joint seems awkward, but that is quickly concealed when displaying Harry’s wand.

Harry receives copious Hogwarts acceptance letters before attending the school, dismaying Uncle Vernon. One such letter is presented here, clutched in Hedwig’s talons. This creates a spectacular centrepiece for the model and comprises three printed 8×16 tiles, with the central component displaying perfectly accurate wording when compared with the movie.

However, the Hogwarts crest displays an unfortunate mistake, reading ‘titillandos’ rather than ‘titillandus’ within the Latin motto. The design otherwise appears excellent though, particularly since the four animals representing the Hogwarts houses are beautifully detailed. Furthermore, vacant space is available to include your name as the addressee, if you wish.

The treasured Golden Snitch is appropriate constructed from various metallic gold and pearl gold elements, with other colours situated inside. The curved wings look outstanding, cleverly employing parts developed for LEGO hot air balloons! Moreover, the Technic support structure feels robust and avoids distracting attention from the Snitch, connecting behind the letter.

Exposed studs appear at each corner of the uppermost book, offering attachment points. The instruction manual suggests placing the Polyjuice Potion bottle here, which seems appealing. Sixty trans-bright green 1×1 round plates are placed inside, replicating the potion’s onscreen colour quite faithfully. Hermione’s initials decorate this label, above a tiny number that makes reference to the graphic designer’s daughter.

Hermione Granger’s initials appear again on the crate. This printed panel features an ornate design that complements the surrounding railings and four bottles fit securely inside this box. They feature realistic dark tan stoppers and the bottle shaping looks brilliant, integrating new 4×4 dome elements atop existing 5x4x2 curved wall panels.

The stickered potion labels display various references, including birthdays and the set number for 4701 Sorting Hat, which is typically described as the first LEGO Harry Potter set. Moreover, these potions originate from Snape’s mention of mixing powdered Asphodel with an infusion of Wormwood to create the Draught of Living Death. Another reference to Snape was intended by the number ‘349’ which was muddled with his famous insistence upon Defence Against the Dark Arts students turning to page 394!

Felix Felicis, commonly known as Liquid Luck, also appears among the potions. This valuable phial comprises four glow-in-the-dark elements, interrupted only by the stopper and the sticker. The resulting effect looks tremendous, although I wonder why this decision was taken because Felix Felicis possesses no glowing properties onscreen. Nevertheless, it looks fantastic.

Hedwig is perched, seemingly precariously, atop the stacked accessories. However, a Technic frame is ingeniously concealed inside this structure, emanating from Tom Riddle’s diary and eventually connecting to Hedwig’s legs. The angled books and potions tray are hollowed to accommodate the Technic column through their centre and this frame feels perfectly strong.

Despite their important structural function, Hedwig’s legs appear reasonably realistic and the whole creature looks absolutely spectacular. Her wingspan measures 50cm across, which is considerably smaller than real snowy owls but is definitely sufficient for an appealing display. Moreover, their shape seems incredibly accurate, making good use of ball joints to create an arrangement resembling feathers.

These feathers are accordingly adjustable, although the wings are almost completely fixed in position. Nevertheless, the head can rotate all the way around, evidently enhancing Hedwig’s realism as slightly tilting the head appears rather natural. The claws may also be adjusted, but their standard position seems most authentic, in my opinion.

75979 Hedwig features an interesting angular head, with a point above her beak. This model instead integrates a flatter face which seems most realistic, although the decorated eyes with metallic gold highlights return from the earlier version of Hedwig. The curved tiles around both eyes create beautiful shapes, while the beak appears suitably small when compared with real snowy owls.

Curved tiles also appear prominently across the wings, producing a feathered texture. I think that seems effective, although potential for improvement remains as these tiles appear rather uniform. However, the scale restricts the selection of pieces available and layering these parts would negatively affect the shape of each wing, hence I am satisfied with this design.

Despite appearing tremendous when viewed from the front, the design becomes even better when viewed from behind. Many more black and dark bluish grey components are scattered among the predominant white pieces, closely resembling Hedwig’s onscreen patterning. The varied colours also disguise the light bluish grey ball joints, which appear consistent with their surrounding elements.

Furthermore, viewing the model from behind displays the elaborate tail more clearly, which is phenomenally detailed. Once again, brick-built panels are arranged with overlapping edges, thereby creating accurate texture. This design is relatively simple but achieves a wonderful effect, especially in combination with the mixed studs and tiles found across Hedwig’s back.

Three additional items accompany the central structure, without dedicated attachment points. Harry Potter’s famous Glasses are simple but look excellent, including new circular elements which create the distinctive rims. The folding temples are constructed using common Technic pieces. Nevertheless, these also appear accurate, although the hinges easily become twisted.

While their appearance is important, the most remarkable aspect of these glasses is that they can be worn! Their size reflects Harry Potter’s onscreen glasses and the proportions between the rims and the bridge appear realistic too. Hopefully the circular parts will appear elsewhere because they can accommodate clips, significantly increasing their versatility.

Chocolate Frogs are among the most renowned wizarding sweets. Minifigure-scale examples appear commonly throughout modern sets, but this design recreates the confection is superb accuracy. The head integrates particular detail, featuring bulbous eyes above an open mouth. These eyes are attached using trans-clear minifigure stands, which appear decidedly unusual among so many reddish brown pieces.

That consistent colour continues across the Chocolate Frog, although black Technic pins are required to secure the articulated legs and two dark orange brackets are situated underneath. While the entire shape seems accurate, my favourite details are undoubtedly the webbed feet which make successful use of 1×2 plates with angled bars.

Of course, Chocolate Frogs are always packaged with collectable Chocolate Frog cards. The designer has accordingly combined this card with the minifigure display stand, which appears brilliant. The characteristic pentagonal shape looks appealing and I appreciate the focus upon clever construction techniques to recreate the decorative stars, rather than printing or stickers.

However, printed elements are present beneath the Albus Dumbledore minifigure, identifying Hogwarts’ famed headmaster and the LEGO Harry Potter theme. These are neatly integrated, while the minifigure slots beautifully beneath the archway for display. The entire card therefore looks fantastic, balancing authenticity with function as the display stand.

The reverse appears untidy, by contrast. I think this was unavoidable though, when recreating unusual shapes which extend beyond the conventional LEGO grid. Moreover, these unsightly elements are concealed effectively and are therefore unlikely to be seen, especially since the front of this display stand appears so attractive.

Extensions are supplied to complement the central Chocolate Frog card, accommodating the complete collection of nine anniversary minifigures! The reddish brown and pearl gold colours look suitably ornate for the Wizarding World and the Technic connections are neatly concealed inside. Unfortunately, I have yet to purchase 76392 Hogwarts Wizard’s Chess, but ample room remains available for Severus Snape.

Overall

76391 Hogwarts Icons: Collectors’ Edition represents an excellent celebration of LEGO Harry Potter. This structure features extraordinary detail, more closely resembling a sculpture than a conventional LEGO model. The display value is therefore exceptional, particularly because this creation is comparatively tall and thus achieves impressive visual presence.

Issues are accordingly scarce. Ideally, the Chocolate Frog and Harry’s glasses would both be integrated more directly with the central model. Nevertheless, the cohesion between differing accessories is marvellous, surpassing my expectations. Furthermore, the price of £229.99 or $249.99 feels quite reasonable and I am confident that LEGO Harry Potter fans will appreciate this interesting set.

This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review represents an expression of my own opinions.

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