WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD - We normally save all our toy reviews for the end of the year, but we are making an exception because: one, this is not a toy; it is so much more; and two, Harry Potter is for life, not just for Christmas.
As a life-long fan of Harry Potter, my heart was pounding when the Hogwarts Castle arrived ahead of the release date, it has what I have been waiting for since the release of the first movie and I wanted to move to Hogwarts. So, let’s get the obvious bit out of the way: yes, it is expensive, but if you break it down over a year it is just £6.70 a week, that’s like two pints of beer and you should probably be cutting down anyway, so it is really helping you achieve a healthier lifestyle. Thanks LEGO!
Your scrimping and saving will be well rewarded with this ultra-detailed 6,020 set, making it the second largest LEGO set to date, only beaten by the iconic LEGO Millennium Falcon. It is split over 37 helpfully numbered bags (plus a few unnumbered ones with larger pieces) with roughly 150-200 pieces in and four clearly illustrated assembly manuals (with some fun facts about Harry Potter and the Creation of the Hogwarts Castle LEGO set). It is the perfect level of challenge and can easily be broken down over a number of days. We enjoyed drawing the building process out and doing a bag here and there as a reward for making it through a day at work or finishing all of our vegetables, although it was had to resist doing it all in one sitting the building process is definitely part of the fun.
Down to the nitty gritty: the castle comes with all the towers, turrets, and classrooms you would expect. It includes the Chamber of Secrets (with live in Basilisk and Tom Riddles Diary), the Whomping Willow, Hagrid’s hut and five boats to bring in the first years. The Great Hall takes centre stage with wonderful detail, it has stain glass windows, flaming torches and house banners but that’s not all! There are moving stair cases, the Potions classroom, Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, there is a Chessboard Chamber with chess piece elements, the Room of Requirement, Gryffindor common room, Professor Dolores Umbridge’s and Professor Dumbledore’s office, all with thoughtful and fun little details…I don’t want to give away all the surprises just in-case you are like me and enjoy discovering them as you build.
You can’t have a school without students and teachers, but fear not: there are 27 microfigures, including all your favourite students, professors and a few statues, plus five Dementors (because the wizarding education system isn’t gruelling enough without constant fear of having your soul sucked out of your body). Guarding their precious school are the four founders in Minifigure size: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Salazar Slytherin and Rowena Ravenclaw, an exclusive release from LEGO and not even featured in the films. The Hogwarts Castle measures up at over 22” (58cm) high, 27” (69cm) wide and 16” (43cm) deep, it has the fun and quality that LEGO consistently offers with all the magic of the Harry Potter world on top, the perfect combination beautifully executed.
One final cute fact: the number of pieces (6,020) is the same number as the classic LEGO set released in 1993 containing LEGO’s very first wizard mini figure, a clever detail we think JK herself would be pleased with. RRP £349.99
5 out of 5
Wonderfully designed and detailed
27 micro figures
4 mini figures
Just the right amount of challenge to assemble
Lots of interesting and different types of assembly
Personal favourites - the stained-glass windows, the moving stair cases, the Whomping Willow and the Hungarian Horntail dragon