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REVIEW: 5378 Hogwarts Castle


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#1 Matn

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 04:11 PM

This is the last, but certainly not the least, LEGO Harry Potter set. Yes, another Hogwarts set, this is the third one already. But this set takes place in the environment of the fifth Harry Potter movie/book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It's my favorite book. With the thestrals and so. But enough about that, the set you say?

The set has about 943 pieces, including 9 minifigures. It was released in 2007. I bought the set for 89.99 euro, which is a fair price to me, I couldn't get it anywere else at a lower price. The box is rather big, just like with every LEGO box, but it's filled about 7/8 so that's good. I think it's very stylish, I like the green logo with the head of the phoenix cut out in it. The logo also appears in the nice designed manual. The back of the box shows the castle unfolded and the various play elements. There are two manuals and the process goes a little bit slowly with only a few steps on each page. You also get a sticker sheet, but only half of the stickers are used, more on that later.

The minifigures in this set are awesome. The set includes 9 figures, but also two mandrake heads, two thestrals and the half of a knight.

First we have the gang of three: Harry Potter, Ron Weasly and Hermoine Granger.
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Hagrid joins the party, with flesh hands that can move. He even has fingers, nice details. He also carries a crossbow.
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Dumbledore has a nice outfit, also featured in a set of the 4th movie. Also included is a new Severus Snape figure! He has a new torso and one of the most nicest LEGO heads in my collection. I just love his expression.
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Next we have a figure of Dolores Umbridge. She has a nice, pink, outfit with a cool print. The hairpiece is only included in this set and the Green Grocer set. Her face is very movie accurate, I love how they did the pink make-up elements. However, it isn't like described in the book, she looked to nice in the movie, not as described in the book. In the book her face is described as a toad, so I'll make a new one soon. Also included is Draco Malfoy, he also has a nice expression on his face.
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Probably the best figure in this set is this one: a Death Eather. They are the villains in Harry Potter, the followers of Voldemort. The headpiece is awesome, it's so well designed and detailed, and very movie accurate. It's also a bit scary. I would love to get my hands on a few more of these figures!
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This part is a bit random for me: a box with Quidditch accesoires. The chest includes two black bowls and a red one.

Next subject in this set is the greenhouse. A bit a weird choice, but I can't complain. For me this is a very nice building, with great parts and a great look. The LEGO designers did their best on this little greenhouse and its architecture, it's my favorite building in this set. It is almost completely seald, something we don't expect from LEGO.
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When it's folded open, it reveals very nice parts. The first section has a little bench table covered with plants and a pot with a mandrake in it. Randomly placed there are a few mushrooms. The second part also has a mandrake, with a magnifieng glass and a blackboard. I don't mind the sticker, it looks very nice with a rather funny and simple drawing. The mandrakes are an exclusive, it's the only set in which these heads are included and they look awesome!
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Next we have a little shooting range thingie. It's a bit weird, I think, but it adds to the sets' playability. When you turn Harry the piece falls down. The target is a sticker, but a nice sticker. A shame it isn't printed.

The shooting range is an addition to this castle segment. It represents the Room of Requirement. The segment has a wall that can open up.
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Like all the buildings in this set, the segment folds open to reveal its interior. Nothing much to say about this because the two halfs are almost identical to each other. It looks a bit empty to me. One half has a nice piece with four wands attached to it, clever built I have to say. The walls are decorated with nice Hogwarts curtains. Unfortenately, they fall out a bit dark, luckely there are two of them spare. Also included in this segment are two owls and a dark gray rat.
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Let's move on to the biggest and central part of the set: the Hogwarts castle.
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I must say, it looks great, doesn't it? You can also fold it up. It looks like a nice castle, indeed with a few gaps, but it does what has to do. I really like the outside of the ground floor. The lion heads look good, and the details are also well done. Right above the door there is a Hogwarts shield, it's a shame this is a sticker. It says: "DRACO DORMIEN NUNQUAM TITILLANDUS", which means 'never tickle a sleeping dragon'. This is the upper part with towers and so.
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The interior:
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On the ground floor we found three chambers. On the right we have a fireplace with Sirius' face on a sticker putted on a tile. When you push away the wall with flames on it, you can see it better.
The left part has a few nice parts, like an electric looking piece and a trans blue cup. It also has a mailbox and a skeleton head under a globe.
The center part looks a bit empty though. Above the wall there are two crossed axes, on the left there is a knight statue which you can pull out to reveal a rune stone. This stone is, again, an exclusive part to this set. I think this tile is great, I'm glad I now own it.

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The upper part is also full of accesoires and details.
On the right we have a green bed with under it a red book. Not so special if you ask me.
On the left we have Umbridge her office. Her desk has a parfume bottle, flowers, a trans pink cup and a inkt bottle. Behind the chair there is standing lamp, nice detail. The wall behind the office has two stickers on it, with kittens. How lovely. When you put down the scroll you can open it up to reveal Harry's locked up Fire Bolt, his broom. This set includes two black brooms.
The upper center part is the trophy room. Included are some nice golden bottles, a trans blue gemstone, a golden plate, a trans green cup and two ribbons.
And at the top of the castle there is an astronomy room. A nice tablet, a sticker, with stars on it and a telescope are standing there. The telescope is very well designed.

An overview of everything:
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These are the spare parts.
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I must say this is a great set. 5378 Hogwarts Castle is well designed with cool accesoires and pieces. I don't like the fact that there are much open spaces in the castle, but that's with every LEGO building. But the castle has a nice overall look, so it isn't a big issue. The greenhouse, on the other hand, is perfect. There aren't big gaps in it, just beneath the trans clear windows (to let the air in, very accurate) and the architecture is pretty good. The highlights in this set are the figures: new and exclusive designs are always welcomed. I also like the two thestrals and the mandrakes.
This was a good set for ending the LEGO Harry Potter theme. I think it's such a shame to stop the theme so sudden, and the fifth movie could use more sets because it had nice scenes (like the ministery and Sirius' house, ...). A good set, higly recommended for the LEGO Harry Potter fan and the Castle fan.

I hope you enjoyed my review of the 5378 Hogwarts Castle. Please let me know if I have forgotten something.

#2 WhiteFang

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 04:17 PM

Matn, thanks for taking your time to do up this lovely Harry Potter review. In fact, this was one of the last Harry Potter sets ever released by TLG in 2007. This was the only Hogwarts Castle in my collection, and I am still keeping it in MISB state until I have much spare time to build this. For this set, I must admit that the minifig variety is great, covering all major characters in that movie, which could easily allow us to entact the movie scene in the castle. Good review!  :wink:

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#3 Sandy

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 04:57 PM

This is one of the most important sets in my "to get" list. I have the other two Hogwartses, and it would be just dreamy to get this one too. The amount of accessories is astounding, I didn't even realize it came with so many of them before this review.

It's a shame that Luna Lovegood is missing from this set, despite being such a central character in the book and the movie. They could've easily put her into the set instead of yet another Draco Malfoy. But all the minifigs are really great, anyway.

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#4 Algernon

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 05:13 PM

One of the best Hogwarts Castles imo. Harry Potter's strengths and weaknesses seemed to come through in spades in this set: Great exclusive parts and awesome minifigs, but gappy construction and a ton of arches. In this case though I think the set gets more right than it gets wrong. I love the Death Eater heads- I bought several of them for a $1.70 off of Bricklink. Great design there! The other minifigs are quite strong too. So are the awesome little exclusive parts... and I had no idea it came with a greenhouse!

I think I want to pick this set up now. Great review. :)

Edited by Algernon, 15 March 2009 - 05:13 PM.


#5 Natman8000

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 05:43 PM

I really like how this set is so jam packed with nice elements and figures. If each year we could get a hogwarts with new elements... that would be great.
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#6 ILikePi

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 06:04 PM

Thanks for the review! I always like reading LEGO Harry Potter reviews, because I never got a Harry Potter set (I wasn't into LEGO at that time they were released). I hope that LEGO will continue the line for the sixth and seventh movies so I could get a few sets. I never knew that this Hogwarts Castle had that many accessories! The Severus Snape figure looks much better than the one with the glow-in-the-dark head. I wish I could've gotten this set, but I wasn't into LEGO at that time it was released. There's so many cool and exclusive parts in this set!

Once again, I must say that this set is amazing.

Edited by ILikePi, 15 March 2009 - 06:05 PM.

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#7 soc399

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 02:51 AM

Nice review!  This was one of the first non-Star Wars that I bought after my dark ages, and I didn't regret it.  It was the only Harry Potter set I ever got, and I wish they didn't stop making them.  This set has so many great accessories and minifigs.  I wish I could rebuild mine now, but I'm using a lot of the parts for other things.

#8 Svelte

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 03:40 AM

I'm going to have to disagree with most of the other commenters here and say that this set is a mix of the brilliant and the awful.

On the one hand, we have delights such as the pearl gold accessories, the wonderfully brickbuilt greenhouse (lots of dark bley cheese slopes and trans clear window pieces) and some brilliant new figs. Umbridge's hairpiece alone was revolutionary and I remember when this set came out people were sighting the hair alone selling for 10 Euros on ebay :grin:

On the other hand, this set felt to me like the last gasp of the line. There were too many large pieces - the round castle walls, the tan turrets, the sand green cone roof - to too little purpose. Apart from the greenhouse, construction is very simple, with none of the distinguishing detail that the previous Hogwarts had in terms of the tan brick-built crenellations, the cleverly angled roofs, and individually differentiated towers. As Matn points out, lin 5378, large areas are empty to no purpose. The front entrance is spartan to say the least, with the weird space torch lanterns, the cheap looking sand-green sloped roof, and the oddly positioned stained glass. A preponderance of stickers (even the shield!) doesn't help.

This is a great review, it's just a shame about the set  :classic:

#9 Shadows

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 05:34 AM

Nice review, thanks for presenting it! :thumbup:

It looks like a pretty decent set, I sort of wish I'd picked it up now just for parts and that Snape head. I'll have to add that to my Bricklink wanted list, I guess.

I was going to comment on the orange/red tone to the pictures, then I decided to take an artistic approach and call that the sun, setting on the last set of the line. It's poetic, in it's own way, huh? Or I'm crazy. :wacko:

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#10 Zorro

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 04:43 PM

Nice review, Matn. I love this set and some day I will buy it, even though I am a Pirates and Castle fan, I love some of the HP sets as well.

 ImperialShadows, on Mar 16 2009, 06:34 AM, said:

Or I'm crazy. :wacko:
Yes, you are, but what does that have to do with it  :tongue: ?

#11 Bricks

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 04:59 PM

Thanks for that nice review!

I think this is one of the best 'LEGO Harry Potter' sets ever.
And such awesome minifigures :wub:
I will buy this set soon, too.
Thanks for sharing!

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#12 Matn

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 06:54 PM

Thanks for the comments! =)

 ImperialShadows, on Mar 16 2009, 05:34 AM, said:

I was going to comment on the orange/red tone to the pictures, then I decided to take an artistic approach and call that the sun, setting on the last set of the line. It's poetic, in it's own way, huh? Or I'm crazy. :wacko:
Yeah, I'm sorry. I don't really have decent photo set-up here, because I don't have to many place (everything is filled up with LEGO). The orange tone came from a yellow lamp =/. But soon, I hope this weekend, I will have good set-up to make pictures. One that will have its own place and the pictures from it will look better. =)

#13 TheBrickster

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 02:12 PM

Nice review.  I've always wanted to get a closer look at this set.  My last HP set was the castle with the clock tower that I never got around to opening.

This is a pretty nice set.  Your close-up pictures are very nice as well.  :thumbup:

#14 Sandy

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 06:06 PM

 TheBrickster, on Mar 18 2009, 04:12 PM, said:

My last HP set was the castle with the clock tower that I never got around to opening.

Why on earth not?! It's got some amazing pieces that would really go well with your Western MOCs as well, such as the clock itself.

I truly hope that I will never end up in the situation where I have so many sets that I haven't got the time to open them all. :tongue:

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#15 badboytje88

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 03:41 AM

Great review. I own the set and totally love it. I missed the second hogwarts castle... Looking for it right now.
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#16 TheBrickster

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 06:57 AM

 Sandy, on Mar 18 2009, 10:06 AM, said:

Why on earth not?! It's got some amazing pieces that would really go well with your Western MOCs as well, such as the clock itself.
I truly hope that I will never end up in the situation where I have so many sets that I haven't got the time to open them all. :tongue:
I bought it before moving and never unpacked it.  Now I can't bring myself to opening it.  I definately want that clock piece!



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