It seems that the Harry Potter sets are pouring over the Netherlands already. I just bought Hagrid's Hut. A perfect set to become my first review.
Before I start, two disclaimers: this is my first Harry Potter set (ever) as I was in my dark ages when the former line was out there. Second, I mainly bought the hut to mod it and insert it in my medieval village. Hence I am mostly parts oriented and not so much about the Harry Potterness of the building.
Let me start with the cast:
We have Aragog, Hagrid, Ron, Hermoine en Harry along with Scabbers and a couple of spider youngsters. The two owls aren't included in the pic, they'll feature in and on the hut later on.
Just the figs:
All but Hagrid have back printing:
All in all this is not bad. Surely, you only get four minifigs, which is rather little given its price. Ron in this form is exclusive to this set (though he is easily assembled by using parts of the other Ron in the Hogwarts Express and the uniform piece). Hagrid is really 'exclusive' if you only look at this year's sets. The added value probably lies in the high amount of animals (rat, three spiders, two owls and dragon whelp).
I like Ron's face, and the hairpiece of the surfer dude is also great.
As requested, here's a picture of Hagrid's face. To my knowledge the face is new and the torso is somewhat new as well. He's clearly a nice chap:
Now about the hut itself. The good thing is that the interior is extremely well built and very very detailed. Every corner of the hut is stuffed with all kinds of extras and details. To mention just a few: there's an axe, a fish drying on the ceiling, a plate and glass, a plant, a letter, a hidden gem, and a baby dragon. Lastly, the light brick used to simulate the cozy fireplace is really a plus. In sum: the interior just looks great and finished. I won't have to do much modding there.
Here you can see the dragon Whelp, the fish, the fireplace with the cauldron and some spices. I also like how the entrance includes the PoP colour. The steps are also nice. As I will show later on, from the outside it looks a bit less impressive.
Now the fireplace has a light brick included. When I first noticed this on the box I was pleasantly surprised. It has the desired effect:
The other side of the house is even better. On the picture below you can also take a look at the grey owl. I like the subtle details like the axe and the tea cup.
Removing the upper side of the 'chair' exposes another compartment. It also shows the plant and a (sticker) painting on the wall. There is also a hidden gem and a letter...
The bad thing is the exterior. The walls look kind of bland, and although TLG included some stickers to spice it up a little, I feel the overall look is still very concrete-like. Probably the stickers of the current Kingdoms line would look better, and even this would be second best as a just little more colour variation in the bricks would greatly improve the exterior.
Here's the exterior folded open:
I like the window, but nevertheless this is a particularly bland part on the side:
The second reason why the exterior looks bad is the roof. It is half green and half bley. I actually dislike both colours, but especially the bley makes the roof and thereby the whole building look rather dull. This is definitely something I will MOD.
From the outside the PoP colours look a bit odd, though the steps and the arch do look good. On this picture you can also get a good look at the great brown owl.
Lastly, as already mentioned before, I like the parts selection in this set. There are also plenty of extras:
Some other points:
The mushrooms look just fantastic! The printed 'radar' tiles really do the job and give the result very much a Lego feel.
The picture does not really do them justice, but nevertheless:
The new owls versus the old owls: In this set you get a brown and a grey owl. They are absolutely wonderful! The printing is simply superb. The mould is also different than the old one: it is more blocky and less detailed (e.g. the old ones had more feathers), but the printing and the more blocky shape actually make the new owls more lego-like and at the same time more detailed (I have an old white owl, and to be honest, the detailed shape just was hardly noticeable)
In real life, Aragog is little better than on pictures, as the printed tiles really look nice. However, the 'head' is still too much cramped onto the body. Overall, this is still a rather ugly version of Aragog. Moreover, most of the pieces used to build him are useless for moccing.
Still not okay (look at his forehead ):
Pieces: 9,5/10 - The set has excellent pieces, such as two owls, two mushrooms, three pumpkins, a light-brick, lots of nice brown pieces, some PoP-coloured and some tan pieces.
Minifigures: 7/10 - Four minifigs is rather little for a set of this price. Only Hagrid is exclusive, but he featured plenty of times in previous years. This set is definitively not a minifigs set.
Build: 8/10 – Nothing spectacular, but given the variety in the two parts of the hut it was certainly not boring and I was amazed with all the details that kept popping up along the building process.
Price: 7,5/10 – I paid 45.35 euros, which is fairly expensive. But it’s Harry Potter, so that is to be expected.
Final product: 8/10 – I’m really in love with the interior and the mushrooms, the pumpkins and the owls. It needs some modding, but it’s a bit like the Kingdoms Black Tower: it does not feel finished, but somehow I love it.
Would I recommend this set?
The set is fairly expensive and does not feel finished, but nevertheless I would say yes. Overall it is certainly good. It is the cheapest set for the owls, which is an advantage, and the interior is excellent. The set includes a good amount of rare and useful pieces and well... the mushrooms and the owls are just great!
Bonus: this is what happens if you mess with the best sorcerer of her age...
She's the best
Edited by KristofBD, 25 September 2010 - 10:56 PM.