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REVIEW: 4842 Hogwarts Castle


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Poll: 4842 Hogwarts Castle (90 member(s) have cast votes)

How would you rate this set?

  1. Like putting the Gaunt ring on my hand (1 votes [1.11%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.11%

  2. Like taking a puking pestle (1 votes [1.11%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.11%

  3. Like being sorted into Hufflepuff (7 votes [7.78%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 7.78%

  4. Like winning the Quidditch Cup (29 votes [32.22%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 32.22%

  5. Like killing Voldemort (52 votes [57.78%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 57.78%

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#1 Clone OPatra

Clone OPatra

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 01:53 AM

It's the fourth version.  It's more expensive than any regular-release Star Wars set.  LEGO calls it the "essential Harry Potter set."  That's right, it's the…

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Set Title: Hogwarts Castle
Set #: 4842
Theme: Harry Potter
Film Connections: Sorcerer's (Philosopher's) Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows Part II
Pieces: 1290
Minifigures: 11
Year of Release: 2010
Price at Release: USD $130  GBP 100  EUR 130

Buy it?  Inventory?  LEGO.com  Bricklink


INTRODUCTION

If you hadn't noticed, yours truly likes Harry Potter sets.  I've already reviewed Hagrid's Hut and The Burrow, so I thought it was high time to review the real big one.  Honestly, I wasn't sure if I would get this set because of the price, but sometimes things just work out.

Though this set is in a different scale than the past versions, I had high hopes that the newest Hogwarts Castle would still be awesome, judging from the official pictures.  And those figures looked like they were to die for.  So, were my hopes met?  You'll have to read on…

You may also notice that I listed every single film (except Hallows Part I) as referenced in this set, and some of you are probably incredulous about some of those connections.  But I found them, and I'll be highlighting them all as I take you through the Castle on a detailed tour, CloneyO style…


BOX

I may not have actually mentioned it extensively in my other HP reviews so far, but these boxes are simply works of art!  Like The Burrow and Hagrid's Hut, the Castle has a spooky, night-time background.  And it's gorgeous.  These boxes are pure eye-candy.
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Though the art on the back is pretty as well, the back betrays the fact that there really aren't very many exciting features built in.  No trap doors or anything, just a few opening or turning things.  Also notice that LEGO forgot to apply the painting stickers on either side of the rotating staircase.
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The box denies the Knight Statue as a minifigure of the set, only showing the other ten.  The top shows them in what it claims to be a 1:1 picture, but you can tell they've made McGonagall smaller since she's taller than everybody else.
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In case you were wondering, the box is a standard large size for LEGO.  Though it costs $30 extra and has 300 more pieces, the Castle's box is the same size as that of Battle of Endor.
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INSTRUCTIONS

There are three booklets for this set, the first two of which have darker contrast on their covers than the third one.  In the set I got, anyway.
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I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of steps filling the pages during some parts of the build  Still not nearly as many steps as in older sets like Flying Ninja's Fortress, but still more than I'm used to seeing in recent times, in the era of big blank single-step pages.
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Unlike the instructions for the other HP sets I have, this one actually includes some ads.  I like the CG for the HP ad, although Hermione looks quite messed up.  Obviously, anybody interested in HP sets probably wants Atlantis as well.
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The parts spread is filled to the brim.
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STICKER SHEET

This one is large.  Quite large.  It caught me off guard.  Originally, I thought: "since there are so many of those wall pieces in this set, why couldn't LEGO just print them?"  Well, it turns out LEGO wanted four different designs for the wall pieces.  So, what is better, four different sticker designs, or a single printed design?  I don't care, you answer that question for yourself.
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MINIFIGURES

The set shines in this section.  Everybody is new, of course, but there are also two characters that have never been made before at all (Filch and Flitwick), and one that only appeared in one set in yellow a long time ago (McGonagall).  Being a minifigure man, the spread is getting me excited!

I'll start with the teachers.  There has never been a single set before with this many core staff members of Hogwarts.  Gosh, these figures look great.  McGonagall's face is perfect for her, as are her dark green robes.  The only things I could wish for McGonagall would be LEGO finally designing a skirt piece the same height as legs, and including a bun for her, since her hat covers up her eyebrows.  The Dastan hair in Black works perfectly for Snape, and Flitwick is so ridiculously cute.  Dumbledore will get his own glory section.  None of these figures have reverse heads or back prints, except Dumby.
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Dumbledore can take his glasses off too!  Is he related to Flich maybe?  They have the same hair…  Filch is awesome.  His suit is appropriately rumpled, and though his face is extremely cartoony, I like that silly touch in this case.  It's only his hair that doesn't fit the character; Filch has greasy just-past-shoulder-length hair in the films.  No back on this fig either.
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Then there are the baddies.  Generously, two Dementors, and a Voldemort that kicks the pants off of any other villian before.  LEGO didn't go cheap with an all-black torso, and his face is cutely evil.  Those two adjectives don't usually go together, but they do this time.  Each of the Dementors has a double-sided head, with mouth open or closed.
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The kids are the standard versions and not too exciting, and I won't go into them here.  If you want to see figure comparisons and read my thoughts on the kids, check my Hagrid's Hut review.  The only clear problem in this set with the kids is that there is no Ron!  This is the first Castle not to include Ron, and it really doesn't make sense not to.  But, I guess that's what Hagrid's Hut is for.  The statue is pretty unexciting as well, although it gives people without any Kingdoms sets a chance to get the bucket helmet.
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As you likely well know, the kids have nice back-of-sweater prints as well.
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Not a minifigure, but Mrs. Norris is a named character.  She really doesn't remind me of Mrs. Norris, who is kind of gray and freaky looking, but I'll welcome a cute kitty any time.  She surprisingly doesn't come in a CSI bag.
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Snape

For a complete look at the four different Snapes, check Bricklink.  I unfortunately, don't have them all.

However, I can show you how this Snape compares to the original one.  That's a really big difference right now.  To ascertain which one is better, let me run through a short list of questions:  Does the film Snape wear a purple suit?  No.  Does the film Snape have grey hands?  No.  Does the film Snape's head glow in the dark?  Nope.  The truth is that neither Snape's hair is perfect, since the old one's hair is a little to girly, but the new one is too voluminous.  The girly hair is a little closer to the film Snape's thin, greasy hair, but I'd much rather have black Dastan hair.
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Dumbledore

This new Dumbledore is superbly detailed, so he needs some exposure!

His torso has tiny embroidery, and his glasses-less face is pleasantly senior-citizen-y.  I can envision this guy as my grandpa.
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But the embroidery doesn't stop at the front!  There's more on the back.  This level of detail blows me away every time.
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An HP review from me wouldn't be complete without some comparisons, would it?  Nope!  The level of detail on every facet of this fig surpasses the old ones so much it's insane.  I used to love the old Dumbledore, but look how simple and lifeless those old ones seem compared to the new guy.  Yowzah!
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I conceded that the second (middle) Dumbledore had some minute details on his torso too, but not nearly like the new one has.  And the original Dumbledore had a shirt that was :sick: The old Dumbledore looks so flat and crappy compared to the new one.  Just look at the new multi-layered eyebrows compared to the black-outlined old ones.  What is with those zany mouths on the old ones?
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Dementors

(Film Connection: Prisoner of Azkaban)

While I always like me some sand green, I must admit I like dark bley better for dementors.  Black suits them better compared to their movie counterparts, and their tattered capes and zombie arms are far more foreboding than the floppy old ones.  I loved getting a dark bley hood on that old one, but the new ones work much better.
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Voldemort

(Film Connection: Deathly Hallows Part II)

Dumbledore might've changed from his past iterations, but nothing like this!  The original Voldemort on the back of Quirrel didn't look like the movie, but it was scary and suited the style of the original HP figures well enough.  I have no quibble with it.  The second one, though, which came with the Graveyard Duel, is so bad!  LEGO was obviously styling him after the original face they'd created, but it didn't work compared to Ralph Fiennes' stunning Voldemort at all!  Additionally, the dementor cloak and blank body were annoying and didn't fit with the film either.  Finally, LEGO has rectified their mistake.  The newest one is cartoony with those perfectly round eyes and heavy eye shadow, but it works as a toy representation of the scary Voldemort in the films.
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The new Voldemort is truly master of his Death Eaters, who clearly all like to wear black.
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ACCESSORIES

There aren't a ton of figure accessories in this set, and there certainly aren't any that you can't see from the promotional photos, unlike Battle of Alamut.  Anyhow, there are wands for all of the wizards but McGonagall, which is odd.  LEGO must be sexist, because they forgot Mrs. Weasley wand-wise also.  The set also includes an "Invisibility Cloak," and Harry's broom, featuring a silver cone, only in this set.  Maybe his broom has that because it is his Firebolt, whereas the Quidditch set, coming from the second film, should only have his Nimbus 2000.
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BUILD and STUFF

Besides ten bags (which you can find pics of in my Flickr Set), there are also three loose parts in the box: two green roofs, and a big plate.  For some reason LEGO decided to scrap this "slate" roof piece in favor of a round and smooth one on the last two Hogwarts Castles, but now it's back!
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As I said before, the build is split over ten bags, and is pretty darn straightforward.  This is a Castle, after all; there are a ton of bricks, and you build it from the bottom up.  Not a lot of repetition, and certainly no techniques that are very interesting.  It turns out you don't really need advanced techniques to make good little details sometimes, but I'll get to that.

There are a few interesting things I noticed about the bags that I got.  For one, bag 7 came inside out!
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There were also some tiny bags packed very full, like this:
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I don't really understand LEGO's choices in terms of bag sizes.  If you take a look at the bag pics in my Flickr Set, you will notice that some of the numbered bags are rather large and empty, while others are small and full (at least as full as 7, above).  Why does LEGO vary it up so much?  I have no idea; I guess you'd have to ask them…


HOGWARTS CASTLE - By Parts

Before I show you the entire Castle together, I will take you through the different buildings separately in build order, so you can get some sense of how the build goes.


Connector Bits

The first thing to build are the modular connector bits.  While it was a nice idea and all to connect the Castle up and make it modular, since each of these only connects in one place (with two prongs) to a Castle part, they become hard to detach and you may end up ripping bricks off of them rather than actually pulling them out.  It's happened to me many times already.
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Since they're so difficult to pull out, I'm not sure what these actually accomplish.  You could just as easily arrange the buildings however you want without physically connecting them.  It worked well enough for the other Hogwarts Castles.


Astronomy Tower

Next up is the Astronomy Tower.  That place where Dumbledore got murdered, right?  True, but it didn't look like this in the films.  The exterior is quite pleasing, with the two shades of tan complementing each other well.  The crossed axes (a technique used in Drawbridge Defense too) add nice detail.  The interior looks bare at a glance.
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The entire bottom level is taken up by… a big vanishing cabinet.  (Film Connection: Half-Blood Prince)  The shape is correct, but the film version didn't have huge silver ornaments.  You can sort of remove it if you want to, although it was probably not intended to be removable.
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Whoops, looks like we disturbed Snape brooding in there.  
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Here's the thing about the cabinet.  You put in a figure, close the doors, open the doors, and it's still there.  I've repeated this process many times and the figure did not vanish.  Duh, right?  Well, wouldn't a revolving wall on the other side to "vanish" the figure have been cool?  Otherwise, your first floor is taken up by just a big cabinet.

The second floor is filled with… this thing.  It's apparently the "restricted section of the library."  (Film Connection: Sorcerer's Stone)  It's basically a large black box with window pieces, containing three identical, blank brown books.  It's also got some anachronistic handcuffs.  
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Oh, I see, it's a play feature!  You can slide the glass apart.  Looks like a did it wrong, since you're supposed to take the cuffs off I think.  Now my cuffs are close to smashing.  Don't try it my way!
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The problem with this thing is that it's huge and bare, and pretty useless.  LEGO could've put two little classrooms in this tower, or at least an interesting Hogwarts "corridor" type setup, but instead they filled both interior floors with big, space-wasting pieces of kitsch.  That's what MODing is for, of course, but it disappoints me.

The top at least has a cool, fully realized telescope for filling out some star charts.
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Main Tower

I can't call this Gryffindor tower, since it isn't exclusively for Gryffindor in the set.  It's aesthetically pleasing, and the stickers help it out for looking Castle-like.  I love the triple parapet design coming off the one side.
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The tower squeezes in on the middle level, which is a cool design in my opinion.  It makes it not so regular.
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Here's the back overview.  Looks tightly packed, doesn't it?  Or maybe the correct description would be lacking space…
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I'll go bottom to top, logically.  Look at the space being wasted in there!  Sure, I like the snakes and the Slytherin crest sticker, but they bump the sitting space to outside.  The Quibbler (Film Connection: Order of the Phoenix) has to overhang the baseplate!  It kinda looks like a Slytherin common room (Film Connection: Chamber of Secrets), but I'm feeling it's a poor design.  (And, there are no Slytherins to put in this common room included in the set)
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Maybe the second level will be more promising…

It's got… a statue and a spider.  Really?  Is that it?
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Oh, it's another play feature!  It spins around to reveal… Tom Riddle's Diary?  :wacko: (Film Connection: Chamber of Secrets) What now?  This is so lame; if you wanted to make a hiding space for Riddle's Diary, LEGO, why couldn't you have made a small bathroom on this floor?  That would've been cool, wouldn't it?
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Hmmph, level up.

The Gryffindor common room is significantly better.  Still tiny, with no floor space, but at least it looks like a little fireside table.  The fireplace is well designed, and the emblem is a nice sticker.  Note that the Marauder's Map from the Hogwarts game is there too.
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By pushing in a protrusion on the outside of the Castle, you can make Sirius' face pop out of the fire.  Obviously that doesn't make so much sense, since why would his face come out of the fire, but I can live with it.  Now I wish we could get a new Sirius that looks like that. (Film Connection: Goblet of Fire)
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The owlery up top ain't bad; you get all three printed owls, and it even has owl droppings!  Neat.
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Overall, the tower is better than the wasted Astronomy Tower, but the second floor is wasted and the Slytherin Common Room is poor.  And besides that, there's so little space even in the Gryffindor common room that there isn't much to do.


Great Hall

(For more pictures of the Great Hall than I will use here, see my Flickr Set)

Alrighty, on to the good parts of the Castle.  The Great Hall's a beauty, isn't she?  All of those brown frames are very pleasant, as are the stained-glass windows, in trans orange and blue.  The door has a cute sand green awning too.
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The Hall looks great from all angles.  The asymmetry of the turrets is cool, and the color scheme is pleasant.  The inside is nice and roomy.
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This Hall might be shorter than the original iteration, but it's still tall enough to be majestic.  The candles look more like a chandelier than floating candles, but it's better than the original attempt at floating flames.  The hangings are nice, and the tans-pieces are gorgeous.
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There's plenty of room to place the figures and let them eat the huge cake, turkey, croissant, and cherries.  The only problem is the strange wooden chairs for the teachers.  None of the teachers can sit in them, since McGonagall has a dress, Flitwick has short legs, Snape has a stiff cape, and Dumbledore's hair is too large.  They're nice looking set pieces though, if useless.
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Dumbledore's Office

That's what this section really is: Dumbledore's Office.  It's looking good from the exterior, and you can see it makes use of the printed Hogwarts crest also from the Hogwarts game.  That's a nice print right there.  The only bit that I think doesn't fit is the light bley around the door.  It seems LEGO only makes light bley clip bricks.
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It looks pretty packed from the back.  That staircase is short, but what would Hogwarts be without at least one short spinning staircase?
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The problem with the staircase is that it makes it extremely difficult to play inside the ground floor entrance way.  Here I've removed the staircase so you can see what's in there: a trophy stand and a chest.  There are also two cute stickered paintings.
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Inside the chest are the printed Kingdoms wizard piece and a ruby.  "Hagrid, did you leave the Sorcerer's Stone lying around again?"
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The second floor has the office.  Oohhh, that's a high level of detail right there.  I love those trans jars.  This chair fits Dumbledore (if it didn't that would be a problem).
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Dumbledore has a nice candle in an orb on his desk, as well as a foreboding issue of the Daily Prophet that he seems to be perusing. (Film Connection: Order of the Phoenix)
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I was a bit dumbfounded about the "Basilisk Fang" in the catalog description, but it turns out it's stashed in one of the shelving units. (Film Connection: Chamber of Secrets) The other one has a sealed letter.
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The top contains the printed sorting hat (Film Connection: Sorcerer's Stone/Chamber of Secrets/Deathly Hallows Part II) and shiny chrome Gryffindor sword.  Yay, finally a real sorting hat!
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HOGWARTS CASTLE - Connected

Here it is, the big thing put all together.  It's really a pleasing set to the eye, for a Hogwarts Castle anyway.  It's still nowhere near as pretty as the Alamut, but it has its own aesthetic.  Certainly a lot better than the last Castle (or two or three).
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The truth is, there isn't a lot to do with this Castle play-wise besides role-playing.  But hey, little kids can role-play!

For instance, you can setup Voldemort having a snack in a quiet corner.  Mmmmm, chicken.
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For more fun role-playing, check my Flickr.


CONCLUSION

If I didn't lose you halfway back somewhere, you've probably figured out that I find this set to be quite a mixed bag.  The figures are excellent, besides for the fact that LEGO skimped on Ron (again) and Draco, who had come with all of the past Castles.  I would've taken Draco over Ron, actually, since Draco in his school uniform only comes in the train, which I have no interest in purchasing.

Pieces-wise (not function), this set is a treasure trove of tan bricks of all sorts, as well as some other stuff.  The price is actually right for 1290 pieces, which makes it a bit pricey just because it's $130.  Not pricey as in over-priced, just pricey as in not cheap.

The design of the Castle itself is mixed.  All of the exteriors are good, but the Astronomy Tower's interior is a failure, and the tall tower is only a little bit better.  In terms of play-features, this set is very lacking.  I'm not sure if kids will mind that or not, but I have a feeling (cue music) that this set will not seem appealing to most little boys compared to Star Wars (of course) and even Kingdoms, with all its firing catapults and conflict and stuff.  

The things is, if you are an HP fan who really only wants the figures, BL might be the way to go, although even that will be a nice sum of money.  If you do want the Castle as a nice set piece to display, go ahead, but you might be less than thrilled with parts of the interior.


RATINGS

Minifigures: 9/10 - I love all of the ones that you get, but an extra kid should've been included (maybe in place of the Knight).
Pieces: 9/10 - There's a lot of tan, and a lot of bricks, and a nice amount of trans pieces. Cool.
Design: 6/10 - This is a hard one to rate because half the Castle has a good design, while the other half doesn't really.  I pushed it over the 50% mark because the tower has parts that are tolerable.
Playability: 4/10 - Eh.  There are next to no play features, and no interesting ones anyway.  If I was a kid, I would probably find this set a bit dull, apart from the figures.  I've always loved figures.
Price: 8/10 - I know I said in my conclusion that it's the right price for the amount of parts, but I still wouldn't want to pay it for a set that is somewhat disappointing anyway.  That's why this gets knocked down.

Overall: 7.2/10 - That's a 'C' grade where I come from, and that's certainly right for this set.  Is it better than the past Hogwarts Castles?  Maybe.  It's better than the first one, and that's the only other one I have.  But it's still not that great; maybe Hogwarts just can't be, in a set anyway.


Whew.  CloneyO doesn't really like reviewing such big sets.  I think I'll go review Freeing Dobby now.  That should be a more palatable size.  See you next time!
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#2 Inconspicuous

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 03:54 AM

Stunning review, Clone O'Patra! You did this behemoth justice in your consistently beautiful review. :wub:  Thanks for taking the time to put this together! I'm sure it will help many people (including myself) decide whether to buy this set or not.

The minifigures are simply stunning, as you've certainly emphasized. No questions there! I absolutely love the exteriors and interiors of Dumbledore's office and the Great Hall. The details are just so brilliant and accurate! The exterior of the Gryffindor Tower is interesting to me, but I agree with you about the disappointing interior. The astronomy tower is  :sick:  as far as I'm concerned. The thoughts were there but the execution and design was a fail. But overall, the Castle is pretty darn good.

Thanks again for reviewing this set! I await whatever reviews you lavish upon us.

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#3 Derek

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 04:20 AM

Yet again, another fantastic review! :classic: I want to get this set because I don't have any of the other Hogwarts sets, and we might not ever see one again  :cry_sad:.

And the figures are simply too hard to resist!  :wub:  

I was disappointed not to see a comparison between the different versions of Snape- he is one of the figures that has seen the most drastic changes from version-to-version.

Thanks again for the great review!  

-Derek :classic:

View PostIgnited_Impulse, on 20 September 2010 - 01:51 AM, said:

Dude, you've got a Final Fantasy sig and you're on a lego forum....arguing about elves. Try not to think you're some cool guy because you don't play D&D
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#4 Nightshroud99

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 04:49 AM

Thanks for the great review! I'm a mixed bag with this set as well; the figures are great but the play features are REALLY lacking for me..  :hmpf_bad:
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#5 Ceroknight

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 05:04 AM

Thank you for the review! Im tempted to get this for the amazing selection of figures! Either this or diagon alley anyways...
Im surprised how crowded the rooms are and the fact that there are no ravelclaw or hufflepuff rooms  :thumbdown:  

Thanks again!
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#6 Clone OPatra

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 05:06 AM

View PostDerek, on 17 October 2010 - 04:20 AM, said:

I was disappointed not to see a comparison between the different versions of Snape- he is one of the figures that has seen the most drastic changes from version-to-version.

No, I can't let this happen.  No disappointment allowed!

How do you like it now?  :wink:
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#7 Oky

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 10:41 AM

Argh! By presenting such an excellent review complete with comparisons, you have not only strengthened my urge to get this super-expensive set, but also raised the standard for a review of this set (something I have been planning to do if I get it) to incredible heights! :hmpf_bad: Thanks a lot. :tongue:
No seriously, thanks for taking the time for making this great review for us. And by the way, I think they used the cone pieces for the Gryffindor tower in the last two sets because the one in the movie actually does have a conical roof, but of course you can't attach any parapets to those, which is probably why they chose to use the old kind again.

View PostNightshroud99, on 17 October 2010 - 04:49 AM, said:

Thanks for the great review! I'm a mixed bag with this set as well; the figures are great but the play features are REALLY lacking for me..  :hmpf_bad:
Excuse me? *huh* This set is packed with play features! What's missing for you? Catapults? Trap doors? More secret compartments? Flick-fire missiles??
I think it's very playable as it is, or as a Hogwarts castle can be anyway.

#8 The Yellow Brick

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 11:22 AM

Great review Clone O'Patra, I still haven't got around to buying this and I said to my self that I would get it Posted Image

#9 Aanchir

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 02:03 PM

No images of the castle all closed up? I believe that some of the prerelease pics we saw from ToyFair, etc. made it look like it could close up at least partway to have an "inside" and an "outside" rather than just having a "front" and "back". I'm pretty sure you have to flip those hinge pieces around, though.

The figs are gorgeous, but the problem you pointed out regarding the professors' chairs in the dining hall is egregious. In the very least LEGO could have used the 1x2 plate with center stud (jumper plate) to sit them a little bit forward and possibly allow Snape in the very least to fit in his chair. There's really no way to solve the problem with McGonagall in a chair without arms-- if the chair had arms, you could rather inconspicuously have it without an actual seat, but this design of the chairs (which is in the very least aesthetically pleasing and appropriate for the Dining Hall) keeps that from working. A more viable solution would be having an actual table in front of the professors, so that you could inconspicuously have Flitwick just standing up in his. But that would involve increasing the size of the dining hall-- and if it really can close up to any extent, I doubt it could if you expanded the floorspace.

Love the roof of the Dining Hall-- so much better than the cruddy paper roof in the original castle, and doesn't even rely on any prints to maintain a strong level of detail! The rest of the set fares similarly-- while it doesn't use any particularly untested building techniques, it does use its choice of parts to their fullest aesthetically.

Great review overall. I'm sure when Diagon Alley comes out you'll be able to review that with just as much competence, and I look forward to the set's release for that reason as well as the desire to get it for myself!

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#10 Clone OPatra

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 04:57 PM

View PostOky Wan Kenobi, on 17 October 2010 - 10:41 AM, said:

Excuse me? *huh* This set is packed with play features! What's missing for you? Catapults? Trap doors? More secret compartments? Flick-fire missiles??
I think it's very playable as it is, or as a Hogwarts castle can be anyway.

Well, he was basically following the same of thought that I have in my review.  I suppose you're right, that this Castle is as playable as a Hogwarts could be, but that makes it not all that playable in my mind.  It really just comes down to imagination for playing with this set, but even then the space is so tight on the interior of some sections that role-playing with the figures is probably difficult and constricted.



View PostAanchir, on 17 October 2010 - 02:03 PM, said:

No images of the castle all closed up? I believe that some of the prerelease pics we saw from ToyFair, etc. made it look like it could close up at least partway to have an "inside" and an "outside" rather than just having a "front" and "back". I'm pretty sure you have to flip those hinge pieces around, though.

You know, I really haven't tried closing it up very much.  Using the connectors the way the instructions tell you to, it really isn't all that easy, and doesn't look very good anyway.  Even if they were used differently the back of the Great Hall would still constrict movement because it sticks out so much.  I also didn't think that "closing it up" looked very good because Hogwarts itself is not circular, so it doesn't make that much sense.  Folding it outward to create a courtyard does look better, but I didn't think it was that necessary for the review.  Perhaps I will snap a few more "complete set" pics at some point to show different possibilities.


View PostAanchir, on 17 October 2010 - 02:03 PM, said:

I'm sure when Diagon Alley comes out you'll be able to review that with just as much competence, and I look forward to the set's release for that reason as well as the desire to get it for myself!

If I was to buy Diagon Alley, I would surely review it, but I do not plan on buying it.  It just doesn't interest me enough for the amount of money.  If you'd like me to review it, though, I would heartily accept your donation  :laugh:
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#11 Ravenclaw2010

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 07:26 PM

A great review, Clone O'Patra. I love the all-together picture, especially the Voldemort in the corner eating turkey! I'm disappointed that they didn't have any ravenclaw/hufflepuff banners or students, and that there's no Ron.
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#12 Derek

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 01:26 AM

View PostClone O, on 17 October 2010 - 05:06 AM, said:

No, I can't let this happen.  No disappointment allowed!

How do you like it now?  :wink:

Thank you! The new one is certainly an improvement. I always thought the glow-in-the-dark face was ridiculous for Snape.

I feel like the perfect Snape would consist of the black Dastan hair, the 2007 face and torso, and the original legs.  :thumbup:

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View PostIgnited_Impulse, on 20 September 2010 - 01:51 AM, said:

Dude, you've got a Final Fantasy sig and you're on a lego forum....arguing about elves. Try not to think you're some cool guy because you don't play D&D
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#13 Mrlegoninja

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:12 AM

Quote

This Hall might be shorter than the original iteration, but it's still tall enough to be majestic. The candles look more like a chandelier than floating candles, but it's better than the original attempt at floating flames. The hangings are nice, and the tans-pieces are gorgeous.
Just cover it with the invisible cloak! :laugh:
Great review though. I have mixed feelings about this set...

Edited by Mrlegoninja, 18 October 2010 - 02:12 AM.

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#14 Nick Wolfe

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 03:01 AM

Great review. I do believe Snape's hair does a good job of capturing his look in Deathly Hallows, during which, he grows his hair out. And I think that a lot of the new HP series is based partly on the books. And, for the record, the designers got the astronomy tower wrong, it's supposed to be the tallest tower at Hogwarts, placing it as the huge cote tower with the three spikes on it. I really wish lego would start fact checking.

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#15 Nightshroud99

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 04:38 AM

View PostOky Wan Kenobi, on 17 October 2010 - 10:41 AM, said:

Excuse me? *huh* This set is packed with play features! What's missing for you? Catapults? Trap doors? More secret compartments? Flick-fire missiles??
I think it's very playable as it is, or as a Hogwarts castle can be anyway.

I'd just prefer some more living space for the figures, as I like to roleplay. Also that room with the Knight seemed useless, it should have been a bathroom like the reviewer mentioned.
A secret room would have been nice, like the room of Requirement. But that could be a stand alone set.  :classic:
Oh and Malfoy should have been included, he's the only figure that really should be in this set as well. Especially since there is a Slytherin common room.
But alas perhaps I'm begging for too much, I don't own the previous Harry Potter castles and from looking at them this one is quite nice. :thumbup:
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#16 Mrlegoninja

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 04:43 AM

View PostNightshroud99, on 18 October 2010 - 04:38 AM, said:

I'd just prefer some more living space for the figures, as I like to roleplay. Also that room with the Knight seemed useless, it should have been a bathroom like the reviewer mentioned.
A secret room would have been nice, like the room of Requirement. But that could be a stand alone set.  :classic:
Oh and Malfoy should have been included, he's the only figure that really should be in this set as well. Especially since there is a Slytherin common room.
But alas perhaps I'm begging for too much, I don't own the previous Harry Potter castles and from looking at them this one is quite nice. :thumbup:
You are begging for too much. I think LEGO did perfect with keeping this detailed and in a very good price range. :classic:

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#17 Nightshroud99

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 05:11 AM

View PostMrlegoninja, on 18 October 2010 - 04:43 AM, said:

You are begging for too much. I think LEGO did perfect with keeping this detailed and in a very good price range. :classic:

:laugh: Yes I suppose so, I have only been out of my dark ages for a year and am still newbish to stuff like this. The castle just needs to be MOCed a little.
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#18 It All Ends Here

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:06 PM

A Fantastic Review! I really love the Castle and you're right they have made two poor rooms what Lego can made better.
2 weeks and I can buy the Castle by myself!!  :cry_happy:
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#19 Masked Builder

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 09:14 PM

That's quite an amazing set!  I would have like to see a bit more playability with this set.  Nice work on the review anyways!
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#20 prateek

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:14 PM

Great review, but I'd rather get Battle of Endor or Battle of Alamut.

#21 The Soup Nazi

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:33 PM

View Postprateek, on 18 October 2010 - 10:14 PM, said:

Great review, but I'd rather get Battle of Endor or Battle of Alamut.

Same here. But the price ratio is smaller for Hogwarts.

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#22 koffiemoc

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:48 PM

Thank you for the review. It is elaborate, accurate and to the point, I think, including your thoughts about the cramped Slytherin room, the restricted section and not having a bathroom but a statue hiding Riddle's diary. I lost one pair of cuffs already while finishing the build, because they're not exactly a tight match. And I er, have overridden the piece with my office chair. Luckily there's a spare.
I bought this set before the review was posted and I quite feel the same about it as you described. Still, I couldn't resist because one local store in the Netherlands had it on discount - 99 euro instead of 129 - and I don't have any of the prior versions.

I wonder why you didn't mention the 2004 version, with a mixture of round and square rooms/towers and some lovely features as the huge doors, the clockwork (prominent in the Azkaban movie), a nice roof, straight instead of spinning stairs and a broaden-your-minds-room in the attic. It was my favourite version in every ebay search for Hogwarts up till now.

Did you notice that the first two towers to build (astronomy and Griffindor) have a brick-on-edge sill beneath every window, where the Great Hall and Dumbledore's office lack these? It struck me as inconsistent and I couldn't help thinking TLC developed these parts separately, in time or by different teams or team members.

How do you guys all know the cat is mrs. Norris? I thought it to be Crookshanks, Hermione's ginger beast.

Your third booklet seems to be a misprint. Mine are all equally dark.

For all those in doubt: there won't be a perfect Lego Hogwarts. Ever. Unless you build it yourself.
So you might as well get this one, as it's certainly not the ugliest of all four, and it's got plenty of parts (tan, dark tan!, windows!!) and beautiful figs.
And it might be the last version TLC is ever gonna make.

Edited by koffiemoc, 18 October 2010 - 11:50 PM.


#23 Clone OPatra

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:25 AM

View Postkoffiemoc, on 18 October 2010 - 11:48 PM, said:

I wonder why you didn't mention the 2004 version, with a mixture of round and square rooms/towers and some lovely features as the huge doors, the clockwork (prominent in the Azkaban movie), a nice roof, straight instead of spinning stairs and a broaden-your-minds-room in the attic. It was my favourite version in every ebay search for Hogwarts up till now.

Well, I didn't mention the other versions very much at all, partly because I only own the original one, besides for this one.  The style of the 2nd and 3rd are just so different from this one that I didn't think I should compare them too much, to be fair, and because I can only judge them from pictures, which, as a reviewer, is really not a fair judgment at all.  The first version is the most comparable to this one because it depicts some of the same buildings, like the Great Hall, which the subsequent two did not include at all.



Quote

How do you guys all know the cat is mrs. Norris? I thought it to be Crookshanks, Hermione's ginger beast.

You know, the cat certainly does seem much more like Crookshanks, although not quite right even then.  I called it Mrs. Norris because that is what LEGO intended it to be, at least in their write up on their website:  "…Argus Filch and his cat, Mrs. Norris…"  You never know though if the set designers thought they were designing Crookshanks, and the people doing the write-ups thought it was Mrs. Norris.  I have found that LEGO does not always get its facts perfectly. (Hufflepuff Stand, anyone?)
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#24 refriedbeans

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 02:46 AM

Thanks for all the great reviews! :classic:

Edited by refriedbeans, 19 October 2010 - 02:51 AM.

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#25 Devil

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 07:00 PM

Well reviewed Clone-O Patra. I must say though, this was a potentially great set ruined by useless interior design and the wasting of space. Good Minifigs also.



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