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REVIEW: 75953: Hogwarts Whomping Willow

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Set information

Name: 75953: Hogwarts Whomping Willow
Theme: Wizarding World
Year: 2018
Pieces: 753
Price: $69.99, GBP xx.xx, xx.xx€
Resources: Brickset, BrickLink

Hello everyone and welcome to my review of the Whomping Willow! Before we begin I want to give a huge thank you to LEGO for providing these sets for our reviews, and all of the comments expressed in this review are my own. Most fans of Harry Potter will remember the scene of Harry and Ron crashing the flying Ford Anglia into the Whomping Willow, and it appears this is the first time that this scene was recreated in Lego. Taking a look at the previous two Harry Potter series, I can only find sets with the Ford Anglia, but not the Willow. Let's take a look at those previous versions below;

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You can definitely tell the time periods that both of those cars were released based on the parts and techniques used at the times; does this set bring this scene to life with a fresh take? Read on to find out

The Box

Front

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All of the Wizarding World sets are sure to stand our on store shelves, and this one is no exception with the tan castle section contrasting with the striking blue background. We can see the Whomping Willow itself knocking suitcases and leaves around while Filch and Snape come out to investigate.

Back

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From here we can see the many set features and details, all of which we will get to. Also take not that the castle segment included in this set can be combined with the Great Hall.

Minifigures

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First up we have our students, which includes Harry and Ron in casual clothes, as well as Hermoine and Seamus Finnigan in Gryffindor attire. All figures of course have the shorter legs and include that lovely new wand piece.

Reverse Faces

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Our dynamic trio have terrified expressions, while Seamus simply frowns. I do wish we had gotten a bit more variety to the faces of our trio, as you are going to have a lot of these heads if you are collecting this line.

Back Printing

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Filch and Snape

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Snape is the same figure that you can find in the Quidditch match set, however Filch is a bit more unique to this set. I love the printing and once again really love that new lantern mold. 

Reverse Faces

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While Snape opts for the angry face, FIlch has that creepy smile of "just found a kid that was up to no good."

Back Printing

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Ford Anglia

Front

 

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This car has come a long way since it's original versions we looked at previously; the shaping here is pretty nice and I do think this is the best version of the car we have seen. Note that the doors have a white stripe printed on them, though it's a very noticeable difference in white.

Back

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It should also be mentioned that the plates are stickers as well. The roof and back window can be removed to offer some room inside.

Features

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First feature is that you can open the trunk and fit two suitcases in there, which is a nice little addition and certainly pulled off well. As I mentioned above, you can remove the roof to get access to...well, a fairly small interior with only a steering wheel, Ron and harry can only really stand behind one another comfortable. if you stagger them so that they look to be side-by-side, they will fall once the roof is placed on as it collides with their heads. From what I remember the original Anglia set allowed them to be seated next to eachother, so this is one area of downgrade.

 

Whomping Willow

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Next up is the namesake of the set, the Whomping Willow. While I could imagine a $70 solely dedicated to building this unique tree, Lego chose to only use about a third of the budget on it here, and managed to pull off a decent looking end result. A few notable things here are stickers on the trunk of the tree as well as a little hatch at the bottom to go to the shrieking shack. (There is a hole in the base of the tree so you could feasibly build onwards from this, unless Lego has some future plans in motion?

 

Features

 

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The Whomping willow is not without it's share of gimmicks. To begin, all four of the upper branches are mounted on balljoints, allowing you to articulate these how you may please. Additionally, the entire top of the tree can be spun around thanks to the small knob you may have seen at the base of the tree. 

Falling Leaves

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Once you grab the car with the branches and start spinning it around, you might notice that, just like int he film, leaves fall off like crazy- there are four of those newer stem pieces simply plugged into Technic holes which really doesn't secure them at all, so expect them to go falling out when you so much as look at this thing. (To validate my point, I didn't actually mean for those to be on the ground in this shot, they just fell out for the fourth time and I figured it was best just to let it happen.)

Structure

Potions Classroom

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Next we begin the Hogwarts castle section which is built in a variety of modules. First is the Potions classroom- from the front we can see a combination of brick textures as well as stickers are used.

Rear

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The potions classroom is full of small trans bricks and bottles, we also see some ice cauldrons and that new candlestick element. It's a pretty small footprint for the classroom, but you can manage to get 2-4 students around the table.

Module 2

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The next module is this entrance which has some tracks for a vehicle to ride up on. This is definitely the least interesting of the modules, let's move on.

Rear

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The rear isn't much different, but i will say I do appreciate that the walkway is three studs wide which at least allows you to pose some minifigures up there.

Snapes Office

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Exterior wise, this is basically identical to the classroom.

Snapes Office

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The builds along the back of the wall are pretty similar to the classroom,but here we have a nice table with some printed tiles as well as a fantastic little lamp build. 

Module 4

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The final section takes things vertical Exterior wise there isn;t anything too noteworthy here. 

Rear

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We can see the tower has three levels; A potion area, a Gryffindor bedroom, as well as a spot behind the turret for Hedwig and an inkwell.

Chem Room

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I'm not too familiar with that this room should represent, perhaps it is just an expansion to the potions classroom?

Gryffindor Bedroom

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The bedroom is pretty small, though I must say I really like the bed design which works well at holding a small-legged figure in place.

Modules combined

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As you might expect from a series of modules, they can be combined together to form a section of the Hogwarts Castle. This section can then be combined with the Great Hall, a neat feature and one that I hop Lego expands upon by bringing us even more sections of Hogwarts. While the newly revealed microscale castle is a fantastic looking set, I'd certainly love to see a minifig-scaled one developed over many waves of this theme.

Rear

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You can of course mix these up in whichever arrangement you may wish.

Completed set

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$70 gets you a lot in this set; 753 pieces that turn into a variety of different builds and 6 minifigures. It's a set that keeps changing as you build, with a variety of different techniques used and an overall decent set when it's all said and done. I feel like the castle section makes more sense if you have the Great Hall, but is a fun little stage on it's own. It's just a place to display your figures, there isn't much play value to the structure if that is something you care about, though at the same time it's not a super-accurate depiction of Hogwarts and so display wise it loses a few points too. it certainly makes for an impressively sized display, however, and in my opinion looks better than what we've gotten in the past. If anything, I really wish that these sets followed in the Ghostbuster HQ's footsteps and utilized "opening walls" so that we could have complete towers instead of open-backed ones.

 The willow, while not perfect, makes good use of it's budget and is certainly a well-done first attempt. Of course I'd like to see Ron's house later down the line, but getting the Anglia is a nice addition and provides yest another interesting element to this set.

Personally I feel like the true value of this set is only achieved if you have the Great Hall, and really both of these sets compliment eachother. At $70, I think it's a decent value and it doesn't really suffer from the insane licensing costs that we see in some other themes such as Star Wars. Ultimately I look at this set and the Great Hall sets as one and think "Is that a good value for $170?" and tend to say yes. I do feel that this should primarily be purchased if you are a fan of harry Potter; those who are just fans of Lego in general and not necessarily the movies may be disappointed in this set as it doesn't have too much in the way of interesting builds or gimmicks.

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Dear Eurobricks, this review is now live for your viewing!

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Thanks for the review!

Another great set in my opinion. The highlight of the set for me is the Filch minifigure which is spectacular and captures the actor very well. A little bit disappointing that Hermione is the same fig as in both the Great Hall and Quidditch set, another outfit or another character would have been better. I do understand why the trio is included in most of the sets though.

Building style is naturally somewhat basic considering it is a regular system set aimed at younger children as well, but overall I think this is an excellent set.

 

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I like this one! I think the Whomping Willow looks pretty good, though I would have liked a bigger one. It would make more sense to me to have included the Shrieking Shack with the Whomping Willow instead of a bit of Hogwarts but it does a pretty good job of representing the one scene from Chamber of Secrets. The Filch figure looks pretty great, a huge improvement over 2010, too bad I don't think the same can be said for Snape as the older one looked pretty great. The interior details also look much more complete than the Great Hall, it feels suitably busy and cluttered for a Hogwarts classroom.

Overall probably not the greatest set but probably my personal favorite from this wave.

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Awesome set, my favorite part is the Ford Anglia!

Great review too!

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I still find it really interesting that this set's entire bottom floor seems dedicated to Potions-related rooms -- which is a nice touch, actually, giving it a sense of being a centralized part of the castle, unlike some of the attempts to be comprehensive that result in several disparate buildings being placed into the same tower. I might've swapped out the beds for something else though, held off for a proper Gryffindor Tower.

I still look forward to grabbing it though - an interesting Harry, as well as Seamus, Snape and Filch! I do think Snape could do with a cape/cloak though. I'll have to borrow one from a previous version.

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Got around to building this set today, and I think it's pretty good! I like the car and the tree more than I thought I would. The castle sections are somewhat small and the build is basic, but the interiors have a decent amount of stuff in them. Figures are great, a little shame that Hermione is a repeat from 2 other sets, and a character with a Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw sweater would have been better than one more Gryffindor student. Filch is awesome, one of my favourites from this wave. Paired with the Great Hall it really is an awesome playset for kids. If I had been a kid when Harry Potter came out and I'd gotten this set I would have loved it for sure!

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