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Clone OPatra

[REVIEW] Fun with 2021 Modular Hogwarts

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Fun with Modular Hogwarts

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Thanks once again to LEGO for providing sets 76386 through 76389 to Eurobricks for review. Stay tuned for my review of Hogsmeade after this article.

Now that I've covered 76386 Hogwarts: Polyjuice Potion Mistake, 76387 Hogwarts: Fluffy Encounter, and 76389 Hogwarts: Chamber of Secrets in separate reviews, it's time to play around with combining them together. They're designed to be swapped, stacked, and re-arranged after all! Therefore I wanted to push the new modular system to its limits and share the results with you.

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THE MODULES

Broken down into their modular parts, these three Hogwarts sets contain a total of 15 modules: 2 8x24 modules, 4 8x16 modules, 3 8x8 modules, and 5 8x8 roof modules, and 1 8x16 roof module. 76395 Hogwarts: First Flying Lesson, which wasn't provided for review, will add an additional 2 8x8 modules and 2 8x8 roof modules, plus a 10x4 connector module which is less usable in the system so can be discounted.

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Now, looking at all of these modules, there are logical ways to combine them and less logical ways - I will show you some of each! They do provide a good amount of variety to start with, as all of them have different exteriors and even the conical roof bits have slightly different builds.

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A STANDARD CONFIGURATION

Here's a configuration similar to what's suggested on the box. The play feature sections are aligned so that they work: namely, the trapdoor from the Forbidden Corridor is placed over the Devil's Snare, and the bathroom from Polyjuice Potion is placed over the Chamber of Secrets slide. The Great Hall is kept as it comes in its set, and there's a reasonable amount of verticality without going overboard.

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Personally, the DADA classroom with all the windows being on the same level as the rocky parts looks a bit strange and not ideal, but it's necessary in this configuration to make the play features align.

The inside will always make a bit less sense, as there are no doors provided between rooms and things like bathrooms, classrooms, and corridors will abut indiscriminately. I don't think this will bother most children terribly much, though it might have bothered me as a child since I liked things to somewhat mirror real-world situations.

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There's a good variety of spaces in which to play and stage scenes in these three sets alone: a bathroom, a place for eating, a place for learning, a blank-slate hallway for confrontations or whatever else you'd like, an office, and a few others. Indeed the components of 76387 Fluffy Encounter are elevated by being combined with the other sets, though that doesn't excuse the fact that they're of so little use in their own set. Populated with figures as I've done here, Hogwarts becomes quite lively quite quickly.

But enough of the standard configuration.

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THE TWO TOWERS

Many people want to know if they can combine the Great Hall with previous Hogwarts sets and forget that it's the Great Hall. You not only can, but you can quite easily. The Great Hall is designed with the same modularity as all the other modules, and once you've shaken up the arrangement, it looks like just another Hogwarts segment. Now I have kept only the rocky bits on ground level. (Note I had two roof bits leftover in this configuration.)

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On the interior this configuration makes a bit more logical sense. If I swapped the towers around, there'd be a classroom and a bathroom with a corridor in between, and the eating area off on its own level with some balconies adjoining. The play feature sections are also still where they need to be.

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THE THREE TOWERS

This configuration doesn't look so good with all the 8x16 modules all stacked up, but hey, it's a thing you can do. It also demonstrates different possibilities with the Great Hall's roof to make it less Great Hall like.

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The interior is a jumble now.

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THE VERTICAL DOLL'S HOUSE

Howabout smushing it all together for one solid slab of Hogwarts? It's a look but I wouldn't say it's a vibe. This configuration begins to demonstrate that the rocky modules don't have to be on ground level, but more of that to come.

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This one also actually reverts to keeping the play feature sections where they need to be to function, but once again the room placement makes little sense overall. Looks like McGonagall has some explaining to do down in the dungeon.

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FARTHER AFIELD

Time to throw inhibitions out the window and mix it up. Here's one I'm calling "The 39 Steps":

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And if you didn't believe me yet that the Chamber of Secrets modules function just like all the rest, now you will:

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ASTRONOMY TIME

If you have 2020's 75969 Hogwarts Astronomy Tower, did you ever notice that the tower itself is a semi-removal 8x8 module? It certainly struck me as odd when building it, because none of the previous Hogwarts sets did that.

It doesn't work seamlessly in this system because the upper half has overhanging pieces, but it can be placed on top of an 8x8 module just fine with nothing to either side. The lower half doesn't share the same type of base or orientation of pin holes, but it can receive 8x8 modules.

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Now there's even more varied space in which to play.

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CONCLUSIONS

Playing around with the new modular Hogwarts system has been enormously fun and satisfying. While a little care is needed, the modules disconnect from each other and reconnect to each other smoothly and easily, and once connected they feel very stable. You can be confident moving them around without a resulting floor littered with bricks and tears.

There are perhaps not an abundance of configurations that look great from the outside, but it's not too limited either. Playing around for an hour for this article, I came up with several passable solutions. My particular favourite would be what I called "The Two Towers", as it looks nice from the outside and has a logical layout inside, in my opinion.

I'd be remiss not to briefly mention the comparison between this system and the original modular system found across the 2001 and 2002 Hogwarts sets. I have plenty of those (including two copies of the Dueling Club for some reason), and let me tell you, you certainly would NOT want to move that Hogwarts around without detaching all of the modules. Also, most of those besides arguably 4709 Hogwarts Castle itself only had one favourable side, while these sets work from the exterior and interior. This revamped system is a true elevation of the concept: lots of varied spaces and details, strong modular connections, and all in all a host of possibilities.

Looking at these three sets together does not change my opinion of each one by itself. Sets should always provide a self-contained experience, that can be heightened by combining with other sets to be sure, but not take for granted that that combination will happen. 76386 Polyjuice Potion Mistake and 76389 Chamber of Secrets are both good in their own right, while 76387 really exists only for Fluffy and to lie in wait to be combined with the others.

That said, all together, they do make a rewarding experience.

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What do you think? How are you planning to arrange these sets? Do you have another arrangement you'd like me to try? Let me know in the comments!

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Posted (edited)

Looks like an improvement on what LEGO tried with 3-in-1 Houses a few years ago (2017-2018 + set 40305: LEGO Brand Store) ,  I enjoyed the system myself but there was a lot of negativity about it as well (not hinged/no closed back/fragile walls falling out, and a lot was justified when compared to other 3-in-1 sets before that)

For a Castle setting I think it looks great, apart from maybe the rocky bits if they are higher then ground level, also helps that all the Castle parts are a similar style, or rather 3 distinct styles with the grey/tan/green

 

Of course I won't compare this 100% to Creator/Houses line, but to me, this shows the concept can certainly work if there are enough similar modules for it.

Edited by TeriXeri

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Posted (edited)

Sure, it doesn't look accurate from outside at all, but with 2018-2020 builds combined, I feel that kids are gonna have a blast playing with this. If anything, this is the best doll house I've ever seen.

Edited by Jack Sassy
Outside not outsit

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As @Clone OPatra wrote, my favourite arrangement is "The Two Towers" one.

It will be interesting see how to insert in the model the Flying Lesson set.

 

 

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Looks horrible from the front, but the back with the details and minifigures look great.

Thank you for posting, super awesome.

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Posted (edited)

I was curious what the new Modular System would look like if the Girls Bathroom was added to the main Great Hall-Chamber of Secrets set and Lockheart's classroom was still connected to his office, so I did this rough photoshop. To fill in the gap under the Fluffy set, I duplicated the portion of the Chamber with the slide and deleted the interiors. One can imagine filling it up with pieces from the Potions Classroom Hogwarts Moment set or perhaps one's own Chamber of Winged Keys or Philospher's Stone Room

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Even the exterior looks a lot better this way with the windows and rooms all on the upper portion and the rocky parts all on the bottom. Though I cheated here with a mirrored rock section on the bottom-right side. 

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Edited by Ferder

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Posted (edited)

Great reviews! Thanks for posting this in-depth analysis it was fun to read.

I’m looking forward to what you can come up with when you get hold of the flying lesson set.

Can you try and make an approximation of the Bell Towers? Use the great hall as a base, then remove the end roof parts and use Lockheart’s office and the balcony room as towers, then finish off with the green cone tops.

Edited by Bugbot20082

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I love this thread a lot -- I can't wait to see what you do with the Hogwarts Flying Lesson modules. It's so cool to know the Astronomy Tower is soft compatible, too, makes me want to remake Slughorn's Office as a module as well. I'm thinking of remaking a lot of previous sets to fit the modular system better, I absolutely adore it.

Cool to know about the Chamber duplication method. I'd been debating buying a second Forbidden Corridor to add an additional Devil's Snare module and didn't plan on the rest yet, but I've also been thinking of someday bricknlinking a second CoS copy (pretty penny for me though so idk) to expand the Great Hall and customize more modules.

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On 6/7/2021 at 12:43 AM, JVM said:

I love this thread a lot -- I can't wait to see what you do with the Hogwarts Flying Lesson modules.

This Youtube video (in German) shows all the modules combined, including Flying Lesson. It ends up being a great solution to having something to put under Fluffy Corridor, that isn't Lockheart's classroom or a duplicate COS section. All that's left over is the two Flying Lesson roof pieces. I really like it!

 

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Thanks for making this thread, it's giving me a lot of ideas for how to use these new modular parts to fill in structures that we were missing from the last 3 years. Imo there's enough potential with configurations here that it'll be possible to build a pretty convincing version of the bell towers and the dark tower. Something else worth noting is it looks like it would be possible to setup like a multi level shelf to add the rocky parts below the 2018 Great Hall without making it impossible to connect up everything else. I'll definitely be picking these sets up at some point if only for the sake of trying some things.

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