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Clone OPatra

[REVIEW] 76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit

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A wild non-Hogwarts set has appeared in the June 2021 lineup. Let's take a look!

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76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit | 2021 | 851 Pieces | 6 + 1 Minifigures

USD $80 | GBP 70 | EUR 80 (variable) | CAD 120 | AUS$ 130

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Thanks once again to LEGO for providing these four Harry Potter sets for review. Check out my Hogwarts reviews if you haven't already: 76386, 76387, 76389 and combining them all.

When images for the June 2021 Harry Potter wave came out, one set stood apart for NOT being a departure from the standards maintained for this rebooted theme since 2018. 76388 looks to contain two highly detailed buildings in a location that has never been done apart from a small Honeydukes included as a side build in 2004's 4756 Shrieking Shack. There are unique characters in screen-accurate outfits, and details aplenty.

Is 76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit as good as it looks?

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THE BUILD & PARTS

The build for this set feels more in line with the majority of this line prior to this year, with lots of fiddly bits added for detailing, and such things as the angled roofs which satisfyingly fall into place with each other once they are all added. The buildings still make use of a few larger parts, but the build progresses more slowly and intricately than this year's Hogwarts sets.

One of the best aspects of the build is that two instruction manuals are included, one for each building, making this set ideal to split and build alongside a partner or friend or family member.

Here are the excellent spare parts, which include an unprinted white bowl, still-rare 1x1 stud with bar attachment in black, that printed 1x1 tile with a heart previously found in four Friends sets, the 1x1 with red swirl (not rare but mostly used in Friends), and cherries in red and magenta - always nice to have.

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In my reviews I actually haven't touched much on the Chocolate Frog cards. They're a nice little bonus but don't excite me personally. I hope they don't excite you too much either, because they are nearly impossible to collect without resorting to Bricklink (once they become widely available). In this set, I got duplicate McGonagalls.

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THE MINIFIGURES

The particular Hogsmeade Village Visit being depicted in this set comes from Prison of Azkaban, and minifigures have thus been chosen somewhat appropriately.

The Students

For Hogwarts students we get Harry and Dean Thomas in civvies, plus Goldenron. I always appreciate getting students other than Ron and Hermione, though they visited Hogsmeade at the same time, and Dean gets a lovely exclusive head and very repurpose-able torso. Harry has all re-used parts which aren't completely accurate, but not too bad really.

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Dean was barely glimpsed in this outfit in the film, if at all, but again he's so nicely done that that doesn't bother me. He was seen in Honeydukes, so he's a good choice as he can be browsing there while Harry is taking care of business in the Three Broomsticks.

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Dean's other face bears striking resemblance to his previous LEGO appearance, in the first Wizarding World CMF series. The only difference is the lack of cheek lines. Oddly, this is the second time in this theme that LEGO has changed a character's hair colour from dark brown to black: first with Madame Maxime, and now with Dean.

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The Adults

For adults, we get Madame Rosmerta, the landlady of the Three Broomsticks; McGonagall in the outfit she wore when Harry eavesdrops on her, Madame Rosmerta and Minister of Magic Fudge discussing Sirius Black at the Three Broomsticks; and the Flumes, who run Honeydukes. All of these figures have outstanding details, though Fudge truly is missing to complete that scene.

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All four of these include brand new body prints that closely match their on-screen appearances. All four hair and hat pieces are recolours so far exclusive to this set, and Mr Flume gets a new double-sided head. The reused Mantis head works better for Rosmerta than it did for Bellatrix, and though Mrs Flume reuses the Helga Hufflepuff print which has already been reused for Mrs Weasley, I'd care more about Mrs Weasley getting an exclusive print than Mrs Flume.

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I'm happy as well for a repeat of this McGonagall face from her Hogwarts Moments book set, as those weren't everyone's cup of tea. All of them have delightful back of torso prints, McGonagall especially.

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You'll see lots of accessories within the builds, but Madame Rosmerta also gets a hammer - maybe to ward off unruly customers? Only the students and McGonagall get wands, which I haven't bothered to show. The acid pops head is much more enticing, and two are included.

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HONEYDUKES

Both of the builds included are obviously going to have details reduced from their on-screen appearances, and some incorrect proportions - it's a LEGO set after all. That fact alone doesn't bother me, and I will judge them both on their own merits and their success at capturing the essence of the source material.

Exterior

Honeydukes looks quaint and charming from the outside, with good asymmetrical detailing ranging from the mismatched chimneys to the snow on the roof to minor details like the placement of 1x1 grey tiles for added texture.

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The asymmetry continues on either side as stickered brick details and more 1x1 grey tiles are placed in different positions. The roof angles come together quite well too, forming somewhat complex shaping.

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There's an elephant in the room detracting from the exterior of the model, though, and not the cool new moulded elephant from the City line. It's the stickers. I don't mind stickered detail. They're not going to print things like 2x2 tiles all the time, or stickers like those used for minor brick detailing on the side of the building, and that's just fine. Honeydukes, however, is 100% reliant on the stickers. Without them, you'd have no lattice on the windows, and no pink at all. If you screw up their placement, the thing is doomed.

And, even if you DON'T screw up the placement, you could very easily have trapped finger prints and air bubbles in your massive windows, like I have. I tried to be as careful as I could, and my alignment is ok, but the result is still very hazy and looks even worse in person.

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Interior

The vibrant ground floor candy store and storage room above comprise the interior of Honeydukes. Let's take a closer look.

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The ground floor is filled with a variety of sweets along the walls and bigger displays of chocolate fondue and a glittery opalescent ball in the windows. It also has a removable sort of aquarium stickered on both sides that can be placed in the centre. I thought I knew the Harry Potter franchise well, but my knowledge has failed me again with this one!

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Both sides have further stickered details on the wall panels, which are easy to apply and create a fine illusion of a more packed store. The cash register area also has a few pleasing details such as the white bowl for weighing, and a couple of stickers.

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In my Chamber of Secrets review I wrote about the "usable space" test, and I'm happy to report that Honeydukes has plenty of usable space for posing figures. The 2x2 jumper plates were a good choice, and Honeydukes is surely often packed with candy-hungry students anyway.

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The upstairs simply has fireplaces on both sides. a Honeydukes storage box, a bucket and pot, and some more old bits and bobs stowed in the rafters. It too has enough room for a couple of figures, and would have more with the box removed.

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All in all, Honeydukes has great exterior shaping and detailing, and the interior offers lots of sweets in eye-catching colours with space to pose figures, but the massive, integral stickers are an equally massive pain.

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THE THREE BROOMSTICKS

In the films, The Three Broomsticks looks rather gnarly and has lots of odd angles, all of which have been straightened up for this set. Some people might wish that this location got the D2C treatment so that it could be reproduced more faithfully, but I think having varied locations at more reasonable and accessible price points is better.

Exterior

This building provides excellent contrast against Honeydukes, with a completely different style. There's still lovely asymmetry to be found, and sloped roofs intersected by windows, resulting in a building that looks eye-catching despite its muted colour scheme and not at all boxy, as one might expect a LEGO set to be.

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Stickers provide minor details on the front and sides, and are easy enough to apply. Once again, even stickers aside the build feels complex with lots of good detailing and a distinct look.

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Interior

The ground floor, while fairly small, displays the pub portion of the Three Broomsticks, with a combination of brick-built and stickered detail. The stickered shrunken heads and painting are nice touches, while the high bar looks good with a slightly raised area for Madame Rosmerta behind it.

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Like Honeydukes, both side walls utilise stickers for extra depth and detail, and I'm fine with that.

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There's obviously not a tremendous amount of seating provided, though The Three Broomsticks feels like a communal enough place that separate parties could sit at the same table, like I've done here. There's also enough floor space for a few other customers, and for Madame Rosmerta herself.

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I also can't forget to mention the butterbeer mugs, appropriately making their next appearance after the second CMF series. Love as many of those as I can get, and the 1x1 white studs make excellent head on the beer!

Upstairs contains a private room, presumably the one where Harry overhears Rosmerta, McGonagall and Fudge. There's a large, roaring fireplace in the centre with holly and a cup above, and a comfy arm-chair to one side with a sticker behind it.

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The other side has a small chest of drawers and stool, and a sticker that's quite difficult to see. I've boosted the brightness on the second photo so that you can see it's a Hogwarts skyline.

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This room also contains plenty of open space for staging figures. Madame Rosmerta isn't happy about that.

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SET DRESSINGS

In addition to the two buildings, the set also contains three small side builds to set the Hogsmeade scene: a lamppost, a bench, and a sign-board. All are simply but well designed.

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The signboard has stickers for both sides, with a more enraged Sirius on the reverse.

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FINAL THOUGHTS & RATING

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All in all, 76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit meets and exceeds my personal expectations. It continues the high level of detail expected for the Harry Potter theme since 2018, with two intricate, visually varied models that complement each other and create a lovely little slice of Hogsmeade along with the snowy side builds.

Parts-wise, it includes a wealth of useful parts in dark tan, including arches appearing in that colour for the first time, and the large rounded trans-clear pieces used for Honeydukes windows could be useful without their bothersome stickers. There's also the exclusive acid pops head, butterbeer mugs, and minifigure-scale candy aplenty.

On the minifigure front, getting three unique characters is always delightful, while McGonagall and Dean provide excellent new prints. Even if you don't care for the characters, they have useful and not terribly specific prints, as well as some hair and hat pieces in exclusive colours.

There's just one thing about the design that detracts from this set, and it's the massive bloody stickers on Honeydukes. Even though they're bad, I wouldn't go so far as to say they ruin the set. If displaying is your aim, from a distance the stickered windows have the desired effect, but up closer at all and they look subpar. They really needed to be prints to alleviate their issues.

One other pretty minor gripe I got thinking about is the lack of animals. An owl, mouse, rat, frog or two or three etc would've been great and felt very Harry Potter-y.

Minifigures: 9.8/10 - Harry is bland and somewhat inaccurate, and Fudge should've been included to complete the scene, but really these minifigures are fantastic.

Pieces: 9.6/10 - Good variety including some exclusive recolours and prints, as well as thankfully two butterbeer mugs and plenty of accessories in Honeydukes. Lacking animals, though!

 Design: 7/10 - It's only fair to knock this down because of the Honeydukes windows, which play a prominent role in the set. Every other design choice is good, though.

Playability: 8/10 - Unlike Hogwarts, which is itself a magical building and thus should have more play features built in, these two shops are shops, so playability will all come down to using them like doll-houses and enacting scenarios. There's mostly enough space for that, though the seating area in the pub and the upstairs of Honeydukes are limiting.

Price: 10/10 - I haven't touched on price until now, but it feels like a fine USD price for the volume of stuff and level of detail, as well as all of the well-done minifigures and accessories.

Overall: 8.9/10 - This is a very strong score, though not perfect, for a very strong though not perfect set. Given all of the well-done design choices, I wouldn't want to ding it too badly because of the Honeydukes windows, though they are a real shame.

Still, I heartily recommend this set for either what it is or as a parts pack. Though I ended up liking the new Hogwarts sets more than I expected to, more of this please LEGO!

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This concludes my reviews of new 2021 Harry Potter sets for now. I hope I provided some useful insights for you, and let me know if there's anything you'd like to see with any of these sets that I haven't already covered.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts on the sets and/or my reviews, and also let me know if you'd like me to cover any of the other sets once they're available for purchase. I'll definitely be getting the chess one!

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Great review as always. Have to agree about animals and Honeydukes windows, I think that a chocolate frog could've fit perfectly in Honeydukes. Probably gonna get this one at some point.

 

Would be interesting to see your review of 76395:pir-thumb:

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Being a bit of a specky nerd when it comes to stickers, I use the sharp end of a brick separator for most of them and a 2x6 or 2x8 plate to help keep the bigger ones as flat as possible. It’s not flawless, but it does a decent job. If it’s one that has to line up with another one I try and line it up and apply it straight on. Curved pieces are devils though, there’s no denying that. Enjoying your reviews, this wave is shaping up nicely. Will you do the giant figures if they come your way?

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Posted (edited)

Nice looking buildings for sure, love the roofs made of wedges.

 

I actually apply my stickers with soapy water nowadays, on a wet piece, with a brick seperator as well, it's not flawless but being able to shift stickers somewhat, and less air bubbles when careful helps a lot.

When I just came back to LEGO in 2016, Nexo Knights (Fortrex) had some large transparent stickers, that nowadays still look pretty bad due to not being able to move them, or fingerprints/dust, not using the wet method.

But yes, curves certainly complicate things further for stickers.

Edited by TeriXeri

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I'm coming at this from a different perspective - I haven't seen/read HP, and I don't really care about that part of it. I'm looking at the buildings, and so I LIKE that the honeyduke's details are stickers. I'm considering getting the set, selling the figs, and not applying the pink Honeyduke stickers. I'd still put the window grates on, but not the name. Then these would be nice looking little snowy scene. I think the buildings look GREAT as is, and they're pretty nicely designed for sure. 

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Thanks Clonie for the awesome review. I am looking forward to pick up the upcoming wave of Harry Potter sets which will be added into my display. The adult minifigures are excited bunch of new designs. 

i am very much fond of the building design and they really complement very well in the layout. I had always find proper building to be much useful than some random play scene in particular where we are more focused on minifigures instead of the built. This set is definitely highly anticipated on my wishlist amongst the Harry Potter sets. 

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Is acid not a term for a drug in England English? Acid pops seems super funny to me.

I can't believe LEGO didn't print those windows. I still like the set, without the other stickers this set will look great in a Christmas display.

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5 hours ago, Maple said:

Is acid not a term for a drug in England English? Acid pops seems super funny to me.

I can't believe LEGO didn't print those windows. I still like the set, without the other stickers this set will look great in a Christmas display.

Yes it is its a slang drug term for LSD and was popular in the 1990s especially in Manchester where I'm from.

 

Anyway regards to the set, am I the only one that think its a little overpriced? I know all HP sets are like any licensed set but £70 seems a little high. Figures look great though

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6 hours ago, Maple said:

Is acid not a term for a drug in England English? Acid pops seems super funny to me.

Acid as in lemony or sour, specifically citric acid. Outdates the drug reference by a few decades.

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Thanks for the review.

The set look great. While I agree, stickers on the windows is no good, I don't think it will keep me from getting the set. I wonder why they didn't print it though considering they printed the same style of window in Diagon Alley. Maybe printing on the rounded piece is just as difficult as applying a sticker!

One smack my head part was when you were showing the figures and talked about Harry spying on them in the room, I thought Mr. Flume was Fudge...haha. The older face made me think it. I was thinking I don't recall Fudge being so colorful with his fashion choices when I watched the movie. Maybe my HP knowledge is suffering also! haha

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Great review as usual... I'll have to add this one to my collection as soon as it comes out!

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Thanks for a great review. This set is on my wish list since I saw the first pictures. Admittingly, I was disappointed seeing the amazing window is just a sticker sheet, but this won't keep me away. I guess it's hard to print on round bricks but it's harder to put stickers on these round parts. Maybe we can host a challenge to see who is the most precise at sticking those stickers on. :grin:

Joke aside, I like the look of both houses, they're pleasing to the eye and offer a variety of other colors, not just tan, as was the case with the majority of HP sets. In addition, not much is needed to simply transform them into more everyday cottages.  

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Thank you for the great review! Gonna try to pick this up between now and the holidays and see if we can incorporate into our Winter Village layout.

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