Andy Glascott

New Hogwarts Express

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On 8/15/2022 at 1:50 AM, eric_son_of_joseph said:

LEGO has released five Hogwarts Express sets that run on L-Gauge track, one of which is still available at retail.  They chose to go in a different direction with this one, and there's nothing wrong with that.

People aren't 'upset' because they choose to go a different route, they just don't understand why LEGO 'neglects' a 'die-hard' fanbase. Many AFOLTrains have been around quite some time.
Let me put it this way: what's the difference between this set and let's say a 250 USD Hogwarts Express with 2 carriages and/or a more detailed platform in 'regular' LEGO scale but with the same level as detail as the crocodile? 

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7 hours ago, *thomas* said:

Let me put it this way: what's the difference between this set and let's say a 250 USD Hogwarts Express with 2 carriages and/or a more detailed platform in 'regular' LEGO scale but with the same level as detail as the crocodile? 

That is an easy one to answer (hear my fingers flip? And all in the room just think: Man, we all know that, but you nerd ...:pir-wink:):

The difference is the mount of money TLG can make. I believe it is that simple.

Yes, there is a die hard community of train heads. Let's assume it is big, as in "that's a big twinky". Who knows. However - the HP fan base, grown up over the decades, making money - may even be bigger. Also, a train head not liking a train that much will take an alternative route. An HP fan, wanting this set in the living room, blending in into the wooden whatever, will just grab it. As I do for things I am a fan of.

So, I believe, TLG made a survey, tested the waters and - no surprise: The $500 10-wide static set makes >>$ than the $250 set not looking that ... cool (or whatever it is) - actually "functioning".

It's money.

Best,
Thorsten   

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Posted (edited)

Usually those very big sets are exclusive, mainly to LEGO themselves, or rarely to another retailer, but discounts are almost non-existent or other shops might even charge higher then LEGO themselves.

As seen with sets like Diagon Alley, or Disney Castle in the past. (based on online retailers only, for my country at least, not including Ebay/Bricklink sales either)

So it's not just simply a case of if this would be a "if this would be a €250 set they could sell 2x as many and make the same money" .

Sure, a €200-€250 set isn't small by any means, but I've seen a  ~15% retail discount margin happen a lot more often on those.

Bigger might also draw in a certain different collector crowd, not as a LEGO train but as a big 1 meter++ model.

It'll be interesting to see how LEGO would design another hogwarts express train to run on rails, I don't think it's a question of if, but when the 2018 train will be succeeded as long as Harry Potter is a running theme, which is likely for at least 3-4 years, seeing how long sets are being sold, the theme seems healthy and a big hitter.

 

I do think there could definately be another dedicated train set for the AFOL crowd however, Crocodile retired almost a year ago.

Edited by TeriXeri

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I find set 76405 a "dolls' house on wheels".  It's an HP playset, not a set aimed at train fans.

At 1:32 it is too large for L-gauge track; as experienced train fans we could shrink it to 1:38 or re-gauge it but...

All 6 large drivers are flanged.  We need them flangeless at this size in order to negotiate curves and points.  In the points in particular the flanges would catch on the check rails, leading to derailment.
The preferred solution at this scale, especially with 4 bogie wheels at the front, is to carry the loco body and blind drivers on the front bogie and the front of the tender, which might have 2 train motors, like this:

hwex_engine_side.jpg

Note: I could improve my loco with some BBB XXL blind drivers and upgrade to use fewer studs on top but this was built and exhibited in 2004.
Another thing with 76405 is that the front bogie wheels should be smaller than the tender wheels, so BBB medium wheels would be better.  Obviously a "not another new piece" limit for TLG.

It would take 4 train motors to pull a 4-carriage train on L-gauge track at 1:38, including a maximum straight hill of 1 in 30 and R104 curved hill of 1 in 40.

copy_of_hwex_rt_hoppers_loft_200608.jpg

4 train motors is OK with 9V, or with Power Functions using 2 sets of a LiPo battery and IR receiver on the same channel - 2 in the tender, 2 in the 1st coach.  Powered-Up would need 4 hubs at 1 train motor each to handle the 1.3 Amp total current required.
Synchronising 2 PU hubs on 1 channel is not easy; doing it with 4 hubs would see too many calls to customer services so it's no wonder TLG avoided making the L-gauge train.
This fits with their policy of not supporting LEGO model railways.
By contrast I find the winding handle of 76405 a humiliation for TLG, admitting their PU electric system is not up to the job of powering a proper train built at the scale of the track (as it represents "standard gauge" of 4'8.5").

The carriage in the set is too short to scale; it should be 8x as long as it is wide.  My 1:38 UK Mk1 carriages use an 8x64 base.

hwex_coach_1_chars_in_windows.jpg

I'm not too worried on the "red vs dark red" thing.  The HP book describes the Hogwarts Express as "a scarlet snake".. The darker red is only a factor of the LMS livery run by the WCRC train company.
Some dark red pieces have broken for others, not quite as bad as brown, but we know red has a wide range of pieces and little tendency to break, so it's a safe bet.

So 76405 does not have much appeal for me, not even the larger wheels.  Hence the huge price tag is not justifiable for the value I might get out of it.
I hope the HP fans enjoy it but I worry for TLG missing the train market like this.

Mark

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Mark, it's been a while, good to see you around these parts. Nice review, but I have one little quibble,

14 hours ago, Brickthus said:

I hope the HP fans enjoy it but I worry for TLG missing the train market like this. 

If the set fails, the natural corporate conclusion will simply be proof that there are not enough lego train fans to justify any AFOL sets. (grin & sigh)

 

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11 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

If the set fails, the natural corporate conclusion will simply be proof that there are not enough lego train fans to justify any AFOL sets. (grin & sigh)

Don't give TLG any ideas!

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19 hours ago, Murdoch17 said:

Don't give TLG any ideas!

i am afraid you dont have to. they already figured that out

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48 minutes ago, XG BC said:

they already figured that out

And long, very long ago.

:pir-skel:

Thorsten

 

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On 8/10/2022 at 12:23 AM, LEGOTrainBuilderSG said:

My thoughts exactly. 

Great looking locomotive and set but a huge disappointment to find out that it is not running on standard LEGO Track gauge. I've seen loads of beautifully done LEGO Hogwarts Express MOC that not only runs on LEGO tracks but is packed with all the tiny details and more.

One such example from British Brick 

LEGO Hogwarts Express

 

do you have a link to this British Bricks model?

 

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The new drivers are LEGO plastic. You can make blind drivers from the flanged ones. It is easier to grind down plastic than metal.

lego_lathe.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, dr_spock said:

The new drivers are LEGO plastic. You can make blind drivers from the flanged ones. It is easier to grind down plastic than metal.

This might be a good option. But we need to see how high the price of the new wheels settles, if it is too high then 3rd party large wheels could prove to be the better deal

Edited by CaptainSerMig

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6 hours ago, CaptainSerMig said:

This might be a good option. But we need to see how high the price of the new wheels settles, if it is too high then 3rd party large wheels could prove to be the better deal

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, MOCing comes up with for these wheels. The the piston stroke is 5 studs instead of the usual 3

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I had high expectations for this set, but Lego killed it. Well, at least some  parts should be cheaper on BL so I can make my own version for Lego layout.

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Well after a few (3) video revies and one on brikset i may say this train like all of icons and 18+ sets mostly so far a not for AFOL at all and maybe never was but only for new "potential" AFOL/Bayers. And I guess set`s for us at all not in focus. :

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NOTE: This is NOT my picture! I just though I'd share it all with you:

52333824313_f6c3f378c1_z.jpg

Photo from Nick Jackson on Flickr. His accompanying text:

"By request, I rendered the base model in both GWR green and BR Black. I think the green looks the best, but is not feasible based on the current parts' required-- there is a shedload of brackets that are woven into the construction of the boiler which don't yet exist in dark green.

Will definitely MOD the boiler to be less jagged but (hopefully) more hollow to allow for motorization, lights, etc."

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@Murdoch17 Thanks for sharing that!

And, here's a small update:

52344844507_13ab2086d0_z.jpgHWE Coach Variants by Nick Jackson, on Flickr

I honestly don't know which color scheme I would choose out of these three. Just like the engine, there are a few SNOT parts that either do not exist yet or are hard to come by. Already, I can see a few workarounds.
For the white&blue carriage doors, I think I might stick with the 'train door' piece and just place some white vinyl over the upper half. However, for the tan&brown the doors would have to be brick-built. For my MOD version, I think I'll make the interiors optional so as to save some weight (and money).

My final thought concerning set 76405 is that it's missing Weasley's Flying Ford! The scene where they almost get mowed down by the HWE as it crosses that viaduct is quite memorable-- definitely more memorable than some of the 'moments' depicted in this set. I think the most recent version of the Anglia is actually in scale with the train? I might take some time to look into this once I get done with my MOD of 76405...?

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@M_slug357 it depends on the engine color / era.

If it's British Railways-era black with red (mid-1950's to mid-1960's), then blue and white coaches would be the most likely choice, followed by a few tan and brown leftover from the GWR days.

If it's (the currently impossible) Great Western dark green (1928 - early 1950's timeframe), then brown and tan are the only proper way to do it.

If you choose the fictional modern Hogwarts Express red, then you've already got your answer there on coach color! :laugh:

 

I would (personally) do the easiest choice: black-and-red engine with a few white-and-blue coaches. However, as I was typing all this, something just occurred to me: what about making some freight cars too?

Edited by Murdoch17

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"Show it" instead of "make it run". It's not the first time for trains :pir-love:

LEGO 396: Thatcher Perkins Locomotive | Brickset: LEGO set guide and  database

I like the idea, sincerely. And the price is fair, for such a big beast. Building big means lots of parts to reinforce the overall structure, plus they need to recreate also the platform in order to refine the whole model. And this brings up the price.

Some people bought the Star Wars sets, and surely those were expensive, so a real fan of Lego and Harry Potter could also pay for this set to show it in his/her living room.

I won't buy something like this set, but I am quite impressed. Speaking of trains, I agree that there are smaller MOCs that run perfectly on standard L gauge, and I like them more :wub:

Ciao!

Davide

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I think something like one quarter of the parts are devoted to the tracks and platform. The price and scale issues are already non-starters, but to see Lego being just so gratuitous and wasteful simply to ratchet up the overall piece count is obscene. It's just a blatant money-grab. 

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well i dont even think it was made for train fans. it was made for harry potter fans. hence the weird scale and platform details.

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23 hours ago, XG BC said:

it was made for harry potter fans. hence the weird scale and platform details.

Yeah, Harry Potter people are like that

(just kidding, couldn't resist)

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90840 my calculations give it as a 15,5 plates.

Atleast based on calculations from the building instructions.https://www.lego.com/en-us/service/buildinginstructions/76405. As I can see, there is a difference of 3 plates, between #9 "L size" and 90840..

Page 48 "step 55", page 57, page140 "step 273"

+4plates, -2 to +2 plates, +1 to +3 plates. 3plates x2 = 6plates bigger than L size, that is 9,5plates.

So if using the new naming from https://bricktraindepot.com/shop/wheels/, then 90840 should be #15?

SJ F, steam locomotive, in 1:38, would have the perfect drives from this set? Except that the middle drives would need to be blinds.

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Well, LEGO seems to be having issues selling the Hogwart's Express monstrosity. Right now, they're offering a $100 discount on the set for 100 points for VIP members. That's the biggest reward for points I've ever seen. I think they overestimated how many people would pay $500 (local currency may vary) for a non-functional display piece. How long until this gets on the 20% off or more?

Big miss for LEGO here by not making it L-gauge compatible. Too bad they'll take this out against all trains. Maybe at least they won't bollocks up the Orient Express by learning from this.

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22 minutes ago, Feuer Zug said:

Well, LEGO seems to be having issues selling the Hogwart's Express monstrosity. Right now, they're offering a $100 discount on the set for 100 points for VIP members. That's the biggest reward for points I've ever seen. I think they overestimated how many people would pay $500 (local currency may vary) for a non-functional display piece. How long until this gets on the 20% off or more?

Big miss for LEGO here by not making it L-gauge compatible. Too bad they'll take this out against all trains. Maybe at least they won't bollocks up the Orient Express by learning from this.

This set is biggest lego train nonsense I have ever seen, and Orient Express will be second if they go same route.


There are people with lego train layouts, going strong for decades, there is L gauge. And they bring this...

120 cm length static train, nobody asked for this!HP fans or Train fans. Im HP and train fan and I hate this. 

They said crocodile locomotive sold badly, so why second market prices are so high and this locomotive was sold out here immediately after EOL . Why they sold it only for one year... Seriously too much questions and so little answers.


Im so furious thinking about this set, seriously worst set of year for me.


 

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