Lego Harry Potter is a big deal, and that's not really surprising. JK Rowling's series of books hold a special place in the hearts of anyone growing up in the Nineties and early 2000s, and continue to be embraced by new generations of fans every year.
The first Lego Harry Potter sets appeared in 2001, to coincide with the release of the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Further sets were released in tandem with each subsequent movie, and then more came in 2010-11. Things went quiet for a bit after that, but since 2018, Lego Harry Potter has returned in style, with a run of excellent sets that improve markedly on their predecessors in terms of complexity, design and imaginativeness.
Lego has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, evident in our round up of the best Lego sets for adults. And Lego Harry Potter is no exception. In this article, we bring together what we consider to be the best Lego Harry Potter sets of the modern era. We'll explain exactly what's good about each one, as well as some of the flaws, to help you make an informed decision. Whether you're buying for yourself, your children or the Hogwarts fanatic in your life, read on to discover the very best Lego Harry Potter sets available today.
If you're a truly passionate Lego Harry Potter fan, and time and money are no object, then there's no real question about it: you're going to want the Lego Harry Potter Castle. We say "time", because it's going to take quite a while for you to build this complex set, with over 6,000 pieces. And we say "money" because, well, it's certainly not cheap. But if you are prepared to invest both, then you'll get a lot back in return. Because this brilliant set, which measures around 60 x 75cm once constructed, really does pack a lot of classic Harry Potter moments into its multiple rooms and passageways.
It would take to long to list every single location and scene represented in this Lego Harry Potter castle, but suffice to say The Great Hall is beautifully realised, with nicely designed stained glass windows, flaming torches, and seating able to house a range of students and staff. Elsewhere you'll find Chamber of Secrets, Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, Dumbledore’s office, Umbrage’s office, the Transfiguration classroom and plenty more besides.
Given the huge number of scenes represented, many of these rooms are quite minuscule, and so rather than minifigures (of which there are just four), the set is centred around 27 microfigures, which are tiny enough to pose in multiple places. They're well designed and mostly recognisable, but of course they're not nearly as detailed, or satisfying, as minifigures.
Almost everywhere here, Lego's made brilliant use of space, from the devil’s snare behind a rock to the moving staircases, which are actually rotatable. And that's not all: outside the building you also get a Whomping Willow and Hagrid's Hut to add to the value.
Please note, though, that this model doesn't actually replicate the entirety of Hogwarts as seen in the movie; it's basically just the front part of it. Lego's aim here has been more about echoing the big scenes rather than anything like an accurate architectural representation of the castle as it appears on screen. Also note that there's a large reliance on stickers to add many of the most important details, such as the door to the room of requirement, and that these can be quite fiddly to apply.
Beyond these little niggles, though, this Lego Harry Potter set will provide you with endless pleasure, in terms of both the initial construction and the inevitable series of modifications you'll want to make once you're done.
Book-ending the beginning and end of each academic year, the Hogwarts Express chuntering through the countryside is one of the most iconic elements of the Harry Potter movies. And so we're overjoyed that the latest Lego Harry Potter set to represent it is really, really good.
The train itself is much more accurate than its predecessors, with much more representative wheels and a nice selection of interior details including fireplace, dials and valves. The carriage is great too; we love that you can remove both the side and the roof, making it very easy to get your minifigures positioned in there. And the platform design is the crowning glory, neatly divided as it is between the muggle and magical portions, with a swinging door to move your characters from platform 9 to platform 9¾.
Do be aware, however, that the headlights don't actually light up, as it portrayed on the box (naughty, Lego!). And that although the train does fit perfectly onto any Lego tracks, there aren't actually any tracks supplied with this set. Otherwise, though, this is a brilliantly designed Lego Harry Potter set that ticks all the boxes, and offers truly excellent value for the price.
A lot of Lego Harry Potter sets are more about "display" than "play", but this excellent Quidditch set scores on both counts. That's because the player characters can actually fire Quaffle pieces, and the keeper (who "flies" on a kind of stilt piece) can be manoevered to protect them from the three goal mouths.
The set also comes with four towers that represent Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff respectively, with room to fit one of the six minifigures at the top. The Hufflepuff tower doubles as a useable scoreboard, too.
And that, along with some accessories such as a very nice Golden Snitch, is basically your lot. You're not getting a full stadium then, or even a second goal piece, but considering the very affordable price, that's a compromise we feel is well worth making.
You might think the grittier, rougher sides to the Harry Potter world might not mesh so well with the clean, polished and precise nature of Lego... but this fantastic set will go a long way to changing your mind. Thoughtful design and colour choices means that Lego has brought a real sense of the earthy and rustic to this depiction of Hagrid's hut, in the scene from Prisoner of Azkaban where Buckbeak is due to be executed.
This set makes great use of space too. The two sections of hut, which open at the back, are filled with fascinating objects that are easy to both move and remove. And the interior highlight is the fireplace containing a dragon’s egg; a battery-powered lightbrick that brings the fire to life very effectively.
Outside the huts, you also get two sections of pumpkin patch, a pole and tether for Buckbeak, and the hippogriff himself, with a head and neck that can be rotated, wings that can move up and down, and studs on his back to place minifigures. All in all, this set might be a bit pricey considering its relatively small size, but it's beautifully put together and really does add up to more than the sum of its parts.
The rise of Voldemort in Goblet of Fire is one of the most pivotal scenes in the Harry Potter saga, so it's great that this very affordable set does such a good job of depicting it. Given the price, it's not surprisingly quite basic: no buildings as such, and quite a small number of pieces. But there are some lovely touches, including a Grim Reaper that can be posed to grasp Harry in his clutches, a cool mini version of the TriWizard Cup, and both a baby and an adult version of the chief villain.
A very cool action feature allows you to make Voldemort rise from the dead with the pull of a lever. And best of all, unlike other Lego Harry Potter sets, the box art doesn't mislead you by suggesting features that aren't there: in this case, what you see really is what you get. All in all, this is a great budget buy for anyone wishing to recreate one of Harry's darkest hours .
If the grimness of the Voldemort graveyard scene isn't your thing, perhaps you'd prefer to recreating one of the franchise's most uplifting and fairytale-esque sequences? This beautifully designed set recalls the scene from Goblet of Fire where a flying carriage from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic arrives at Hogwarts. And it's all quite gorgeous, from the ornate carriage, peppered with attractive little details, to the enchanted equines with their posable wings.
This set is cleverly designed too, especially the carriage, which opens up at the top to offer what is essentially a second storey, complete with beds and furniture. Our favourite part, though, is the very dapper version of Hagrid, dressed in his Yule Ball costume and ready to win over Madame Maxime.
On the negative side, it's a little weird that one of the carriage doors doesn't open, the front harness piece seems a little unfinished, and it might be considered a bit pricey considering the number of pieces. But overall, this is a delightful set that pays brilliant tribute to one of the series' lighter and more uplifting moments.
There aren't many particularly memorable vehicles from the Harry Potter series, but the crazy Knight Bus from The Prisoner of Azkaban is very much the exception. And this Lego set does a great job of bringing the surreal three-storey contraption and its associated characters to life (see our full Lego Knight Bus review).
At 12 x 15cm, it's not as big as you'd expect from the surprisingly high price. But it is cleverly designed to fit a lot in, from the shrunken head and chandelier, which actually swing as you glide the bus about, to the swing chair and bed, which both fit minifigures. It's cool, too, that the side of the bus is detachable, aiding access, plus you can remove the top layer of the bus altogether.
This design isn't flawless by any means: one gripe is that while the conductor fits on the side of the bus, he won't fit through the bus door itself. And overall, this set is pretty darned expensive for what it is. But as a Lego recreation of one of Harry Potter's wackiest scenes, it's does a very good job indeed.
We'll be honest, here: the scene in Prisoner of Azkaban where Harry summons his Patronus is one that hits us square in the feels. So we were instantly attracted to this set, and what we love most is the Patronus piece itself. In a (very un-Lego like) transluscent light blue and speckled with glitter, it really stands out and effectively conveys the magical nature of both the apparition and the moment itself
This contrasts nicely with the (again, very un-Lego like) weird and creepy take on trees, bringing a vivid sense of darkness and despair into the scene. And so while the shoreline piece is, to our mind, a little too small, we think Lego should be applauded for trying something different here that really works. And overall, given the low price, we think that this set offers superb value.
This Lego Harry Potter advent calendar contains 24 free mini-bags, containing Lego pieces that you can use to assemble Christmas scenes. So to start with there are a lot of accessories, including seating areas, a Christmas tree, cultery, food, snowman, fireplace, and presents. There are also minifigures, a statue pedestal, a Hedwig figure and a micro Hogwarts Express train.
Some of the pieces are very small and hard to put together, which might be seen as a bug or a feature, depending on how much you like a challenge. Meanwhile, some collectors might want this set just for the exclusive (at time of writing) items, such as Hermione in her winter outfit and Harry’s acceptance letter to Hogwart's. There's even an exclusive character in the form of a gold figure of Hogwart’s architect.
Or maybe you just want something to open each day over the Christmas season, that isn't a disappointingly small square of chocolate. Whatever your reasoning, this is a nice and inexpensive buy for Lego Harry Potter fans.
This set offers exactly what it promises: 16 minifigures from the Harry Potter and six from the Fantastic Beasts series. Each comes in a sealed ‘mystery' bag together with one or more accessory elements, plus a collector's leaflet and a unique display base plate. Unfortunately, that does add up to a lot of unnecessary packaging, which doesn't quite mesh with Lego's general focus on environmental responsibility.
The Lego Harry Potter minifigures themselves, though, are all very nice, and our favourite inclusion has to be Harry's Invisibility Cloak, which has an iridescent treatment that really shines, both literally and metaphorically. Be warned, though: the set as a whole is very expensive , and so how you feel about the Fantastic Beasts series will probably make a big impact on whether you think this is worth the cost.