Behold, the most expensive LEGO Harry Potter set released so far. The price tag of £430 might be eye-watering, but when you see the sheer scale of the Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition, it’s no surprise. The completed model measures just shy of 1.2 metres in length – longer than your average display shelf or even mantelpiece. And so, providing you can afford to buy it, the biggest obstacle is going to be finding somewhere for it to live.
You won’t be disappointed if you do have the space for it, though: this is a truly wonderful set that packs in so many details.
LEGO Harry Potter 76405 Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition
- RRP: £429.99
- Number of pieces: 5675,129
- Release date: September 2022
- Age rating: 18+
- Time to build: ~12-14 hours
What’s in the box?
Inside the huge – huge! – box you’ll find, well, another box. Yes, this is one of those sets so big that some of its pieces are contained within an internal white box. Altogether, you’ll find 45 numbered bags, four individual instruction booklets, and a sheet of stickers.
Why four instruction books? Well, LEGO Harry Potter 76405 Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition is essentially made up of four parts: the locomotive engine, the coal tender, the passenger car and the station/track. It means you can build the set in any order you like, and it’s also perfect for building as a team. We indeed tackled Hogwarts Express as a team of two: one of us built the passenger car and the engine, while the other built the station and coal cart.
The instruction booklets are lovely, with a full-colour introduction to the franchise at the beginning of them. They also came packaged in a cardboard envelope instead of a plastic bag, which is the first set we’ve seen this in.
As always, it’s a little disappointing that a set at this price point contains stickers, particularly when we’ve had printed Harry Potter-themed bricks in the past. None of them are too big, at least, but it still feels like a corner that LEGO has cut.
Any set as big as the Hogwarts Express is always a daunting prospect. This one is helped, thankfully, by being split into four more manageable chunks. With each part of the build being somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 pieces (give or take – the coal car is obviously much smaller than the passenger car) it’s achievable to build one section in one sitting – as long as you’re happy to build for a few hours at a time.
LEGO Harry Potter 76405 Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition is a very enjoyable model to build, all things considered. It’s helped by the fact that there’s a lot of variety. There’s a bit of architecture, what with the cutaway of Platform 9 3/4, and there’s a bit of Technic-style building, with the underside of the train. The locomotive itself even has a mechanism to move the wheels, giving a sense of motion to the set. It’s a nice touch.
There are, of course, some repetitive sections, however. Putting together the track is rather monotonous, as you’re simply building a 1.2 metre length of repeated sleepers. It’s effective when it’s done though, and provides a chunky base for the whole model to sit upon.
Our favourite part of the build has to be the passenger carriage. There’s an awful lot of detail crammed into this one car. Not only does it have working light bricks to illuminate the inside, but the side has been designed to lift up, allowing easy access to the interior. Inside, there are tables and seats; plenty of room to arrange a selection of minifigures inside.
What’s particularly lovely is that the carriage is largely divided into three sections, with each designed to display a scene from a particular movie in the Harry Potter series. Each of the three sections is accompanied by a plaque sporting a quote from the franchise – it’s a wonderful homage to the series and is something sure to be enjoyed by fans of Harry Potter. There’s also a quote to go on the station, too. After all, many an iconic Harry Potter scene has taken place on Platform 9 3/4.
Play or display?
It’s very obvious that LEGO Harry Potter 76405 Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition has been designed to be a display piece. Sure, there are interactive features here, like the moving locomotive wheels and the passenger cart that lights up and opens. But these are features included simply to add a bit of flair to your display; as a way to show it off to friends and family.
Ultimately, if this was designed to be a playset, it would be standard train-sized. And yes, there already exists a Hogwarts Express playset. This one is incompatible with standard LEGO train track, being far too large. And the included brick-built track is too short to allow any sort of movement: it simply sits on top of it. So if you’re eyeing up the Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition, picturing it making its way around a circular track, think again. It has one purpose only, and that’s to take pride of place on a shelf. A very large shelf, that is.
Value for money?
£429.99 for any LEGO set is a lot of money, especially considering the current economic climate. And so to answer a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as to whether LEGO Harry Potter 76405 Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition is good value for money is tricky. There’s no denying this is a very impressive-looking set. But it’s also the most expensive Harry Potter set to date – despite both Hogwarts Castle and Diagon Alley being larger in terms of piece count. If you value your LEGO sets on a cost per piece basis, then, it perhaps doesn’t offer the best value.
But it’s undoubtedly a very impressive model, technically competent and wonderfully designed. It also comes with 20 minifigures, and we all know they carry a hefty value on their own. We don’t want to say it offers good value for money overall – it’s too large a price tag for us to comfortably do that. But if you’re a collector and a Harry Potter fan then, yes, we believe you’ll find sufficient value here.
Should you buy LEGO Harry Potter 76405 Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition?
The short answer? It depends. We’re going to assume you can afford the hefty price tag, otherwise you wouldn’t be considering buying Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition. It’s a lot of money to consider, sure. But you also need to consider if you have enough space. This is a huge set that requires a full, 1.2 metre long shelf or cabinet to place it upon. It’s also quite a deep set, thanks to the way that Platform 3/4 sits in front of the track. It makes it too wide for most standard mantelpieces.
If you have the space, the money, and you’re a huge Harry Potter fan, you won’t be disappointed with your purchase of LEGO Harry Potter 76405 Hogwarts Express – Collectors’ Edition. This is a set designed only for the biggest franchise fans. And if that’s not you, perhaps you should sit this one out.
Ultimately, we love this set. It’s a beautifully designed homage to the Harry Potter franchise. There’s absolutely no denying that. Our criticisms come solely from its size and its price tag: those two factors make it an impractical purchase for most average LEGO fans.