Lego Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow Building Set
Editor's rating:
8.0
Reviewed by Bobby Brower
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We like
  • Use your imagination skills to recreate the Harry Potterstory
  • Building according to the plan helps build direction following skills
  • A perfect gift for a toy or collector or Harry Potterfan
  • Helps encourage building skills
  • Unlimited amount of stories that can be created
  • Figures have two facial expressions that can be used
  • Can be linked to other Harry Potterbuilding sets
We don’t like
  • Small pieces pose a choking hazard
  • Some pieces on the tree do not connect well
How it works

The Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow Building Set continues Lego’s tradition of empowering creativity and imagination through building and playing with Lego building blocks. This particular set, which was just released this year, is a depiction from the Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets movie. The set depicts the first scene of the film where Harry and Ron are returning to Hogwarts for a new school year, and they are flying in the Weasley’s Ford Anglia, which winds up in the whomping willow tree. Kids can recreate the scene from the film by placing the car in the whomping willow tree and then spinning the tree to release the car from its branches. The set also comes with part of Hogwarts castle, which includes Severus Snape’s potions lab, part of the Griffendor dormitory, an owlery, and Severus Snape’s office. The set is rounded out with seven Lego figures that include Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Seamus Finnigan, Professor Snape, Argus Filch, and Hedwig the Owl.

Design

Design

The Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow building set is an intricately designed Lego set. The set is comes with 753 pieces, most of which are extremely small. The set comes with three large pieces that are the Ford Anglia, the Hogwarts castle, and the whomping willow tree. Each piece is intricately designed with several stickers and decorations that add to the high quality of this set. Of the smallest pieces there are potion bottles, wands, candles, brooms, and mini tables that are all designed down to the smallest detail to make them real to the film. This set can also be a collector’s item due to the details of the castle, the car, and the tree that make for this set to be a display piece in any collector’s home.
The Whomping Willow Tree

The Whomping Willow Tree

The Whomping Willow Tree is designed with several branches that are connected to a main tree trunk by ball joints that allow the individual branches to be bent in any direction allowing for the Ford Anglia to be placed into the tree to be caught by the branches. The trunk is stickered with a wood design to make the tree look real. At the base of the trunk is a wheel that when turned causes the entire tree to spin around so that the Ford Anglia can come free and fall to the ground allowing for Harry and Ron to get out of the car and enter Hogwarts.
Hogwarts Castle

Hogwarts Castle

The Hogwarts castle is detailed in its design. In Severus Snape’s lab there are several small pieces that make up beakers and potion bottles. There is also a small table that can be removed for play outside of the castle that contains a small candle that comes off its base so that it can be placed in a figure’s hand. There are also detailed paintings on the walls of the lab and there is a small broom and bin in case there are any breakages or spills. Next to the broom and bin is a secret wall space to keep potions or the missing toad.

The top level is the owlery where Hedwig the Owl resides with a quill and inkbottle and blank pieces of paper for him to carry messages where need be.

Underneath the owlery is a Griffendor dorm room with two beds for whichever figures you want to sleep there. The beds detach from the floor so that you can place figures into the bed and place them back in the dorm to go to bed. There is a Griffendor tapestry hanging on the wall behind the beds and the room is accessed from the walkway that goes around the top of the castle.

Also included in the Hogwarts castle is Severus Snape’s office that has more intricate pieces like the candlestick and a table that contains a quill, inkbottle, and newspaper that has the headline “The Boy Who Lived”, which is from the Harry Potter movie.
The Ford Anglia

The Ford Anglia

The Ford Anglia that comes in this Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow building set is the second version of the Ford Anglia after it was improved from an earlier version. Some have found this updated version of the car to be more suitable to the film. The car has enough space to fit three of the Lego figures. The back trunk opens up and houses two brown suitcases. The sides of the car are detailed with the Ford Anglia white stripe adding to the car’s authentic look.
The Figurines

The Figurines

The Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow Tree building set comes with seven Harry Potter Lego figures. The figures included are Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Seamus Finnigan, Severus Snape, Argus Filch, and Hedwig the Owl. Hedwig can be placed in his owlery in the top of Hogwarts castle, or he can be placed anywhere on the set, in the tree, or in the car. The Harry Potter and Ron Weasley figures are dressed in the street clothes the actors wear in that particular scene of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry is in a red flannel and Ron is in a sweater. Hermione and Seamus are dressed in the traditional Hogwarts sweaters and dark pants, and Severus and Argus are dressed in their usual professor costumes with Argus carrying a pale yellow canister in his hand.

All six of the human figures come with their own wand that can be placed in their hands. The bottoms of the wants are rounded allowing for them to be tilted forward while in hand so that they can fully point at an object or other figurine during play. The hair of each figure can be removed revealing a secondary face on the back of the heads of the figures. The heads can be rotated 180 degrees and the hair can be placed back on in order to change the facial expressions from smiling to fearful or in the case of the professors, stoic to angry.
Safety

Safety

This particular Harry Potter Whomping Willow building set poses an extreme choking hazard. It is recommended that parents do not allow any young children to play with this set unsupervised because a large majority of the 753 pieces of this set are small enough to swallow and choke on. Most of the pieces come in small plastic bags that pose a secondary choking hazard. The smallest of pieces are comprised of three even smaller pieces upping the chances of a small child choking on the pieces. It is recommended that children from eight-years-old and older be allowed to play with the set. Older children will have the motor skills necessary to hold the pieces and fit them together in the intricate manner in which they were designed. Smaller children will lose the pieces since they may not have the coordination to work with the pieces.
Imagination Skills

Imagination Skills

As with all Lego sets, the building of a child’s (or adult’s) imagination is at the center of its purpose. This particular set’s storyline is to recreate the opening scene of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets movie. Harry Potter fans will know exactly what lines to say and what movements to make with the figures and car to recreate a scene that is true to the film. Kids who are unfamiliar with the film have unlimited ways to create whatever scene they desire as the figures travel in the car, around the tree, or through Hogwarts castle. The castle has an elevated walkway for creating scenes on the outside of the castle or Harry can be placed in the owlery to send Hedwig on a journey. All the character can be placed on the outside of the lab or office where they can make potions and create spells on each other that would require the changing of their faces and the pointing of their wands.
Building Skills

Building Skills

Lego brand is mostly known for giving kids the ability to use their minds to create whatever they can imagine; however, with the Harry Potter Whomping Willow set, that is not the case. Of the 753 pieces that come with this particular set, none of them are freestanding individual Lego blocks that can be used to your desire. This set is constructed with stickers and decorations that were put in place by the manufacturer. The individual pieces are to be built a certain way to create the Hogwarts castle, car, and tree. Even the figures themselves need to be assembled. The set is more of a puzzle than a true-to-its-name building set. These types of Lego sets call for a child’s imagination in storytelling and less in building. Children are encouraged to take the play pieces and swap them all over the castle in order to create a wizarding story where items move through the air or entire rooms can go from being in one place of the castle to another.
Combining Sets

Combining Sets

The Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow building set can be attached to and used with the Lego Harry Potter Great Hall building set. The two sets can be attached together at one end where there is a place to put pins to attach the castle to the great hall. When the two sets are placed together, the possibility for further storytelling and imagination is increased. There is also an increase in pieces making for over 1,500 Lego pieces in one combined set. All the figures that come with both sets can fit anywhere in the combination and once the two sets are combined you will then gain seven new Harry Potter Lego figures into your collection.
Price

Price

The Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow building set is priced at around $57. This particular price for this particular set is reasonable considering the amount of pieces that come with the set. The math comes out to be about $.07 per piece, and $57 does not seem like a lot for the amount of imagination, building, and learning that can happen from using a Lego set. The only drawback to a building set of this kind is that in can only be built one way, so after it has been constructed, that is the way it will remain for as long as you own the toy.
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The Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow building set can very well be a collector’s item. Because the set can be combined with another set, Lego collectors who like to build their set and leave it on display will love this. This line of Lego building sets is reminiscent of dollhouses. There is a certain way the structure is to be built and because of the intricate pieces and detailed design of the pieces, it becomes a work to be appreciated by being put on display. The figures can be placed in tableaus and anyone who wants to take a look at the small details including wall sconces that are placed on the inside of the castle will have the ability to do so.

Conclusion

For those who love to create original works with their Legos will not like the Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow building set. The set comes with directions to build the castle, car, and willow tree to certain specifications focusing on the skill of direction following and building. For the toy collector this set is a perfect gift or addition to an already established collection as the intricate details and small detailed pieces make for an amazing display. In both instances, the building of imagination and storytelling is at the forefront, which is what makes this a good toy to buy for any child or adult. It is more like putting together a puzzle than building the traditional Lego way, but for the price it can’t be beat.
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