Just a few more nights of sleep before LEGO releases the new Harry Potter Minifigure series around the globe.
A new box full of awesome minifigures to delight kids, adults, Harry Potter fans and LEGO toy photographers all around planet Earth and beyond.
The LEGO Group (you know, those friendly folks down in Billund) couldn’t resist to send us a box by private courier, and so Hedwig delivered.
We did the first live unboxing on IG last week and shipped the sealed students and wizards off to their crowd review destinations. By now our selected creative photographers should be having some fun with these minifigures and some have been sighted in the wild while others are still waiting for the mailman to deliver. We should have asked Hedwig to take care of the deliveries.
On Wednesday the floodgates of creativity will open when the “Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts” series makes it to the shelves and you all get your hands on the bags. A toy photographer delight, as this series is packed with some great Harry Potter fun and contains a lot you want to use in your own creative photography, even if all this wizardry is not really your cup of tea.
We pushed the creative reviews out to August, so there is no “me first” syndrome as some of you pointed out before and everyone has the chance to be creative and inspire each other.
We will be sharing with you some down to earth muggle shots our house photographer took at Hogwarts. Nothing fancy, just your average muggle shot.
The box contains 60 bags and only one full set of 22 characters across the creative universe of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. This is most probably the most controversial part in the AFOL community as again there is one exclusive collectible minifigure in the whole box. Just like with the police officer in series 18 this will create some conversation and we are sure that Percival Graves and his alter ego Gellert Grindelwald will be talked about.
In addition, if you are a collector (and not a toy photographer) who likes to show off the two characters at the same time, you will need two boxes.
Luckily not a problem we have as we can use our own magic to get both of them appear at once (and yes, we are sure you will get the magic out there).
The characters in this series are LOVELY (caps intended) and are full of rich details both in the print and in the accessories. And we are getting a double treat as LEGO introduces the short bendable legs with this series, which is something we all have been waiting for.
Shorties and the bendable legs.
Hindsight is always a powerful feature and looking back at the RLFM days this spring, we discussed with some of the designers the missing of short bendable legs and how important this is for dynamics for us toy photographers. They pointed out the flaws in our bootleg version we had brought along.
They (the bootleg ones) don´t match exactly the brick system.
At that time we were impressed with their eyesight that they picked it up at once.
Now we can safely assume they were actually trying to see if we got a leaked version of the Harry Potter legs when they asked us to hold them and take a closer look.
The downside for someone like me who like to mix and match is that three out of five are printed with the Griffyndor uniforms over them.
The upside is that we get both a black and a blue medium sized set of legs without a print and so these legs will make it to my permanent travel collection. Sorry, Luna and Neville.
For those of you who have known me for a longer time, you know I really do not like stickers, and I may get in a personal rant when the print job on my main characters is not done well. And here I can only applaud TLG. Both the technical execution of the prints and the detailed artwork is amazing and a joy to photograph.
I will dig in some earlier print jobs and make a compare later, but I really did not have to spend any time in post to clean up messy prints. Awesome job.
Of course, we have the main characters, but this set is equally amazing in its collectible of fun attributes. The teacup is just wow. And some of the animals like Scabbers and Nagini will make it into many photo ops for sure.
The Muggle Shots
So now it is time for some muggle shots, our first impressions and some interesting trivia about the characters. Just to get you all warmed up for summer filled with Harry and Co.
This little lad does not need any introduction and he has the scar to prove it.
His full name is Harry James Potter and he was born on 31 July 1980 as the son of Lily and James Potter, so we should say “Happy Birthday, Young One”.
The wand Harry is wielding may look just like an average brown plastic wand. However it is actually made of Holly and Phoenix feathers, is eleven inches long, nice and supple, it shares its core with Voldemort’s wand.
The clothing Harry is wearing is the classic uniform of the House of Gryffindor and if you need some inspiration for an upcoming Harry Potter shoot, the key skills of this innovative young lad are parseltongue, defence against the Dark Arts and he is a skilled seeker so plenty of opportunities to mix and match with Nagini and the golden Snitch of Draco.
Hermione Jean Granger, born 19 September 1979 as the daughter of two lovely muggles, Mr. and Mrs. Granger discovered at the age of eleven she had magical skills and joined Harry and Ron on the Hogwarts Express. She joined the house of Gryffindor and is showing off her colors together with Crookshank, a half-kneazle. Some of the die-hard fans will argue the cat in the bag is indeed a cat and not Crookshank, but I am sure we can apply some imagination.
Hermione has a special place in her heart for house-elves and is the founder of S.P.E.W. or the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. A society Dobby really likes.
The third in line is Ronald Bilius Weasley, born 1st March 1980, as the youngest son of Molly and Arthur Weasley. Or Ron for the friends.
His uniform is rough around the edges, and the opportunity to have Harry after a long night out jumps to mind.
I love the hairpiece and I am sure it will make it to many permanent toy photographer hair collections.
An interesting detail is that Ron actually has two wands. His first wand was a twelve inch, ash wood and unicorn tail hair wand, a hand-me-down from his brother Charlie. The second wand was slightly longer and made from willow and unicorn tail hair. This detail is not reflected in the bag, but every wand touting wizard or lady witch comes with two wands. You don’t want to end up without one, do you?
Ron is accompanied by his house rat Scabbers. He is an old, rather useless rat and Ron pretends to hate him, but he is secretly very attached to the rat which makes sense if you have to live in the same mystery bag for such a long time.
Did you know that Scabbers, the rat is actually no one less as Peter Pettigrew who betrayed James and Lily Potter and their son Harry to Lord Voldemort?
So there are actually two minifigures in this bag as well.
If only the wand would really work.
Draco Malfoy is another kid from the eighties. Born on the 5 June 1980 as the only child of Lucius Malfoy and Narcissa Black. Draco is the son of a Blood Eater and raised to believe in the importance of blood purity. Maybe that is why he did not approve of our muggle shots.
And here is a soundbite from J.K. Rowling herself on the character of Draco:
“He’s shut down compassion — how else would you become a Death Eater? So he suppresses virtually all of the good side of himself. But then he’s playing with the big boys, as the phrase has it, and suddenly, having talked the talk he’s asked to walk it for the first time and it is absolutely terrifying. And I think that that is an accurate depiction of how some people fall into that kind of way of life and they realize what they’re in for. I felt sorry for Draco. Well, I’ve always known this was coming for Draco, obviously, however nasty he was”.
JKR aka J.K.Rowling
The slightly younger and maybe more innocent Draco is shown in his beautiful green school-uniform of Slytherin.
The Golden Snitch is a beautiful little touch, and I can’t wait to see where this one will be re-used. I am sure New Elementary will keep an eye out for us.
Luna is the first character in the box to only have two copies of herself. Not sure what the decision process is here by TLG on which is more exclusive, but Luna is the first of four that only appears twice in the box.
Luna is born on the 13th February 1981 as the daughter of Xenophilius and Pandora Lovegood. Luna could see the magical Thestrals after her mother died when she was nine.
I am sure these magical horses are traveling with her in the bag, it is just that we cannot see them.
She does carry a copy of the Wizard Tabloid, The Quibbler and has a pair of beautiful bendable blue legs under her shall we say colorful dress.
Neville Longbottom was born the day before Harry Potter (Happy Birthday to you as well, Nevill) as the only child of Frank and Alice Longbottom.
He was a shy, clumsy, introverted boy who was constantly being told by his grandmother that he was not good enough or living up to his parents’ accomplishments. However, with age, he showed his grandmother wrong and displayed great courage and perseverance.
He became an important member of Dumbledore’s Army, and Neville would fight in some of the epic battles like the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in 96 and the Battle of Hogwarts 1998. During the Battle of Hogwarts, it is Neville who destroys the seventh and final Horcrux when he beheaded the snake Nagini. And all of this epic storytelling is available in a box near you.
Cho Chang, born somewhere late in 1978 is from the House of Ravenclaw.
There is a lot to tell about the romance between Harry and Cho, and this little character (the LEGO minifigure) made me think of another actress in another universe with another Harry.
Did anyone say Rachel.
Or was it Megan.
There is some resemblance, and I am sure some of you will use the hair of Ron for the other Harry.
For now, Cho and Cedric are a couple and will attend the prom together.
An inspiring character in the series, and one of those that contains black movable medium legs. No prints attached.
Dean is a half-blood wizard, the son of a Wizard and a Muggle ( a mere human, just in case you wonder what this muggling is all about) and is part of the class of Harry and Co.
Dean is a true football fan and supporter of the West Ham Football team which triggered quite some conversations between himself and Ron in the dorm. Ron for one could not imagine a game with one ball, two goals and no flying to be of any interest.
In his first year at Hogwarts Dean drew a banner entitled “Potter for President” for his housemate Harry Potter during his first Quidditch match. The poster pictured a realistically painted Gryffindor lion that, due to Hermione enchantment, changed colors throughout the game.
Little known fact: When Harry was fouled by Marcus Flint, Dean demanded that the referee sent Flint off with a Red Card. Ron explained that the red card rule did not exist in Quidditch.
This is the fourth suite of the House of Gryffindor, and I really like that they are all interchangeable and the head color is not put on the body part which we have seen before (and see in Credence Barebone character).
Cedric Diggory was born in September 1977 and the son of Amos Diggory.
He joined the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1989.
In his sixth year Cedric put his name forward to compete in the Triwizard Tournament and also got himself a prom date with Cho Chang.
He was selected as the Hogwarts Triwizard Champion and tied with Harry over the first place while they completed the Third Task together.
Both took hold of the Triwizard Cup, which transported them to the Little Hangleton graveyard.
It is there that Cedric was murdered by Peter Pettigrew (remember Ron Rat) on the order of Lord Voldemort.
And that brings us to the break.
Time for some commercials (uuhh, we don’t do these here at SiP). So time for a break. Tomorrow we continue with Lord Voldemort and give you more backstories into this intriguing box of twenty-two.
Tell us below in the comments what you think so far of the developing story. Is this your cup of tea?
The Fine Print
Special thanks to The LEGO Group (TLG) for providing us a box filled with this fine sauce of HP madness.
Special thanks to the amazing wikis of Pottermore and HarryPotter.
Without you and the fantastic work of our researchers, we would still be reading the books. Special thanks to J.K. Rowling for sharing her magic world with us. Without her, we would still be stuck in the magic world of J.R.R. Tolkien.
And if you are looking for a more classic LEGO review of this box that tells you when pieces were used for the first time, happily refer to the classic review of our good friends at Brickset. Review one, two and three.
And last but not least, this is just the beginning.
The introduction to our main characters so you are prepared for our coming creative crowd review. This is part one.
Tomorrow you will get part two.