Fri. Mar 1st, 2024
Hogsmeade Vilage Visit Review Cover

After building Diagon Alley at the start of this month, my need for Lego was at an all-time high. I’d spent 29 hours building it over the course of 12 days, and it was weird to suddenly have all this free time. And so of course, I decided I needed more. I headed to Smyth’s Toy Store in the hope of finding some discounted Lego, and I hit the jackpot. I was looking through the Harry Potter Lego and found this set discounted to just £44.99! It’s usually £69.99, so with such a considerable reduction, I felt it would be foolish not to buy it. And so, I got an awesome new Lego set to build, and you get this Hogsmeade Village Visit Review! I’m a massive Harry Potter fan, and so I’m excited to share my experience.

The Inspiration

As fans will know, Hogsmeade is the neighbouring village to Hogsmeade. Students are invited to visit there during their third year, provided they have a permission slip. Unfortunately, living with the awful Dursleys, Harry didn’t get a signed slip, and was resigned to missing out. However, Fred and George proved to be his salvation. They gifted him perhaps my favourite magical item in the series – the Marauders Map. With it, Harry was able to sneak into Hogsmeade using his invisibility cloak, and join his friends Ron and Hermione.

Hogsmeade Village Visit Review, Lego box.

There are several shops in Hogsmeade, but this Hogsmeade Village Visit set revolves around the main two that we see in the movies – Honeydukes and The Three Broomsticks. I think these were a great choice, as a lot of memorable moments take place there. They’re also visually very appealing. I would’ve liked to see more shops from Hogsmeade such as Zonko’s Joke Shop or The Hog’s Head, but I can hold out hope that Lego might revisit the idea in future. There’s nothing stopping them releasing individual buildings later down the line, after all. However, the license Lego has is with Warner Bros, so it would have to be shops and buildings that make an appearance during the movies.

Hogsmeade is a central focus of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with several important scenes happening there. As Hogwarts is in Scotland, it’s unsurprising that the scenes contain a lot of snow. This Lego set has leaned heavily into that theme, and used plenty of white bricks to represent snow.

Honeydukes

Time Taken – 2.5 hours.

Number of Bags – 3

The Lego Hogsmeade Village Visit set is split into two parts, each one having its own instruction booklet. Honeydukes is the first build, which I think was a great choice for two reasons. In the movies, it’s our first introduction to Hogsmeade as Harry emerges from the secret passageway into the Honeydukes basement. Therefore it makes sense that it should also be our first introduction to Lego Hogsmeade. It’s also the easier of the two parts of this build. I like the idea of getting the simpler one out the way first. There are three bags of bricks for each part of this set, all of a convenient size.

Lego Honeydukes exterior with Harry on a bench,

The brick choices for this are really impressive. The designer has taken great care to make a fun yet concise build. The walls are secured neatly by several overlapping bricks, and there’s a good mix of thinner and thicker pieces. I also love the colours as they do a great job of evoking the joy of a sweet shop whilst still having a consistent theme with the other parts of this build. The roof tiles are grey, just as with The Three Broomsticks.

My favourite part of this build was definitely seeing all the sparkly bricks representing sweets and cakes. There were tiny 1×1 round pieces with delicious-looking swirls on them. There were some drawn to look like Jammy Dodgers. It included several creative uses of bricks to give the appearance of bottles and jars. It was a decidedly magical build.

Hogsmeade Village Visit review, inside Honeydukes sweet shop.

Once the shop is finished, you build some additional Hogsmeade details. There’s a bench on snowy ground. An old-fashioned lamp post with a translucent yellow piece for the bulb. And there’s a sign with a Wanted poster depicting Sirius Black.

The Not-So-Good Parts of Honeydukes

Even though I really enjoyed it for the most part, there were a couple of areas that I felt Lego could’ve improved on with this build. Firstly, I hated all the stickers. There were too many, and I felt strongly that many of them should have been custom printed pieces. I understand that it’s not always possible, but particularly with the stripes on the window, I felt Lego should’ve made the effort. The worst part of the stickers was the transparent background they had. It meant that any and every air bubble showed through. Plus you have to use your fingers to peel and place them, and so my fingerprint is right there in the background of the sticker. This isn’t a problem I’ve encountered before as all my previous Lego stickers have had solid backgrounds. I don’t understand why they chose to go that route with Honeydukes.

Honeydukes sweet shop transparent stickers.

Although the stickers were my main gripe, there were other places for improvement. I sometimes felt that the order of instructions was counter-productive. There were multiple instances where the build would’ve been considerably easier if they’d put a particular part sooner. This is especially the case with the roof, where the tiles are attached on tiles. It’s so difficult to slot it into place once the whole structure has been built. It would’ve made much more sense to attach the hinge first, then build the roof separately and stick it on. I actually ended up ignoring the instructions and doing it my way when I encountered the same issue with The Three Broomsticks.

The Three Broomsticks

Time Taken – 2.5 hours

Number of Bags – 3

What Hogsmeade Village Visit would be complete without a nice glass of butterbeer? The Three Broomsticks is the backdrop for several scenes throughout the movies, including the founding of Dumbledore’s Army. It’s been wonderfully recreated in this Lego set, and visually they’ve done a fantastic job. It not only matches the aesthetic of the movie version, but also looks excellent next to Honeydukes. Just as with the first stage of the build, I love the addition of the flat white pieces to imitate snow. The turrets look beautiful, and make this a perfect display set.

Hogsmeade Village Visit review, The Three Broomsticks exterior.

The interior is probably my favourite part, even though I do love the outside appearance. I think they’ve done an excellent job of giving the sense of a warm and cosy place for people to meet their friends. Even though it’s technically a pub, it’s very kid-friendly. However, the decorative choices are mature and grown-up. That way it appeals to its adult patrons whilst not excluding the students who visit. The bricks used are primarily shades of brown and grey. It makes the inside feel quaint and homely, and you can tell the benches and tables are made of wood. There are even stickers that represent paintings on the wall.

There are only a handful of stickers, which I was relieved to see. I don’t like when a build has too much of a reliance on stickers. It takes away the flow of the building process as you have to fiddle around with peeling and sticking. I was also glad to see that unlike Honeydukes, there weren’t transparent stickers. They were full colour and it meant they not only attached to the bricks easier without much peeling, but also there weren’t annoying air bubbles ruining the appearance.

Inside The Three Broomsticks.

The Not-So-Good Parts of The Three Broomsticks

I won’t lie, there were several times during this build where I felt like screaming and throwing the instruction booklet across the room. If I thought the roof tiles were annoying on Honeydukes, I was in for a rude awakening here. This Lego Hogsmeade Village Visit seemed intent on making the rooves as difficult to attach as humanly possible. I almost cried when I tipped out the last bag and saw 10 hinge pieces. They’re a nightmare to clip in, especially as they have fragile separate builds accompanying them. In the end, I attached the hinges, built the rest of the roof separately, and then snapped them together at the end. It was still a hassle, but not quite as hard as the way the instructions were suggesting.

The other main issue was the turrets. They were fine when I first built them, but unfortunately they proved to be incredibly flimsy. The problem is that they’re tall and the top is 2×2, but they’re attached by a single 2×1 piece. As the rest of the build grew around them, I noticed the turrets fell apart in my hands multiple times as I was attaching other pieces. Thankfully once the build is complete they’re secured in place by the pieces around them. Still, it’s annoying during the building process. I think they could easily have attached with a 2×2 to have some more structural integrity.

Hogsmeade Village Visit review, The Three Broomsticks from above.
At least the roof does look really good once it’s finished.

The Minifigures

I feel like the minifigure choices for the Lego Hogsmeade Village Visit were intriguing. I’m not entirely sure why Lego went with these particular characters. Some make total sense such as Madam Rosmerta. She runs The Three Broomsticks and is a central part of the Hogsmeade scenes in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It would be out of place to have her pub in the build but exclude her. Harry, too, was an obvious choice for a minifigure. We experience the magic through his perspective, and there are very few sets where I wouldn’t think he was an appropriate choice.

However, the others are a little odd. Firstly, we have Mr and Mrs Flume. I understand that they run Honeydukes, but they play an incredibly minimal part in the movies. They barely appear, and I’m not convinced either of them actually have a single speaking line. It feels like it would have sufficed to have just one of them appear in this set, and had a more relevant character included instead. Having said that, I do love the pink of Mrs Flume’s top, so I can give it a pass.

All the minifigures standing side by side.

Dean Thomas is another peculiar one. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dean as a character, I just don’t particularly associate him with Hogsmeade. I think it would’ve made a lot more sense to have Neville included due to that scene where Harry steals the lollipop from him. Hogsmeade Village Visit also includes a minifigure of Professor McGonagall. I was happy to have it as she’s a new character for my Lego collection. But again, apart from being present in the scene where Harry ‘discovers’ that Sirius killed his parents, I can’t think of what she’d have to do with Hogsmeade. Still, I liked the minifigures overall.

Special Extras

There are a couple of delightful additional touches in the Lego Hogsmeade Village Visit set. The first is the unique 20th anniversary minifigure. There’s an exclusive golden minifigure of Ron Weasley which I was really impressed with. I loved the details on it, and you can clearly see it’s Ron even though the whole thing uses a gold colour scheme. It’s an incredibly elegant-looking minifigure, and even comes with its own golden stand. I love that the back of Ron’s shirt displays the 20th anniversary Harry Potter logo. It makes it feel like a true celebration.

This set also comes with four of the collectable wizard card tiles. There were 16 different ones released, and a handful of the Lego Harry Potter sets come with them. The sets in question are the six 20th anniversary celebration sets, including Hogsmeade Village Visit. They’re designed to look like chocolate frog cards, except they’re square rather than pentagonal. The ones you get are completely random, so even if you bought all the sets, it’s highly unlikely you’d be able to collect the full collection, and you’d probably end up with duplicates you’d need to trade. I also thought the choice of characters was a little unusual, especially ones like Olympe Maxime.

Hogsmeade Village Visit review, 20th anniversary special extras. Wizard cards. Golden Ron Weasley.

The ones that I received were Jocunda Sykes, Olympe Maxime, Salazar Slytherin, and Gilderoy Lockhart. I’m definitely excited to have a founder, although admittedly I initially thought it was Dumbledore. I saw the beard and just assumed, but upon seeing the checklist, I realised my mistake. The founders have a fancier border to them than the other cards, which I definitely do like to see. I have no intention of collecting the full set, but it’s still neat to have these ones.

Is It Worth the Money?

As I mentioned in the introduction, I was lucky enough to find this set at a discounted rate. For me, the £44.99 I paid for Lego Hogsmeade Village Visit was definitely worth it. However, had I paid the full £69.99, I think I’d be left feeling a little short-changed. It’s not that this isn’t a great set, because it is. It’s just that given the size, I think £59.99 would have been a much fairer price. Interestingly, that’s basically the price it is in America when you compare the exchange rates, although often sets are cheaper over there, so that’s not a huge surprise.

I think this set was enjoyable to build (with the exception of the roof tiles). I really liked the colourful interior of Honeydukes, and there were plenty of fun details in both shops that were nods to moment from the movies. It was also relatively simple to build for the most part, although I did have my grievances. The stickers weren’t ideal, but this was definitely more of a problem for Honeydukes than it was for The Three Broomsticks. Even if you like stickers, I expect you’ll be disappointed by the transparent ones. They just don’t look particularly neat.

The finished display.

Overall, this set took me 5 hours, however, a lot of that was due to organising the pieces. I have OCD so ended up spending far longer on this step than the average person would. Given the relatively small amount of pieces in each bag, I don’t think you’d need to spend much time at all on sorting the pieces into piles. As such, I think this set would only take most people about 4 hours to build. As fun as it was, I don’t think 4 hours of build time is worth nearly £70.

Verdict

Overall, I’d say my Lego Hogsmeade Village Visit review is positive. There were certainly areas where I felt they missed a trick. I would’ve liked to see more secure turrets, better quality stickers, and less fiddly parts of the build. However, I still had a lot of fun putting it together. I think it’s absolutely lovely as a display piece. The two buildings look incredible together, and I love the few separate builds scattered around. It gives a depth and personality to Hogsmeade. I would be thrilled if Lego released individual buildings in the future that could be added on to this set. However, I feel that play opportunities are limited, which leads neatly onto my next point.

This set is marketed as ages 8+, but I feel that’s inaccurate. As a 28 year old, I struggled to keep my temper when parts were falling apart in my hands, and the roof tiles would not clip on. I do not see most 8 year olds being able to effectively manage that level of frustration. In my experience, I think they’d either give up, or throw a tantrum and smash what they’d already built. I think this set would be better targeted as ages 12+, as I think by that age they’d have a better handle on their emotions.

Hogsmeade Village Visit, Lego arranged in the shape of an angry face.
I think this is the face a young child would make when assembling the rooves!

Still, this is a fantastic addition to a Lego Harry Potter collection, especially if you’re after the 20th anniversary sets. Whilst I do maintain that it’s more expensive than it should be, it’s not ridiculously so. If you ever find Hogsmeade Village Visit on sale, definitely pick it up!

Disclaimer

Although I love Harry Potter as a franchise, I feel the need to clarify that I do not support J.K. Rowling. I completely disagree with her disgusting comments about the trans community, and Screen Hype will always be an inclusive space for anyone who wishes to be here.

By Screen Hype

Hi! I'm Melika Jeddi, a content writer and aspiring author. I've created Screen Hype to share my unique brand of entertaining articles with the world, and to create a fun space that everyone can feel a part of :)