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After numerous visits to Legoland last year my niece really got into Lego so a lot of her Christmas list was Lego based. She originally asked for The Hogwarts Express from my parents but after she realised there was infact a Lego Hogwarts she had her heart set on this. Therefore, my parents ordered it for her and when she opened it on Christmas day her face lit up and she was very pleased!
*What is it and where can I get it from?*
Lego Hogwarts comes with all the pieces you need to build your very own Hogwarts. You will need to build it yourselves and it has 1290 pieces! There are various rooms in the castle including the Great Hall, Gryffindor common room and Dumbledore's office. It is recommended for ages 8-14.
My parents did a quick scout around for prices and found that at the time the official Lego website was doing the best deal on this for £99.99. It is now currently priced at £102.99 on the Lego site. It is available from other places, Tesco currently have this for just £79.97 which is a bargain!
*Whats in the box?*
The box it comes in is very large and has a lovely bright picture of the completed Hogwarts on the front. Inside the box there are 10 differently numbered bags which each contain Lego to make a particular part of the castle. There are also 3 instruction manuals to tell you exactly what to do and when to do it.
*Building the castle*
Well I was given the job of building the castle with my niece. I was looking forward to this if I am honest, I had Lego as a child and enjoyed building little houses and things but I never had a set to build and the Hogwarts set really is one of the best ones out there!
We started off by opening the first bag and then following the instructions very carefully! We worked our way through each bag and the fact that everything is bagged in order was very helpful as without this it would have been very difficult to find pieces. Sometimes you need to have two bags open at the same time but we found this ok as we could still find all the pieces we needed to.
My niece is 10 and she did need quite a bit of help to build the castle. In the end she took on the finding role and I took on the building role! She did have a go at building some of the rooms but she found it quite hard to follow the instructions without any help and of course she wanted it built as quickly as possible so she could get on and play!
Then instructions are really good and they are literally step by step of what brick needs to go where. By following them we found that each part of the castle turned out exactly how it should.
In total the castle took around 10 hours to build with just me and my niece working on it. Occasionally my partner did try to help but I found it got very confusing if one of you was looking at one section and another was looking at something else so it was easier with just one adult and one child working on it.
The finished castle is about 45cm wide and 25cm tall at its tallest point. It is about 15cm deep. When it was finished I was surprised at how small it was! It had come in such a big box it just looked a little bit small however my niece was very happy with the finished result. The walls of the castle are cream in colour and the roof is green. You turn the castle round to get to the interior.
The castle has around 10 rooms in total, most of these are small but there is the Great Hall which I personally believe is the best part of the castle! In the Great Hall there are tables and benches, just like we see in the films and it is decorated with Slytherin and Gryffindor colours. There is food to put on the tables and a place for the teachers to stand and talk to the students.
The Gryffindor common room is quite small and I would have liked it to have been a little bit bigger really considering they spend so much time in it. In the common room there are two chairs, a table and a fireplace which moves for Sirius Black to appear in! Above the common room is where the owls live and it comes complete with 3 owls including Hedwig.
Dumbledore's office is the second largest room in the castle (after the Great Hall) it has a moving spiral staircase leading up to it and it is filled with potions, it comes complete with a small magnifying glass to read the newspaper with and it also has its very own crystal ball!
Other places in the castle include an astronomy tower, a vanishing cabinet and the restricted section of the library.
The castle comes complete with Harry Potter, Hermione, Professor Snape, Voldemort, Professor McGonagall, Professor Flitwick, Professor Dumbledore, Filch and 2 Dementors.
There is no Ron with this kit which my niece was very disappointed with. It seems so silly to sell the Hogwarts kit without Ron! Ron is available with other kits and my niece is keen to expand her collection so hopefully we will get hold of him soon.
*Playing with the castle*
My niece loves playing with the castle and whenever she is over her Grandparents it is the first thing she goes to play with. She thinks it is great fun and can spend hours making up scenarios with the characters. Her favourite room in the castle is the Great Hall because of its size and there is a turkey in there that you can break its legs off to eat (her words not mine!).
She thinks the castle is an ok size to play with, apart from a couple of rooms that she thinks are too small she finds it easy to take the characters around the castle and place them in different rooms. Occasionally pieces of the castle have broken off when she has been playing which she finds a bit annoying as it interrupts her game but this is easily fixed.
We have had this a couple of months now and it has been played with most days. It still looks good as new, the bricks which make up the castle are still all bright colours and shiny and we haven't had a problem with anything. My niece really enjoys playing with this and it's great to watch what different games she thinks up.
It is expensive, but all Lego is and it will provide her with a lot of play time over the next couple of years until she gets too big for it, it can then be passed on to someone else who will appreciate it just as much as she is.
Building the castle is just as much fun and this is a great way for parents to spend some quality time with their children which the children will enjoy (and I think the parents will too)!
*Would we recommend it?*
Yes. If this castle was bought when a child was 8 (the lowest recommended age) they would get years of play out of it. I think my niece will be happy with this for the next couple of years and she hasn't grown tired of it over the couple of months she has had it. Lego is a quality product and I believe it will last for years to come. Tesco have a really good price on this set at the moment so if you have any young Harry Potter fans at home I would recommend buying it and putting it away for birthdays or even Christmas.
We bought the Lego Hogwarts castle as soon as it came out and at the time it cost £105 from Toys r us. To me this seemed a bit expensive but i suppose Lego is expensive and for this you also pay for the theme. The box is huge and a bit daunting when you think of all those peices inside to be constructed so the next morning myself, my daughter and my husband set to the job in hand. Luckily for us all the pieces were bagged up in sections with numbers on them. The theory is to build it one section at a time using the corrosponding numbered instruction book and therefore ease confusion. This was of huge relief when i noticed how many pieces there actually were! Without this seperation, building would have been impossible.
After allocating ourselves a section each to build, it was relatively straight forward after that, with the booklets giving a piece at a time instructions. However despite the ease of building it was still incredibly time consuming. It took the three of us approx 5 hours before the castle was set up and ready for play. The detail to this play set is amazing and contains lots of little bits and pieces including 10 minifigures, wands. an invisibility cloak, torches, and loads more.
The castle is made up of four main areas:
This has a secret circular staircase leading up to it which can be hidden away or pulled out for use. There is also the sword of Gryffindor, and a special section for the sorting hat. There is also a secret cupboard for potions and a letter hidden away. Dumbledore's office also has a lot of detail such as a newspaper, magnifying glass and a crystal ball.
This features a restricted section were books are locked behind perspex and the key in Dumbledore's Office is needed to access them. This is sometimes a little fiddly to open, especially for little fingers. There is also a room of requirements that figures can be hidden behind. On the top floor is the observation tower with telescope for astronomy lessons.
The Great Hall
This is probably my favourite part due to the detail. It is set out with tables covered in food and drink, with thinks such as fruit, chicken, little goblets and even tiny croissants! There are also two tables with banners for the houses 'Gryffindor' and 'Slytherin'. Chairs for the teachers, and a lectern for Dumbledore to stand at, as he talks to his pupils.
This tower features the Gryffindor and Slytherin common rooms. The Slytherin room is at the bottom, decorated with snakes, the emblem of that house. On the next floor is a revolving knight which turns to reveal a secret hidey hole for precious items. Above this is the Gryffindor common room. This features table and chairs and has a tile in the fire grate which slides out to reveal the face of Sirius Black. There is also a Marauder's Map which can be used with the invisibility cloak to creep around the castle at night. On the top level there is an Owlery featuring three different owls on perches.
The outside of the castle is grandly designed with turrets, flags and a stained glass window. It also comes with ten minifigures for play: Lord Voldermort, 2 x Dementors, Severus Snape, Minerva Mcgonagoll, Filius Flitwick, Argus Filtch and his cat, Albus Dumbledore, Hermione Granger, and of course Harry Potter.
This set is expensive but you get an awful lot for your money. I would recommend it for any Lego or Harry Potter fan due to its potential for hours of game play. This is not suitable for children under three due to the choking hazard of the small sized pieces. It has been recommended for children aged 8+. All in all this has been very well designed and is of the very high quality that you would expect from Lego. My daughter is very pleased with hers and it certainly looks impressive set up in her bedroom.
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