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This was my first purchase of HP Lego. After buying this set I was fortunate enough to add a few more to my collection before they stopped being manufactured - now most sets are quite expensive to purchase. This set was fun to build, I did so whilst watching Prisoner of Azkaban! (The film that contains the particular bus). Like all Lego sets it comes with some quite simple to follow instructions using pictures of the pieces (no text so it can be used in a multitude of countries). There are 257 pieces in total and it took approximately one hour to put together. The bus is assembled from the bottom upwards in 3 layers, these layers can also be seperated after the bus is complete so you can play with the inside. A lot of people now collect just Lego Minifigures and this set comes with Harry Potter, Stan Shunpike, Ernie Prang and also Hedwig and Shrunken Head (but these two are not technically figures). I am an adult in my mid twenties and didn't buy this set to play with! As a model standing on a shelf it looks great and is fantastic for any Harry Potter fan - it doesn't take up a massive amount of space either, the constructed size of the item is approx 15cm high. Don't let that size put you off though, there is still a large amount of detail in the set including a large swinging chandelier and moving beds just like the real Knight Bus. A big problem I have noticed with Lego is that if displayed in the open it can gather dust which is quite difficult to remove - I have to use cotton buds to remove the dust from some sets because it gets in between all the bricks! The great thing about this set is that once constructed it is easy to clean because most of the roof is solid plastic. The set cost me £19.99 2 years ago, now it is out of its production you can pay between £60 and £100 to buy it new and boxed. If buying second hand, make sure all of the pieces are present from the seller.
My niece has really got into Lego over the past couple of years and without a doubt the majority of her collection is the Harry Potter range, infact she has almost all of the sets available and my Mum has bought her the final thing she needs to finish her collection for Christmas (ssssh, don't tell Ellie!) I bought her this for her birthday last year. When I bought it in the summer of 2011 I paid around £25-£30 for it from Amazon but looking online now I can see that it has raised in price, Amazon currently are offering it for around £40-£50 from various sellers and the official UK Lego site does not have it listed, however both the Canadian and American sites do have it so I am guessing that maybe it is now discontinued in the UK. ==What is the Knight Bus?== The Knight Bus is introduced to us in the third instalment of the Harry Potter series - The Prisoner of Azkaban. The bus is a magical three storey purple bus which appears when a wizard is in need of transport. After leaving his aunt and uncles home, Harry is in danger and is desperate for some help. This is when the Knight Bus appears offering him a ride. ==Whats in the box?== In the box you are provided with all of the necessary bricks etc to make the bus. You are given some very easy to follow, coloured instructions and also various accessories and figures. The figures included with this set are Harry Potter, Ernie Prang and Stan Shunpike. Stan and Ernie are the driver and conductor of the bus. You are also given the Shrunken Head which is a rather odd looking head housed on the dashboard that dictates the journey in a rather comedic way! In addition to this you also get Hedwig because after all, she needs to return to Hogwarts with Harry. ==Building the Bus== My niece built this with help from my Dad. They both found it easy to do and it took them around two hours over two sessions. My niece could have probably done a bit more than she did to build it (she prefers to watch!) but anyone younger than about 10 is likely to need the help of an adult because although it is likely that we find the instructions extremely simple to follow, younger people might get a little bit confused. ==The finished article== The bus looks absolutely fantastic. It is without a doubt one of my favourite pieces from the Lego Harry Potter range because it is just so quirky and fun. My niece also really likes the appearance of the bus and it is always a talking point if any of her friends come over. The bus was slightly smaller once built than I had expected, it is 5 inches long and 6 inches tall. I do feel it could have been ever so slightly bigger because for the price paid it does look very small however of course it does need to be in proportion with the other pieces in the collection and the figures. The bus is a triple decker. It has big wide windows at the front like a double decker and these are made from tilted clear Lego blocks. The front of the bus looks like a traditional London bus and is made from longer, thin bricks. The bus looks very much like a London bus apart from the size and the bright purple colour! It looks fantastic and I think that Lego have done extremely well in the design as it looks absolutely brilliant. Inside the bus is a bit like a hotel as unlike a normal bus, instead of seats there are beds and the wizards travelling on the bus are usually staying the night as of course, a triple decker bright purple bus with a floating head on the dashboard cannot really go out in the day in 'muggle towns'. There is a great amount of detailing in here and there is plenty in here that allows my niece to act out her own little games and scenarios. There is a huge light hanging from the roof of the bus and this swings from side to side which looks brilliant and it really helps to remind the person playing of the scene from the film especially as the Knight Bus is an extremely bumpy ride and the shaking of the light helps to highlight this. The Knight Bus is capable of squeezing through impossibly small gaps in the books and films. However, of course as Lego is made of solid plastic this cannot be done with this bus but I do believe that the interior does help to highlight just how bumpy the ride is. The bus benefits from large tyres and these are fully functional and the Knight Bus can be pushed around with ease. ==Playing with the Knight Bus== My niece loves the Knight Bus and it has quickly settled in as an essential part of her Lego collection. Instead of being just a normal bus it doubles up as a hotel which makes it have even more play value and there are lots of different ways the bus can be used whether it is for transport from A to B, holidays or crazy adventures! The staff on the bus are quite eccentric and their appearance helps to highlight this so my niece loves using the bus as although the world of Harry Potter is quite a strange one anyway, this aspect is weird, out of the ordinary and both scary and fun. It is sort of like a rollercoaster on the road! My niece can play with this bus for hours on end with all of her other Lego Harry Potter pieces. I do think that it works really well within the set but it could also be played with on its own though I imagine the play value would probably be a bit less. ==Wear and Tear?== My niece has had this bus over a year now and it has been played with very regularly, doing a variety of things and going on a variety of surfaces. However, there is not a scratch on it, it looks brand new. In addition to this, none of the pieces have come apart. As Lego is designed to allow you to build, take apart and build again I did think some of the pieces may ping off occasionally but this is not the case at all and it has remained perfectly formed since she built it. ==Alterations== The bus can also be converted into a single deck traditional bus. I imagine this is simple to do as it just involves moving a few bits around but we haven't actually done this - I mean who wants a single deck bus when you can have a triple decker?! ==Overall Opinion== I really like this Knight Bus, as does my niece. I think that it is definitely a fun piece from the Lego collection and aswell as it looking brilliant it also has a lot of play value and so far has provided hours of fun and I'm certain that it will continue to provide more fun. It works really well with the rest of the Lego Harry Potter collection but it also works on its own, albeit it does obviously have slightly less play value. Lego is of course notoriously expensive but I think that if this can be picked up for less than around £35 it is definitely worth the money, its just a shame the price seems to be increasing. It would make a fantastic gift to any Harry Potter fans or even fans of Lego vehicles. It would also be a brilliant starter piece to a collection. The bus has an absolutely brilliant design and everything is well thought out and works extremely well together. The light is one of the main attention grabbers as it is so large, going all the way down all three storeys of the bus. The bus is certainly a talking piece and it stands out very well against the rest of my nieces collection. ==Summary== This is a fun piece from the Lego Harry Potter collection and I think it would be a welcome addition to any Lego fans collection. It looks fantastic, it has a great deal of play value and it still looks as good as new. Recommended, but do look on Ebay or Amazon marketplace to see if it can be picked up for slightly less than the current £40 price tag.
My son absolutely loves Lego and he is really good at building things with it either from his own ideas or following instructions to build a set. For his birthday this year I decided to add to his collection of Harry Potter themed Lego and one of the items I bought for him was set 4866 which is the Knight Bus. What is it? In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry finds himself in need of a way of escaping 4 Privet Drive after inadvertently blowing up his Aunt! The Knight Bus is a bus for magic folk and so Harry is able to use this triple decker purple bus to catch a lift. The Lego set comes in a red coloured cardboard box which features the Lego and Harry Potter logos as well as pictures of Harry, Ron and Hermione. The bulk of the box shows a picture of the actual Knight Bus once built in Lego so you are able to have a very good idea of what you are going to be building. There is also a little picture in the corner of the three characters which you receive with the set which I think is a great idea as some seem to be replicated in many sets and whilst this isn't a major problem it is nice to know that you are going to be getting somebody that you want. The set is suitable for children aged 7-12 years according to the packaging but I see no reason why a competent child aged five or six couldn't build this with some help. Obviously the set is not suitable for very young children due to the small parts and potential choking hazard. Opinion My son actually built his Lego Knight Bus with no help at all from me and he has just turned seven. As I said he is very capable at building these Lego sets and so it was nice for me just to sit and watch him and allow him to be proud that he had accomplished the end result independently. I always encourage my son to take his time with these sets and to set out all of the pieces required in to colour and size order before he begins so that it is easier to find the pieces he needs. Of course being a young boy he would much rather just tip it on the floor and muddle along but I do think that it is a very good idea to be a bit more organised about it as it does help the building process in my opinion. In this case as the bus is a three tiered vehicle it was actually split up in to three stages and so it came with three bags labelled one, two and three for the individual sections. This I think was great because my son was able to build the first section one morning whilst he had a little time but then as we were heading out for the day he was able to leave the other parts in their bags in the box rather than worry about pieces getting lost or what not. As always I was very impressed with the large booklet of instructions that came with Knight Bus. What I love about Lego is the fact that the instructions are spaced out well on the page, clear and in colour and so there is very little room for error as you are building, even for a child. Too many construction type toys come with vague or unclear instructions and they really could learn a lot from Lego in my opinion. My son likes the fact that at the start of each section of instructions it shows a small picture in the left hand side of what you are going to have as an end result of that part as well as a larger picture at the end of the section to show it completed as well. He was able to follow the instructions step by step with no problems at all and I think this is so important as a child loves to feel that they have done something on their own and considering that he is within the recommended age range as well he feels even more he should do it on his own. The completed Knight Bus is really impressive I have to say. It isn't particularly big but I do feel it is a very good size for a product such as this. What I love about the set is the detail included within it and so we have the small shrunken head at the front of the bus, a bed which flies all around as you move it and a pole in which the conductor can hold on too as well! This all adds to the charm of the toy not only for an adult looking on but for a child who is a fan on the movie and who is aware of what should be inside the bus. My son likes how he can actually move the bus along with its movable wheels but he isn't as keen on the fact that in order to access the upper levels on the bus he needs to remove parts of the bus and for this reason he tends to just play with the lower level in which the bed is situated. The figures included with the set are Harry Potter, Stan Shunpike and Ernie Prang but you also get a shrunken head, Hedwig the owl and a chest as well so in terms of accessories included this is a decent set. You can pick this set up from amazon for £29.99 but I would shop around. Some places are selling it for a massive £50 and so it is worth searching for the best deals. I am really impressed with this set myself. My son was able to build it independently and can play with it as well providing he isn't too rough but he is very aware of the fact you cant be rough with Lego toys anyway! He is happy to have this as part of his Harry Potter Lego collection and so I can certainly recommend it to other Harry Potter or Lego fans. Thank you for reading my review!