442 parts for $40 (US) is a pretty good deal, especially since one of them is a light brick. I was happy with the variety in this set, mushroom tops, pumpkins, gray corner panels, eight black katanas, two owls, a baby dragon, as well as other things.
The parts are mostly dark grey, light grey, brown, or sand green. There is a nice selection, I guess. I'm not looking to take it apart though, and the parts aren't something I'd use for what I build now (what I would of a few years ago). I guess it could come in handy for the Arkham Asylum I'm working on, but I don't want to take this apart. Most of the graphics are stickers, except for on Aragon.
None of the minifigures are really exclusive, except for Ron's variation, but the torso and legs that differ from the versions that appear in 4841 Hogwarts Express and 10217 Diagon Alley are pretty common (that's probably the one good thing about having so many versions of Harry, extra Gryffindor robes).
Harry is okay. I like the torso and legs, and the smile doesn't bug me as much as others, but I do prefer the Goblet of Fire variations' heads, the hair is too large, and he could really use a cape/cloak. I do like the angrier face though. His only accessory is a large wand, which doesn't bother me, especially because it is the smoother type and doesn't have the ridge like many of the original lightsabers and wands did, and some still do.
Ron is better than Harry and has the same torso, legs, and wand. He could use a cape too though, I really wish they still had those. His face is useful, partly. I can't come up with too many ideas for the smirking side which is a little awkward because of the upper lip, but the scared side is great. I still prefer Robin's scared face, but this one is more useful because it doesn't have a mask. The hair doesn't work too well, but it's nice to have and my sister does have a poster where his hair looks just like that, but it doesn't normally.
Hermione is useful, but she's too generic and doesn't look as unique as a main character should. The face actually resembles a picture from The Deathly Hallows book, and it kind of looks like Emma Watson, but the other variations did a better job of capturing Hermione's character I think. There are a few occasions where Hermione's hair does look like that (and since she was one of the two minifigures who debuted it in 2007, I think it may of been designed with her in mind), but just doesn't look right. There are a fair amount of females who have made it to the Harry Potter theme with the reboot, and sorry, but I think Hermione is the worst. Again, she has a wand and I wish she had a cape.
Hagrid looks great, and I think he's my favorite in this set. My only problem is that he looks a little worried, probably because of the wrinkles around his eyes or the eyebrow positioning. The molded fingers are strange to some, but I've never really minded them. The dark brown coat looks much better, and the colors chosen for the printing on it is beautiful. The beard-piece isn't very useful (for me), and I think it's a little large for minifigures (I know it still works though), but is good here. He has his pink umbrella, which makes me really happy, his crossbow, and an ugly, three-piece lantern.
- The Build
I built this over a year and a half ago, and can still remember it pretty well for the timing, I guess.
I enjoyed most of it, the hut itself was interesting with its shape and roof. Aragon wasn't though, that was just strange.
- The Completed Model
Aragon is really bad. Whatever that spider is from The Lord of the Rings is much better. First of all, he only has six eyes (I'm not an anthropologist, but I'm pretty sure spiders have eight). His who aesthetic is horrible, (and looking back at it reminds me of 6866 Wolverine's Chopper Showdown, another set which I don't like the aesthetic of). The only good thing are a few of the parts, like the eight black katanas. I'm kind of sad that the only two printed parts in the set are the two on Aragon, because those are the two I can use the least with printing.
The hut is much better. The biggest flaw is that the roof isn't octagonal. There is also about a 2x2 area left open at the top, but it's easy to close with a few mods. The red piece protruding from the light brick is an eyesore.
The rest is nicer though, the interior is very nice and displays LEGO's ability to create a decent interior, yet still calls back to the older Harry Potter sets with a letter and red jewel being hidden (the Sorcerer/Philosopher's Stone?).
The accessories, plants, and animals are all welcome (except for Aragon). The Harry Potter sets are pretty generous with accessories (except for a few), and this one isn't different. It has a fish, a cauldron, a chicken leg, Hagrid's umbrella, wands for the whole trio, four jars, an axe, a broomstick, a lantern, and probably other things I'm forgetting.
Official pictures don't really do it justice, looking back over LEGO's high-res ones while writing this review, I noticed that it looks much better in person.
I have most of the sets from the rebooted Harry Potter theme, except for Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Castle (the two largest), and I'd say this is the best of them all. The only real cons are that there aren't really any exclusive minifigures and Aragon is horrible. But to be fair, nobody else really could of come with the hut, except for maybe Dumbeldore or another Lucius Malfoy. I guess that Draco would make sense as an option to though.
There have been complaints that Fang isn't included, which is sad, but I wouldn't expect LEGO to make a new mold for him.