LEGO Harry Potter: The Magical Guide to the Wizarding World Review
It’s kind of hard to believe how old the Harry Potter series is. It still feels like yesterday that I picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and began daydreaming scenarios of walking through the halls of Hogwarts. Throughout the evolution of the series, LEGO has formed quite a dynamic partnership with WB and Wizarding World. DK Canada’s LEGO Harry Potter: The Magical Guide to the Wizarding World is a celebration of the long lineage of LEGO Harry Potter.
When I was growing up, you’d be hard-pressed to find any officially licensed LEGO sets. It wasn’t until 1999 that LEGO began creating film and TV tie-ins. Later, in 2001, LEGO released their first wave of Harry Potter sets and to this day you can still find new additions on store shelves.
LEGO Harry Potter: The Magical Guide to the Wizarding World is equal parts a Harry Potter encyclopedia and quick reference guide to the LEGO sets. Each of the 128 pages gives you a brief overview of characters, locations, and everything within the walls of Hogwarts. The book is split into five sections—Welcome to Hogwarts, Teachers, School Life, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Magical Creatures. Within these pages, you’ll find your standard cast ie: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, and of course, “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”. The book also does a wonderful job of highlighting all the important locales found on the Hogwarts grounds. You’ll find The Whomping Willows, a page dedicated to the Hogwarts Express, and the Quidditch field. Finally, Hogwarts is a school of witchcraft and wizardry after all, so it would only be appropriate to touch on the key professors like Snape, McGonagall, and Hagrid.
What sets LEGO Harry Potter: The Magical Guide to the Wizarding World apart from your standard Harry Potter encyclopedia is that the book is framed around LEGO minifigures and Harry Potter sets. Each page, while detailing the characters and locations, goes to describe the actual sets and minifigs. For instance, the page dedicated to Fawkes the Phoenix features tidbits regarding his introduction to the series but also describes his placement within the Hogwarts Great Hall (75954) set. The brief excerpt mentions the pieces Fawkes is built out of and even outlines how his orange wings were created specifically for his model. You’ll uncover other interesting facts regarding specific LEGO sets as well. The Mirror of Erised, which is another component of the Hogwarts Great Hall set has interchangeable panels to match the desires of a number of minifigs include Harry, Ron, and Hermoine.
While the book should be a fascinating read for youngsters, I couldn’t help but pour over the small details. Accompanying each page, you’ll find a quick reference to the set number of which you can find that character or backdrop. For die-hard LEGO collectors, I can see the added benefit of flipping through the pages, having one catch their eye and immediately know how to find and purchase it for their collection. While I have often scoped out the LEGO aisle in a store and kept watch on upcoming LEGO releases, there were some minifigs that I had no idea existed.
LEGO Harry Potter: The Magical Guide to the Wizarding World is a recent release, so it is understandable that there are a few omissions. LEGO released a new line of Harry Potter sets this year including the Expecto Patronum (75945) and Hogwarts Clock Tower (75948) set. Due to the timing of publication, the 2019 additions have not been included. Fear not though, there is an ample amount to take away from. The 2018 collection of LEGO Harry Potter sets shine throughout the pages.
One of the aspects that I adore are the pictures. Instead of opting to use overview photos or something you’d find in an online catalogue, LEGO Harry Potter: The Magical Guide to the Wizarding World incorporates closeup images of each character and setting. All pictures are framed in a way that makes the picture look less stagnant. Whether its the positioning of the minifigs, or the background that is incorporated, each and every page is bright and feels alive.
LEGO Harry Potter: The Magical Guide to the Wizarding World is a wonderful read for young fans of the Wizarding World and LEGO enthusiasts alike. LEGO has formed a magical partnership that has last almost two decades and has a lot to show for it.
A copy of LEGO Harry Potter The Magical Guide to the Wizarding World was provided by the publisher for review purposes.