Yes, I know I’m approaching my mid forties and I don’t have children to use as an excuse, but much of the past ten days has been filled with building Lego and I have LOVED it!
I shared some photos of my Lego Hedwig, Harry Potter’s owl, that my hubby bought for me in my Christmas Catch Up post at the beginning of January. Here she is in all her glory posing in front of our fireplace.
I have vivid memories of a cardboard box of Lego living in a white wardrobe in my bedroom at my Dad’s house sometime in the 80s, but I don’t think it held my attention for long. It more than likely belonged to one or both of my brothers. I think back then, Lego wasn’t aimed at girls. I wouldn’t have been discouraged from playing with ‘boys’ toys but if it wasn’t marketed towards me then it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to want to play with it. Making Lego Hedwig made me realise how much fun it is though, and now Lego have got their marketing spot on and the second I saw their Diagon Alley set I knew I’d end up owning it. I ummed and ahed for a few days because it is quite a financial investment but, hard as lockdown is in so many ways, it does mean I’m not spending nearly as much money on things like diesel, lunches out and sale table plants, so I went for it.
It took a week to arrive (damn you Amazon Prime for giving me unrealistic expectations for every other delivery service!!) during which time I must’ve checked my inbox a thousand times looking for the tracking email. It was well worth the wait. Look at the size of the box!
Ok, not much to give perspective, but it was big! It contained bags numbered one to twenty, but there were two for each number so forty in total plus the base plates and some roof plates and a bonus box twenty one.
Then there were four instruction manuals. As you can see from the back of the box above, the set was made in four parts which can stand alone or join together.
I tried really hard to pace myself to make the build last longer. This was partly enforced by having to work all day, but I still only managed to make it last ten days. I would estimate that it took me about twenty five hours to complete and I enjoyed every second!
Book one contained the instructions for bags one to five and it built Ollivanders wand shop and Scribbulus which sells quills, parchment and other magical stationery requirements.
Book two covered bags six to nine and contained lots of pink bricks which made Quality Quidditch Supplies and the Daily Prophet.
This build was three storey and even had detail crammed on to the roof. You can see the copies of the Daily Prophet newspaper stored on the roof and in the attic space.
The instructions for bags ten to fourteen were illustrated in book three and they produced Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour and Flourish and Blotts book shop where Hogwarts students buy their school books.
The detail in this block is amazing and so realistic. We had ice cream from Florean Fortescue’s at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and it really looks like this. In Flourish and Blotts the characters can even read copies of Gilderoy Lockhart’s latest book.
Finally, the most ostentatious of the builds came in book four and bags fifteen to twenty – Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.
Also incorporated in this build is Knockturn Alley. This is where you’ll find Death Eaters (followers of he who shall not be named) and other dark witches and wizards, hence I’ve positioned the Draco and Lucius Malfoy characters at its entrance. The detail in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is stunning too. There’s a mechanism hidden in the roof that allows you to raise and lower the top hat and you can see the various jokes and potions for sale on the shelves inside the shop.
The set can be displayed alongside each other and each block has a connector so they sit perfectly together. The set is over a metre long.
Or they can be put shopfront to shopfront to form a real street feeling which is really cool!
You’ll have noticed all the characters strategically placed in the most relevant places.
There are fifteen in all, although Harry is included twice – once in his Hogwarts uniform and once in the clothes he was wearing when Hagrid liberated him from the Dursleys and took him to Diagon Alley for the first time – ‘yer a wizard ‘arry’. For the benefit of non-Potter enthusiasts, in order left to right, the characters are Hagrid, Harry, Ollivander, Gilderoy Lockhart, Ginny Weasley, Molly Weasley, Ron Weasley, Fred and George Weasley, Harry again, Hermione, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, the Daily Prophet photographer and Florean Fortescue.
Bonus box twenty one contains the pieces to built a welcoming piece and includes the second Harry model.
There really isn’t much room for improvement in the set, but if I was going to nit pick, it would be nice to have Hermione’s cat, Crookshanks to add to Harry’s owl, Hedwig, who sits on Scribbulus’ sign and Ron’s rat, Scabbers, who’s up in the roof space of Quality Quidditch Supplies. I suppose it could be argued that they are a random owl and rat, rather than being Hedwig and Scabbers.
It also seems quite odd to have the Daily Prophet photographer – Rita Skeeter would maybe be more exciting. Having said that, the photographer’s camera is quite cool.
That’s it! Everything else is perfect. I hope Lego are working on some of the other significant buildings in Diagon Alley and also Hogsmeade. Gringotts Bank would be an amazing addition as would Honeydukes, the Leaky Cauldron and the Three Broomsticks. Oh, and the Ministry of Magic.
Right, now if I could just wave my wand and magic up some space in which to display Diagon Alley that would be most welcome.