It is Harry Potter week at True North Bricks. I have mentioned before during Harry Potter reviews that I enjoyed the books. Additionally, I have several of the LEGO® sets. However, I collect them primarily for the abundance of tan colored pieces. I have been stockpiling them for years to eventually use in a custom build. The Hogwarts sets come with a lot of them. Additionally, the architectural style of the castle inspires me. I like to see what techniques LEGO® designers use to achieve the look. I found the Hogwarts Clock Tower (75948) for 30% off a while back. The deal was good enough to insight a purchase. This week, as we delve into the world of LEGO® Harry Potter, the time has come for a review of this 2019 set.
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HOGWARTS CLOCK TOWER SUMMARY
- NAME: Hogwarts Clock Tower
- SET #: 75948
- THEME: Harry Potter
- COST: $119.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 922
- MINIFIGURES: 8
- RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2019
HOGWARTS CLOCK TOWER QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 88% (A good number of bricks and excellent amount of build time for the price.)
- BUILD: 80% (Nice exterior, but the set has some weak design points.)
- MINIFIGURES: 93% (A decent number of well designed minifigs with loads of accessories.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 90% (Great AFOL inspiration and brick box, loads of KFOL play-potential.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 88%
HOGWARTS CLOCK TOWER (75948) REVIEW
At full price, Clock Tower costs $119.99 in Canada. Interestingly, that is lower than the Great Hall set even though this set has more bricks. Great Hall came with 878 pieces, Clock Tower has 922. In any case, the cost-per-brick for the Clock Tower is $0.13. Comparatively, my average cost-per-brick is $0.14 across all LEGO® themes I have collected. Therefore, this set is a good value, earning 83%. Even compared only to Harry Potter sets it fares well. My average for the theme is $0.144/brick. Based on that comparison, this set earns 85%. Averaging the two values gives a cost-per-brick score of 84%.
Clock Tower took me an even three hours to build (180 minutes). Consequently, the cost-per-minute of build time is $0.67. My average across all themes in this category is $0.83/minute. Therefore, you get a lot of build time for the price with this set. I rate that at 88%. When examining the Harry Potter theme alone, my cost-per-minute is $0.90. By that comparison, the value is even better, earning 93%. The average score here works out to 91%. Taken with the cost-per-brick score, Hogwarts Clock Tower earns an overall value grade of 88%.
The Hogwarts Clock Tower is a nice-looking set from the exterior. I particularly like the roof work and the clock. The clock consists of a transparent, printed satellite dish piece. Additionally, it has a smaller printed shield representing a second clock face. The only portion of the exterior that looks incomplete is the first segment that you build.
First, you assemble the play feature of the set. It has a circular gear assembly like the Jurassic World Triceratops Rampage set. Small outer gears rotate around a large central one. This gives Minifigures placed above the small gears the illusion of dancing. It works well enough. However, the Jurassic World version is better. In the Clock Tower, you manually push a Minifigure to get the whole mechanism spinning. Pushing too hard causes minifigs to fall off. In the Jurassic World version, the mechanism has an exterior gear you turn that causes the ride to operate. The Clock Tower version gets awkward to use as the Minifigures move under the ceiling arch. The exterior gear in the Jurassic World version allows for more fluid motion.
Above the dance mechanism is an incomplete ceiling. Additionally, the space above it is completely unused. I kept waiting to build something up there. However, it remained unfinished after the build. It is not even believable as a wall-walk or allure. Sadly, this section of the Clock Tower is a little weak.
The play feature section of the Clock Tower features a weak design.
Otherwise, the build’s interior provides several rooms for play. Additionally, each room features good details. Naturally, the spaces are small to keep the size and cost of the set down. However, without the set’s description on LEGO.com, I would not recognize many of the locations. Go into this set expecting a playset, not an AFOL collector’s dream build. I do like most of the exterior though. I rate the build at 80%.
The Clock Tower comes with eight Minifigures. Half of them have legs, half of them have dresses or robes. Interestingly, Hermione’s dress is not the usual dress piece. It is a printed 1×2 brick atop a 1×2 plate. Additionally, Madame Maxine’s dress is a printed roofing brick. It is reminiscent of Willa the Witch’s dress from the ‘90s castle sets. It does not hold in place particularly well. Otherwise, I am happy to note that Clock Tower does not come with any stumpy, non-bending legs. Harry and Ron are shorter than the other characters in the set, but they have the shorter, bending legs that I much prefer. Otherwise, all the characters have double sided faces, as well as front and back torso print. None have leg printing, but three of the dresses/robes feature printing.
Clock Tower also comes with a lot of accessories. Most interestingly, you get a whole baggie of workshop tools. Most serve no purpose in the set. The bag contains nine tools. However, the set only uses two as arms for the big clock. Consequently, you end up with seven extra wrenches, oil cans, and the like. Not complaining. Additionally, the set comes with a book, a treasure chest, three chalices, a sword, two jewels, 10 wands, three ski poles (lightning rods on the roof), and a shield (printed as a clock). These are nice Minifigures, and they come with loads of accessories. I rate the design at 100%.
Hogwarts Clock Tower (75948) comes with a lot of extra Minifigure accessories.
Eight Minifigures in a 922-piece kit is good. The brick-to-fig ratio works out to 115:1. Comparatively, my average ratio is 142:1 across all themes. That earns a score of 86%. When compared to only other Harry Potter sets, Clock Tower also fares well, earning 83%. For comparison, my average ratio for the theme is 123:1. These two scores together average out to 85%. Taken with the design score, these characters earn a collective Minifigure score of 93%.
As an adult collector, the Hogwarts Clock Tower interested me in terms of the bricks and the general look. I will not keep this set built for the Potter-appeal. However, I know a few AFOLs who would. Therefore, this is a niche interest set. From my perspective, the exterior of the building inspires MOC ideas. Additionally, the set contains lots of tan bricks to use in my building projects. As a brick box and source of inspiration, the Clock Tower is a great purchase. However, since it is not something I want to keep for the prescribed build, I rate it at 90%. That is higher than I normally rate sets that have received the “brick box” designation. I really enjoy the brick selection.
From a kid’s perspective, the Clock Tower is a great playset. The back is open, allowing easy access to all the rooms. I did not recognize all the rooms without the official set description, but that allows for a little imaginative play. This set also connects to the Great Hall, Whomping Willow, and Astronomy Tower sets to make a complete Hogwarts castle. Harry Potter fans will enjoy the set. However, again, it is a niche interest. I rate the KFOL score at 90% as well.
OVERALL SCORE: 88%
The Hogwarts Clock Tower comes at a good value, especially considering it is a licensed theme set. The build suffers from some design issues. However, those are all isolated to the smallest portion of the build. Additionally, the set has great Minifigures and accessories. For a set of this size, you also get a good number of characters. I feel inspired by the design of this set, and it includes a lot of bricks to use in my custom projects. Harry Potter fans will enjoy the set for display and play as well. The Hogwarts Clock Tower (75948) is a solid purchase, even at full price. What do you think? Feel free to comment below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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