Hogwarts Astronomy Tower (75969) Review
This week, I am reviewing a few Harry Potter themed pieces that have been in my pile of shame for some time. I liked the Harry Potter books, but I do not qualify as a hardcore fan. Consequently, I collect the Hogwarts sets mostly for bricks and inspiration. I like the building style. Additonally, I also like tan bricks. I have already looked at the Great Hall and the Clock Tower sets. Now, let us see how the Hogwarts Astronomy Tower (75969) fares.
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use my usual rating system (click here to learn more) and provide my honest opinion.
HOGWARTS ASTRONOMY TOWER SUMMARY
- NAME: Hogwarts Astronomy Tower
- SET #: 75969
- THEME: Harry Potter
- COST: $139.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 971
- MINIFIGURES: 8
- RELEASE DATE: August 24, 2020
HOGWARTS ASTRONOMY TOWER QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 82% (Average value-per-brick, good build-time.)
- BUILD: 80% (Nice exterior, but some spaces are small and need finessing.)
- MINIFIGURES: 91% (Good number of nicely detailed characters with loads of accessories.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 90% (Great brick box, wonderful niche-interest set for Potter fans.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 86%
HOGWARTS ASTRONOMY TOWER (75969) REVIEW
The Hogwarts Clock Tower and Astronomy Tower are comparable kits in terms of size. Astronomy Tower is slightly larger with 971 bricks. Incidentally, that is 49 more pieces that the Clock Tower. However, the prices are substantially different. Clock Tower costs $119.99 in Canada. Conversely, Astronomy Tower is $139.99. Overall, the cost-per-brick for Astronomy Tower is not bad. In fact, it is average at $0.144/brick. However, I feel like a $20 price hike for 49 extra bricks is excessive. Consequently, each extra brick that you acquire over the Clock Tower costs $0.41. Again, the value for this set is not bad. My average cost-per-brick across all themes is $0.139. For the Harry Potter theme, it is $0.144. Either way, the value is average. I rate this set at 79% in this category.
In terms of build time, Astronomy Tower provides almost the same amount as Clock Tower. I assembled this set in just under three hours (176 minutes total). At full price, the cost-per-minute of build time works out to $0.795. Comparatively, my average cost-per-minute is $0.834 across all themes. For Harry Potter alone, the average is $0.89/minute. In both comparisons, you get a good amount of build time for the price. I rate the build-time value at 84%. Taken with the value-per-brick, Astronomy Tower earns 82% for overall value.
Of the three Hogwarts sets I have assembled, this is my least favorite in terms of design. Let me be clear, it is not a bad set. It is just not my favorite segment of Hogwarts. I like the front door section. It is a little small, but the design looks nice. The tower portion is aesthetically pleasing, but there is no glass in many of windows. That missing feature makes the exterior feel incomplete. Additionally, when you turn the structure around, it employs several white door frames for structural support. They stick out like sore thumbs. I wish it had more tan bricks for a consistent look.
Otherwise, expect a playset going into this. Astronomy Tower has many small spaces for tiny hands. I wish certain rooms were larger. Particularly the green house. However, the bartizan designs present interesting techniques, even if they are completely non-functional. Additionally, the set does not come with a crazy number of stickers. There are some. However, the set does not rely on them heavily for detail. Particularly on the outside, the brick-built features are great. I rate the build at 80%.
Astronomy Tower comes with eight Minifigures. They have all the standard parts; there are no stumpy, unmoving kid legs. Additionally, each character has a double-sided face, as well as front and back torso printing. Half of the minifigs also have leg printing. In terms of characters, the set includes Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville Longbottom, Professor Slughorn, Luna Lovegood, Draco Malfoy, and Lavender Brown. Accessories included with Astronomy Tower are a tray, four clear chalices, two books, a variety of pastry pieces, four gems, two printed tile envelopes, a printed newspaper tile, a broom, six cauldrons, an owl, several wands, scissors, and four mandrakes. Interestingly, the set also has two of the Chinese New Year style lanterns, and the printed dragonfly brick seen in the arctic City sets. The great character designs and the sheer number of accessories give Astronomy Tower a minifig design score of 100%.
Eight Minifigures in a kit containing 971 pieces gives a brick-to-fig ratio of 121:1. That is average for the Harry Potter theme (123:1). Alternatively, my average ratio across all themes is 142:1. Astronomy Tower comes with a good number of Minifigures for a set of this size. I rate that at 82%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 91%.
I feel the same about Astronomy Tower as I do about the other Hogwarts sets. I like the general look and style of the building. Additionally, I am happy to get a kit full of a variety of tan bricks for MOCs. However, I am not a die-hard Potter fan. As intended, this set is a niche interest build. However, it provides any AFOL with a lot of fun and reusable bricks. I rate the AFOL score at 90%.
Similarly, my opinion of Astronomy Tower for kids is unchanged from earlier sections of Hogwarts. This set offers a lot of play potential and many new spaces from the series. The Great Hall, Clock Tower, Astronomy Tower, and Whomping Willow all join creating a huge playset too. I am a fan of interconnecting sets and building on previous experiences. However, Harry Potter might not appeal to all kids. Therefore, again, I rate the entertainment value at 90%.
OVERALL SCORE: 86%
Compared to other segments of Hogwarts, Astronomy Tower has a high price tag. That does not translate into a bad value, but it is not as good as Clock Tower. Additionally, the build lacks the finesse of Clock Tower or Great Hall. With that said, Astronomy Tower is by no means a bad set. It is just not my favorite segment of Hogwarts. The Minifigures and accessories are wonderful though. The set also comes with a good number of characters for the brick count. If you are only getting one or two pieces of this iteration of Hogwarts, I would select a different set. But, Hogwarts Astronomy Tower (75969) is still a solid purchase. What do you think? Feel free to comment below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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