Hogwarts Carriage And Thestrals (76400) Review

My reviews of the Summer 2022 Harry Potter line-up continues with the Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals (76400). After reviewing the largest set, we’re now heading the opposite way with the smallest. For today’s review we’re checking out a small scene from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Traditionally, students take a carriage to Hogwarts Castle from the train station. What Harry once thought was self-driven by magic, is in actuality pulled by a mythical creature known as a Thestral – skeletal horse things with wings! Thestrals can only be seen by those who have witnessed death, which only adds to the creepiness. This small build recreates the carriage and a wee tiny tree. Throw in a couple of Thestrals and you have yourself a set!

This is one of seven new sets in the Summer 2022 wave and I am happy to have the entire collection for review. These were first announced in early April with some currently up for pre-order on LEGO.com. Click on the links below for my previous reviews. And for an unboxing of the entire wave with set stats, please click on the YouTube link below. Thanks for tuning in and enjoy more Wizarding World goodness.

#76408 – 12 Grimmauld Place

NOTE: This set was provided by The LEGO® Group to True North Bricks for review. This does not guarantee a favourable review and all opinions are my own. For a breakdown of the rating system, please click here.

SET SUMMARY

  • NAME: Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals
  • SET #: 76400
  • THEME: Harry Potter
  • COST: $24.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 121
  • MINIFIGURES: 2 (new prints + adult & baby Thestral creature)
  • RELEASE DATE: June 19, 2022

QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 61% (low scores for both cost-per-brick and cost-per-minute, not surprising for a small set)
  • BUILD: 60% (very simple build with minimal detail, but great creature figures)
  • MINIFIGURES: 87% (awesome brick-to-fig ratio with new prints on both minifigs)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 70% (OK play value, great way to get additional figs/creatures in your collection)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 70% (decent set and a great value if found on sale)

VALUE: 61%

Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals (76400) will retail for $24.99 in Canada. Factoring in the 121 pieces included, we get a cost-per-brick of $0.21. The average for the Harry Potter sets to date sits a more comfortable $0.13 for 80%. As such, this set receives an unfortunately poor value score of 57%. Smaller sets are often on that lower end of the valuation, but this is still a bummer even by average standards. Much of this has to do with the cost of the new mold for the infant thestral and the inclusion of the adult creature. I love getting animals in sets, but they do come at a cost.

My build time score fairs slightly better thanks to a build time of 21 minutes for a cost-per-minute of $1.19. That cost translates to a score of 65% – not great but certainly better. This one shouldn’t take you long to assemble by any stretch. Averaging both scores together, the Hogwarts Carriage and it’s thestral crew earns a passable 61%.

BUILD: 60%

Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals (76400) comes in a standard box containing one unnumbered bag and a 47 page instruction booklet. There are two builds for this set – the Hogwarts Carriage and a small tree. Neither is complicated or overtly innovative. But they are nice enough despite the lack of finer details. The carriage is a simple construction with a few nice parts here and there. There’s a small door in the back with some steps built underneath, easily the more interesting feature. And there’s just enough room inside to comfortably seat a few minifigures. The thestral has a standard harness piece that connects to the carriage. But if you don’t want to include this, you can remove it and put a 1×2 gray tile instead. You’ve now liberated the thestral and it can fly freely and not haul around moody children.

To go along with your carriage and thestrals is a small tree build. It’s as basic as they come and literally nothing to write home about. Usual parts and colours on this one. But I will say that I love brick-built mushrooms – I find them so adorable. A red radar dish and a white cone just make the perfect pairing for fungal accuracy 😉. But ultimately not too many people will be picking this one up for the builds as the creatures are the real draw.

Morbidly Cute

Hogwarts carriages are pulled by invisible creatures called thestrals. These winged skele-horses first appear in the OG Hogwarts Castle (5378) waaaaay back in 2007. Like today’s version, they are a single body mold with clip on wings. They are definitely freakier though, looking way more skeletal and abstract. Thankfully today’s creatures have far better details and proportions. This current mold debuted with another carriage set: Grindelwald’s Escape (75951) from 2018. The design is fantastic and really captures the shapes and spectral quality wonderfully. And making it’s first appearance in this set is an infant thestral! It’s done as a single piece mold and it’s morbidly adorable.

Overall this is a very basic set, one that’s thankfully elevated a bit by the creatures and minifigures (more on them next). With only 121 pieces, you can’t expect much in the way of detail. With basically the same piece count as your average Brickheadz, there’s only so much you can do. I would have done away with the tree and focused more on the carriage, or added an additional minifigure. It’s ‘fine’ but it could have been given a bit more attention, so my final score is 60%.

MINIFIGURES: 87%

Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals (76400) includes 2 minifigures, both of which are new prints. With only 2 minfigures and just 121 pieces, this works to a fabulous brick-to-fig score of 61 and a perfect 100% value. So while you don’t get a lot of bricks, you get two very nice minfigures for that $25. In this set we find Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood from year 5. Each one gets a nice new front/back torso print. Harry’s open blue jacket with Hogwarts tie and sweater underneath is a nice mixing of two very common designs for the fig. Luna’s shirt and knit jacket are also nice, especially that lavendar colouring. Neither has any leg or arm printing, but they do have dual-sided expressions.

Both of our heroes come with the requisite wand and an accessory or two. Harry comes with a green apple for … reasons? Luna however gets her usual blue sidebag as well as a printed 2×3 tile of the Quibbler newspaper. This tile is a reuse of the same part that came with Luna’s first minifig of the current collection [CMF Series 1 in 2018]. It’s a great print and its inclusion makes total sense. Her other ‘accessory’ is a small red/brown 1×1 tile that represents the raw meat she feeds the infant in the film. It’s a cute little detail and adds some fun to the scene. I’m giving the minifigures as a whole a score of 75%. Combining both scores we get a very solid 87% overall.

ENTERTAINMENT: 70%

Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals (76400) is an ok set with some play appeal for younger builders. The set is simple to construct therefore no one should experience any difficulty with it. The carriage is as sturdy as it could be but really doesn’t offer much else for interactivity. As you can already surmise, the real selling points of this small set (indeed many a small set) are the creatures and minifigures. AFOLs and collectors will definitely find this an easy buy thanks to a reasonably affordable price point and 4 unique figs/creatures. If not for that, I would be definitely be marking this category lower. To repeat myself, it’s ‘fine’ and scores a decent final score of 70%.

OVERALL: 70%

If you’re a collector of obscure magical creatures then this is the set for you. And if you’re just in it for the minfigures (guilty!) then you will also want to check this one out. Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals (76400) is like many a small play set – it’s all about the unique parts. Thankfully the thestral infant is really well done, as is the adult. And the minfigures have just enough detail to be desirable in the collection. Sadly the build and cost-per-brick make for a very mediocre value. But if you can find this on sale, I definitely recommend picking one up. The final score is a modest 70%.

And that’s another new Summer 2022 Harry Potter set in the bag! Thanks for joining me as I work my way through this latest magical wave. What do you think of this set? Do you collect magical creatures? Are you impressed by the new molds and figures? Would you go anywhere near a thestral? Comment below and let me know your thoughts. Thanks again and until next time, keep on brickin’. 🧱

-Frank

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