Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue (76401) Review

Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue (76401) is one of two new castle expansion sets in the Harry Potter summer 2022 wave. Today’s installment brings us another scene from Book/Film 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban. That is easily my favourite of the films and one of the better books in the series. In this set, we get another section of Hogwarts to add to the modular and expandable collection that began with the 20th Anniversary sets in 2021. The portion in question is the Hogwarts courtyard along with the Dark Tower prison. But you will need help to rescue Sirius Black; enter Buckbeak the hippogriff for that sweet air support!

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.

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 Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue
  • SET #: 76401
  • THEME: Harry Potter
  • COST: $64.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 345
  • MINIFIGURES: 3 (1 new & 2 existing prints) + Hippogriff creature
  • RELEASE DATE: June 19, 2022

QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 65% (mediocre scores for both cost-per-brick and cost-per-minute given the smaller size)
  • BUILD: 60% (average build with OK details, hippogriff is a nice mold, but no significant features overall)
  • MINIFIGURES: 82% (2 reused and 1 new print, minimal accessories but excellent brick-to-fig ratio)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 65% (weaker play/value on its own, but useful as a Hogwarts expansion piece)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 68% (mediocre set with Ok minfigs but not much play or AFOL value)

VALUE: 65%

Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue (76401) has an MSRP of $64.99 in Canada. With just 345 bricks in the box, we get a cost-per-brick of $0.19 which translates to a score of 61%. The average for the Harry Potter sets to date sits at a more comfortable $0.13 for 80%. For a smaller-to-medium size set, this is definitely on the costly side. Like the Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals (76400), a portion of this extra cost has to do with the inclusion of the Hippogriff creature. Sadly those molds usually mean shelling out more moneys. Look at the Jurassic World sets for instance – dinosaurs ain’t cheap!

I built Sirius’s Rescue in just under an hour, 58 minutes to be exact. With that time and those 345 pieces, we get a cost-per-minute of $1.12 and a score of 69%. Athough I’m a relatively speedy builder, there wasn’t a lot to make here so this seems pretty reasonable and not surprising. For comparison, the average for HP sets reviewed to date sits at approx $0.93 for a score of 80%. Combining both scores together, this sets receives a final value score of 65%.

BUILD: 60%

Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue (76401) comes in a standard box. The packaging has the usual wizarding graphics with the set in the centre and our heroes to the side. Inside you will find 3 numbered bags, an 83 page instruction booklet and a very small sticker sheet. And once again we see the new design for the instruction manual – I really like the simpler white aesthetic. The singular build is a portion of the Hogwarts Courtyard and the dark tower that serves as a jail cell.

Sirius’ rescue made it’s first LEGO®️ appearance in the initial launch of the theme in 2004. Sirius Black’s Escape (4753) brings us a nearly identical build, albeit a little chonkier and less refined. Three minifigures are also in that set, as is Buckbeak, but there’s a lower piece count of 188. Modern elements and parts definitely make for more detail, but not by much. And not surprisingly the hippogriff mold gets a huge upgrade is detail and quality.

I have to say that I don’t find this overly ‘courtyard’ like. The base is very minimal in depth and detail so it really doesn’t create much of a setting. Some vines, upside-down frog ornaments and plants add a little character, but only just. I do like the spiral stairs, particularly for the way they can nest inside. The second level has an angled desk with a candle and one of the swanky new brooms. On top of that is the teeny, tiny tower with a prison cell and….well, that’s really it. Oh, and there’s also a small barrel with a turkey leg too, in case anyone is hungry.

Technique wise there isn’t much to talk about either. The whole build comes together very easily. Not a terrible thing mind you, but there’s always room for a little more of a challenge. Each small section can be rearranged a bit, but in only a limited way. The value of the set on it’s own feels a bit weak and honestly you don’t end up with much to show for it. For the anti-sticker crowds, you’ll be happy to see very few in this set.

Saved By A Hippogriff

Similar to the Carriage and thestrals, a likely draw for this set is the hippogriff creature mold which looks identical to that found in Hagrid’s Hut: Buckbeak’s Rescue (75947). Huh, seems like everyone needs rescuing in the 3rd installment. Buckbeak is a really great animal with nice printing, particularly on the head. The molded feet are also a nice bit of design. I do find the solid silver colour wings a bit of a mismatch, although the pieces themselves are impressive. And it’s definitely an improvement over the original design – but after 20 years, that’s a given. I’m giving the build a final score of 64%.

MINIFIGURES: 82%

Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue (76401) includes 3 minifigures: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and (of course) Sirius Black. Harry and Hermione are the same figs as those in the Hogwarts Hospital Wing (76398). And those are basically the same year 3 figures as before but with some dirty and torn clothes. There isn’t a lot of detail however and with the medium legs we have yet to get any printing. Sirius Black is back in his Azkaban prison rags, but it’s a new print sans jacket. With his figure, you will get much more detail on the torso that carries onto the legs. All three figures also have dual-sided expressions and the usual hair piece. Harry’s secondary expression is pretty great though – that happy open mouth is a nice alt for recreating the thrill of his first flight atop Buckbeak Airways.

Accessory wise, there is a bit less to go around. Each character has his or her wand of course, but not much more. In fact the only additional minifig item is the new Time-Turner piece for Hemione. Printed on a round 1×1 tile, it’s a very nice element, but it’s tiny and not much to ‘play’ with. The broom can technically be considered an accessory but it’s not built with the minfigure so I think of it as set dressing. Lastly you will get two more random wizarding tiles.

Duplicato Minifigurus

With these 3 minfigures and just 345 pieces, we end up with a great brick-to-fig value of 115, for nice score of 94%. Happily, the minifigure ratios for this entire wave are really high. It’s a really great value-add regardless of the set size. The minifigures themselves unfortunately don’t score quite as high and a few points are lost because of those plainer prints and reused designs. My final score for the figures alone is 72%. Averaging both numbers together we still get a very decent score of 82%. I think that’s pretty accurate for a set with reused figures and creatures. And keep in mind, we will see these figures yet again in one more set this wave. Stay tuned for that.

ENTERTAINMENT: 65%

I would classify Hogwarts Courtyard: Sirius’s Rescue (76401) as a medium size addition to the overall Hogwarts Castle puzzle. There isn’t much detail overall, but there’s some nice architectural bits and it will certainly add some layers to the expanding assembly. Aside from the sets I now have for review, my only Hogwarts chunk is from 2021’s GWP: Hogwarts Gryffindor Dorms (40452). Once I build Dumbledore’s Office (76402) I think I can get more entertainment out of this build. Until that time….honestly, meh.

Look at this set carefully and there’s really not much there. You get the ‘concept’ of a courtyard, some stairs, a room with a broom and a prison box. Honestly it’s a let down if you try to enjoy the set at face value. And at this higher price point, that’s a let down for sure. Because of this, I really can’t enjoy this set to the fullest. It really has more value within the bigger build than it can hope to have on its own.

KFOLs will most likely get the usual play fun and imaginative value out of this. But my gut says that AFOLs and minifigure collectors will find this only a grudging pick-up. Harry and Hermione are available in another set with a better build at the same cost. Getting this only for a new Sirius and a Buckbeak isn’t the best value to date. With all that said, I will still score it a bit higher because it adds some extra bits to Hogwarts. Ultimately I’m giving this set a 65%.

OVERALL: 70%

Do you have Thestrals and Abraxans? If so, then you will need a Hippogriff to add to your magical menagerie. Buckbeak is a great creature mold but this is a pricier way to get him. If there was one more minifigure or preferably a lower MSRP, this set would make a better buy. It’s decent as an expansion to Hogwarts, but only just. The disparity between pricing and finished build is just a bit too high for this reviewer. The best feature is the minifigures thanks to a great brick-to-fig ratio. If you manage to get this on sale, then it’ll be worth it. So while this isn’t my favourite offering in the wave, it’s not a total pass. I give it a final overall score of 68%.

And dat’s number three in the bag my friends. This is my least favourite of the seven sets so far. And honestly even then, it’s not a total miss. I try to find the good in all LEGO®️ sets. But what are your thoughts on the latest set to rescue Sirius? Are you collecting the minifigs? Do you have the other Hogwarts sets for max assembly? What’s your favourite set so far? Comment in all the usual places and let me know. Thanks for tuning in and until next time, keep on brickin’. 🧱

-Frank

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2 comments

  • Thanks for your very honest and helpful review. Disappointing that Harry and Hermione minifigures are exactly the same as in the Hospital Wing set. I think I will definitely be waiting to see if this new set appears in a sale.