HOGWARTS MAGICAL TRUNK (76399) REVIEW
True North Bricks has covered loads of Harry Potter sets recently, but there is one more that I’d like to highlight – the Hogwarts Magical Trunk (76399). I am super excited about this set primarily because of all the minifigure elements it includes – so much diversity! However, the trunk itself looks pretty cute too. The Magical Trunk joins other sets within the Harry Potter theme that are different than standard minifigure building-based sets. These include the Wizard’s Chess set and the various articulating winged models – like the Hungarian Horntail Dragon. Additionally, there are the book-based playsets in the Hogwarts Moment sub-theme. These are similar to the trunk in that they are all models that open up to playsets. Lastly, there is the maxi-figure Harry and Hermione (I haven’t built mine but wonder if the trunk would work well with them). Let’s take a closer look at the Magical Trunk.
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use the usual True North Bricks rating system (click here for more information) and provide my honest opinion.
HOGWARTS MAGICAL TRUNK SUMMARY
- NAME: Hogwarts Magical Trunk
- SET #: 76399
- THEME: Harry Potter
- COST: $84.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 603
- MINIFIGURES: 6 (plus lots of extra parts)
- RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2022
- COST/BRICK: $0.14
- BRICK-TO-FIG RATIO: 101:1
- DIMENSIONS: 6cm (h) x 17cm (w) x 7cm (d)
HOGWARTS MAGICAL TRUNK QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 71% (satisfactory value)
- BUILD: 65%
- MINIFIGURES: 100%
- ENTERTAINMENT: 70%
- OVERALL SCORE: 76% (satisfactory)
HOGWARTS MAGICAL TRUNK REVIEW
The Hogwarts Magical Trunk (76399) is $84.99 CAD for 603 parts, or $0.14 per brick. This translates to 79% which is just below average for all Harry Potter sets review by True North Bricks. My first impression when this set was first announced was that it was pricey based purely on price per piece. But a closer look at all the minifigures plus all the extra heads and hairpieces adds quite a lot of value. Somewhat similar to Creator 3-in-1 sets, the Magical Trunk can turn into 3 different rooms and most of the mini builds also transform. Additionally, the sticker sheet intended for decorating the trunk has awesome stickers that can be used for all kinds of other purposes. For me, all of these things add to the value. Unfortunately, they are not captured in the True North Bricks value calculation. So, keep that in mind.
This set took me 54 minutes to complete the main build, and an additional 14 minutes to build the alternate builds at the end of the instruction booklet. My total time was 68 minutes for a build value of $1.25/minute. This only translates to 62% but I suspect many folks will take a bit longer, especially when configuring the different rooms with the alternate builds. That said, the trunk itself is quite small so it doesn’t feel like great value after you have built it (especially with the one missing part of the wall. Averaging both scores together gives an overall value score of 71% (satisfactory value).
Upon opening the box you will find an instruction booklet reminiscent of a Hogwarts letter. Unfortunately, the fun ends there as you flip open the cover to a standard instruction booklet. I was hoping for something a bit more interesting similar to how the recent Disney Haunted Mansion has some additional photos and information.
The set also comes with two large sticker sheets – one for specific elements and one to decorate the trunk. The latter has 37 super fun stickers including Honey Dukes, Aloha mora, Bertie Bott’s Beans, Wingardium Leviosa, and more. Personally, I found it challenging to place the stickers randomly on the trunk, so I saved myself the anxiety and opted not to use them for this purpose. Instead, I went with a nice, clean look.
The construction of the trunk itself is relatively straightforward and makes good use of various SNOT (studs not on top) brackets. The most interesting part of the trunk is the locking mechanism. It is a simple construction that uses the new 2×2 round with hook and cross hole. Currently, this element is only available in this set. By inserting the key in the cross hole you are able to turn the hook attached to a turntable. The hook then catches a bar attached to a modified plate and voila, your case is locked! Interestingly, the lock is actually needed to keep the trunk together.
Interestingly, the top and bottom of the trunk are built using different elements. The top uses one of the new road pieces but in dark tan, along with 4×8 reverse tiles in dark orange. This creates a nice smooth finished look. Unfortunately, the bottom doesn’t look as polished. Rather than a smooth tiled surface, you can see the bottom of various plates. This works ok if the trunk is just sitting there (though the unsightly back is exposed) but if you carry it around then it looks unfinished.
In addition to the unfinished bottom, the back is also a bit strange. If you don’t put the wall mini builds in place then you are left with a gaping hole. Additionally, the side profile also stands out in all the wrong ways. The trunk looks more like half a trunk when viewed from the side. Unfortunately, I feel like the list of unfinished elements of this set is longer than it needed to be.
Perhaps the saving grace of the trunk is that the front can be customized using tiles and bows in different colours. You can stick with one colour combination for a specific Hogwarts house, combine all four together, or create your own custom design. The challenging part is removing the bows which I found out when I forgot to take a photo before adding the House colours.
Inside the trunk
The dual-sided wall mini builds are quite neat. Most have two sides that allow you to create different scenes. The other side of the bookcase is the Hogwarts House point tracker. The two cupboards have panels on the opposite side with floating candlesticks (stickers). I feel like there was a missed opportunity to at least include a sticker for the back of the fireplace to make it into another wall feature. Instead, it is just grey and likely not meant to be anything else.
Once complete the trunk opens up into a play area. It feels a bit cramped once you add the furniture, especially if you want to actually play with the minifigures. That said, LEGO® often packs a lot in small spaces and it works well enough with the trunk.
Pretty great parts
There are some nice elements in this set. In addition to the numerous minifigure parts, there are lots of food accessories for the minifigures to indulge. Even though this set has a lot of stickers, it also has some great printed elements. It’s hard to pick a favourite but I love Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, the Acid Pops, and the Quibbler (on a 2×3 tile).
A Harry Potter set isn’t complete without an owl, and this set comes with a sand blue Hedwig with out-stretched wings and a brown “chocolate” frog. This set also includes a number of interesting elements. There are lots of gold elements including a gold trunk with a flat top lid and a key. Additionally, there is a book, four panels used to decorate and redecorate the room (using stickers), and a key ring among other interesting parts.
The build experience of the trunk itself, aside from the locking mechanism, is nothing special. In fact, the trunk looks unfinished. However, the accessories, printed elements, and mini builds/rebuilds help offset some of the negatives. I did enjoy creating the different scenes and rooms, and kids will have fun coming up with their own designs. Overall, the build experience was a bit of a mix and for that reason I give the Hogwarts Magical Trunk (76399) a build value of 65%.
The minifigures are the highlight of this set for me. There are 6 torsos, 5 legs, 1 full length skirt, 2 small skirt pieces, 12 double-sided heads, 17 hairpieces, and 2 hats (including the sorting hat).
Despite all these parts, you can only make six minifigures at once. These include Harry Potter and Professor McGonagall (check out her magnificent robe!), as well as four other students. Each student represents one of the four Hogwarts houses and you can customise them by swapping legs, skirts, heads, and hair pieces. Unfortunately, Harry and the other students have the short legs that don’t bend.
The diversity in this set is a first for LEGO®. Not only are there five different skin tones, but LEGO® also introduced a brand new skin tone colour in this set – medium brown. AFOLs and LEGO® fans of all ages have been calling for greater diversity in skin tones, so it is great to see LEGO® making an effort to be more inclusive. I am hoping this is just the beginning and that we start to see a greater variety of skin tones in more sets, even if it is the inclusion of additional heads and hair pieces rather than full minifigures.
Typically, the minifigure score is based on the number of full minifigures. In this case there are six full minifigures which translates to a score of 97%. While this score is already great, I would argue that the addition of so many other heads and hair pieces warrants some extra points. After making the six minifigures, you have 6 more heads and twice that many hair pieces left over to customize your minifigures. Moreover, all the minifigure heads and torsos have both front and back printing. Even adjusting the count by two increases the score to over than 100%. Given the True North Bricks minifigure score only accounts for full minifigures, I have taken the liberty to increase the score to 100%.
Given the small size of this model, it definitely packs a lot in entertainment wise. The Hogwarts Magical Trunk (76399) converts to three different rooms or you can design your own. The LEGO® website says you can build classic scenes from the Sorting Ceremony, the Great Hall feast, and the Common Room. But the latter looks more like a dorm room given there is a bed in the middle of it. The common room (or dorm room) is my favourite as it is more different than the other two rooms, which are essentially different scenes that take place in the same room – the Great Hall.
Transforming mini builds
It is quite neat how the “blankets” are stacked and tucked under the dining tables when not in use. This wouldn’t be very practical if minifigures had longer legs. It is unfortunate that LEGO® didn’t use any of the smaller bending legs as it is difficult getting the minifigures to stay on the benches. It is a bit odd that they have to stand to eat their meals as well.
The fantastic purple couch turns into two very nice looking chairs. However, the two chairs lack studs which makes it difficult to sit a minifigure on them. That said, none of the minifigures in this set have bending legs, so at best a minifigure can only stand on the chair anyway.
All packed up
All the furniture and minifigures tuck into one side of the trunk so you can close it. If you put anything on the other side then it won’t close properly. Just be sure to secure the wall/furniture pieces in place as they form the bottom of the trunk when closed. It isn’t super secure especially if you carry it around filled with all the extra minifigure pieces and coloured tiles and bows. Additionally, it also feels a bit unfinished.
Interestingly, to pack up the trunk as described in the instructions, you need to build the couch and dining tables at the same time. However, these two items are never used in the same room. The couch is used with the bed – the alternate build for the tables. And the tables are used with the chairs – the alternate build for the couch. This means that after playing, you need to rebuild either the couch or the tables in order to fit them back in the case.
Teeny tiny trunk
I also thought the trunk was going to be bigger. It’s only 6cm h x 17cm w x 7cm deep. However, I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised as Newt’s Case of Magical Creatures (75952) from 2018 was a similar scale (13cm h x 16cm w x 4cm d). When the Harry Potter Magical Trunk (76399) was first revealed I thought it would make a neat display piece. Unfortunately, it is too small for that. It may look ok when paired with the Harry Potter and Hermione Granger (76393) maxi-figure set. However, I haven’t built mine yet to see first hand.
The Hogwarts Magical Trunk (76399) packs a lot of playability into a small space, similar to the Hogwarts Moment book sets. However, the execution of the trunk itself was cut short and it is much smaller than anticipated. For these reasons I give this set an entertainment value of 70%.
OVERALL SCORE: 76%
The Hogwarts Magical Trunk (76399) is a neat idea with lots of playability that kids will enjoy. Unfortunately, the trunk is a bit too small and it feels like an idea that wasn’t fully developed. When it’s all closed up and in your hand, it is hard to believe it cost $85 CAD. That said, the magic of the magical trunk, especially for AFOLs, is the customizable minifigures and the diversity of the minifigure heads. Even with the minifigures, the Hogwarts Magical Trunk (76399) is an average set and earns an overall score of 76% (saisfactory). What is your favourite part of this set? Have you tried displaying the trunk with the Harry and Hermione max-figures? Tell us below or share your thoughts with us on social media.
Play well folks,
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