Hogwarts Moment: Defense Class Review

Hogwarts Moment: Defense Against the Dark Arts Class (76397) is a new addition to the expanding line of small book builds in the Harry Potter line. Like the previous four sets in this rather adorable sub-theme, you will build a classroom setting from the Harry Potter films. Opening the set reveals some furniture, moveable walls and 3 minifigures to play out the scene. It’s a simple idea, but it’s one that allows for some inventive play for young builders. Tom has previously reviewed the original four releases from 2021: Transfiguration, Charms, Potions and Herbology. In 2022 two more classes joined them with Defense Against the Dark Arts (76397) and Divination (76936). I will look at Defense Class today and Divination will be up shortly. Let’s start with some self-defense – magician style!

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 Moment: Defense Against the Dark Arts Class
  • SET #: 76397
  • THEME: Harry Potter
  • COST: $39.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 257
  • MINIFIGURES: 3 – Mad-Eye Moody, Neville Longbottom & Hermione Granger
  • RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2022

QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 82% (OK scores for both criteria that are in-line with the prior sets in the sub-theme)
  • BUILD: 70% (a very simple build that doesn’t utilize the whole space, but does create a nice setting)
  • MINIFIGURES: 92% (great scores overall thanks to minfig count and some good designs)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 84% (great set for young builders and minifig collectors)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 82% (nice build with display appeal and good value overall)

VALUE: 82%

From here on out, I will simply refer to this set as Hogwarts Moment: Defense Class – that full title is exhausting😂. Like it’s predecessors, this set retails for $39.99 CAD. At this price, we get a cost-per-brick of $0.16 and a score of 76% -which is on the high side. But looking at the previous four Moments sets, they average the same amount. Smaller sets don’t often see very high scores given a minimum price threshold and low piece count. This does put Defense Class at just slightly over the average of $0.14 (80%) for theme overall. So while it’s on par, it’s not the best deal in the LEGO® world.

Hogwarts Moment: Defense Class took me just under an hour to complete – 52 minutes. It’s a tiny set but there’s enough there for a decent little build experience. With those 257 bricks, we get a cost-per-minute of $0.77 for a score 88%. Taking my time definitely helped bring up the points on this wee book. By comparison, the average for HP sets in this category is $0.91 for 80%. Taking both scores together we get a final value score of 82%.

BUILD: 70%

Hogwarts Moments: Defense Class is packaged is the same style box like other HP sets. The cover art is colourful and fun, and it fits in perfectly with the rest of the Harry Potter line. Inside the box are two numbered bags, two large plates for the covers, a decent size sticker sheet and an 87 page instruction book. I have to say I am really impressed with the printed cover page. As a single piece it’s quite impressive and I’m happy it’s not one giant sticker – that would be excessive. This is a very straightforward build with no surprises. Construction is simple with no innovative techniques or new pieces.

The final build makes for a cute setting with some familiar props. Most of the scenery is built on the front cover and the spine. With the walls fully open, the back cover is essentially empty space. You can still use with this area of course but with no wall or build there it feels like ‘the back’. And it’s got a nice sticker element which is good to use for play. Like the other book builds, you will create some small furniture pieces to fill out the room. These items stack nicely inside the closed book to keep it all neat, organized and in easy reach. It’s a simple yet smart bit of design.

The accessories include a desk with base, small chairs, a chest, a table and Moody’s chalk board. You also get some bottles, glass objects and a book with a very nice printed tile interior. They’re as simple as possible, but they fit the scale and work fairly well. I quite like the nesting done with the table and seats. It’s incredibly basic, but it works to make everything nice and compact.

Stickeriffic

Each Hogwarts Moment set relies very heavily on stickers. I for one have no beef with stickers in my sets. And for something as background/graphic heavy as Harry Potter, I don’t see a way around them. In these cases, large stickers fill in the square spaces of the book covers and on several elements throughout. Those large stickers really make the scene come to life. And honestly, without them, it’s a lot less convincing. Eyes, mirrors, looking glasses, all help to fill in the room as well. And regardless of your sticker stance, kudos to the graphic design team for some great work. Ultimately though, this is a very simple build with only half the book feeling ‘used’. My final build score is 70%.

MINIFIGURES: 92%

Hogwarts Moment: Defense Class comes with three minifigures. With those three figs and 257 pieces we get a brick-to-fig value of 86 which is a near perfect score of 98%. The figures themselves get mostly high marks as well thanks to front-and-back torso prints, dual-sided expressions and some accessories. Using the standard criteria we get a very decent score of 87%. Combining both scores, we get a total score of 92%. This totally keeps on trend with the prior sets reviewed by Tom. Consistency is always nice. And let’s face it – we’re all most here for the minifigs. 😊

New(ish) Minifigures

In this set we get a new(ish) Professor Moody. And I say newish because his print is identical to his CMF Series 1 look. In fact, all that’s changed is the colour. His tan jacket is now a nougat colour, and his pants and shirt are dark brown instead of blue. I’m not mad at it since it’s a very good print with lots of detail. His facial expression is ever so slightly different. He went from frown to slightly more scowling frown. He does keep that great alternate face of Barty Crouch Jr though, complete with sinister lip licking and matching hair piece. Moody comes with his trademark flask, a walking stick and technically the chest with ‘trapped’ Moody figurine.

The lucky students attending this class are Herminone Granger and Neville Longbottom. Again, each one is ‘new’ in so much as this particular head and torso combination are new. These standard Gryffindor robes have shown up in a few sets now and although not completely new, they do allow for some variations. Neville gets the open robe while Hermione keeps the dress code 100 with a buttoned one. Each has a dual expression, medium size legs and their standard wand. And since this is year 4, we get the poseable legs which makes all the difference for play. How else they gonna sit in those chairs?! I would have liked a new student of course, but these two make sense for the scene.

ENTERTAINMENT: 84%

So how entertaining is the Hogwarts Moment: Defense Class? Well, like everything in life, it’s as fun as you can make it. But to be more specific, it’s a great set for younger builders and they should have fun with it. There’s plenty of role-play opportunities here thanks to the accessories and decent minifigure selection. Swap out Moody for Quirrell, Lockhart, Lupin, Umbridge and/or Snape and you have several different books and movies to reimagine. I am drawn to this set for the minifigs only and while they’re not wholly unique, there do complete the collection. That will be the biggest draw for AFOLs. And if you have the other sets in the subtheme, they will make a lovely display. It’s a fun set with a digestible price tag and a bit of appeal for young and older fans alike. My final score is 84%.

OVERALL: 82%

Hogwarts Moment: Defense Class is a good little set and an affordable buy. Getting three minifigs for $40 CAD is a great incentive just on its own. The repetitive, consistent design of these books make for a reliable experience and a fun bit of displayable product. It reminds me of the buildable animals like Fawkes or my recently reviewed Hungarian Horntail. Get the base idea solid and replicable, then change the smaller parts as needed. Most importantly is that the target audience – younger builders – will no doubt enjoy this set. The final score is 82%.

After getting out of the prison trunk, it was time for a drink at the local pub.

Now let me close this book and ask you for your thoughts. What’s your take on the Hogwarts Moment series? Do you own the others for that nice display factor? Are there any other classrooms you hope to see? Send an owl through the comments and let me know. Thanks for reading and until next time, keep on brickin’. 🧱

-Frank

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