The latest range of Collectable Minifigures consists primarily of characters from the Harry Potter series but it also includes six minifigures based upon Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Newt and Tina have already appeared in Dimensions sets so I am excited to add some other significant characters to my collection.
Newt Scamander made his first appearance in 71253 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Play the Complete Movie, a LEGO Dimensions Story Pack from 2016. This minifigure is fairly similar to its predecessor, wearing the same dark blue coat and dark orange waistcoat, albeit with a slightly updated design. The most notable difference is the addition of a small Bowtruckle named Pickett who is shown emerging from Newt's jacket pocket.
The medium nougat hair piece remains unchanged. This is probably the most suitable of the elements which are currently available, although a new part may have been preferable. In addition, Newt's head features more wrinkles than are really necessary and I prefer the simpler design from the Dimensions pack. However, this is definitely a superior minifigure overall, aided in particular by a nice pair of dual-moulded legs.
Newt's briefcase is perhaps his most treasured possession, carrying a menagerie of magical creatures from all around the world. This case makes clever use of a reddish brown book cover that forms the lid and two golden latches are situated beside the handle on top. A brand new Niffler is also included and it looks absolutely adorable, featuring medium nougat paws, beady eyes and a long snout for hunting treasure.
The first Tina Goldstein minifigure was released in 2016's 71257 Tina Goldstein, a LEGO Dimensions Fun Pack. That version wore a light bluish grey jacket while the new figure features a sand blue coat which is both more visually appealing and more faithful to the source material than its predecessor. Dual-moulded legs are used to excellent effect here and I like the decorative buttons that continue across Tina's torso and onto her hips.
Tina's combined hat and hair piece looks fantastic too. This element first appeared in the Dimensions pack from a couple of years ago but now features a dark blue cloche hat instead of a dark bluish grey one. Tina wears an oval locket around her neck, just as in the film, while her head features a smile on one side and a frustrated expression on the other.
A reddish brown wand and a hot dog accompany the minifigure. The latter accessory makes reference to a scene from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, during which Tina observes a New Salem Philanthropic Society rally while eating a hot dog. The dark red sausage was introduced with the Hot Dog Man from the seventeenth series of Collectable Minifigures while the bun is brand new in medium nougat.
After a chance meeting with Newt Scamander at the Steen National Bank, Jacob Kowalski is drawn into the magical world and aids Newt in recapturing the creatures causing chaos across New York. He appeared alongside Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein in the LEGO Dimensions video game but this minifigure looks even better than its digital counterpart, featuring a moustache, a prominent chin and a rare dark brown hair piece that has only been used once before.
Jacob's dark bluish grey suit looks comparatively plain but I like his red and white spotted tie and the bulging waistcoat is a marvellous detail, reflecting Jacob's portly figure. However, his jacket does not continue onto the legs which is somewhat disappointing and the back of the torso is not printed either so appears rather bland.
The reddish brown briefcase carried by Jacob is identical to Newt's, as one would expect given the confusion between them in the movie. There is enough room for two 1x1 round tiles inside, each of which is decorated to represent a different item of confectionery. I appreciate such attention to detail on the part of the graphic designer as I was only expecting to find one printed design.
Like Jacob, Queenie Goldstein appeared in the LEGO Dimensions video game and this minifigure is identical to the digital version, sporting a striking dark blue dress which looks perfect in relation to the film. I am particularly impressed by the subtle pearl silver highlights around the hem of her skirt and these continue onto the sides of the dual-moulded legs.
The designer has chosen to cast Queenie's hair piece in nougat which is an interesting decision as this colour is very rarely used for anything other than minifigure heads. Nevertheless, I think it looks good when compared with the movie as a lighter blonde colour, such as that used on Draco Malfoy, would not be suitable. This curly hair style is ideal for the character too.
Queenie comes with a black wand which is unique to her as well as a brand new strudel. This element includes some lovely moulded detail and is decorated with speckled flour and intricate rosette designs on top. An anti-stud on the underside allows you to place this accessory in a minifigure's hand or on a studded surface.
Credence Barebone is probably the simplest of the 22 figures in this series but he plays an important role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them so is undoubtedly deserving of a place beside other characters from the film. His black bowl cut hair style and miserable expression are both accurate to the source material, conveying a great deal about Credence's nervous personality.
However, turning Credence's head around reveals a pair of white and metallic silver eyes, representing his deadly Obscurial form! I am very pleased that this was included and am similarly impressed by his traditional three-piece suit which features some intricate white stitching along the lapels and a striped waistcoat, matching the character's attire in the movie exactly.
As the adopted son of Mary Lou Barebone, Credence spends most of his time handing out pamphlets at New Salem Philanthropic Society events. The minifigure therefore comes with one of those leaflets, represented by a printed 1x2 tile and showing a group of witches dancing around a fire in the woods.
A whole box of 71022 Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Collectable Minifigures will contain only one Percival Graves minifigure, following the recent example of the Classic Police Officer from Series 18. This is somewhat disappointing as the Auror is among the most detailed figures in the series, wearing a dark blue scarf and an elegant jacket with a white lining that continues on the torso and legs. His arms are also decorated with white stripes.
Percival Graves includes a distinctive black hair piece which is printed with light bluish grey streaks on either side. I like this design but wonder whether Doctor Strange's textured hair from 76108 Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown might have been even better as that element is a little more voluminous than this one.
It is revealed towards the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that Gellert Grindelwald has in fact taken on Graves' identity, using Polyjuice Potion to duplicate the character's appearance. A second hair piece is therefore included for Grindelwald along with an alternative face, featuring a white moustache and a dark bluish grey right eye that matches the movie. A dark tan wand completes the minifigure.
LEGO has produced 28 different series of Collectable Minifigures during the last eight years and I have enjoyed collecting all of them. However, 71022 Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts may be my favourite series yet, due not only to the impressive range of characters included but also the tremendous detail captured by many of them. Luna Lovegood, Professor Trelawney, Albus Dumbledore and Tina Goldstein stand out in particular.
Nevertheless, I think there is still room for improvement. A few more alternative expressions would have been welcome and printing on the back of torsos has become very common in recent years so its absence from some of these minifigures is noticeable. The decision to include another chase figure is also somewhat disappointing. Even so, this is an excellent selection of minifigures and I would highly recommend them to fans of the Wizarding World.
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This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.