Review: 75951 Grindelwald's Escape

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The Wizarding World theme is focused primarily upon the story of Harry Potter but also includes a couple of sets from the Fantastic Beasts films. 75951 Grindelwald's Escape contains only 132 pieces so is the smaller set, although it comes with two unique minifigures and a brand new Thestral which is very exciting!

Furthermore, the dark carriage looks impressive and the set costs £19.99 or $19.99 so seems to offer reasonable value, especially given the presence of that new Thestral. I have certainly been looking forward to this set so am hoping that it will match my expectations.

Minifigures

Gellert Grindelwald looks fairly similar to the disguised version from the new Collectable Minifigures series, featuring the same hair piece and a head which is distinguished only by an absent moustache. This seems like a significant omission as the dark wizard does have a moustache in trailers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. In fact, he is shown sporting a full beard during the scene that presumably inspired this set.

75951 Grindelwald's Escape

Furthermore, a new hair piece would have been ideal as this element does not really resemble his hairstyle in the film. I like Grindelwald's heterochromatic eyes though and his head is decorated with two facial expressions, one of which appears angry while the other is completely without emotion. The minifigure wears a lovely olive green waistcoat and a black jacket which extends onto his legs but these are not dual-moulded, unfortunately.

75951 Grindelwald's Escape

I am more impressed with Seraphina Picquery, who sports a striking sand blue dress and a matching hat. This reminds me of the uniforms worn by pupils at Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and it looks great. The sand blue sailor hat is very interesting and includes some lovely texture on top while both sides of the torso are decorated with realistic creases in the fabric.

75951 Grindelwald's Escape

The dress is not printed so looks rather plain, although it is possible that Picquery's attire will be equally simple in the movie. Her head features a friendly smile alongside two strands of curled blonde hair and this minifigure comes with a unique purple wand while Grindelwald wields a dark tan accessory. Both characters also carry trans-light blue Power Blasts, just like those in the Super Heroes range.

75951 Grindelwald's Escape

The Completed Model

The majority of Hogwarts students travel from Hogsmeade Station to the castle gates aboard carriages drawn by Thestrals, excluding only the First Years who cross the Black Lake in boats. A similar mode of transportation will soon appear in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, presumably as the dark wizard's personal carriage. This vehicle looks very imposing and measures 25cm long with the Thestral attached so is bigger than I anticipated.

View image at flickr

Thestrals first appeared in 5378 Hogwarts Castle, represented by the skeletal horses that were created for the Castle theme from 2007. This rendition is far more accurate and includes considerable moulded detail as well as some intricate printing on the head. I love the white eyes and light bluish grey streaks which help to define the Thestral's leathery skin as well as the unusual shape of its nostril which has been captured perfectly.

View image at flickr

A pair of bat-like wings are clipped to the Thestral's body. They look fantastic in relation to the source material, consisting of a thin membrane structure stretched between a series of bones. I love the dual-moulded combination of black and trans-black plastic here as well as the two holes for attaching black spines which represent the creature's claws at the leading edge of each wing.

View image at flickr

Thestrals are perhaps most notable for their skeletal appearance and that is certainly in evidence here. The spinous processes along its main and back look great and there is even some rib texturing on the Thestral's belly. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the connection point for the carriage is not very visible beneath the animal's wings and you could also place a minifigure on its back by removing the black 2x2 tile.

View image at flickr

Grindelwald's carriage looks rather ornate, consisting of a curved chassis with spoked wheels at either end which support the passenger compartment. Its black silhouette is nicely broken up by some trans-yellow lanterns and a dark tan stripe beneath the roof, both of which are briefly visible in the trailer for the upcoming movie. The differing wheel sizes are accurate too and its larger rear wheels are new in pearl dark grey.

View image at flickr

The forward axle is mounted on a pivot and can rotate, allowing the vehicle to steer while it is rolling on the ground. There is room to seat a driver in front of the cab but the reddish brown seat is fitted using a Technic pin so tends to wobble slightly. Nevertheless, it looks good and I love the black grass elements used as decorative scrolls at either end of this model. They have not been available in black until now and could prove useful for other creations.

View image at flickr

You can seat another minifigure at the rear of the carriage. This area would traditionally be where the footman stands or somewhere to store luggage so it seems a shame that no chest is included as that would fit very neatly. However, more space for minifigures is always very welcome, even when those figures are not actually included in the set.

View image at flickr

Light bluish grey steps allow minifigures to climb into the carriage from either side as there are opening doors on both the left and right. The roof can be removed with ease, revealing an upholstered red seat alongside a red 1x4 tile. This is too narrow for a minifigure to sit down so might represent a footrest or luggage space that are shown in the film. In either case, I think it helps to visually balance the interior.

View image at flickr

Overall

The entire Wizarding World theme has proven to be very impressive and this set continues that trend. I absolutely love the brand new Thestral and Grindelwald's carriage looks brilliant, including lots of room for minifigures as well as a few simple functions. Furthermore, the price of £19.99 in the UK or $19.99 in the US feels quite reasonable, particularly since the Thestral includes a couple of new elements.

View image at flickr

My only significant issue with this set relates to the Grindelwald minifigure. His attire looks good but the head and hair piece do not compare favourably with the film, at least based upon what we have seen in the trailers. Seraphina Picquery looks excellent though and I would definitely recommend this set, even to those who are only interested in the Thestral.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.

This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.

 

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32 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Seems like a useful little set, even for non-HP fans. Reminds me of the old Castle themes, which usually had at least one carriage per year.

Strange that the main minifig's face and hair would be so inaccurate. I know Lego is often working with concept art when they design sets, but questions like "What does the character WHOSE NAME IS IN THE TITLE actually look like" seem pretty critical for licensors to answer accurately!

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By in Germany,

Don't care too much for Fantastic Beasts, but it's a very nice looking carriage.

Shame about the Euro price though, pretty darn ugly.

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By in United Kingdom,

Very nice looking set lego..

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By in United Kingdom,

I’m already picturing a display with a series of these leading up from hogsmeade station to the new hogwarts micro scale castle sitting in the distance.

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By in United Kingdom,

That carriage looks perfect for a vampire MOC.

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By in Germany,

Veeery nice little set, but how is this €29,99? Wouldn't have hesitated to pick it up at the US RRP, but darn it, that's just prohibitive.

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By in United States,

Grindelwald's printing looks really bad in these photos..

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By in Hungary,

$19.99 vs €29.99 (when €1=$1.16)?! It's like the set costs $34.79 in Europe! LEGO, please explain this!

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By in Germany,

20 USD is like 18€, I'm really not of a fan of the € prices lately..

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By in Germany,

The cart looks nice; it's just the horse that in relation is just too small again as in many of Lego's coaches of the last few years.

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By in United States,

This is an awesome set! I picked up two of them and may get more in the future. I don't think this is his personal carriage, though. From the two trailers it looks like MACUSA was transporting him somewhere in this carriage (maybe to Azkaban?) and then he breaks free and steals it to get away from them.

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By in United States,

I picked this up too and Grindelwald is very disappointing, even the Collectible series version is pretty inaccurate so who knows what went wrong. I would've like to see the cloth coat tails on him as well to complete the figure. Overall though this set is really nice but I doubt many kids will be enthralled by it.

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By in Puerto Rico,

This set looks great but it's not for me though I did got Aragogs Lair.

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By in United States,

Who else gonna buy like five just for the Thestral’s?

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm surprised you didn't mention that the carriage is pulled by several thestrals in the movie, rather than just the one seen in the set. This should, however, be a relatively easy fix once parts become available via sources like Brickset.

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By in United States,

Another great review capn. As always it makes me want to buy it, even though I was already planning to buy this one ;)

Keep up the great work brickset!

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By in Poland,

Grindelwald looks just...weird without his iconic facial hair from the trailer, but I think Seraphina looks great. I'm really surprised that LEGO has given us another Thestral: they have been only used once in the series. But I think carriage is superb.

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By in United States,

I find it interesting that Fantastic Beasts 2 is only getting 2 sets if I’m correct. While I understand why the Harry Potter films of old are getting plenty of sets it makes me wonder why a wide release film that will be in theatres soon isn’t getting more sets.

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By in United States,

I had the pleasure of finding and buying this set from Barnes&Noble (who buys books from a bookstore these days XD), just a couple of days before its release. This set is much better in person than what you see in the pictures, particularly the Thestral, which has so much detail moulded into it. Anyways, yet another FANTASTIC review! ;)

And for those who were concerned, I did also buy a book from Barnes&Noble.

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By in United States,

I know this is a long shot but I wonder if the inaccuracies in the Grindelwald figure actually aren’t. The trailer makes it look like it’s the scene where he escapes after they catch him in the first movie. Maybe it’s actually supposed to be a younger Grindelwald escaping from MCUSA years ago. Like I said, long shot, but I hope it’s true because that much inaccuracy is unacceptable

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By in United States,

Now here's a licensed set that get's my full attention because of the build. Well done.

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By in Australia,

Lovely interior of the carriage. I hope the carriage is for Grindelwald and not for Seraphina, 'cause with the skirt piece, it's not like she can actually sit down or anything. I've never liked slopes for dresses. Can't these female figs have legs like everyone else?

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By in United Kingdom,

What are those tan pieces under the Thestral's wing joints? Why aren't they black?

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm not into FB and, like @deephorse, am going to use the carriage for a vampire MOC.

I assembled it just now. The bat-horse is indeed cool but I was disappointed by the quality of some of the carriage's parts. One of the doors, for example, was badly scratched straight out of the box.

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By in Belgium,

I like this set, but I definitely won't be buying it for 30 €! When you have the box in hands, you realize it should be priced between 20 and 25 €…

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By in Germany,

Nice set, horrible price.
Double shame, as the HP sets of this new wave seem very reasonably priced for licensed sets.
Even more strange as the HP movies seem far more popular than the obscure Fantastic Beasts add-on.

@essel: that's because in non-Euro countries it is priced just like that. Wonder what the guys responsible for the Euro-pricing were smoking when they "calculated" the price.

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By in United Kingdom,

I hadn't even thought of it until your review, but this would make a perfect Hogwarts carriage too!

Drat this theme. Every set I think I can pass on turns out to be a must-buy. With the possible exception of the Willow, which is ludicrously overpriced.

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By in Australia,

The AU$40 in Australia is also ridiculous... even if Kmart sell it for $35, but still overpriced, $30 will be acceptable, given the carriage and Thestral looks great, but the figures are a bit plain. Grindelwald does not look like him at all, looks much older in my opinion.

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By in Italy,

"This is an awesome set! I picked up two of them and may get more in the future."
@GoldenNinja6000
Please get some for us in Europe too, charge us a few extra bucks plus shipping and we'll STILL save some money!

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By in United States,

Got this set this weekend from Wal-mart for under $17 plus tax. REALLY enjoyable build that seemed like a lot more than just 132 pieces. From top to bottom an all around great little set, with everything I expect from this price point.

I have no great affinity for the Fantastic Beasts movies, nor am I all that enchanted with the HP line. For me this was all about owning a very very cool looking horse drawn carriage. The fact that it's a flying skeletal horse only adds to it's zesty flavor.

The Threstrel is amazing. Hands down. The two mini-figures I could care less about. For me this one was all about the build and the final model, and it hit every single mark in that regard. I love the torches and the bars. I love the back section that can fit one or more mini-figs, or can be used as a luggage rack as I did (the only other new HP set i have is the Harry polybag - so I took the luggage trolley and plopped it right on the back. I also connected Hedwigs cage to the back bar.)

Four Wands, in two different colors...nice. Flying Horse...awesome. Dark gothic carriage, WINNNNNNNNNING.

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By in United States,

Look forward to comparing with Stagecoach Escape, as I love the western themes.

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By in United States,

I picked it up today for my oldest son. A very nice set for the price. Lots of unique elements with it. I do agree that Grindelwald's head should have reflected the facial hair he has. That was evident in the 1st FB movie as well as the latest movie.

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