75952 Newt's Case of Magical Creatures is an unusual set, simultaneously representing both an environment and a vital prop from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. An impressive selection of animals from the film are included too, ranging in size from a tiny Niffler which is formed using a single element to an excellent, 133-piece Erumpent.
The entire set contains 694 pieces so it appears to offer good value given its price of £44.99 or $49.99. Furthermore, four exclusive minifigures are included and the brick-built animals look brilliant so this should prove to be another fantastic addition to the Wizarding World range!
This version of Newt Scamander does not wear a dark blue jacket so differs from previous minifigures, instead sporting a dark orange waistcoat with a pocket watch. This looks marvellous when viewed from the front but the reddish brown design on the back of the torso looks somewhat awkward to me. Newt's double-sided head looks good though and I think this hair piece is the most suitable of those which are currently available.
Jacob Kowalski wears reddish brown pads when approaching the Erumpent during Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and they looks superb over his dark bluish grey suit. I love the worried facial expression on one side of his head and the other appears stern, as one might anticipate given Newt's disconcerting comments about why Jacob needs to wear a helmet! The hair piece looks great too, featuring some lovely textured detail.
Newt is accompanied by an adorable Niffler. The creature's black and medium nougat colour scheme matches the source material exactly and I love the beady eyes printed on either side of its head. This element is only available elsewhere in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Collectable Minifigures series so I am pleased to see another one here, especially since Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will feature a whole family of Nifflers!
A different version of Tina Goldstein also appears in the recent Collectable Minifigures series and that minifigure is more detailed than this one, wearing a sand blue coat and a dark blue hat. Nevertheless, I appreciate this variation in design and the pattern on Tina's blouse looks fantastic when compared with the source material. Her jacket, on the other hand, seems to end abruptly as it does not continue onto the minifigure's dark brown legs.
Queenie Goldstein is my favourite of these four minifigures. Her bright pink attire is very striking and really stands out among the other Wizarding World characters, most of whom are dressed in relatively muted colours. The smiling facial expression looks magnificent too and I love the nougat tone of Queenie's hair piece. All three magical characters come with wands while Jacob carries a black umbrella.
The Completed Model
Newt Scamander's suitcase measures 16cm wide so is smaller than life-size, although it is still large enough to include plenty of detail. I like the tan reinforcements at each corner and the dark tan straps look great, despite not actually appearing in the movie. Two hinged panels are visible at the centre of the suitcase, revealing that there is more to this item than meets the eye!
The suitcase also features a dark tan handle, two golden clasps and a plaque showing the initials of its owner, Newt Scamander. These details are delightful and I love the 'Muggle Worthy' lock setting which is faithful to the source material. Unfortunately, the other end of the case includes some Technic parts and exposed hinges which are required for the model's primary function, although I think they could have been hidden more effectively.
Opening the suitcase reveals an impressive environment for the magical creatures and the minifigures, loosely replicating the Undetectable Extension Charm which is applied to the case in Fantastic Beasts and Where to find Them! The set measures 30cm wide in this configuration and includes habitats for several different animals along with a wooden shed where Newt keeps his magizoological equipment.
Newt's shed serves as the entrance to the suitcase, featuring a black ladder and a small flight of steps inside. It bears little resemblance to the location from the movie, which was a taller structure, but I like the dark tan walls and the pitched roof looks realistic. Both sides of the roof are fitted using hinges so you can open them and access the interior quite easily.
A selection of colourful potion bottles, a gold ingot and a photograph of Leta Lestrange are found inside the shed. This photograph is remarkably accurate to the film, including the same floral hair accessories as those worn by Leta Lestrange in the original photograph. Two more stickers form an attractive wood grain pattern on the front of the shed and some foliage occupies the space outside, adding a welcome splash of colour to the model.
The grooming area features a sink, a selection of accessories and a dark orange mound, presumably representing either soil or animal dung. A chicken leg is kept in a bowl towards the right of this section and tends to rattle around inside the suitcase, although you can also attach it to a vacant clip beside a brush so it will remain fixed in place.
Three small habitats occupy the other side of the environment. The hoard of pearl gold items evidently belongs to the Niffler while the tree in the corner includes articulated branches where you can place a couple of Bowtruckles. These tiny creatures are represented by bright green carrot leaves in this set. Finally, a nest is situated beside the tree, making ingenious use of a fur collar that was designed for Kraven the Hunter. I think pearl silver would have been a better colour for the Occamy egg but it looks good in white too.
The serpentine Occamy is assembled around a series of dark bluish grey ball joints, permitting a great deal of flexibility which is useful for display. Its dark azure, medium azure and purple colour scheme is faithful to the source material and I love the avian head sculpt that only appears in this set. The bright orange eyes look lovely and you can open the mouth to reveal a moulded tongue inside.
A pair of magenta wings are clipped to the Occamy's back. Their feathered texture looks fantastic and the wings can flap back and forth, just like those on the animal in the movie! Furthermore, the Occamy can change its size to adapt to the available space so you could display this model beside the suitcase or the minifigures as its scale suits either situation.
Newt Scamander travelled to America in the hope of releasing Frank, a majestic Thunderbird who was abducted by animal traffickers but belongs above the plains of Arizona. Its glistening feathers are very attractive and the model measures 18cm in length so is constructed at an ideal scale in relation to the minifigures. The talons are individually articulated so can close to grip prey and provide support on uneven surfaces.
The Thunderbird's head consists of the same two elements as the head of the Occamy, although their printed designs are very different. The metallic gold beak is spectacular and I love the feathers around the creature's eyes. A couple of white horns are attached to the back of the head, forming an attractive crest which looks superb when compared with the source material but does restrict articulation to some degree.
Two stickers are placed on the Thunderbird's back, representing golden feathers. Additional texture might have been welcome here, although the curved slopes are helpful in creating a smooth surface. The white tail feathers are fitted to two pearl gold vines which look fantastic and the whole tail section can move to balance the weight of the head, much like the Thunderbird in the film and most real birds.
In fact, the majority of magical creatures are related to Muggle animals and bear a close resemblance to them. The Erumpent's thick hide and prominent horn are somewhat similar to those of a rhinoceros, albeit considerably larger than its Muggle counterpart. This figure measures 13cm in length so seems slightly too small when placed beside minifigures but it is large enough to capture plenty of detail.
The most distinctive feature of an Erumpent is the glowing mass situated behind its horn. This contains an explosive fluid which is injected through the animal's horn and it looks marvellous here, represented by a few trans-orange pieces. Unfortunately, the horn is not dual-moulded with trans-orange plastic but I still think the Erumpent's head looks brilliant on the whole, due in particular to its printed eyes.
A pair of Technic bricks form the core of the Erumpent's body and these remain visible from certain angles when construction is complete which is disappointing and could probably have been improved upon quite easily. However, the legs look good and offer an impressive range of motion, featuring click hinges at each knee as well as rotating hip joints.
This set has definitely exceeded my expectations! Combining two different scales in a single model is very effective and I think Newt's suitcase looks good in either configuration, although it probably offers greater display value when open. Furthermore, the minifigures are excellent and I love the animals too, despite a lack of detail in certain areas of the Erumpent and the Thunderbird.
My least favourite aspect of this set is an unfortunate result of its unusual scale. There is not enough room to actually place the magical creatures inside the suitcase so the set is not quite as portable as one might hope. Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend 75952 Newt's Case of Magical Creatures to fans of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, especially given its reasonable price of £44.99 or $49.99.
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.
You can read our reviews of the entire Wizarding World range here:
- 30407 Harry's Journey to Hogwarts
- 71043 Hogwarts Castle (Part 1)
- 71043 Hogwarts Castle (Part 2)
- 75950 Aragog's Lair
- 75951 Grindelwald's Escape
- 75953 Hogwarts Whomping Willow
- 75954 Hogwarts Great Hall
- 75955 Hogwarts Express
- 75956 Quidditch Match