Harry's casting of an advanced Patronus Charm during Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban might be considered among the most significant moments from throughout the series, exhibiting his excellent wizarding potential. 75945 Expecto Patronum is the first set to represent that scene and I think it looks marvellous.
The beautiful trans-light blue stag has attracted considerable attention and the new Sirius Black minifigure is impressive too, especially since this popular character has not been available in a LEGO set since 2004! This should therefore be an outstanding set and its comparatively modest price of £19.99 or $19.99 seems enticing.
The same Harry Potter minifigure appears in three sets from the latest wave. That seems appropriate here as Harry wears the same casual attire in numerous scenes from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, including his climactic casting of a Patronus. This dark blue jacket looks fairly plain but does compare favourably with the film, although white stripes on the arms would have been welcome.
Moreover, a new double-sided head has been introduced this year, featuring cheerful and determined expressions. Harry's hair piece remains the same though which is surprising as the recent Collectable Minifigure was also based upon Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban but featured a different hair design. Nevertheless, this is a great minifigure and he is suitably equipped with a wand.
Sirius Black has only appeared in two previous sets which seems incredible given his influential role across the Harry Potter series. This minifigure features a dark brown version of Luke Skywalker's hair from 75200 Ahch-To Island Training while the head is totally new and perfectly captures the duality of Sirius' personality, so soon after escaping from Azkaban.
In fact, the minifigure is still wearing striped prison fatigues beneath his dark bluish grey coat and this looks fantastic in relation to the movie. I am particularly impressed with the intricate tattoos printed on his chest, although the flesh tone underneath could be improved. The back of his torso looks similarly detailed, thereby completing a brilliant rendition of this overwhelmingly popular character.
Two terrifying Dementors are included, following their appearance in 75955 Hogwarts Express during 2018. These ghoulish figures feature black hoods and tattered cloaks so appear fairly accurate to their onscreen design, although I would prefer a fabric component enclosing their entire body. However, the printed designs are excellent and I love the wraith piece which lends a suitably spectral quality to each Dementor.
The Completed Model
Further to the admirable minifigure selection, this set also contains a trans-light blue Patronus which takes the form of a stag. This only appears briefly during the movie so its presence here is surprising but very pleasing as the stag looks spectacular! I love its glittery finish while the integration of flexible plastic for the delicate horns is superb. In addition, little structure is visible inside the figure, despite it being almost entirely translucent.
Harry's confrontation with the Dementors occurs in a wooded area beside the Great Lake. This set is accordingly focused upon two trees which sounds fairly dull but they look wonderful, employing some unusual building techniques. The diverging branches are formed using reddish brown A-frame pieces which represents a departure from the copious LEGO trees that have been created before.
Olive green leaves are fixed to the branches and these look effective, although the transition between vertical and angled leaves could be improved. That may be challenging at such at this small scale so I would be curious to build a larger tree with the same structure that might surpass this one. The rock at the foot of the tree provides somewhere to display Sirius as the Dementors approach.
Both trees are considerably less attractive when viewed from behind. However, that detracts little from their appearance in my view. They are evidently designed for display from one side which is adequate for a smaller set, especially since the action happens in front of this tree. Even so, the red axle shown below could have been replaced with a black one.
The second tree is slightly shorter but incorporates the same building techniques. The stud shooter is an unusual addition though, launching a glittery trans-light blue dish that represents the non-corporeal Patronus primarily exhibited in the film. I appreciate this simple addition but it does look odd on display so can be removed with ease, if you prefer.
75945 Expecto Patronum is an essential purchase for any Harry Potter fan. The minifigure selection is great and Harry's famed stag Patronus looks absolutely magnificent. Moreover, the surrounding trees are very interesting, incorporating some unusual building techniques which result in a distinctive and remarkably effective design.
This set only contains 121 pieces so its price of £19.99 or $19.99 might seem rather expensive initially. However, I think the quantity of minifigures and the unique stag element justify that cost so would have no hesitation in recommending this set. Hopefully subsequent products will equally focus upon scenes which have not appeared in LEGO form previously!
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This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.