What's Next For LEGO Harry Potter?

28th June 2022

LEGO Harry Potter

LEGO Harry Potter has been around now for over two decades and is one of LEGO’s most successful themes. The popularity of the Boy-Who-Lived and the wider wizarding world is still very high despite the last of the Potter films having been released over 10 years ago and the publication of the final book being even longer ago. This demand shows no sign of stopping, and so there’s no reason to believe the theme will be discontinued any time soon. However, with over 130 sets have been released, many fans may be wondering where the theme can go next.

Improvements in set design, building techniques, part printing and moulding, and a much-expanded colour palette have delivered sets of incredible levels of detail and build quality, that are unrecognisable from the early releases. These advancements have paved the way for numerous reinventions of previous sets, such that certain locations and scenes from the films have undergone several iterations. However, LEGO can only go bigger and better for so much longer. For example, it’s hard to imagine a better depiction of Diagon Alley than the recent 75978 set.

That’s not to say that LEGO hasn't introduced some fundamental changes to their set line ups. Over the last couple of years, a modular aspect has been introduced, whereby sets depicting various parts of Hogwarts Castle can be joined together to create a more holistic build. But what are the changes that are going to happen over the next few years and beyond to keep LEGO Harry Potter fans coming back for more? We try and answer this question and consider what future sets LEGO may have up its sleeves.

Missing Sets and Minifigures

To start with there are a number of locations from the books and films which haven’t appeared in brick form. Those that spring to mind straightaway include Azkaban and Malfoy Manor, which could both lend themselves well to large builds. The Leaky Cauldron is also an important location as it appears in multiple books and serves as a key meeting point for wizards and witches, as well as the gateway to Diagon Alley. Then there are less obvious examples, playing a more minor role in the films, such as the home of the Lovegoods, the maze at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Shell Cottage, and the Quidditch World Cup. These would lend themselves better to smaller and more affordable sets. I would personally love to see a set depicting Dumbledore’s battle against the Inferi in the cave where the fake Slytherin locket is hidden.

Additionally, there are some characters who have never been given their own minifigures, such as Bill Weasley, Rita Skeeter, Xenophilius Lovegood, The Bloody Baron, Rufus Scrimgeour, and Mundungus Fletcher.

LEGO Azkaban MOC

Remakes of Previous Sets

Across many of its themes, LEGO has not shied away from revisiting previous sets to find inspiration for new ones. And rightly so, as many have been greatly improved thanks to some modernisation. In the Harry Potter line, Gringotts has to be at the top of the list of prime candidates for a makeover. The legendary bank has only previously appeared once in complete form in 2011 (although a miniature version was released in 2018). With the release of 75978 Diagon Alley a couple of years ago, many were expecting an upgraded, larger-scale Gringotts to follow soon afterwards but have so far been left disappointed.

The Ministry of Magic is another setting that I believe could benefit from a grander incarnation. Although we have only just received 76403 Ministry of Magic, this doesn’t do the on-screen depiction any justice. From the books and films, we get a sense of the sprawling labyrinth nature of the institution, which cannot be conveyed in less than 1,000 bricks. There are several parts of the Ministry which could also warrant their own sets, such as the Department of Mysteries, Umbridge’s office, the Courtrooms, and the dungeon where Harry attends his hearing for improper use of magic. Introducing modular sets, like LEGO have with Hogwarts Castle, would allow these to be built on a small and affordable scale, whilst contributing to the more impressive build that the Ministry deserves.

Other sets in need of some reinvention are those from early waves of Potter sets, such as 4720 Knockturn Alley, 4762 Rescue from the Merpeople, and 4768 The Durmstrang Ship amongst others.

LEGO Gringotts MOC

Hogwarts Ultimate Collector Series

Another path LEGO could take is to introduce an Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) style sub-theme like they have with the Star Wars theme. The focus of the UCS is producing huge and highly detailed models of vehicles and buildings from the galaxy far, far away. These have been hugely popular and are seen as the pinnacle of the theme. A similar series could work for Harry Potter, albeit that UCS sets tap into the adult market, while Harry Potter is still predominantly marketed towards the younger audience. However, this is evidence that the theme is maturing and targeting more adult fans with its newer releases. For example, the colossal Hogwarts Castle and Diagon Alley sets have a price tag far exceeding the pocket money allowance of all but the luckiest children. There is also a strong rumour that a 5,129-piece Hogwarts Express is on track for release later this year, which would put it amongst the biggest sets the theme has ever seen.

As well as producing complex models of magical buildings and vehicles, the recent 76391 Hogwarts Icons – Collectors’ Edition potentially sets a precedent for a line of sets based on recreating “icons” of Hogwarts. And with a castle packed full of history, these are not in short supply. The Gryffindor Sword, Firebolt / Nimbus 2000 broomsticks, the Goblet of Fire would all be good candidates for detailed, and near life-size sets. This might be on the cards considering that LEGO have recently begun releasing sets based on artifacts from other fictional worlds, such those from the Marvel universe.

Something Completely Different

While the main attraction to LEGO sets is the physical building experience, and much of the future of LEGO lies in continuing to provide high quality models packed with excellent playability, there may come a time when they choose to introduce some more fundamental changes to the Harry Potter theme. Advancements in technology are occurring at a startling pace and other toys are taking advantage of this to offer unique play experiences. We’ve seen LEGO do this too, most notably with their Hidden Side theme, where they blended the physical and virtual world by allowing people to interact with their sets via a mobile app. While Hidden Side received some criticism and has since been discontinued, the set designs were good, and the augmented reality aspect was generally well received. Introducing this with the Harry Potter line could really bring the magical world to life and would mean LEGO fans would no longer need to rely on their imagination when playing with their sets. This is perhaps a little way off, but with improvements in how we can view the digital world happening all the time, through developments in devices such as smart glasses, this could be the LEGO of the future.