Is the LEGO Hogwarts Wizard's Chess (76392) a Good Investment Set?
20th August 2022
The end of 2022 will see many Harry Potter sets enter retirement. One of these is Hogwarts Wizard's Chess, which means there's not long left to pick it up at retail price. In this article we break down whether it's one to prioritise for your investment set collection.
The Hogwarts Wizard's Chess depicts the iconic scene from the first Harry Potter movie where Harry, Ron, and Hermione enter the Underground Chambers that house the Philosopher's Stone. The last challenge they face before getting to Professor Quirrell, and preventing him from making off with the stone, is a battle with the giant magical and ruthless chess set.
This is not the first time LEGO has decided to make a chess-inspired set, as there have been nine previous attempts. Most of these relied on minifigures to fill in for the pieces, whereas this set favours brick-built creations. This is in keeping with the source material, as the wizard chess set in the movie is made up of statues. However, it does mean this set is not the usual minifigure goldmine that previous LEGO chess sets were.
This set was released in the 2021 summer wave of Harry Potter sets, so has not been with us very long. It's a departure from the usual wizarding world sets and is very much a standalone piece. The board construction makes use of some good techniques to create a smooth playing surface and is the first chess set from LEGO to do this. All the others have had some studs showing to attach the pieces to, but this has detracted from the aesthetics and is not needed. Some of the chess pieces look a little clumsy, which is expected from being brick-built, and don't have much resemblance to their on-screen counterparts. However, overall, it's a decent looking set to put on display.
The set's playability is limited to its use to play chess, but this is what it's intended for. The building experience is uninspiring and repetitive because of the repeating elements of a chessboard, but it's bearable given that the set is fairly small.
Hogwarts Wizard's Chess retails for £59.99 / $59.99 / €69.99 and has a surprisingly high piece count of 876. This leads to a price per piece of 6.8p / 6.8c / 8.0c, which is one of the lowest for a Harry Potter set.
Hogwarts Wizard's Chess contains four minifigures, all of which are unique to the set. The torso pieces of the famous wizarding trio are some of the nicest I have seen on minifigures of these characters. However, nice as they are, I can't see them becoming valuable as we've had so many Harrys, Rons, and Hermiones that their characters are not seen as very desirable. None of the previous minifigures of these characters are worth much nowadays, as the most expensive from the Harry Potter theme tends to be those of characters that have appeared rarely in minifigure form.
Snape is one of several golden minifigures that made their way into sets to mark LEGO Harry Potter's 20th Anniversary. Due to their distinctive nature, we expect them to do fairly well in terms of value in the years to come. Although the ones that are harder to come by, such as the Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Hagrid in the Hogwarts Icons Collectors' Edition (76391), will likely be worth the most.
Thanks to the monochrome colour scheme, the set contains a few unique pieces that you would not normally expect to see in either white or black. This includes the short black sword used by the pawns, of which there are 20, and the following pieces in white: short sword (20), long sword (1), whip (2), pawns miner-style helmets (8), regular knight's helmet (6), and closed knight's helmet (1). Many of the parts listed above have also only appeared in a handful of other sets in black.
The part list is where this set really comes into its own, as it contains some very rare and useful parts, especially for anyone designing their own castle-themed build.
Looking to the future
The popularity of a franchise on which a set is based can be a key factor determining its future price. If you plan to hold on to a set for a long time, it's also worth considering if this is just a flash in the pan or if it's more long-lasting. We don't think there are many concerns here for Harry Potter, as it has unquestionably been one of the most successful and adored franchises of the past two decades, and is still going strong today, despite the last instalment of the original series of films and books having been released long ago. It's hard to imagine that this will not still be the case ten years from now, meaning this set is likely to appeal to both current and future collectors.
The game of chess has been fairly popular for hundreds of years, but this varies largely from culture to culture and country to country. However, many people choose to have a chess set for decorative purposes, and this set looks decent enough for that purpose.
Investment opportunity: FAIR/GOOD
Hogwarts Wizard's Chess is a reasonable looking chess set that acts as a nice display piece. As a set to build and play with (other than to play chess) it lacks appeal. While many former LEGO chess sets have gone up in value due to their large array of minifigures, this set favours brick-built pieces so doesn't have that going for it. However, the investment potential lies in its numerous rare and useful parts that could prove desirable for castle and underground-themed MOC builders.
The short shelf life of this set is likely to be in part due to its poor sales, but this will boost its rarity and that of the included minifigures. This set is unique amongst other Harry Potter sets and it's hard to imagine LEGO making another Harry Potter chess set for a long time, which could also act in its favour. It's difficult to predict how this set will perform but we would certainly favour it over many other sets from the wizarding world.
If you've liked this article, you might also like to find out whether we think Attack on the Burrow (75980) has good investment potential.
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