What the doctor ordered
Looking for an excuse to expand your Hogwarts playscale castle just a little further? Why not the Hospital Wing 76398! As the first Lego Harry Potter set to feature the fantastical infirmary, this alone might just be enough to tempt you to part with a few galleons. In muggle money, you’re looking at an official RRP of $79.99 netting you a total of 510 pieces, four minifigures and one friendly owl. Let’s see if the Hospital Wing is the picture of health or as sick as a hound.
Out of the box, you have a total of four bags and a small sticker sheet with just the three stickers –bringing me instant relief I can tell you right there! Overall, the build here is fairly logical starting with the floor and walls while moving up to the central clock tower. The bed design in that medium blue colour is clever and adds a hue we don’t often see in Harry Potter interiors. I’m a fan. As alluded to earlier, the walls connect via technic pins to other Hogwarts sets in the line such as the larger Chamber of Secrets 76389 and the like. I love this feature but my real question when it comes to these sets is whether they can hold their own as either or both playsets or display sets. I think there are some building cues worth taking a closer look at to help find our answer.
Connected to a larger Hogwarts display, you’ll likely want to keep the set with all its angles and joints intact. Separated and on its own, now you can remove the 1×16 beam round back and freely pivot the three main components as you wish. This simple technique makes the set infinitely more ‘playable’. Each section contains a single bed and can be articulated independently. Want to keep two beds side-by-side and angle the other open to allow more room for minifigs – go for it. Want all three akimbo – do it. It’s at this point I’d say ‘yes Lego set, you are now sufficiently fun’ but the Hospital Wing has a few extra tricks up its sleeve.
The minibuilds and accessories included in this set speak volumes about the designers’ emphasis on narrative and playful storytelling. Madame Pomfrey’s cart contains your essential potions for all sorts of maladies; be they magical or mundane. Replay Harry’s humerus (pun intended) misadventures with a printed bottle of Skele-gro adorned by new tiny headpiece in skeleton print. Pull up the (included) chair and share a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. To maintain a smidge of privacy, move aside the lantern and trunk and put up the privacy screen. There’s so much here to add to the fun of it all. My personal favourite is the inclusion of Hermione’s Time-Turner 1×1 printed tile piece. This isn’t just an Easter egg either: there’s a moving clock in that central tower operated by rotating the top spire. It’s this sort of attention to detail that impresses me more and more as I explore what this set has to offer.
The minifigures. Oh my, the minifigures! That honest commitment to detail continues with these four new folk. Harry, Hermione and Ron all come complete with suitably stained outfits. Ron, the poor sod, has his leg in a cast and this is achieved by giving him a white leg piece. Neither of the three main cast have prints on their now near-signature medium size legs but every minifigure here has dual head prints to mix and match as required. Madame Pomfrey makes her debut appearance in the pint-size plastic good stuff and she doesn’t disappoint. Her headwear/hairpiece is an entirely new mould while she stands on a suitably elegant dress piece a la princess Leia. A royal comparison I’m certain she’d appreciate. Fans will not be disappointed by this selection and detail. We could always hope for more sure, but in a set this size, the bases are well and truly covered.
At first glance, the Hogwarts Hospital Wing could be forgiven for being just another Hogwarts expansion – wholly unnecessary and a cynical cash grab. Under further examination, I can’t help but give it a clean bill of health – it’s as fit as a fiddle in fact (enough medical puns? It’ll be over soon don’t worry). The set suffers mostly from its dual identities. By conforming to the modular castle standard, the walled front does appear pretty indistinct if not plain I dare say. For consistent display purposes, this is inevitable but all of the set’s fun, thoughtful features are round back and sadly some will pass this one up without giving it the chance it deserves. For the price point, the wonderful minifigs and playful design features, grant this one a second glance.
Words by Lukas Mack
Photos by Lukas Mack
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This set was provided free of charge from The LEGO Group. Opinions expressed in the review are those of the reviewer.