With the final instalment of the film series just around the corner, Harry Potter fans may well be wondering what they’re going to do with themselves when it’s all over. Should they follow Dorling Kindersley into the Harry Potter Lego universe? Or is it just a money-spinning sideline with limited ability to prolong the enjoyment of all things Potter?
I admit, I was sceptical at first. Though a fan of both Lego and Harry Potter, I wondered how much fun a book uniting the two could really be. Surely such a specific subject is a niche market – and isn’t Lego for playing with, not reading about?
That, however, was before I saw the tome itself. It’s a classic example of Dorling Kindersley’s inimitable style: a pristine white cover you relished unwrapping as a child before poring over its contents. Generally, you only get books like this as a gift, a gift you never want to lend to anyone else for fear of fingermarks and tears marring its beauty. And what a wonderful gift it would make! Before the book’s even open, the inclusion of an exclusive Harry Lego figure (in his best dress robes!), niftily encased in the book’s cover, is a fun feature to excite existing collectors and inspire new collections.
Each glossy page is meticulously laid-out and bursting with fantastic full-colour photographs which exhibit the remarkable intricacy Lego is capable of – adverts for your favourite treats from Diagon Alley, Hogwarts house badges and functional Quidditch equipment have all been carefully crafted to accurately recreate the wizarding world in miniature. Even the contents page is brimming with imagery and information and the corners of the pages make a fun flip-book style animation with some familiar Harry Potter characters in Lego form.
If you were (or are!) one of those eager-to-learn children who hungrily read Dorling Kindersley’s publications, you won’t be disappointed with the volume of facts and trivia in this book – who knew there was so much to learn about Lego? There’s a timeline listing the release of the many ‘sets’ (Lego is heavily associated with the films) available, and carefully-labelled set photographs taken from various angles are accompanied by data files detailing the year released, the film it belongs to, and the components and mini-figures (that’s the proper term for Lego men) included. There are charming mini-figures of every character imaginable (comprehensively listed at the back of the book) which come in different outfits so they’re appropriate to whatever set you want to build and/or play with, and many even come with tiny Lego pets like Hedwig and Scabbers. Information you might not have previously known about the films is also revealed by reflecting the modifications in set design between the films.
For those of you who are more interested in Lego than Harry Potter, there’s plenty of fun facts for you, too – rare bricks, features and pieces which recur in other Lego themes are all explained. The book’s second chapter is dedicated to the development of the Lego itself and the computer game as well as displaying available Lego/Harry Potter merchandise.
While you may associate both Lego and Harry Potter with children, the level of detail and amount of text here may leave them bored once they’ve looked at the photographs. So, the book might actually be better for the big kids among us – I can safely say that once seeing it, you read it, and others will be itching to crack it open when your back’s turned.
A wonderful celebration of the possibilities of Lego, I may be making space to recreate some of the featured scenes in my own home very soon…