4 years into the newest LEGO Harry Potter revival, the wizards in Billund have once again worked their magic on one of the most impressive sets yet, 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition, a 5,129-piece ultra detailed (and huge!) take on the Hogwarts Express.
The Hogwarts Express is such an icon of the Wizarding World, ferrying students from London’s King Cross Station (typo is intentional – you’ll understand why later), and many of the most memorable moments in the books take place on the Hogwarts Express.
Packed with 20 minifigures, spanning multiple films, this is a LEGO Potterhead’s dream set, but this set comes with a hefty price tag at US$499.99 / AU$799.99, and is also a tricky set to display.
- 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition [US] – US$499.99
- 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition [AUS] – AU$799.99
- 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition [UK] – £429.99
- 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition [EU] – €499.99
- 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition [CA] – CAD$619.99
Earlier in the month, LEGO accidentally shipped out Hogwarts Expresses to New Zealand customers who had ordered 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle… and so ahead of the official launch, I managed to loan a copy (for a hefty price!) for this review as I wasn’t offered one from LEGO.
All aboard, let’s uncover the magical secrets of the 2022 LEGO Hogwarts Express Collector’s Edition!
76405 Hogwarts Express Collector’s Edition Set Details
Name: Hogwarts Express Collector’s Edition
Set Number: 76405
Price: AU$799.99 | US$499.99 | £429.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK]
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / LEGO Brand Retail Stores
Theme: Harry Potter
Release Date: 31 August 2022
LEGO Designer: Marcos Bessa
This set is now the most expensive LEGO Harry Potter sets of all time, eclipsing 71043 Hogwarts Castle, and double (pre-price increase) the price of 2021’s 75391 Hogwarts Icons – Collector’s Edition, and for good reason, this is a ridiculously detailed LEGO Train at its core – unquestionably one of the most ambitious brick-built steam locomotives ever released as a retail set.
Train fans have received the set with mixed reviews – some are incredibly happy to have a majestic steam locomotive at this scale BUT as it’s not compatible with existing train tracks, the utility of the Hogwarts Express beyond a highly detailed display model is diminished significantly.
Throw in the incredibly high price tag, and you have all the necessary ingredients for a very divisive set.
Here’s a look at the sticker sheet, which is quite excessive for a set this size. While there are the usual Easter Egg-type stickers like the silhouettes of Hogwarts sets, character quotes, and Trolley decoration, it’s unfortunate that there are just so many stickers, especially for seemingly important elements like the round Hogwarts crest, which could easily be used across a whole bunch of other sets.
I understand the necessity of stickers, but a set of this calibre should really consist of more printed elements.
I mean.. the 8×16 printed Hogwarts Express ticket tile is nice and fancy, I guess but outside of the novelty of this, I’m pretty sure I could’ve lived without this, and made do with more printed elements strewn about the set.
Here’s a look at the instruction booklets, which is split into 4 separate booklets, one for each train section, and one for Platform 9 3/4. I really love it when large sets have “Build Together” instructions, as all 4 booklets are self-contained, which means that you can build with up to 3 other people simultaneously, making this an excellent group activity.
The instructions have your usual bits of trivia about the Hogwarts Express, as well as the different movie scenes referenced, but strangely, no profile on the design team.
The Hogwarts Express was designed by Harry Potter Design Lead Marcos Bessa, who is the architect for most of the current Harry Potter theme, and this set also happens to be his final LEGO Harry Potter set as he moves on to bigger and better things at The LEGO Group. I really would’ve loved a reflection or section dedicated to Marcos here to mark his departure from LEGO Harry Potter, but I guess we can always look forward to the designer video for his insights!
If there’s one area this set is not lacking in, it’s in the minifigure department. A whopping 20 minifigures spanning 4 different movies are included, and yes, that includes 4 Harrys from different stages of his life.
We start at the beginning, with the Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Harry Potter from the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s if you’re American), eager to make their way towards Hogwarts.
Ron Weasley has a new and unique head, with some dirt on his nose, and an olive jacket with a lollipop, and chocolate frog trading card in his pockets. Hermione, ever the over-achiever is already dressed in her Hogwarts robes (sans house colours as she’s unsorted), and Harry features his mismatched muggle outfit that was previously exclusive to Diagon Alley.
Here’s a look at their back prints, and dual-sided heads – I especially love Ron’s stuffing his face expression, with cheeks full of wizard sweets from the Trolley.
Speaking of the trolley, also included is a nameless Train Conductor, and the Trolley Witch, who pushes around the Honeydukes Express, a cart filled with magical sweets, and snacks.
Both these minifigures are delightful, and I really like the stickered decoration of the Trolley, which has a pack of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans (printed on a 1×1 brick) on top of it, as well as plenty of chocolate frogs to go around.
This is a pet theory, but the Train Conductor’s face looks oddly familiar, and I believe is a nod to Marcos Bessa, with his five o’clock shadow being a really prominent feature. Doesn’t the resemblance look uncanny?
I’d like to think that the minifigure design is a lovely gift to immortalise Marcos into the LEGO Harry Potter universe that he’s been so influential in shaping.
Here’s a look at their back printing, and the Trolley Witch’s dual-sided head, and the other side of her trolley.
Next we move on to the Prisoner of Azkaban, where the main trio find themselves in a booth with Professor Remus Lupin. As they’ve aged up slightly, the trio all have medium legs, and sport all-new torsos, which is always nice.
I especially like Ron’s jumper underneath his jacket, as well as Hermione’s colourful striped hoodie. The attention to detail is exquisite, and I also like Lupin’s shabby brown suit, and scarred face.
Here’s a look at their back printing, and dual-sided face, all of whom are looking angry/annoyed that a Dementor has come and ruined their journey back to Hogwarts. Remus has the same head as the one from 76407 The Shrieking Shack & Whomping Willow, where he’s mid-transformation into Werewolf – he doesn’t look this dramatic in the Prisoner of Azkaban scene, but it’s a nice to have, especially if you don’t own the Shrieking Shack version.
Speaking of Dementors, we get one of these spectral soul-sucking horrors in the set – it’s the same old Dementor that’s been used previously, so nothing special here, but always great to get more of these guys.
Moving on to the Half-Blood Prince, we start to see a bit more diversity with characters. Harry is of course here, but with broken glasses, Luna Lovegood wearing her Spectrespecs, and Draco Malfoy wearing a suit.
I really like Harry’s facial expression – Luna’s leg printing is nice, but sadly lacks any side leg printing, so looks very awkward when viewed from the side, but my pick out of this bunch has to be Draco with his smarmy expression, and dapper Slytherin suit.
There’s some really nice use of colours, with a dark green shirt, dark grey tie and even a silver serpent pin on his tie which ties his entire outfit together.
Here’s a look at their back printing, and dual-sided heads.
And last but not least, we have the debut of the Potter family, from the epilogue scene. of Deathly Hallows Part 2.
From left to right, we have Albus Severus Potter, Lily Luna Potter, an adult Harry Potter & Ginny Weasley, as well as James Sirius Potter.
These epilogue minifigures have never been depicted before, and will be a huge draw for LEGO Harry Potter fans, and are the highlight of this 20-strong minifigure line-up.
Here’s a look at their back prints, and dual-sided faces.
Closing off the minifigure line-up are these 2 nameless Hogwarts students, a Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. They are great additions, because they introduce some much-needed skintone and House diversity into this very Gryffindor and flesh-coloured lineup.
Unfortunately, because these are nameless minifigures, I feel like a number of people will be quite upset with these 2 because of a lack of an epilogue Ron and Hermione minifigure.
I don’t think these 2 minifigures should be swapped out, but LEGO clearly could’ve easily just included Ron and Hermione, because I can’t think of another set that you could easily slot them into. For a US$500 set, I don’t think it’s too big of an ask for an extra 2 minifigures.
Each minifigure that gets on the train comes with their very own Hogwarts Express ticket, that’s thankfully a printed tile.
Here’s a comparison next to the life-sized one!
And here’s a completed model, and it is huge. It’s a really long model, measuring over 118cm – that’s almost 1.2m long, so this will be a challenge to display.
To put things into perspective, the length of the Hogwarts Express is slightly shorter than the Titanic, which measures about 1.3m long, so make sure that you have enough space for this!
The Hogwarts Express is designed first and foremost as a display-piece, as the entire train is perched on custom brick-built railway tracks.
The scale, size and iconic red and black colours of the Hogwarts Express immediately grabs your attention, making this one of the most impressive LEGO Harry Potter display models currently available.
The platform can be affixed to the tracks via Technic pins, but I actually think the train looks much better displayed on its own without the platform, as it’s much cleaner, and the platform is only a small cross-section, and looks quite awkward alongside the long tracks.
Here’s a look at the tracks, which are built on a raised black platform, with slopes down the side. The raised tracks are effective at giving the model a bit of height to accentuate it when on display.
As you can see, these are not typical LEGO Train tracks, as these are 7 studs wide, as opposed to the 6 studs that’s the standard.
I believe Marcos had to make an intentional trade-off here, and the decision to forgo compatibility with existing LEGO train tracks, opened up so much more design possibilities in order to make the definitive Hogwarts Express display model.
Whether that’s a good thing or not, ultimately comes down to what kind of LEGO fan you are, and not everyone is going to be happy with the decisions here.
Here’s a look at Platform 9 3/4, at King Cross (wait for it…) Station in London, where Hogwarts student catch a ride to Hogwarts on 1 September each year.
I was pleasantly surprised by just how large the platform is, something that isn’t immediately apparent when you see photos of the set online. Of course, it’s not a full station platform, which makes sense as a lot of bricks are used to construct the platform.
There are some really interesting build techniques employed here, for the arches and also how it’s not constructed in a linear, bottom-up fashion – I was very impressed by just how elegant and understated the workmanship is with the arches.
The platform is also almost entirely studlless, which gives it a very clean look.
Beneath it, hidden away at the back is a cavernous gap, a brick-saving method, as well as various pins that connect the platform to the tracks, locking them in place.
To illustrate just how big the platform is, here’s all 20 minifigures included on it, with plenty of space to spare!
Luggage trunks are also included, which pop open to reveal stickered tiles representing folded clothes. It looks like we’ve gotten into a Hufflepuff’s clothes in one of them!
The LEGO Hogwarts Express also includes these quote tiles (all stickers), with quotes from the movies. For the epilogue scene, you have a quote by Albus Severus Potter, affixed to the arch.
Here are the other quote tiles, which are found in the Passenger Train.
Here’s a look at the Platform 9 3/4 sign, which unfortunately is a stickered tile.
There’s also a UCS-esque stickered tile with information an trivia on the Hogwarts Express on it, which is one of the big letdowns of the set.
Everything looks great but… if you read the schedule, you’ll notice that they spelled Kings Cross Station as “King Cross Station”. This is a big one, and after the Hogwarts motto typo in the Hogwarts Icons set, I’m just flabbergasted that they would let a mistake like this slip in. AGAIN.
To add insult to injury, that’s not the only mistake on this plaque as the Hogwarts Express should be a GWR 4900 Class 5972 Locomotive, not 5900 as stated on the plaque.
For the grandest and most expensive LEGO Harry Potter set of all time, this is really acceptable. Brickset have reported that LEGO plans to correct this detail in future production runs… but this is really unacceptable for this to happen AFTER so many well-publicised mistakes, such as the aforementioned Hogwarts Icons one, and UCS Republic Gunship.
The three locomotives can be separated, and if space is an issue, you can also display them side by side like this, sans long train tracks.
Here’s a look at the Hogwarts Express locomotive, which is easily one of the most beautiful LEGO train models ever. The scale and sheer size of this set allows unprecedented levels of detail, with gentle curves used to bring the Locomotive’s shape to live.
Here’s the view from the side. This is unmistakably, an old school steam-powered locomotive, and the Hogwarts Express’ red and black, punctuated by pops of flame yellowish orange appear bright and cheerful.
One of the most impressive thing about the locomotive is just how clean it looks. The curves are nothing short of stunning, and the body also subtle narrows towards the front.
There is hardly a single stud across the entire locomotive which is a sight to behold. The studless exterior also allows light to reflect and dance across the entire engine further accentuating its displayability.
The Locomotive is a thing of beauty, and the build is completely thrilling, a masterstroke of design by Marcos Bessa and among his best yet.
Here’s a look at the wheels and undercarriage. I’m not a train person, but I think these wheels are new, and function really well. Looking at these new wheels gives me hope that LEGO has not completely abandoned trains.
If there’s one unsightly thing about this section, is the visible grey Technic pins, axles as well as the Technic gears. Personally, it doesn’t really bother me, but some people can be particular about these things.
Situated on top of the engine is a small hand crank (that can easily be removed if you don’t want it to look awkward), that you can rotate to power the wheels.
Here’s a GIF of the wheels in action. It looks and works seamlessly, and is a great visual component that’s really fun to see in motion. This entire mechanism is entirely cosmetic, but is just like a sprinkle of magic to bring the Hogwarts Express to life.
Unlike the other carriages, the locomotive is affixed to the track using these blocks, to slightly raise the wheels to allow them to turn.
And here’s a look at the cab – there is space for the conductor or a minifigure to drive the train, and levers and cables on the inside to pad out the details.
That’s it for the locomotive!
Up next is the Coal Tender, which connects to the locomotive via an axle, and it’s a tidy little model.
The Coal Tender is best viewed from the sides, where you can admire the stickered Hogwarts Railway text, as well as the Hogwarts Crest on both sides.
A really nice detail here is the flame yellowish orange lines actually extend outwards, giving it a lovely 3D effect when viewed at specific angles.
The symmetry of the lines is also a visual treat here.
Here’s a look at the top, which has mounds of coal, represented by 2×2 round plates.
And next we have the Passenger Carriage, which takes up the majority of the build and is packed with the lion’s share of details and references. It’s quite large, but in the context of the real Hogwarts Express which has like 6 passenger cars, it’s quite short in the grand scheme of things, but proportionally, works well with the locomotive and coal tender.
Here’s a look at the ends, and like the locomotive has great curves, but the passenger car has many more studs across the roof.
To enable access into the interiors, the roof sections can be removed, which allow very limited access to the ends of the passenger cars. These sections seem more cosmetic than they are functional, as there’s not a lot to do there except for opening the outer doors, or opening the sliding doors to get inside.
On one end of the train is this stickered notice board with plenty of Easter Eggs. There’s a chocolate frog card, Hogwarts Express ticket, the number 28 stamped (a number that is significant to Marcos Bessa), as well as signatures of Marcos Bessa, Peter Kjærgaard (graphic design) and a few others that I can’t quite make out.
Back to the Passenger Cars, the walls are easily detached, and give you a better look into the interiors.
Impressively, Marcos has managed to squeeze in a narrow corridor outside of the booths – with enough space for the Trolley witch to pass through.
These printed doors, slide along rails to open up and allow access into the booths.
So yeah, there’s plenty of room in the corridors to set up different actions scenes.
The main compartments are the passenger booths on the other side. The wall panels and roofs come apart easily as well, and as there are 3 sections, one for each movie, you have the option of opening all of them at once, or one by one.
The booths are fairly sizable, with twin chairs (and working armrests!) on both sides, and there are some cute details like an overhead netting compartment, lights, as well as silhouettes of LEGO Hogwarts adorning each booth.
Here’s a look at the Philosopher’s Stone booth, which seats, Harry, Ron and Hermione. Harry and Ron are gorging themselves on snacks from the Trolley Witch, with chocolate, bertie botts every flavour beans and even Scabbers strewn across the floor.
Above them lies a quote tile with Hermione’s “Has anyone seen a toad?”, the first line she utters to Ron and Harry. you get everything to re-create this scene, which will be delightful to movie fans.
In the next booth, we have the scene from Prisoner of Azkaban where Dementors board the Hogwarts Express and Remus fends them off with a Patronus Charm.
All 4 minifigures fit snugly in the booth, and the bottle that freezes over is also included for that extra bit of accuracy.
The next compartment is much roomier, with more traditional LEGO seats. This section allows you to re-enact the scene from Half Blood Prince where Draco petrifies Harry, who is hiding under his invisibility cloak before being discovered by Luna Lovegood.
There are 3 light bricks located, one in each booth (pressing them all down simultaneously is a challenge but doable!) that you can turn on.
It’s your standard orange light brick, which gives each booth a nice, amber glow that looks great from the outside.
It’s one way to introduce some dramatic lighting into the Passenger Car and booths, but a little superfluous.
That said, it’s always fun to jab the light brick button, and they’re fun, although it would make a lot more sense to use a third party lighting kit, one that you can keep on for extended periods of time, especially if you like to accentuate your displays with lights.
What I liked:
- An absolute masterclass of LEGO train design
- Spectacular detail and makes for an impressive display model
- Plenty of minifigures spanning several films
- Fun interactive play features that bring it to life
What I didn’t like:
- Very expensive for what you get
- Will be a challenge to display
- Lacks epilogue Ron and Hermione
- Should have more printed elements
- Typos and errors
Credit needs to be given to Marcos Bessa and the team working on this set – 76405 Hogwarts Express is undeniably one of LEGO’s finest steam trains, with gorgeous design and detailing across this 1.18m model.
This is a stunning model, and one whose chief purpose is being a display centrepiece, the crown jewel of any LEGO Harry Potter collection, and for fans that have been wanting an ultra-detailed and realistic Hogwarts Express, this set delivers in spades.
The build is terrific, with advanced techniques and subtle design flourishes that will thrill and delight, and sometimes felt a bit like making magic with LEGO bricks.
In the minifigure department, 20 minifigs spanning 4 films is also a big plus, however, epilogue Ron and Hermione’s absence is hard to overlook.
76405 Hogwarts Express is first and foremost a (mostly) static display model, and the incompatibility with regular train tracks is an intentional design decision to get the design where it needs to be.
I’m not a train person, so this doesn’t really impact me, but I can understand those in the community who are upset with the set’s inability to integrate with train tracks. Thankfully, 75955 Hogwarts Express does exist, and is also a budget-friendly alternative to this behemoth of a set.
One cannot also overlook the price, and in a year where much of the sentiment within the LEGO fan community has been about rising prices, and dwindling value, a US$500/AU$800 set is going to be hard to stomach.
To justify such a high asking price, LEGO should’ve really spared no expense, which includes having epilogue Ron and Hermione, minimising stickered elements (why are we still doing curved stickers in 2022!?), and higher quality control standards.
Having really jarring typos (King Cross) on a set positioned at the top-end of LEGO’s premium offerings should absolutely not happen, and I can’t for the life of me imagine just how many eyes and approvals this thing had to go through without anyone catching it, especially after the widely publicized typos on the Hogwarts Icons letter.
At the end of the day, 76405 Hogwarts Express is a result of LEGO not quite nailing who this set is meant to target. It excels as a highly detailed rendition of the Hogwarts Express, but the inability to hone in on that one main purpose has led to a lot of bloat in the design, as it also tries to be a playset.
I think, if LEGO were to forgo the track, and simplify the interiors, remove the light bricks, and halve the minifigures, keeping maybe the Philosopher’s Stone, and Epilogue characters, you could maybe get the price down to a respectable level.
That said, I’m not a LEGO designer or Product Manager, so I really don’t understand the complexity of these decisions, how involved Warner Bros was in dictating what this set should be(and JK Rowling, who is notorious about creative control), and am just throwing out alternative ideas and what-ifs.
Speaking of what ifs, this being a static train model, and not a working train is ultimately a disappointment, as this will eventually end up as a 1.18m, US$500 dust magnet.
LEGO fans who are accustomed to buying sets at this price range, are likely to already have multiple mega-sized dust magnets on display, and I think if LEGO had tried to motorise and turn this into a working train, it would at least be a slightly more unique offering.
That said, it doesn’t detract from what is an absolutely stunning steam locomotive, that’s one of LEGO’s finest yet. The locomotive in particular, with its near-studless design features unparalleled technique, and is just a joy to behold.
LEGO seem to have a narrow target audience in mind, so if you’re a big fan of the Harry Potter movies/books, have the capacity to drop half a grand on a LEGO set, have the space for a 1.18m-long model, and have been yearning for the most-detailed Hogwarts Express ever – this set will feel like magic to you.
Rating and score: 3/5 ★★★✰✰
Build  – The build was one of the best, and a delight throughout with wicked fun techniques throughout
Real Value  – At full price, this doesn’t feel like good value
Innovation  – There are some incredible techniques here, but sadly, the static nature is regrettable
Coolness  – If you’re into steam engines, and Harry Potter, this set is mighty cool
Keepability  – With a great selection of minifigures, and at 5,000+ pieces, you’ll likely really want this set to stick around on display forever
Thanks so much for reading this detailed review of 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition!
Let me know what you think of the 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition in the comments! Will you be getting a ticket to board the Hogwarts Express?