LEGO released its first Harry Potter set in 2001. Inspired by the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the set featured the Sorting Hat, and you spun a wheel to determine your House placement. In the decades since, the Potter sets have multiplied in complexity. The vast majority are still aimed at younger kids. But there's a small but increasing number of adult-themed sets, including the newly released Hogwarts Express, which consists of 5129 pieces and 20 mini-figures.
Here are the best Harry Potter LEGO sets currently available, ordered from least to most expensive. You can also take a look at our guide to the best LEGO sets for adults for more options.
Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals
It's a simple build with a lot of charm. The Hogwarts Carriage and Threstrals come with a minifigure of my favorite Potter character, Luna Lovegood, and it features both an adult and baby Thestral. The carriage is unusually detailed for its size, and depicts a narrow, metal frame.
Harry, Hermione, Ron & Hagrid
This BrickHeadz set features a full-sized Hagrid and three little "trio" figures of some of the best Harry Potter characters —no doubt, they are trying to trick him into revealing his secrets. The set is perfect for display, and it's more personable than the Voldemort, Nagini & Bellatrix set, also on sale for the same price.
Hogwarts Moment: Potions Class
There are multiple "Hogwarts Moment" LEGO sets, composed of classroom scenes. There's buildable room sets for Charms, Transfiguration class, and Defense against the Dark Arts. But the two best sets are nearly the opposite of each other. The first is the gloomy Potions Class, which comes with potion-making equipment and a minifigure of Professor Snape. There's also a minifigure of Seamus Finnigan, who has a reversible face with black smoke all over him.
Hogwarts Moment: Divination Class
The second best Hogwarts Moment set is this one, featuring Divination and a luscious color scheme of deep red and purple. It comes with a minifigure of Professor Trelawney and a more rare one of Parvati Patil. All "Hogwarts Moment" sets fold up to give the appearance of a bound book, which can then be placed on a shelf or easily transported to another location.
Professors of Hogwarts
This BrickHeadz set is a 4-in-1 deal, with full-sized figures of Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall, "Mad-Eye" Moody (or is it Barty Crouch, Jr.?), and Sybill Trelawney. Each of them has its own wand and additional accessory. Snape, for example, has a potion flask, and Trelawney has a cup of tea.
The Shrieking Shack & Whomping Willow
There's so many small, beautiful details in this set. The Whomping Willow comes with a mechanism that spins and "whomps" it about, and the Shrieking Shack looks perfectly ramshackled, with boarded up windows and a replacement wooden door. Best of all, the set includes minifigures for three Marauders and their interchangeable animals: Peter Pettigrew and the Rat, Sirius Black and the Dog, and Remus Lupin and The Wolf. There's also a spinning mechanism that reveals Lupin's true form when the full moon is out.
Attack on the Burrow
In the movies (not the books) the Death Eaters lay siege to the Weasley family's Burrow on Christmas Day. Everyone escapes, but the Death Eaters, including Bellatrix LeStrange and Fenrir Greyback, burn the Burrow to the ground. This set includes minifigures of all the main players, plus a wonderfully realized rendition of the Burrow itself—off-kilter and inviting, all at once.
Hogwarts Icons – Collectors' Edition
The first of the high-priced, adult sets on this list, this recreation of Hedwig is so accurate that it could qualify as an Owl build by itself—no creative license required. But the other life-sized, Potter-explicit artifacts make this set a must-have, and include Harry's glasses, a Golden Snitch, a chocolate frog, and a customizable letter from Hogwarts.
LEGO Harry Potter Diagon Alley Tap a brick in the wall behind the Leaky Cauldron pub and enter the world of Diagon Alley™. Measuring over a meter wide, this big model is filled with authentic movie details and a menagerie of 14 minifigures, including four exclusive new characters.$449.99
LEGO's modular building line is one of its most popular, and these Diagon Alley magical buildings, which compose the Wizarding World's shopping center, fit right in. LEGO Diagon Alley includes: Ollivander's Wand Shop, Scribbulus Writing Implements, Quality Quidditch Supplies, Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor, Flourish & Blotts, Weasleys Wizard Wheezes, and the Daily Prophet. The building facades and interiors match those from the movie and come loaded with obscure references. Especially impressive is Ollivander's, which has a suitably dusty, disheveled appearance.
LEGOHogwarts Castle A truly epic build. Hogwarts Castle features the Great Hall with buildable ‘stained glass windows’, house banners and moving staircases, along with The Whomping Willow and more!$469.99
Here we have the pièce de résistance—a massive, 5500+ piece rendition of Hogwarts Castle, including all the rooms and chambers that you'd know and want: the Great Hall, Dumbledore's Office, the Gryffindor Common Room, and even the Chamber of Secrets, complete with a giant Basilisk. There's even moving staircases that connect them all. The Castle comes with 27 microfigures, plus four full-sized minifigures of the school's founders: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin.
Hogwarts Express – Collector's Edition
One of the most impressive (and definitely the most expensive) LEGO Harry Potter sets is this 1:32 scale model of the Hogwarts Express. The set includes the train's engine and two cars, plus platform 9 3/4. A crank on top of the engine turns the wheels, and buttons on the passenger car turn on lights inside to illuminate scenes from the films. It comes with 20 minifigures, including multiple versions of the main characters as they grow up, some of which are exclusive to the set.
Harry Potter is still incredibly popular, even if it's not as much of a cultural phenomenon as it was in its heyday; nowadays, it's more of an institution. And of course, there's the inevitable backlash—some of it the naturally-occurring type when something becomes this popular—and some of it self-wrought, by the author's rhetoric. Where you fall on that debate, and whether you separate art from the artist, is a personal decision. But if you do, there's a lot of LEGO sets that you might want to check out. And now, you know what they are.