I won’t pretend like I have a long history of constructing LEGO sets. In fact, until 2020, I am not sure I could say I ever completed a kit from start to finish. (I do own the LEGO Harry Potter Collection for both PS4 and Nintendo Switch— both of which I wholeheartedly recommend.) I enjoy puzzles and I am an avid fan of all things Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Diagon Alley holds a special place in my heart. Some of my favorite chapters in the entire series take place here. It’s the reader’s introduction to the Wizarding World. It’s also one of the few places where you get perspective into wizarding life outside of Hogwarts and the central characters. So, when I saw the release of the Diagon Alley LEGO kit, I thought to myself: “What a perfect activity for me to do as I can’t do much else because of COVID-19!” Chris ended up surprising me with the set after I pretty much dropped every hint in my arsenal… and I must say, I’m not disappointed. I am impressed.
LEGO Diagon Alley Details and Design
What surprises me the most is the attention to detail that LEGO brings to their toys. Small elements like the tiny bottles of Amortentia in Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, mini ice cream sundaes in Florean Fortescue’s, and dirt smudges on Harry’s face, presumably from traveling by Floo Powder. Every kit in this set brings delightful little surprises that make the whole experience engaging.
Aside from the series-specific details in the set that Harry Potter fans will appreciate, I am blown away by how much thought goes into user experience. I work at a school and now I know why there is an afterschool club solely for LEGOS. If we had kids, I would fork over the shocking sticker prices if my child was a LEGO enthusiast. Why? Because this kit makes you think. Because you have to follow directions. As I was working on it, I found myself saying to Chris, “do you think they have architects and engineers working on LEGO designs?” I’d spend money on LEGOs just like my parents did on Harry Potter books because it’s a fun way for kids to learn and build skills without it feeling like a school lesson.
LEGO Diagon Alley Specs
The Diagon Alley LEGO set contains four kits within the set, a whopping 5,544 pieces divided into 21 bags, with a total of 14 character figures. The kits are broken out as follows:
- Ollivanders Wand Shop and Scribbulus
- Quality Quidditch Supplies and The Daily Prophet
- Flourish & Blotts and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor
- Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and Knockturn Alley
Several sections of the kit are dynamic and allow for manipulation, including swinging staircases, chests that open to reveal hidden objects, and miniature wands hidden in tiny wand boxes. There is also a surprise box, but I will keep the secret on this one— if you want to know, you’ll have to buy it yourself.
Each kit has a booklet with instructions and numbered bags that allow for users to easily follow along with instructions. It typically took me around one leisurely hour to complete a 2-bag section, often while watching tv. Some sections took longer than an hour and some took less. I found the entire process soothing in the same way I find jigsaw puzzles. There is something inherently calming and satisfying about LEGOs. It’s a good distraction from work-day stress.
LEGO Diagon Alley Character Pieces
The character figures include Rubeus Hagrid, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Molly Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Gilderoy Lockhart, Garrick Ollivander, Florean Fortescue, and the Daily Prophet Photographer. There are additional figures including 3 owls, a rat (Scabbers?), and two store mannequins.
The finished set aligns into a single row of buildings measuring 40 inches long. You can also make the set into a smaller size by connecting the shops back-to-back. My favorite view is placing the shop fronts face to face with the cobblestone streets touching in the center. This creates the illusion of the narrow, winding Diagon Alley we know and love from the books.
I recommend this kit to anyone who is a fan of puzzles, Harry Potter, LEGOs, or all three! I enjoyed it so much I’m even considering the Hogwarts Castle kit!
The set is super popular and is currently only being sold by third-party sellers on Amazon. We purchased directly from LEGO.com for $399. But, if you really want this for Christmas, you can get it here for $737. If that’s a bit steep, check out the LEGO Harry Potter Collection. It’s available for PS4, Nintendo Switch, and XBOX until the set comes back in stock!