LEGO Hogwarts Clock Tower (75948) set was based on a series of books about a boy with a lightning bolt-shaped scar. That’s why I wanted to start this review as it should—from a neat quote, referring to this beautiful building.
However, it turns out that the Clock Tower is a silent character of the Harry Potter saga. Believe it or not, the books never mentioned the tower. But we can see it in the realm of “Wizarding World” thanks to the film adaptations. This set is based on what we see in the movies.
In addition to the films, the set also refers mainly to Yule Ball chapter from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and, more loosely, to other chapters of this book.
MODULE 1 – The Tower
The front of the whole building looks stunning. Of course the Clock Tower dominates, while the headmaster’s tower crouches next to it, together with a fragment of the walls, and the dance floor behind that.
The monumental tower is beautifully designed. The body of the building is diverse, rich in details, various bends, etc. Bricks in a variety of colors and textures give it character and reflect the building’s rich history. The tower even received a seal of approval from a professional architect—my wife. She really appreciated the set’s design.
This set’s design reflects the look of the Clock Tower from the movies quite well. A large, arched gate that leads to the tower is surrounded by a stylized wall and columns, which are like the movie walls and towers surrounding the courtyard in front of the tower.
The structure flaunts a tall, arched window above the gate.
Of course, the clock is the tower’s supreme ornament. It’s a huge, richly decorated transparent pane of glass that works beautifully with light. Perhaps this clock, in addition to marking the time, also indicates the location of celestial bodies and the passing months, because it is modeled on the Prague Astronomical Clock, called Prague Orloj. The hands of this clock can be rotated using a mechanism built into the tower and moved by a lever, located on the other side of the building.
The main clock is accompanied by a second, smaller, golden one. The building is crowned with a sloping roof and two slender towers.
The tower’s grand facture offers a lot of opportunities for a toy photographer. Apart from telling the Harry Potter story, pictures of the tower can be treated as pure architectural photography.
All this architectural richness of textures disappears completely when we look at the set’s other side. Turned around, the tower turns into a massive rectangle with a little turret at the top. Seemingly it is a big, boring block, but a lot is happening inside. The tower’s interior has three levels, including the ground floor, which has a purely utilitarian role. There is a chest [empty] and inconspicuous goblet of fire, shooting a blue flame. Regarding goblet, the designers remained faithful to the literary prototype. This object is not very conspicuous and actually resembles what the book describes as a “roughly hewn wooden cup. It would have been entirely unremarkable had it not been full to the brim with dancing blue-white flames.”
At first, after building the set, I even took the goblet for the anonymous winter decoration of the Great Hall. Sorry, Goblet of Fire! It won’t happen again!
The asceticism of the Great Hall’s entrance is offset by its movable elements. The tables and the Christmas tree [remember, it’s Yule Ball!] are really beautifully designed. Ice towers rise from the tabletops, and icicles decorate the sides [quite ingenious use of LEGO’s unicorn horns!]. The Christmas tree is slim and also rich in details, such as snowy twigs and baubles; still being quite light.
The main characters of the story stroll between the tables: Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore; Beauxbâtons Academy of Magic headmaster Madame Maxime; Hermione Granger with accompanying Viktor Krum from Durmstrang; and Cedric Diggory with a student of Beauxbâtons, Fleur Delacour. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley finish the group. The participants of the ball are obviously dressed in their festive clothes [sorry, Ron!].
All minifigures have heads with two types of facial expressions: smiling and saddened/angry. These heads will certainly be useful for toy photographers who want to arrange other photos, not necessarily associated with Wizarding World. Of course Harry Potter’s face, with lightning bolt-shaped scar might be hard to use in another context.
The same is applicable, whether it’s with the entrance to the Great Hall or the Christmas tree. These elements can be easily used as a background for various photos. This part of the LEGO Hogwarts Clock Tower set is quite versatile.
Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher office
At level one… it’s worth putting in a digression that Hogwarts is a school of witchcraft and wizardry, so the whole castle is very magical. You shouldn’t be surprised that various rooms and chambers are changing their place. On the first level is the office of the teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts, who in the fifth volume of Harry Potter is…let’s assume that it’s Alastor Moody, a former Auror—the hunter of evil wizards. This office is full of magical utensils and instruments that are to warn this somewhat paranoid wizard of any threat. They can be collectively referred to as Dark Detectors. One can also find three bottles filled with unspecified mixtures. Maybe one of them is a Polyjuice Potion?
In the left corner stands something that looks like a school blackboard with Moody’s name and a lesson topic: unforgivable curses. The choice of colors and details clearly indicates that serious magic happens here.
The sizes and details in this chamber give a lot of room to maneuver and arrange various types of photos. Especially the “glass” details invite you to play with light and reflections.
In turn, a completely different mood reigns in the third and last level of tower, because this level is occupied by a boys’ dormitory [in the book it is located in the Gryffindor Tower]. Brighter colors are predominate here: There are beds, bedside tables with stylized bedside lamps and curtains, while the central place is taken by a clock mechanism and the lever. This is one of two mechanisms in this set.
As for photos, the room is quite universal, it can be used to play scenes from various parts of the Harry Potter story, but also for photos not related to Wizarding World.
MODULE 2 – Hogwarts Headmaster Tower
A glance through a fragment of the walls [Be careful about joining these two towers—it is sensitive while carrying the set!] to the right brings us to the second module, which consists of the Prefect’s Bathroom and headmaster Dumbledore’s office.
The Prefects’ Bathroom
This room plays an important role in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. Besides, the description in the book indicates that it is a very nice place, so it’s not surprising that it was included in the set. This is one of my two favorite rooms from LEGO Hogwarts Clock Tower set. The brick version of the Prefect’s Bathroom is frugal, even austere, but this simplicity is an advantage here. There are two taps with flowing water and a small pool in the hollow of the floor. And of course the stained glass window. I had concerns about how the sticker with stained glass would work with the light. Fortunately, this doesn’t affect the quality of the stained glass. The light passing through it gives really beautiful effects. Also, reworking the mermaid into its minifigure version doesn’t disappoint.
This room is a great option for anyone who plays with light in pictures. By testing various settings, angles and colors of light transmitted through the stained glass, you can achieve really interesting effects!
Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore’s office is upstairs, but it’s not quite like his office in the LEGO Hogwarts Great Hall (75954) set. It’s a small room with the the Sorting Hat, which Dumbledore kept in his office along with the phoenix Fawkes (made of LEGO bricks in the Great Hall set). Both of these “characters” are also present in LEGO Hogwarts Clock Tower office, but in the form of… stickers on the walls.
In the case of the Hogwarts Great Hall, you have to guess a little about which room is the office actually. In this set all the details—the Pensieve, a desk with a decorated front, portraits of former headmasters—leave no illusions. The amount of details, the design and mood of this room make it my second favorite chamber in this set. Or maybe even the first…?
Above Dumbledore’s head, in the top of the turret, one can see the Sword of Gryffindor. This is actually the only disappointing element in this set. The Sword of Gryffindor is a grand, magic artifact, and LEGO has arsenal of swords that look more magnificent than this one. Still, I couldn’t resist the temptation to take a picture of this sword that would show it in the best light. 😉
As you can see, Dumbledore’s office is very photogenic and presents a lot opportunities for pictures. It also looks mysterious enough to be the chamber of other wizards—only if Dumbledore allows them to enter!
MODULE 3 – Dance Floor
It’s the smallest module of the set. And it’s the second, which contains a mechanism. The dance floor contains four round platforms revolving around a stylized, transparent column and around their own axis. When we set the couples on the round platforms and activate the mechanism [by hand: i.e. pushing them with your fingers], the minifigures begin to spin in the dance. There is also a small fireplace, and that’s it.
This module is only for fun and has no special value when it comes to photography. Unless you put the light back to work through the column and fireplace. Of course it might also be useful for fans who make stop-motion films.
The LEGO Hogwarts Clock Tower is a really well-designed set full of cool details. The number of rooms and minifigures allows you to play many scenes from the fifth part of the Harry Potter adventures. The front of the tower is a beautiful decoration on the shelf, while Dumbledore’s office and the prefect’s bath are the brightest parts from the other side of the tower.
With a little bit of desire, even people who are not Harry Potter fans can use it to build their own designs or take pictures of a different subject.
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