2018 sees the triumphant return of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World to LEGO®, with the release of numerous sets and, in a dream come true for character collectors, a series of Collectible Minifigures (CMFs). In my last article I took a close look at Harry Potter’s representation over the years since his 2001 minifigure debut. Today I’m going to take a look at Harry’s classmates in minifigure form, comparing their earlier appearances in LEGO form with their brand new 2018 designs.
First up, we have the first of Harry’s closest friends, Hermione Granger. As one of the three main characters of the Potter saga, Hermione has appeared many times in the LEGO Harry Potter ranges. I’m going to focus on Hermione’s post-2010 depictions here, as I sadly don’t own her earlier versions. Like many of the students, Hermione has been presented in her Hogwarts uniform and ‘civilian’ garb. Hermione’s uniform torso print and leg piece from 2010 (Far left) are identical to Harry, as is her wand/ lightsaber /reddish brown bar piece. Hermione has a double sided head print, sporting a relatively neutral smile on one side and an annoyed frown on the other (perfect for her occasional exasperation with Harry and Ron’s antics!). This version of the minifigure uses a hair piece that continues to be used until the 2018 version. This part is not hugely accurate to the character on screen, but works well.
Moving a year later, to 2011, we have Hermione in normal clothes (2nd from left). This minifigure uses the same hair, head and wand parts as the uniformed version. Hermione’s outfit here focuses on a colour theme of Dark Red. The leg part is moulded is Dark Red and the stitching on her cardigan (printed on a Medium Stone Grey/Light Blueish Grey torso) matches the legs.
Skipping forwards to LEGO Dimensions in 2017 and we have a virtually new Hermione (3rd from left). The only element that remains entirely identical to the earlier minifigures is the head, although Bricklink claims otherwise (something to do with stud recesses!). The minifigure also retains the same hair part, although it is moulded in Medium Nougat/Medium Dark Flesh. This is a slightly odd choice, but may be intended to attempt to match Hermione’s appearance in Deathly Hallows Part 2. This is certainly backed up by the rest of the minifigure, which (in my opinion) is the most screen accurate portrayal of a Harry Potter character by LEGO prior to 2018. The torso, moulded in Sand Blue is printed with a very close reproduction of Hermione’s costume from The Battle of Hogwarts, a light pink hoodie and pale denim jacket. The jeans are represented by (sadly unprinted) Earth Blue/Dark Blue legs. Excluding the slightly off choice of colour for the hair, this remains one of the most impressive representations of a film character by LEGO.
Hermione’s 2018 rendition is all-new and all-brilliant, featuring a new leg piece (see this article on Harry for discussion of the torso and leg pieces for this minifigure, as they are virtually identical parts). Hermione’s new face print and hair piece are far more representative of her appearance in the earlier films, showcasing a neutral but also vaguely know-it-all expression (you can almost hear ‘Levi-OH-sa not Levi-oh-SAR’) and her voluminous hairdo from the first couple of movies.
I must also very briefly mention the evolution of Crookshanks, Hermione’s occasionally foul tempered cat that gets accused of the murder of Ron’s rat (although Crookshanks was ultimately vindicated of munching the Animagus form of Peter Pettigrew). Although both cats are definitely recognisable, the earlier version is a bit too cute, with 2018 capturing Crookshanks’ sour expression perfectly!
Harry’s other best friend, effectively his adoptive brother, is Ron Weasley. Along with the other two members of the ‘Holy Trinity’, Ron has appeared many times over the years in LEGO. Briefly discussing him here, I’m going to look at two versions of Ron in Hogwarts uniform. The 2010 version of Ron shares his torso, legs and wand with Hermione and Harry from the same period. His face print has definite character, showing off young Rupert Grint’s freckles, slightly tired expression and well-meaning smile. To me, this face print is strange, as it is obviously Ron Weasley, but something seems vaguely…off about it. Is that just me? Anyway, Ron’s trademark, instantly recognisable mop of hair in Weasley Ginger is represented fantastically with a ‘Tousled with Side Part’ piece.
Ron in 2018 shrinks in height thanks to the same new legs as Harry and Hermione. Ron sports a black torso that sports another subtle variation of the cloak and uniform combo print. Reflecting his character, Ron’s appearance is the most dishevelled, with Harry’s being slightly more ‘together’ and Hermione’s tightly drawn together and perfectly presented. I love the way the graphic designer has shown Ron’s crumpled school shirt with so few lines, but so effectively. Ron’s face print is simpler than his earlier counterpart but shares a lot of similarity with the earlier print. The smirk and the ginger eyebrows are present and correct. The most impressive part of the 2018 transfiguration is the new hair piece. A strikingly detailed wavy part that has only been around for a couple of years, exclusively used for Han Solo, the part is moulded for the very first time in Dark Orange. In my mind, this piece most accurately depicts Ron’s hair from The Prisoner of Azkaban. It is notable that the LEGO Designers have focused on the first three films for the character designs of Harry, Ron and Hermione in the first (of hopefully several) wave of Potter CMFs.
Other Hogwarts Students and Members of Dumbledore’s Army
The 2018 wave of Harry Potter/Wizarding World minifigures (and the sets, although I only had 75956: Quidditch Match at the time of photography) saw a number of Harry’s classmates and Hogwarts students updated. All of the new figures had the fantastic detail of current LEGO designs, improving upon earlier representations in all but one instance. Personally, whilst it has outstanding detail and fantastic accessories, I actually dislike the new Neville Longbottom minifigure. He is a pretty accurate reproduction of Neville during the infamous Mandrake scene, but he isn’t obviously Neville to a casual viewer. The earlier minifigure has a perfect torso print that exactly matches Neville’s heroic appearance in the last film of the series. Looking to the other students, most are just updates of older versions. In fact, Luna’s new cloth skirt sports the same pattern as the skirt printed on the legs of the earlier figure. Slight reworkings and changes of small details are the name of the game here. A new hairpiece here, a recoloured button there. The expressions and head prints on the characters have all been changed to reflect the new cartoony style of the younger characters in 2018. I have yet to decide if I love or hate this choice of style. On the one hand I like the way that the larger facial features and more innocent looks represent the innocence and optimism of the earlier films, on the other I think that the style badly clashes with the new, ultra realistic torso prints that look more screen accurate than ever before. My favourite of all the student updates has to be Marcus Flint from 75956: Quidditch Match. The bowl haircut and mean smile just perfectly capture not only the character’s appearance in the film, but the image I had in my head when reading the books, long before I saw the films!