"With "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" being my favorite of the Potter films, I've been eagerly awaiting this set's release, and I am pleased to say I was not disappointed. LEGO has really outdone themselves, giving fans a set that does an excellent job of recreating the look and atmosphere of the film while also being a great addition to any of the existing Hogwarts Castle sets.
As an experienced LEGO builder, the build went pretty quickly, roughly 2.5-3 hours, though I opted to build only the main Clock Tower and not the additional tower or Great Hall dance floor, finding them a bit cramped. That being said, the Clock Tower is an impressive piece both inside out, with a lot of nice architectural details that give it a gorgeous silhouette, and room for three fairly large rooms inside, courtesy of the piece's majestic height.
While LEGO could have easily rehashed the same layout of 2004's Clock Tower, with this set, we’re given three brand-new rooms in Hogwarts (the Hospital Wing, the Prefect’s Bathroom, and Moody’s Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom), as well as a different take on Dumbledore’s office, a Clock Tower entrance hall, and a partial Great Hall with icy arches and a dance floor to represent the Yule Ball. While the rooms themselves could have been a bit deeper in my opinion, it’s the details that make them so special. In the Hospital Wing (which is located, to my delight, on the same floor as shown in the films!), we get two beds with green “sheets”, side-tables with lamps, and even curtains. The DADA classroom has a great blackboard complete with Moody's scrawly handwriting detailing the Unforgivable Curses, a nice desk with a quill pen and book, and a table full of Dark Detectors and other objects. Even the relatively bare Clock Tower entrance hall comes with a trunk (presumably to keep Mad-Eye Moody in!) and the Goblet of Fire itself.
The secondary tower is disappointingly cramped, but still has some great rooms. The Prefect’s Bathroom is probably my favorite of all, with a bathtub, taps with flowing water, and even a mermaid “stained-glass” window, just like in the film. The partial Great Hall comes with two tables topped with movie-accurate icy centerpieces and a Christmas tree. And, while a bit small, Dumbledore's office has a new desk chair and desk, as well as some great stickers representing the arched room shown in the film.
While the small size of the secondary tower is a bit disappointing, the large Clock Tower rooms more than make up for it. I decided to co-opt the DADA space as the new Prefect's Bathroom, which in my opinion looks much better, and allows the beautiful stained-glass window to be the main focus of the room. It also looks great when viewed through the tall window on the exterior! Using the new accessories and stickers, I've had fun supplementing my existing (and more movie-accurate) Dumbledore’s Tower from the 2010 Hogwarts Castle set (4842) and DADA classroom. I’ve even gone so far as to decorate my Great Hall for the Yule Ball, using the tables, Christmas tree, and icy arches; I love it so much, I might just leave it like this year-round!
Aside from the Clock Tower itself, the eight unique minifigures are reason enough to buy this set. It’s great to have some new characters like Madame Maxime, Fleur Delacour, Cedric Diggory, and Viktor Krum in addition to the usual Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Dumbledore, and it’s a lot of fun seeing everyone in their dress robes. While it annoys me that LEGO is continuing their trend of giving the Trio stubby legs, which makes them hard to integrate with earlier minifigures, the plain black legs on Ron and Harry are easy to swap out for longer ones.
A fun set whether you’re an old hand at the LEGO Harry Potter series or are just discovering it, I absolutely recommend it!"