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    Set Review: 4865 The Forbidden Forest
    ReviewMonday, September 12th, 2011 at 7:40pm

    There are not too many things scarier than the Forbidden Forest. Sure, the world is filled with clowns, Daleks, and the threat of death by meteorite, but for Harry Potter entering the creepy forest bordering Hogwarts is one of the things he is told to avoid, yet he does it so often. With the release of the final movie, LEGO makes one last forest scene in which Harry encounters the Dark Lord Voldermort. Read on to find out if it is worth your galleon and a few sickles.

    Presentation
    From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

    Box front Box back

    The front of the box is very flashy shows off the set well. Minifigs, tree, action and suspense! And how could we forget about the usual items? The LEGO logo, the lightning Harry Potter logo, age suggestion ;) and set number, set name, and piece count (64, which seems rather low for a $13 set aside from containing 4 minifigs).

    The back of the box promises a big of action as an added bonus: given the proper position of Harry (or any fig for that matter), he can be flung away from the tree as if being hit with a spell. What fun!

    Polybags!

    But it's what is on the inside that counts! Here we have some polybags, instructions, and a cardboard case in a polybag that has Voldemort's cloak in it.

    Building
    Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

    Building the tree 1 Building the tree 2 Building the tree 3 Building the tree 4

    The build is fairly straightforward and studs-up the entire way. The base of the tree is rather sturdy and the branches are all staggered to give it a nice look of growth and movement. The mushroom is also a nice touch.

    Things get messy

    Finally we can put Hagrid behind a wall of magical flame while Harry has to deal with Voldemort and Mrs. Malfoy.

    Set Design
    Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

    Pieces everywhere Interesting pieces

    As stated, there are 64 pieces in this set. None of them seem new, unless the flames without hook/bars have yet to come in trans-light-blue. Most of the pieces are brown for the tree or minifig pieces, but if that is what you need then you can't go wrong. I needed a tree, so I bought the set, and the figs are pretty cool. But it is a simple set, and really only adds to an already established display.

    The branches of the tree, however, are slightly empty. While this is indeed a tree, it is not the focus of the set. It is more of an idea, a fact that the tree is there, rather than “hey look at this cool tree!” had LEGO wanted to do that.

    The best part about this set

    The figs themselves are pretty cool though. There is, unfortunately, nothing different about Harry, not even a few fighting scars or tears in his sweater. Mrs. Malfoy, however, has a streak of white in her brown hair as well as a nice period-piece of a dress, not to mention the green-tinted robes of Voldemort. Hargid also stands out because of his large mold and burly beard. (Also strange is the fact that his hands are molded with fingers and can not be removed. Tsk tsk.)

    Playability
    The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with.

    One 3, everybody One, two, three, heave!

    As the back of the box demonstrates, Harry can be flung away from the tree. Perhaps he was hit with a pretty nasty spell. Maybe this is the Whomping Willow's cousin.

    Hagrid is trapped

    Unfortunately, that seems to be the only big function of the set, which is not much of a surprise for such a small model. Also featured is the magical blue fire that traps Hagrid, or any character for that matter, which also provides a little bit of playability.

    Instant mood swing!

    Also, compared to the first picture of the figs, Malfoy and Harry have reversible heads for the instant mood swing LEGO so likes putting into their sets nowadays. (Also, Hagrid looks funny without his beard, which, by the way, is rubbery and squishy and very strange.)

    Final Thoughts
    Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

    Upon completing the build, I found myself disappointed in the limitations that came with the brick and set. There is not much to the tree, but the figs are pretty cool. I probably would not have bought the set if I had no needed a quick and easy tree in a pinch for a diorama, and while I like Harry Potter I did not need the figs that came with them. I am afraid I can not recommend the set unless it has what you are looking for. There are cooler $12 sets out there.

    The figs, however, are the best part for the different torsos, and the tree provides a few good brown pieces in case you want to make a larger, fuller tree utilizing the set.

    Pros
    What's to like?

    • Neat figs.
    • Good pieces for a tree.
    • Blue fire.
    • A mushroom.

    Cons
    What's not to like?

    • Not very functional.
    • Boring.
    • Build is not interesting
    • Few pieces for too large a price.

    So there you have it. A mediocre build, but some cool figs, a neat tree that has its downsides, but overall an uninteresting set. As I said, weigh your wants, and I suggest choosing a different Harry Potter set to fulfill your magical desires.

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