The grey baby grand piano and sheet music caught my eye, but the brown-skinned LEGO people were what made me pick up and turn over the box to examine it for LEGO animation potential. But then, on a whim, I watched a review of this advent calendar on YouTube and saw Cho Chang’s hair and dress. I was sold. The sparkling, towering Christmas trees on the backdrop sealed the deal. Make a note of the item number to simplify your purchasing process, my friend: LEGO 75981 Harry Potter Advent Calendar 2020.
Where Can You Find This Set?
The set number is 75981.
- Amazon: $29.96
- Target: $39.99
- Walmart: $29.96
- LEGO.com: $39.99
- Costco: I don’t see it online, but I would check in-store. There was a good supply of them as well as the Star Wars, Friends, and City advent calendars this week, in person, also for just under $30.00.
I’m sure there are other places to find this set, but these, including the brick-and-mortar LEGO Store, are my haunts. Try Kohl’s and eBay, knowing that the original price was $39.99 and is just under $30.00 at Costco and Walmart.
LEGO 75981 Harry Potter Advent Calendar 2020
Let’s have a look, shall we?
This blogpost is one long spoiler, so if you want to use the advent calendar as intended, stop reading now! Also, since I make brickfilms at a minifig scale, I’m not interested in micro-builds and don’t pay much attention to them.
Advent is the period of waiting and preparing for the birth of Jesus Christ.
An Advent Calendar is a calendar used to count down the days until Christmas Day. There are reusable ones made of fabric with pockets that can be filled with pictures, poems, stories, candy, or small gifts. Others are made of cardboard with little windows to be opened daily.
I remember seeing the ones with some kind of writing or picture and a big candy surprise on the last day. That’s when I was a child. Now I see calendars with gourmet candy, wine, and even one for men that includes bison-meat jerky.
In the case of LEGO 75981, each day you open a little door to find either a minifigure or a LEGO build of something from “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire,” specifically the Yule Ball.
Who Is The LEGO 75981 Harry Potter Advent Calendar For?
- makers of LEGO stop motion animation in general
- makers of LEGO Harry Potter animation in particular
- Harry Potter fans
- LEGO fans
- people ages 7 and up
Other Reviews Of LEGO 75981
Nothing noteworthy: positive reviews from Harry Potter fans and LEGO fans, and families with a tradition of enjoying LEGO advent calendars. Negative reviews were generally about shipping mishaps, with the odd LEGO fan being unhappy with the design choices or finding not enough differences between this set and the Harry Potter Clock Tower set.
Watching reviews of LEGO 75981 can be entertaining because each reviewer’s personality and preferences for the specific characters or builds are different.
For a different experience, this time I watched two reviews by Harry Potter fans and two by LEGO fans.
The non-LEGO fans were delighted to see the Harry Potter world represented in LEGO, but they sometimes struggled with building. Peter Kenneth thought one of the builds was a duplicate, and Cherry Willis commented that there were a lot of pieces to put together.
One thing that Cherry mentioned and the LEGO-specialized reviewers did not was that there were footprints in the snow on the floor of the Great Hall and that those footprints were square, made by the feet of a LEGO person or minifigure.
As you can expect, the reviewers focused on different things: “This is the Beauxbatons carriage, and it’s very cute” vs. “This Beauxbatons carriage has a modified 1 x 2s with the bars on the side and unconventional use of pieces to represent a Pegasus-like creature. It’s very clever for a micro-scale build.”
Also, the LEGO-specific reviewers knew if and in which set that faceprint had been used before and how rare that specific piece was. For your information, that chocolate frog, i.e. a LEGO frog in Reddish Brown, isn’t common, and neither is the bindi on the Patels’ faceprint.
YouTube Comments under just2good’s Video
“Yay! Different cultures! With four of six figures female, and three of which are persons of color… this may be LEGO’s most diverse set yet!”
“The music sheet is for the song ‘When You Wish Upon A Star.’”
“I really like the way they have included some connectable builds, like that table. These Harry Potter advent calendars are a great addition to my Hogwarts display.”
“The micro-builds could be interpreted as gifts for your minifigs, like toys.”
Zee’s Thoughts on LEGO 75981
This is a fantastic set if you have little-to-no LEGO and want to experiment with LEGO stop motion animation.
The backdrop of the Great Hall with sparkling Christmas trees is gorgeous for your brickfilm. If you use the couch, remember that, if you want two minifigs sit on it, their arms get in the way. For my photo, I ripped their arms off, but I forgot to move the couch so you couldn’t see the disturbing arm hole.
- Recreate that Yule Ball scene from “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.”
- Make a Christmas film.
- Make a music video using the piano, sheet music, microphone, and even the gramophone.
There are things for your characters to interact with: a fireplace, tables with food and beverages, wrapped gifts, and the micro-builds—if you want to follow the advice of a YouTube commenter and have them be gifts as well—an ice sculpture to knock over
Not one, but three (3) female, minority minifigures.
Mix and match 4 female hairpieces, two of which are common, and two that are less so.
The men’s suits can be used with heads and hands of any skin tone, which isn’t often the case, as I explain in my post on black LEGO minifigures.
Cho Chang’s dress is exquisite, and those of the Patel twins match but are not exactly the same. Combine the torsos with jeans or slacks—blue or black legs—for a more casual look.
If you use the dresses as-is, remember that the minifigs won’t be able to bend at the waist, which makes it more difficult to adjust her body when there’s too much light on her face. She won’t be able to walk or sit on the couch in that dress, either. For my photo including Hermione sitting next to Harry, I used a ballerina’s legs since those were the only pink legs I had.
You can work around all these things. I think the pretty dresses are worth it.
Advice on Using the LEGO 75981 Box
- Open the entire box.
- Remove the paper tray containing all the LEGO.
- Do not open the little flaps for every day, that way your beautiful backdrop will stay pristine instead of having slits where you opened a little door. The building instructions are printed on the back of each little door. You could try to carefully open and then seal the doors, but I wouldn’t risk it.
- For the build instructions, watch a YouTube video and stop when there’s a close-up of hands removing an item.
For makers of LEGO stop motion animations, especially beginners with no collection of pieces or smaller collections, LEGO 75981 Harry Potter Advent Calendar is a fantastic set because of its built-in storylines, beautiful backdrop, and number of props with which the tiny plastic actors can interact.