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 February 21, 2004


Toy Fair Pt. 4
Purple_Dave: The original Hogwarts Castle set has been retired, but there was a desire to have a Hogwarts set available for new fans to buy. In order to make it something that would still be of interest to fans who had already bought the Hogwarts set, this version was designed as an expansion of the original main building, rather than as a full replacement. One of the more interesting features is a working clock-tower that actuates the front gate.



Hagrid's back, and his house has a new and improved roof. Using the same design first seen on the Yoda hut from the 2004 X-Wing, the hut roof is brick-built panels that flip open like flower petals instead of a flimsy wraparound one-piece roof.



The main signature set of the new batch is the Shrieking Shack, which features a new device that can be used to quickly swap minifigs with each other.



Professor Lupin's Classroom and Harry and the Marauder's Map don't have any major new additions, but Sirius Black's Escape and Draco's Encounter with Buckbeak offers a new griffon that can be ridden like the Castle and Orient Expedition dragons.



The Hogwarts Train has been updated for a new batch of fans, but this time the 9-3/4 platform has been replaced with one from Hogsmeade.



And the Hogwarts Train has been updated again, but this time it's been motorized. Instead of a station platform, it appears to include some sort of station house, and also it includes a coal car and track setup, but the only difference between the train engine and passenger cars are the wheel bogeys. The engine features a working coal-dumper built into the engineer's booth, but I'm not sure how much coal capacity the engine has, or how easy/difficult it is to remove the coal afterwards. The passenger car top lifts off at about the level of the benches, and the cool thing about this is that it means you don't have to reach down inside a small space to attach minifig passengers, or to remove dropped pieces. The coal car has a small bin that opens up to store the "coal" pieces.



Clearly, the coolest new HP set is the Knight Bus. After all, it's very purple. It splits into four sections so you can access the three levels, each of which has a removable bed. There is enough room on the two upper levels that you could fit another pair of beds, if you'd like, which would also serve to keep them from sliding back and forth on those two layers as well.

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Toy Fair 2004 (Licensed Minifig Themes)

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