Harry Potter has been one of my favorite themes that LEGO has come out with, alongside Star Wars, Disney, and Marvel. I was a kid when the books were initially published, so the franchise has been an active part of my life since childhood.
Building the latest LEGO sets has been a fun way to revisit the Wizarding World without leaving home or reading through the entire series again for the 5th time.
When it comes to this line of LEGOs, there’s often a line drawn between playability and display potential. Some of the sets in the theme have had numerous areas to use the figures for interaction. Others have been best for bookshelves of Wizarding World aficionados. Whether you love the Hogwarts Icons or the various settings, there are sets for every builder and skill level.
The LEGO Hogwarts Astronomy Tower 75969 set is one of the many in the Hogwarts line that launched from 2018 to 2020, which can be connected to form a broader Hogwarts. This is not one of the sets in the twentieth-anniversary line that launched the year after in 2021.
The Astronomy Tower is naturally where Astronomy classes are held at the school, but this set also features standout moments from the films and books that fans can recreate.
This set has aspects from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. However, fans of the books can also find some extra fun with the locations of Professor Aurora Sinistra’s classes and the Ravenclaw dormitory.
Learn more about this set in my full LEGO Hogwarts Astronomy Tower Review. Keep reading!
You might also be interested in: The Best LEGO Harry Potter Sets
Bottom Line Up Front
- Price: $99.99
- Piece Count: 971
- Number of Minifigures: 8
- Age: 9+
- Time to Build:
- LEGO Theme: Harry Potter
- Released: 2020
- Dimensions: 15″ high, 11″ wide, 6″ deep
About LEGO Harry Potter & the Astronomy Tower
LEGO has released numerous Harry Potter-themed sets over the years, ranging from house banners and Hogwarts Moment books to recreations of the Hogwarts castle.
There have been essential settings like the Weasleys’ home, The Burrow, and smaller iconic elements like The Whomping Willow and Aragog’s Lair. The Astronomy Tower is one of the segments of Hogwarts Castle, allowing fans to zero in on its many elements.
The Astronomy Tower is most known for its Astronomy class, though Professor Sinistra isn’t highlighted very much throughout the films despite being generally present. This set features the Ravenclaw dormitory, Potions class with Professor Slughorn, and the Herbology greenhouse.
The Building Process
For this set, I didn’t separate any of the pieces. I usually only do that for sets with 1000 or more pieces. I also do that when many parts look very similar or are the same piece in different colors.
Otherwise, I take builds bag by bag. This set is relatively straightforward, with enough variation in the parts to not require it. The one exception is a few direction-based components that look very similar and that I like to be a little extra careful placing.
When I build a Harry Potter set, I turn on the films for some background ambiance. This time I decided to change things up and listen to the soundtracks. In terms of length, the build took me the whole soundtrack of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and several tracks of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I found it very pleasant and relaxing to be building as tracks like “Fawkes the Phoenix” played.
The first bag is straightforward, with Harry and Slughorn being the first figures built. There isn’t anything particularly tricky or complicated at this stage. The second bag wasn’t tough, but the beginning steps became slightly frustrating as the base wiggled on me. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the structure used to start this section.
This set is built in segments, with all the pieces joined within the last stages. The build begins with the herbology greenhouse. I enjoyed putting together the roof component as it was distinct from other roofing I’ve built. I also love that the piece slides easily on and off, and the glass pieces are incorporated into the top.
In this section, builders will want to be sure that their cylindrical columns line up correctly so all segments can be connected at the end. The gray pieces must face the same way on both sides, where the joints will be clicked into place.
The second bag begins with the structure of the Potions classroom, which continues into the third bag with the top layer and roofing. The start of the Potions classroom wasn’t the most effective build I’ve ever done. The base wasn’t as strong as the sets I usually build, so I had to fiddle with a few things to reattach them throughout the process.
This bag also had a few stickers, so I took a little extra time here placing them. The third bag was much more straightforward to finish off the Potions section. The book in this section easily falls out since it isn’t secured, but once completed, I set it all off to the side to avoid losing anything.
The last three bags center on creating the majority of the Astronomy Tower. The fourth bag creates the tower’s base while incorporating some decorative elements. It also includes the snack table for Slughorn’s party. The fifth adds some of the connective aspects as well as the second level of the tower base. The final bag adds the last three floors, including the Ravenclaw dormitory, the astronomy section, and the tower with a telescope and book of constellations.
I spent the most time at this point in the instruction booklet, making sure everything lined up just right and that all the additional pieces were facing the right way. After removing them during the stages of bag six, I added the book and newspaper elements back to the Ravenclaw dormitory.
It is easy for them to fall out when rotating and tilting this portion of the set. They are best added at the end to avoid losing pieces mid-build or constantly seeing them falling about. It’s better to incorporate them once the set has been placed where it will stay for collectors.
Pros & Cons
|Inclusion of minor details
|Stability issues during the building process
|Dual faces on figures
|Some accessories fall out readily during the build process
|Plenty of figures with a decent variety
|Minimal playability for overall size
|Figure-to-room scale could be better
Best Parts of Hogwarts Astronomy Tower
The Hogwarts Astronomy Tower has several details that are really fun for fans of the franchise. I really liked the inclusion of printed parts for the Mandrake plants. I also liked that the windows on this element can be opened.
The roof component also differs from building aspects of LEGO sets in other themes, which made that portion refreshing to build relative to typical roofing elements. I also liked the latticed windows throughout the tower, potion bottles, and astronomy tools.
The minifigures are also a highlight, including alternate outfits for characters like Neville Longbottom and Lavender Brown. It’s refreshing to have a change from the usual Hogwarts uniform robes.
Each figure also comes with a secondary face that can be rotated, each having a happy or base expression and an angry or upset face. This adds extra customization for playtime or display since fights or disagreements can occur between characters.
Eight total figures are exceptional for this set’s price relative to other LEGO themes. There is a wide variety of characters, including the leading trio and other staples like Lavender Brown and Professor Horace Slughorn. This is an excellent way to get Harry and his friends in formal wear.
The price-to-piece ratio for this set is perfect. The original retail price results in each piece costing around $0.102. This is a fair price overall. With newer sets costing more per piece, this would have been the ideal price point in previous years. Additionally, since this is an older set, there’s a good chance of consumers being able to get it at a slightly reduced price from some retailers.
Hogwarts Astronomy Tower Shortcomings
While this is a good set, it has a few cons that could get on fans’ nerves. For example, the structure was unstable while building the second bag despite the base being done. This made a few components harder to piece together without a few things breaking off or slipping out that needed to be stuck together again.
Additionally, some minor tower elements tended to come off during the building process. Once completed, they remained in place, though I imagine they could be knocked off by pets brushing against them or during kids’ playtime. However, they’re easy enough to place back on, making this a relatively minor gripe.
Some accessories, like the towers, also came out often throughout the build process. The Divination book and newspaper elements regularly came out of the shelf, forcing me to place them off to the side until the end.
Rotating and lifting the set for better access prevents them from remaining in their proper spots. The same is true of the Potions book on the first floor. These elements could be easily lost or misplaced relative to the better-secured accessories in the build.
Another shortcoming of this set is the size ratio of the figures to the rooms within the tower. While there is enough space for a figure to stand, there isn’t a lot of space for motion or interaction. This set would better suit photographic recreations of scenes than playing out scenes with multiple figures.
Despite plenty of open sides to reach in and an open back, there aren’t many ways to maneuver figures for play. This size ratio means the set has a limited playability component, even though it is improved from other sets like Hogsmeade. There aren’t many interactive elements besides the books and some minor classroom elements.
Time to Build
The majority of the bags in the build took me around twenty minutes. The last one took longer since each independent section had to be connected. I prefer to take my time with this portion to ensure everything aligns well and all the accessories have been implemented. As an older build, this set’s instructions use the older format.
- Bag 1 – 17 minutes
- Bag 2 – 20 minutes
- Bag 3 – 19 minutes
- Bag 4 – 17 minutes
- Bag 5 – 19 minutes
- Bag 6 – 30 minutes
- Total Time – ~2 hours
Finished Product: Displayability vs. Playability
The primary tower has a distinct silhouette that would look good on a shelf. However, its height could prove problematic for some types of shelving. The smaller Potions building serves as the central component of the set, with the herbology greenhouse extending to the back behind it, barely seen. The depth could also prove problematic if placed on a thin shelf, though it would serve well on a deep enough shelf between books.
This set is not one of the best for casual display, but it would go well on an end table or an open-air shelf alongside other LEGO Harry Potter sets. The build is very flush overall, with good connectivity between the segments. It can also be taken apart and displayed with each main component separated, which may prove more effective for some fans’ setups.
While shorter than the large LEGO Hogwarts Castle set (71043), it has more detail in some areas and better figure scaling. The smaller scope makes it a good alternative option for fans to add to other sets in the line for a more comprehensive recreation of the iconic school.
I really like the inclusion of the party table full of snacks for Professor Slughorn’s student function for minifigure interactivity. The printed pastries are a highlight to me as I’m fond of the food aspects of LEGO sets overall. However, I would hesitate to place the figures into class scenes since they’re in formal attire.
Since this set can also be connected to other parts of the Hogwarts LEGOs in this line, it has the potential to be a bigger centerpiece in fans’ collections. That would significantly expand its size, so having it in smaller portions could prove more effective for diorama-style display and scene recreation.
The playability is relatively low, especially compared to the display potential. This set would best serve as a broader diorama, combined with other sets for standard robed figures for the Potions and Herbology segments.
As mentioned above, this set contains 8 minifigures. These include Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Lavender Brown, Draco Malfoy, and Professor Horace Slughorn. Additionally, it comes with Hedwig. Most of these figures come with wands, each in a double-pack, leaving six extra wands. If builders give one to Luna and Draco, four extras remain.
One of my favorite aspects of Harry Potter sets is the inclusion of extra wands. This works well for when I want to customize a wizard of my own. Fans who do custom minifigures based on set parts and LEGO Build A Minifigure in LEGO stores could similarly use them to make a custom wizard.
Each minifigure in this set has dual expressions, with most being happy and upset or surprised. Draco has discontent and angry faces, which fit his character well. The details on the figures are well done, and I like that both sides are printed with differing details on the front and back. I also really like Luna and Lavender’s hair pieces.
Is Hogwarts Astronomy Tower Worth the Price?
One of my favorite markers for a LEGO set’s value is the price-to-piece ratio and range of specialty elements. While there aren’t a lot of special parts in the construction, the minifigure torsos and legs elevate this one for me. The price-to-piece ratio is also good at $0.102. It has a rather good piece count being just shy of 1000.
Given some newer sets, if kids just want the base figures and parents want a cheaper option, this could be a pass. However, fans wanting to have detailed portions of Hogwarts Castle won’t want to pass this one up. Fans wanting the range of outfits from the films will also want to pick this one up for its inclusion of Harry, Ron, and Hermione in formal attire that isn’t from the events of the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
I would make some changes to the scale and add more interactivity components to improve this set. Ultimately, I’m content with this set in my collection and love what it brings to my personal Wizarding World at home.
Other Recommended LEGO Harry Potter Sets
- LEGO 76413 Hogwarts: Room of Requirement
- LEGO 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets
- LEGO 76398 Hogwarts Hospital Wing
Question: Is the LEGO Hogwarts Astronomy Tower still available?
Answer: Yes, it is still available online at LEGO’s official site. However, as an older set, it could be retired soon.
Question: Which film does the LEGO Hogwarts Astronomy Tower set best represent?
Answer: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince because it features Professor Horace Slughorn and the party he throws for his favorite students with them donned in formal attire.
Question: Is LEGO still releasing Harry Potter sets?
Answer: Yes, LEGO is still coming out with new sets in the Harry Potter theme. They range in price and size, from Hogwarts and Hogsmeade components to buildable house banners and buildable books.
While this isn’t my favorite set in the entire Harry Potter line, it has a few aspects I really like. I’m very partial to the greenhouse and love the printed mandrake plants, as well as the opening of the windows.
The roof was a fun component to build. I wasn’t the biggest fan of some aspects of the tower construction, but this was a relatively quick and easy set to build. I like the inclusion of a full-size broom, the number of figures, and their outfit designs.
The playability isn’t the best of all LEGO’s offerings, but the diorama potential is very good. There are several stickers, which is never one of my favorite aspects. I liked the few printed pieces included, though I would have liked a couple more. This set would work well enough for a young Harry Potter fan, though it wouldn’t be my first pick for the purpose. Collectors will likely be torn on it based on the scaling.