40496: Voldemort, Nagini and Bellatrix BrickHeadz [Hands On Review]

Brickheadz dominated the LEGO® Collector landscape a few years ago, and then seemed to all but vanish from the landscape. the truth is we have sill seen around 15 figures per year. This year has seen a resurgence, with 21 figures revealed to date in 2021. I would not be surprised if we see more announced over the next few months.

This year, most figures have been released as two packs, particularly animals and their young (so cute!). But now we are re-embracing character builds, with 2 new sets of Harry Potter Wizarding World Brickheadz coming in June. They will cost $39.99 each and are likely to be exclusive to LEGO branded stores. Be sure to check out my review of 40495 now.

Set 40496 brings us the forces of darkness: Lord Voldemort, Nagini and Bellatrix Lestrange. We have seen many of the other characters from 40495 represented in Brickheadz form previously, but typically at a different stage in their development. This is the first time we have seen these three evil doers in this form.

The Elements

Laying out the elements, one could almost mistake this for an advanced landscaping parts pack. While there are lots of SNOT elements present. The majority of other elements are Earth/dark Green, Tan, Sand Green and Dark Brown, with a few Dark tan elements thrown in for good measure.

BrickHeadz sets are often associated with a wide variety of interesting building techniques, and figures showcased in this set encompass a wide variety of these.

Voldemort

Voldemort is the simplest to construct. Being a bald character essentially a square-headed figure with white tiles encasing his head. In the best of LEGO Traditions, the one character that does not have a nose in the source material is the one character with nostrils printed on the plate that makes up the middle of his face. I continue to be amused by this.

His body consists of a dark green robe, trailing behind him, with some dark green 1x1x1 2/3 bricks with studs on the side, in dark green, allowing the placement of tiles. These give us the feeling of the robe having some folds in it. A 1x2x2 printed brick brings us the folds of the front of his robes and reminds us of how difficult it is sometimes for LEGO to get the quality of the printing white on a dark background. His arms are relatively simple: a curved slope over a modified plate with a clip. He has a white wand element, which fits into the clip nicely. Overall, if you were to ask me to imagine how Voldemort would appear as a BrickHeadz figure, this is it!

Nagini

The next figure, in bag two, is a little more intriguing. Nagini, the familiar that accompanies Voldemort, is, in fact, a snake. She is built up to give the feeling of sand green coils wrapping up around her body. A paired curved slope and inverse curved slope give a feeling of menace as her head rises up, ready to strike. However, the final effect with her head leaves you feeling not too menaced by her. I like the way that the tiles wrap around her head, with studs forming her nostrils.

Bellatrix

Finally, we come to Bellatrix LeStrange. Quite possibly the most unpredictable of the Death Eaters. The character is renowned for her slightly over the top hair, and it looks like this figure is going all out to capture the look. I was a little confused looking at the photo on the box art, as it appears to have been reversed – or I missed a trip to the hairdresser that Bellatrix went on. A dress based character, Bellatrix starts simply as a simple square before we move onto her frock. The printed element demonstrates a cinched waist, and a rather ingenious piece of work, inverting a 1×2 brick with a technic axle hole to place two cheese wedges in close apposition to another two. This technique alone is worth the time that it takes to put this figure together.

Part of the face is covered in studs, rather than the normal tiles. This allows the placement of just a couple of the dozens of 2×2 round plates, as they cascade across her face, as well as down the side of her head. There are 43 of these elements in the model! A huge number, for any element in any set. Except for Technic pins: they breed like rabbits. And this is where I had my biggest challenge.

The instructions – especially those pertaining to the dark brown circular plates – were quite difficult to read. I recently had my eyes tested, got new glasses, and was told that I did not have any sign of cataracts (at this stage). Yet, even with the instructions inside the bright white light of my photographic box studio, I was challenged to clearly read the instructions for Bellatrix’s hair: some of the 2×2 round plates have studs behind them, or in between, and this is what I found hardest to accurately read. The collection of elements placed on the model are clearly outlined in orange, BUT I could not easily make out individual elements, even in bright, white light.

I hope the instructions for this set are easier to read using the LEGO® Instructions app, or even better, through Instructions Plus, which gives you 3-d manipulation of the build in progress.

The issue with the instructions aside, I think this model works quite well as a Brickheadz representation of Bellatrix: She has a streak of lighter hair, represented by dark tan elements, but does not appear quite as scary as she does in the movies.

In Conclusion

Overall, I think this is a good selection of characters. They are instantly recognisable in context, and capture the essence of the source material. When compared with the Minifigures of the characters, Voldemort and Bellatrix stand on their own. Nagini was less charitably recognised in the collectible minifigure collection, essentially being a recoloured, new snake mould.

I enjoy this addition to the Harry Potter Brickheadz. This set will be released on 1st June 2021, and will be exclusive to LEGO Branded Stores. It will cost $AUD39.99

As far as Brickheads go, I like the set: If they are your thing, and particularly if Harry Potter is your thing, I highly recommend it. If you are not a fan of Harry Potter, you might opt to use them to create some landscape for your Minifigures. As such, I give this set 4 out of 5 Abritrary Praise Units.

What do you think of this selection of Brickheadz? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play well.

This set was provided by the LEGO Group for Review Purposes. All opinions are my own.

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