This set is awesome! I love the level of detail and the variety of characters! Also, this set is well-designed and STURDY. It is easily movable, and sturdy enough that pieces do not fall off.
It's great to get the trio, Malfoy and the Hufflepuff girl in one set, along with all of the staff members (Richard Harris Dumbledore, Susan Bones and Nearly Headless Nick are great additions to the Potter minifigure lineup!
I love that Lego has been releasing new, minor characters in the Harry Potter line, as it does with Star Wars. (Keep it up Lego!)
The accessories are also fantastic - the sorting hat is a great rendition, and the inclusion of Susan Bones really helps bring that scene to life in this model. The big cauldron and potions and Mirror of Erised are nice details for a collector, but they are also large enough to be very playable. (on that note, the tower rooms are a little small (low ceilings!), but the great hall room itself is roomy and playable)
The castle is relatively easy to build, and instantly recognizable - friends and family always comment on how it looks just like the movie!
I would like to see more additions to this Hogwarts in addition to the Whomping Willow set. Hopefully we will get another connecting piece or two in 2019.
The qualms I have with this set are (1) the lack of an alternative build and (2) the low celiengs in the tower rooms.
This is a beautiful rendition of the great hall, but the unassembled pieces are great for any Hogwarts build. I would have loved to see what "honorable mention" design the creators would have picked for the alternative.
I would have loved to be able to fit some of the great 2010-era Hogwarts furniture builds into the tower rooms (the gryffindor firepalce and library from set 4842, the fat lady from the original 4709 Hogwarts), but the celings in these rooms are too low to accomodate those. I have attached photos of a build that I was able to fit, if anyone else is looking for inspiration! House Point room (All pieces are from the current wave of HP sets)
Overall I definitely recommend this set. It's great on its own or as a piece of the larger collection with the whomping willow.