Set Name: Fawkes, Dumbledore’s Phoenix
Set Number: 76394
MSRP: $39.99 – Retired
Theme: Harry Potter
Available: – Jun 1st, 2020 –
Dec 31st, 2022
Why I bought this set
While surfing Reddit, I spotted that Fawkes was still available at Target in the US. It had retired only a month earlier, so I had to decide quickly whether I wanted display pieces like Fawkes or if I changed my mind later, it would cost a pretty penny. I landed on yes – as I have the lumber to make shelves after building my Lego tables. As a Harry Potter fan, I decided that Fawkes with Hedwig would look pretty sweet together (I may get the Hungarian Horntail too). If you’re quick, you might be able to find this set at near retail price.
The set comes in the typical Harry Potter packaging, with the three actors depicting the series’ main characters on the right side of the box. There are four building stages described in a 140-page manual that illustrates which each phase focuses on.
The first bag has a good selection of parts, including the Dumbledore minifigure, Fawkes, and the printed tile nameplate. The printing on Dumbledore is delightful. Disappointingly, though, there is no arm or side leg design. As there is only one minifigure in the set, you’d like a premium one. Fawkes is a cracking animal figure with a lot of detail and personality. The build includes a micro-build stand to place these figures upon; a nice touch as a standard plate is the norm.
The build begins with the base of the perch for Fawkes, using black and dark grey plate to make the foundation. Gold studs are placed to add a grand appearance. The nameplate is located front and center of the build, and there is a gold jumper to place the figure stand upon. This is wonderful as it will keep the figures and build together – often, the figures sit to the side of the set. Two ball connectors in the center of the base will allow the perch to clip into place at an upward angle, moving Fawkes’ perch away from the two minifigures below.
Next comes the construction of the perch’s shaft, which begins with straightforward plate connections. Slopes give the base a polished appearance, and alternating plate colors (reddish brown and tan) give the post a pattern. Studs not on top (SNOT) parts surround the sides of the pole to allow tile later in the build to complete a polished surface. A technic L is inserted into the shaft that will be needed later to make the wings move.
On top of the post, there’s a small build with several technic pieces. These elements are essential for making the wings flap.
The perch is created by stacking gold, grooved, cylinder bricks, using an axel to hold them together. It is attached to the shaft via a technic plate and polished with a dark reddish brown 2×2 circular jumper with a gold stud. Once that is in place, the mechanism for Fawkes’ wings is the focus.
Teeth wheels are anchored with an axel, and handles are affixed to both sides. While you only need to turn one, it’s a nice touch that it is symmetrical and turns from either side. The shaft is completed and snapped into the base using the ball connectors. By the end of stage one, everything is ready for Fawkes.
Stage two is full of vibrant colors, so you know Fawkes is about to be born from bricks. First up is the bird’s core, complete with the mechanism which makes the wings articulate via the handles on the shaft.
With the bird’s core complete, attention turns to form the bird’s shape, with orange plate secured to develop the tail.
Quickly, the bird’s body comes together, with many technic elements hidden behind the red plate. The combination of red, orange, and yellow is striking. Once the bulk of the body is complete, it attaches to the base, and you can visualize how the model will come together.
Before the wings can be brought to life, further technic structures are required to make the entire rotational mechanism function. It is a technical build, but the instructions are easy to follow. The wings use a yellow and red technic bar to generate the shape, and the blue connectors give studs to put plates on to cover up all the internal workings.
Phase three of the build is primarily red and black plate, focusing on covering and decorating the wings. The wings are built with a base of black, dark reddish brown, and red plate. Using quarter-round, macaroni, and straight tile creates a feathering effect with plenty of texture and design depth. Once constructed, these elements clip into place.
To finish the wing, curve slopes cover red teeth elements, and this mini build clips onto the technic bars placed previously. Three small feather elements are made to clip onto the wing tips. The manner of attachment allows the wing tips to be angled however you chose, which is wonderful when displaying the model.
Stage four completes the other wing before filling in the sides of the Fawkes. The techniques are the same as the wings, using mostly quarter tiles of various colors to generate a feathering effect.
Attention turns to the tail, which needs depth added to it. The top feathers can sit at any desired angle due to clips that can move left and right. With the other side of the bird tiled off, all that’s left is the head and claws.
Fawkes’ claws are made from grey claws inserted into sand-blue connectors. The combination looks amazing. Fawkes’ head has some really interesting part usage that results in a highly expressive face with two points of articulation. The neck can rotate 360 degrees, as can the head. Therefore, you can position Fawkes however you desire.
The finished model is a stunning design that will look amazing on any shelf. It’s not a play piece, but you can have plenty of fun setting him up however you chose. I like the mid-flight gliding pose. I sometimes adjust him so his wings are down and his head is tilted. This way, he is contemplating his next plan.
As soon as I committed to having a Lego “flying objects” section in my home, I eagerly anticipated the arrival of Fawkes. I suspected he would stand out due to his color scheme, so this was a good way to start my flying objects collection.
The build is highly technical, with literally many moving parts. For junior builders (either by age or experience), this is a great set to get into Lego’s technic side without a dedicated technic set. I like that all the mechanics are covered, unlike the technic sets where the technic pieces are displayed. Personal preference, but I like a polished look to my builds.
The finished product is highly satisfying. The combination of vibrant colors is striking, and the detailing is incredible. The design team gave this model plenty of effort and delivered a realistic and functional bird. The wings flap flawlessly and will hold any position you desire for display.
Overall, it’s a fantastic-looking set, emerging from a technical build that will require a bit more attention than others to complete.
I found this highly technical build interesting and required a lot of concentration to get it right. However, the Lego instructions are excellent and handle each step slowly. I’ll admit, I didn’t know the wings flapped when I purchased Fawkes (I don’t do careful studies of a set once I’ve decided to buy and build it), so there was a great deal to this build I wasn’t expecting. The technic pieces worked seamlessly the first time, which is always satisfying and keeps the Lego building process as fun and relaxing as intended.
Beyond the structural aspects to give stability and articulation, the final stages of “coloring in” Fawkes were highly satisfying. Placing small tiles can be tedious for some, but I adore the texture and design it brought to the model.
The payoff at the end of seeing Fawkes flap his wings was remarkable, and I am smiling, recalling the moment. It’s amazing what Lego can create.
This model looks incredible. Between the scaling, shape, and color, this set stands out. The ability to move the wings to sit and any desired angle makes it customizable to fit your space and preferences. Additionally, the feathers at the wing tips can be modified too, so you can make Fawkes look realistic in flight. Finally, Fawkes’s head can sit at many angles, so you can have fun making the bird look inquisitive, sad, or neutral.
For once, a set has considered how the minifigures should be displayed and integrated into the set – and not sitting off to the side on a nameplate like so many others. I adore this as it is one less thing to dust or for my cat to knock on the floor.
This set was $39.99 retail, and I must say, that seems a bargain in today’s Lego economy, even though it only retired last year. You’d be hard-pushed to find a new and sealed Fawkes for less than $50 in February of 2023. Even at that price point, this model seems worth it due to the design and pieces integrated to articulate the model. The price per piece (PPP) on this set is 6.7 cents, which is incredibly low for a licensed set. At market value of $50, the PP is 8.3 cents, which is still below the average of 10 cents for most larger sets. The reason for the PPP being lower is the inclusion of only one minifigure and the use of many smaller pieces, such as the quarter-round tiles.
Overall the price seems fair, if not a bargain, at the current market value ($50). It was a fantastic deal at retail. I must get Hedwig before she retires to sit next to Fawkes.
Fawkes is an attractive set with plenty of personality. Most display pieces cannot be personalized, but Fawkes’ design translates to you positioning the wings at any stage you like. Fawkes is a vibrant set that will stand out amongst some of the more neutral display sets – yes, I am looking at you, Star Wars! Even though this is a Harry Potter set, I don’t think that limits its appeal. Anyone can enjoy this set and learn some basic technical building in the process. I know I did.
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