Review: #21341 Disney Hocus Pocus: The Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage (LEGO Ideas)
“I put a spell on you! And now, you’re mine!” While packed with details from the classic film, let’s find out if this set is spellbinding enough to be yours too.
#21341 Disney Hocus Pocus: The Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage $229.99 (229.99€ / £199.99 / 299.99 CAD / 349.99 AUD), contains 2316 pieces / 6 minifigures, and is recommended for ages 18+. It was released on July 1, 2023.
“I put a spell on you! And now, you’re mine!” The Sanderson Sisters are back, this time as mini-figs, and are ready to bring us to the land of enchantment! The newest LEGO Ideas set is is focused on the 1993 movie of the same name and features the house where the sisters reside. Looking at the box, this set seems chock full of details aimed at fans, and also looks to incorporate some fun building techniques. Since this set is aimed at the adult builder who also happens to be a fan of the movie, it will be interesting to see if it strikes the balance of engagement for more mature builders, as well as including fan-focused play features.
It comes in a typical box for any current-generation LEGO set, with a taped or glued box manufactured using relatively thin glossy cardboard. The thin cardboard is more environmentally friendly than the thicker cardboard on some older sets, but it also can be prone to damage. As you will see, the back of my copy was damaged in transit.
As with all of the sets in the 18+ / Adults Welcome lineup, it features a colored stripe along the bottom edge containing details about the set. The 268Medium LilacDark Purple complements the spooky vibe perfectly.
- Box Size: 57.8 × 37.4 × 11.5 cm (22 3/4 × 14 3/4 × 4 1/2”)
- Box Weight: 2877 g (6.3 lbs)
- Box Density: 156.1 g/L
- Part Count: 2316 pieces
- LEGO Parts Weight: 1860 g (4.1 lbs)
- Weight-per-piece: 0.80 g/piece
- Price per piece: $0.099 per piece
- Price per gram: $0.124 per gram.
- Numbered bags/stages: 15
- Pieces per stage (average): 192 pieces.
The instruction book comes in a nice, protected envelope, which also contains the stickers used in the set. There are a few pages of introduction which introduce the designer and the motivation behind the set, and some of the goodies and Easter eggs included. Next there is a page that shows which bags build which parts of the set. I thought this was a nice inclusion and it helps visualize how the build will progress.
Bag 1: Stone fence and Gate
Bag 1 builds the gate and part of a crumbling wall, which sits in front of the main house. This section is completely detached from the main house. There are creepy vines and trees which decorate the crumbling gate and wall. The crumbling effect is achieved through a combination of gray and dark gray bricks with various shapes and textures. We also build a small graveyard, complete with three gravestones, placed slightly askew. Unfortunately, the gravestones are labeled with stickers rather than printed tiles.
Bags 2-5: First Floor
In Bag 2, we start build the foundation of the house, and start on the outer walls. The highlight of this bag is definitely adding the light brick, which illuminates the “fire” under the witches’ cauldron. There is a cool mechanism which allows us to push a button on the front of the model to activate the light brick’s function. I appreciate that the button is a bright, acid green, to match the color of the potion the witches are brewing!
It’s time for Bag 3 and we’re building the waterwheel! This is an iconic feature of the witches’ house, initially used by Zachary Binks to sneak into the house in his ill-fated rescue mission. The waterwheel is fairly easy to construct, though the clip-with-bar pieces which make up the interior are challenging to place, and since they are only connected on one side, they are easy to bump and move, making the wheel look more “antique”, though I doubt this was the intention of the designers. The waterwheel attaches to the house using a technic axel, which connects to part 2854 crankshaft connector. A series of more technic axels drives the crankshaft connector up and down, which turns the waterwheel. This is a fun way to incorporate movement into the model, though I am curious how this will incorporate into the rest of the model.
In Bag 4 we assemble and add the stairs to the upstairs. These are constructed using a similar clip-and-bar method and are also easy to bump out of place. I found this frustrating, as they kept moving when I was trying to attach the stairs. There is also a lot of fun interior décor that is added in this bag. The cauldron with its potion, museum elements such as the counter, checkout area and some of the roped off areas. There are lots of potions and candles tucked away on the shelves that add detail, but I’m curious if it will be seen once the walls and roof are assembled.
We build our first witch in Bag 5 — Mary Sanderson has entered the model! We also add more walls and Winifred Sanderson’s iconic spell book held in its display stand. I would have preferred the spell book’s cover be a printed piece, but it is a sticker instead, which is a consistent theme throughout the set. The rest of the right wall is constructed, with a large archway in the middle. I’m assuming we will attach a second room on this side.
Bags 6-9: Second floor and hinged wall
Even though the first floor isn’t complete yet, we start building the second story in Bag 6. The floor is installed in the back half of the house only, which allows for more viewing and access to the lower area. The walls are then assembled for three of the four sides. There is still no support or attachment to the small wall segment in the bottom left corner, so it keeps falling off, which is quite annoying. These upper walls are the most challenging part of the build so far. The brick choices are intentionally random looking to give the house the aged appearance, but it can make assembly tricky and the builder really needs to pay attention to the instructions here.
In Bag 7, we build a small alcove on the left side of the second floor. This comes together easily and adds some visual interest to the outside moreso than to the inside. We do get to add a cute little skeleton on the inside so that’s fun. We also add some details to the upstairs like a spinning wheel, some wall panels with stickers of hanging herbs, a bookshelf, brooms, a large bed that the sisters presumably share, and my favorite, Mary Sanderson’s flying vacuum. We don’t really see the upstairs in the movie, so clearly some creative license has been taken here, but the additions are fun and are a way to add some more Easter eggs to the set.
We finally build the last wall of the house Bag 8, so the bottom left chuck of wall will stop falling off when you bump it by accident. This wall is divided into two sections that hinge open to reveal the interior of the house. When closed, the doors push the green button which illuminates the light brick. The light from the fire can kind of be seen from the outside once the wall sections are closed, but I think it’s more fun just to press the button with the doors open. We also get to add one of the most famous props from the movie, the black flame candle! The round candle body is printed, which is nice, and the flame is a translucent grey, which is a new color this year. I was excited to see how this item would be incorporated into the set, and it looks great.
The big feature we build in Bag 9 is the chimney, complete with bright pink smokey flames which move! The movement is controlled by the waterwheel. As the wheel spins, it pulls a series of technic axels which are contained within the chimney structure, up and down. This causes the flames to “dance”. This is a nice nod to the pink smoke in the movie. We also add a few more details to the upstairs like a candelabra, the bedframe and a bat.
Bags 10-12: Roof
We build the roof in three parts across three numbered bags. In Bag 10, we build the front and back peaks, which consist of to large triangles that are connected with a beam. A bit of visual texture is added using tiles connected by a single stud on both sides so that they create an irregular pattern, plus a small window at the top.
The right and left sides are built separately, and connect to the rest of the houseusing two Technic pins each. While both halves of the roof technically move, the left side is restricted by the placement of the chimney, so effectively you can only open the right side. The mechanism for opening the right side is smooth, but fragile, and does not hold up to play well. The roof sections themselves are beautifully decorated.
There is some really great usage of angled bricks, tiles and greenery that add to the old look of the house. These sections are also challenging to build, but worth the time for the aesthetic value they provide. We also add two hanging cages complete with somewhat ominous skeletons inside, which hopefully are not from the bullies left inside the Sanderson sister’s house at the end of the movie…
Bag 13 adds Allison Watts’ minifigure, complete with a small container of salt, another delightful Easter egg. We also add a small section of gable over the left side of the house, along with some ground and décor outside the front door.
In Bags 14 and 15 we add Dani Dennison’s minifigure, outfitted in her super cute witch costume and carrying a pumpkin bag for trick-or-treating. We also build a section off the side of the house that originally looks like a shed at first glance. Eventually it becomes clear that it is meant to attach the to the main house and contains the fireplace and chair that the children are bound to by the witches. There are lots of interesting details tucked into this area, but unfortunately because of the way it attaches to the house, they are almost impossible to see, much less used for play.
The smaller roof for this area is constructed and attached in the same way as the roof for the main house, but for some reason, is built so close to the house that neither side of the roof can open without detaching the whole sub-assembly from the rest of the house. This is really unfortunate, because having some way to open the roof would have allowed for greater visibility of the small, rich details inside.
Assessing value often depends on your emotional attachement to the content. In the case of this set, you might have a tremendous fondless for the film or even for Halloween in general, making this set extremely appealing. Thankfully, we do have some objective measurements to use, but they do not look favorably upon this set.
|#31203 World Map||$249.99||11,695 pieces||$0.021 per-piece||4020 grams||$0.062 per-gram|
|#21056 Taj Mahal||$119.99||2022 pieces||$0.059 per-piece||1811 grams||$0.066 per-gram|
|#21058 Great Pyramid of Giza||$129.99||1476 pieces||$0.088 per-piece||1832 grams||$0.071 per-gram|
|#77013 Escape from the Lost Tomb||$39.99||600 pieces||$0.067 per-piece||530 grams||$0.075 per-gram|
|#10278 Police Station||$199.99||2923 pieces||$0.068 per-piece||2602 grams||$0.077 per-gram|
|#71741 Ninjago City Gardens||$299.99||5685 pieces||$0.052 per piece||3719 grams||$0.081 per-gram|
|#71043 Hogwarts Castle||$399.99||6020 pieces||$0.066 per-piece||4899 grams||$0.082 per-gram|
|#10292 Friends – The Apartments||$149.99||2048 pieces||$0.073 per-piece||1778 grams||$0.084 per-gram|
|#10297 Boutique Hotel||$199.99||3066 pieces||$0.065 per-piece||2380 grams||$0.084 per-gram|
|#10312 Jazz Club||$229.99||2899 pieces||$0.079 per-piece||2392 grams||$0.096 per-gram|
|#10270 Bookshop||$199.99||2504 pieces||$0.080 per-piece||2085 grams||$0.096 per-gram|
|#10320 Eldorado Fortress||$214.99||2509 pieces||$0.087 per piece||2188 grams||$0.098 per-gram|
|#21060 Himeji Castle||$159.99||2125 pieces||$0.075 per piece||1600 grams||$0.100 per-gram|
|#10282 Adidas Originals Superstar||$79.99||731 pieces||$0.109 per-piece||735 grams||$0.109 per-gram|
|#10316 Rivendell||$499.99||6167 pieces||$0.081 per piece||4375 grams||$0.114 per-gram|
|#77015 Temple of the Golden Idol||$149.99||1545 pieces||$0.097 per piece||1308 grams||$0.115 per-gram|
|#10305 Lion Knights’ Castle||$399.99||4514 pieces||$0.089 per piece||3265 grams||$0.122 per-gram|
|#77012 Fighter Plane Chase||$34.99||387 pieces||$0.090 per piece||285 grams||$0.123 per-gram|
|#21341 Disney Hocus Pocus: The Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage (this set)||$229.99||2316 pieces||$0.099 per piece||1860 grams||$0.124 per-gram|
|#10303 Loop Coaster||$399.99||3756 pieces||$0.106 per-piece||3189 grams||$0.125 per-gram|
|#42146 Liebherr Crawler Crane LR 13000||$699.99||2883 pieces||$0.243 per piece||5100 grams||$0.137 per-gram|
|#60339 Double Loop Stunt Arena||$159.99||865 pieces||$0.267 per-piece||865 grams||$0.185 per-gram|
Note: Prices based on date of initial release. (The LEGO Group increased the price of many older sets in late 2022.)
This table is sorted by price-per-gram as it is the most objective measure that is available to us. Price-per-part is so easily skewed by sets with tons of small parts or lots of large parts. As you can see, this set falls very close to the bottom, meaning that it has a very poor price-per-gram rating of $0.124. That’s about 25% worse than the baseline of 10 cents a gram which is pretty common especially after the price reset last year. The price-per-part does manage to stay under 10 cents, but this is only because the set contains a lot of small parts to add fine details to the model.
This is a cute set that is very faithful to the original movie. It is absolutely packed with details that fans will appreciate. Unfortunately, many of these details are hard to see and recognize once the set is complete due to design choices. I actually found more joy in building the Easter eggs included in the set than the final version because they are so hard to see.
One example of this is the attached kitchen area. It includes fun details like the chair that both Dani and Emily are held in, an hourglass, candle, and detailed fireplace, all of which are virtually impossible to see once the model is complete. This could have been solved by making this area swing open, or at least having one of the roof sections open, but instead it is completely closed and inaccessible.
Overall, it seems like the scale of the model is off. I feel that the house could either have been half again bigger or done smaller as a cutaway. Either approach would have allowed the details shine more. Most of all, this would have made it a lot more accessible for play.
This set is definitely designed with the Hocus Pocus fan in mind. From the black-flame candle, to Mary’s vacuum, the details are the star of the show. While the roof and exterior of the home are also beautiful, they actually overtake the model, creating a very closed off feeling. This model doesn’t lend its self to either play or display well since many of the elements are both fragile and inaccessible.
As a fan of the movie, #21341 Disney Hocus Pocus: The Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage was a fun LEGO set to build even though it is a problematic completed model. That’s why I give it a Good (3/5 star) rating despite these misgivings. While it isn’t perfect, Hocus Pocus fans will enjoy all of the details from the movie that are packed into the model.