Hogwarts And All: Harry Potter Lego Out

By Kieron Gillen on June 25th, 2010 at 8:09 am.

Harry shamefacedly confessed to his horrified friends that the 'ectoplasm' he filled the pumpkin with was his own semen.

Our favourite apologia of the private school system and quasi-meritocratic racism has finally been all lego-ed up. It’s out today, on pretty much every system, including the one we cover. And here’s the launch trailer…

Now. Lego or Legos. Debate!

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66 Comments »

  1. Chris Evans says:

    I am really looking forward to getting my review copy of this, looks so much fun :D

  2. Springy says:

    There are no esses in Lego. Though there are two in Star Wars Lego.

  3. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    ..legio?

    Nah.. just lego.

  4. Hidden_7 says:

    It’s Lego, but everyone already knows this. It’s because they are Lego brand bricks. You would say “I have a whole box of lego,” or “It’s build from lego” or “here is some lego.”

    People who call then “legos” are just crazy, like people who say maths. This is because everyone knows that math is short for Philosophy Mathematic, which is its proper name. As in “I hate studying philosophy mathematic, but I must pass if I’m to get into a good university and not end up on the street forever, begging for handouts.”

    What I’m far more curious about is the “quasi-meritocratic racism,” in Harry Potter, which I can’t seem to place unless it’s simply the wizards vs. non-magical folks, but even then all the people that thought wizards were better tended to be the baddies.

    I’m sure this game is very fun and all, but I say enough with Legoifying sundry other media properties. I want to see some Lego versions of games. Where is my Lego Thief, or Lego Torment? Lego System Shock. Those’d be worth playing.

    • drewski says:

      Even the “good” wizards in the Harry Potter series constantly use a derogatory pejorative when referring to those without magical talent, and tend to view non-magical people in a sort of patronising, “look how interesting these lesser creatures are” way.

      You can imagine some colonial explorer having a similar attitude after stumbling across the Polynesian tribes, and indeed the accounts of many of the British explorers who went to places like Tahiti bear this out.

    • HidesHisEyes says:

      Maths is short for “Mathematics”- cf. “Kinematics”, “Thermodynamics”, “Quantum Chromodynamics” etc.

    • AndrewC says:

      People that call it math get tired after doing one sum.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      No! Maths is short for Mathematics, and not that term I just made up? Shocker!

      Seriously though, I get the reasoning behind “maths” and not “math” (though it is pretty much a regional thing, if I were to call it maths here in Canada people would just think I was being pompous), but to get a bit more vulgar, it’s generally accepted that it’s “butt” and not “butts” as a short for “buttocks” so the rule is far from universal.

      Re: Magical racism
      Yeah, I guess so, I never saw muggle as necessarily derogatory. It just seemed like a term that meant “non-magical person,” which could end up being quite a mouthful if used constantly. Like calling a Jewish person a Jew, which, while it can be used derogatorily if you use a hateful tone, doesn’t need to be, and is (at least around here) a pretty neutral term. As for looking down on people, I dunno if that’s really true of the people who are meant to be positive. Of the three heroes, two grew up in the non-magical world, and didn’t seem to show any sort of new found superior race tendencies since becoming magic, and the third had a father who seemed downright fascinated with non-magical technology and what it was able to do. His interest certainly didn’t seem patronizing. There’s also the tacit grudging respect demonstrated in the keeping on the masquerade, since the unspoken implication is that the non-magical folks would soundly beat the magical ones (they severely outnumber them, and war technology is more effective than war magic*) if it ever came to out and out hostilities.

      Sure, there was a sort of pervasive attitude among wizard culture that muggles were sort of amusing and lesser than wizards, but I didn’t get the feeling at all from the book, which is my point. The people who actively thought that way tended to be presented as out and out evil, or else in possession of an outdated and uncritical prejudice. I didn’t feel the book vindicated though people, which is where I was confused at the idea that it was an “apologia” for that mentality.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Oh dear, I seem to have forgotten to put my footnote in. Scatter brain,that.

      It was with regard to the concept that war technology is better than war magic. Rowling was apparently quoted, and since the only reference I can find for this at the moment is on TVTropes, you’d be rather justified in just dismissing it as speculation, that “In a fight between a Muggle with a shotgun and a wizard with a wand, the Muggle will win.” Basically gun beats wand. Magic can do all sorts of neat everyday things, but in a straight up fight, technology would win. Non-magical types are just better at war.

    • mandrill says:

      Mathematics = maths because mathematics is one of those odd words in the english languages which is both a plural and singular, based on the context. Mathematics is a collection of axioms, theorems and logical rules (some not so logical but hey) which are studied and added to by those who study them. Note the them, this is why it is maths and not math.

      Butt, is a word which may origianlly have been short for buttocks but has developed its own meaning with regard to a persons posterior. It is no longer used to talk about the buttocks particularly, but in a more general sense. Sir Mixalot when he expressed his preference for a large posterior musculature on his female companions would have had trouble getting “I like big buttocks, and I cannot lie.” to scan and the implication would have been that he likes a particular person’s buttocks over any other person’s buttocks. In fact he was expressing a preference for all big buttocks when present on the female figure.

      Lego is a different kettle of fish altogether, being a proper noun and therefore having no plural. Lego is the name of the company, there is only one company that makes Lego bricks and the shortening of Lego bricks to simply Lego, is indicative of the powere of the brand and it should never be pluralised. Also it could be argued that like fish and sheep, the plural is the same as the singular though being a proper noun, it would never make sense to say “they are Lego” rather than “it is Lego”. The whole “Lego/Legos” debate was started because the americans, in their bastardization of the english language, simply added an s to the end as they couldn’t be bothered saying “Lego bricks” or cvouldn’t get their head around the fact that Lego could refer to a collection of bricks as well as a single brick and the company that makes them.

      There is no debate, people who say “Legos” are wrong, plain and simple.

    • DMJ says:

      @Hidden_7: Yeah I kinda see the point there with wand vs. shotgun.

      I guess when you compare how fast you can point at something and wibble magic words to how fast you can point at something and bend your finger (for example, a trigger) you can find the winner fairly quickly, because he’s the one with the shotgun still standing, as opposed to the one with the wand who is now on the floor wishing he still had at least 37% of his torso back.

      There’s a reason why this blog isn’t called Rock, Paper, Wand.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @Hidden_7
      >”What I’m far more curious about is the “quasi-meritocratic racism,” in Harry Potter, which I can’t seem to place ”

      Maybe reference to the sorting hat and Slytherin? Because that is something that bothered me with the books – and even more with the movies, where Slytherin students were always depicted as physically unattractive (ugly people are evil!) and the Gryffindors almost all looked like aryans… with the occasional fit and handsome token black kid milling in the background.

      Anyways, I have never tried out any of the lego titles, but that game looks suprisingly fun.

    • iainl says:

      @Lars, re Slytherin members being allegedly ugly.

      I’d just like to warn you against uttering that opinion within earshot of any of the 30-something women I know, as they will brutally kill you. Dissing ‘Hello’ Jeremy Isaacs is not an advisable course of action.

    • drewski says:

      @ Hideen_7 – you’re obviously far more sympathetic to Rowling than I am. Although I disagree on your interpretation of Hermione and Harry’s disposition toward non-magical people – Hermione obviously has strong sympathies toward them, but Harry can’t wait to get away from them. Understandable, perhaps, given his upbringing, but he makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the “normal” world.

      As for Ron’s father, well, his attitude is to me no different to that of Joseph Banks in Tahiti. Yes, he’s absolutely fascinated by this strange culture, but he never for a moment considers it equal to his own, although he’s happy to take bits of it and try to use it to help himself. The fact the wizards keep themselves hidden is neither here nor there – they’re terrified of muggles for precisely the reasons you give, and this fear ir probably a root cause of their withdrawal to a superiority complex. But nowhere in Rowling’s work do I find any implication that wizards, for the most part, consider themselves equal to muggles – Dumbledore and Hermione are really the only exceptions.

    • Starky says:

      @iainl

      I think that was a reference to the books more than the movies, most people, good or bad in movies are good looking.

      Oh, and if that ‘hello’ was a reference to Mark Kermode (and his every show hail to the man) then I salute you sir for having good taste in your choice of film review shows/podcasts.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      My point wasn’t so much that wizards in the books consider themselves equal to muggles, but that the book judges that attitude acceptable. Clearly we have different interpretations however, which is bound to happen. I can see your point, however, and in any case, I’ve been enlightened as to what the “quasi meritocratic-racism” is meant to refer to, so my curiosity is satisfied.

  5. Novotny says:

    Lego DCS Black Shark FTW

  6. Heliocentric says:

    No demo? Thats the mark of quality right there.

  7. Freud says:

    I’m saving my money for Lego Black Hawk Down.

  8. Irish Al says:

    Played the 360 demo. It seems to be far more puzzle-based on the evidence of the level provided.

  9. tomeoftom says:

    Thanks. Now every single time I see ectoplasm in movies or games, I’m going to unwillingly perceive it as semen. Great.

  10. Foxfoxfox says:

    Lego Voldemort bearing down on a unicorn with a knife and fork… amazing! Especially after the kitsch sentimentality of the books regarding this moment.

  11. john says:

    “apologia of the private school system” really? The chippy socilaist sniping that gets inserted into articles does get rather boring after a while.

    Most people grow out of student politics eventually

    • CMaster says:

      Because Socialists are the only people who could possibly see something wrong with the private school system?

    • Gwyn says:

      Calling a dislike of private schools “socialist” is a far more reliable litmus of whether someone hasn’t grown out of student politics.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      I’m guessing the previous poster is American. Any negative sentiments towards the word private set off accusations of socialism in the more right-leaning of them.

    • Nobody Important says:

      Most people grow out of pointing at everything and calling it socialist!

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      Does anyone ever grow out of dismissing those dumb ‘mericans, though?

    • Vinraith says:

      Any negative sentiments towards the word private set off accusations of socialism in the more right-leaning of them.

      Yup. For what it’s worth many, many Americans do actually know what “socialist” means. The dumbest among us just also happen to be the loudest.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Really. I’m pretty centrist, yet even I’m starting to find uncomfortable all this snarky leftist political stuff that gets inserted into every other article. I mean, everyone’s entitled to voice their opinion but if it could be focused towards topical forum discussion and not shoehorned into gaming posts I think it would create a more neutral and welcoming atmosphere.

      IMO it has nothing to do with what you think about private schools or “socialism” or whatever. It’s these hit-and-run comments that provoke yet provide nothing towards a real discussion. I’ve always felt, if you’re going to discuss something political, discuss it fully and provide reasoning or don’t bother bringing it up at all. Just my 2 cents.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I suspect people taking offence are taking the line far more seriously than it was written. It’s like describing Lord of the Rings as lovely white people beating up funny-coloured foreigners or describing consoles as console-toys or saying the horse in Shadow of the Colossus is Wonky. Just generally irreverent dismissiveness towards something some people take terribly seriously.

      To be honest: if you can’t take a joke, it’s your problem.

      KG

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @KG

      Indeed I am notoriously humor-impaired regarding anything political. But I’ve identified the problem and I’m working on it. :)

  12. Colthor says:

    Harry Potter cumpkins? There’s one for Richard Herring.

  13. sovere1gn says:

    What happened to the Lego World or whatever it’s called? The one they combined every world of Lego.

  14. sonofsanta says:

    Sure this was mentioned on a comment round here recently, but as per the “Using the LEGO brand name” section of the LEGO UK Company Profile (PDF), correct usage follows the pattern of:

    • LEGO must never be used as a generic term or in the plural or as a possessive pronoun, e.g. “LEGO’s”.
    • When the LEGO brand name is used as part of a noun, it must never appear on its own. It should always be accompanied by a noun. For example, LEGO set, LEGO products, LEGO Group, LEGO play materials, LEGO bricks, LEGO universe, etc.

    Which is to say, it’s Lego, and anyone saying Legos clearly suffers some sort of ridiculous speech impediment.

    • Jake says:

      Yeah sure, but if you just have a assortment of bricks the correct term is “a pile of legoe’s”

      Clearly this is a sore spot for Lego as their correct usage pdf almost sounds threatening. You MUST NEVER say Legos OR ELSE. For some reason I have an image of a Lego smiley face rotating around to reveal a Lego angry face.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      I’m pretty sure this is just another US/UK thing because I have never in my life heard anyone refer to multiple bricks as “Lego”. It’s either “Legos” or “Lego bricks”. Ah, the internet is such a good tool for learning the regional nuances of the English language.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Yeah – it’s a US/UK thing. I’ve seen 300+ comment threads debating which is right in my time, which is why I mentioned it. Always worth bringing culture differences into a spotlight so people realise ‘em.

      Except I see the US side has been WEAK.

      KG

  15. Pani says:

    If it Legos, then it’s sheeps.

    <= Brit in the states.

  16. Gnarl says:

    I use Lego, sans ‘s’ but has it achieved such pervasiveness that it is seperate from describing the manufacturer? If so, then Legos would be correct, as you don’t say ‘You have 6 hoover? That’s an awful lot.’ or ‘I have 3 biro. No, you may not borrow one. You chew them.’

  17. westyfield says:

    It’s Lego, without the ‘s’. The Danish for “play well” is “leg godt”.

  18. Dawngreeter says:

    I’d use legos (lowercase “L” on purpose) just because The Man wants me to say Lego. Common language clearly established it as a generic term for toy blocks and I’m not about to go out of my way to accommodate someone’s corporate plans. IP does not equal grammar.

  19. Psychopomp says:

    Lego is serious business.

  20. DrazharLn says:

    In related news, Kieron sinks lower than ever in an attempt to provoke comment thread debate. Analysts are predicting that the next news story will contain holocaust denial to continue this trend.

    Legos? What the shit?

    No. This is a pile of angry lego next to my monitor, it is angry.

  21. MarkSide says:

    I’ve been at Legoland all day. It is my job to draw people there and be surrounded by the wonder of Lego.. The plural of Lego is Lego. Obv.

  22. Klaus says:

    I say lego’s or lego blocks. Just as I say that was photoshopped rather than that image was enhanced using Adobe® Photoshop® software.

    Sorry to say (for them) I use it as a general term to describe all lego-like blocks.

  23. geldonyetich says:

    Anyone else find the concept of a LEGO rat to be fairly awesome?

  24. SwollenWallaby says:

    Since its Danish, maybe its Legor or Legoer? Anyone here know the proper declension?

    Haha maybe en Lego, tre Legoer, den store Legoerne?

    But in English I always say Lego, and never ever Legos. Think of Lego being sort of like water. You can have 10 boxes of Lego, but never 1 or 5 or 7 Legos.

  25. Bret says:

    LEGO.

    Definitely LEGO.

    The s feels extraneous.

  26. Vinraith says:

    Construx were better.

  27. Hank says:

    LEGOs. I grew up in the midwestern US and have always used the ess to pluralize “LEGO” when speaking of a bunch of said bricks. Some examples of our lingual laziness: Oreo Cookies –> Oreos. Internet –> internets (series of tubes). Metropolitan Athletic Club –> Mets (just like bricks are members of the Lego team). Camel-brand cigarettes –> Camels. Even though the pdf says Lego CANNOT be pluralized, the people will speak as they will and only get sued if they try to make a buck, or big bucks, as in dollar bills, or dollars. It just fits our linguistic (in)sensibility.

    I do prefer your “aluminium” (like lithium, chromium, etc.) to our silly “aloominum”, though.

    Duly noting that it is a culturally sensitive subject, however, I will try to say unadulterated Lego when visiting the island that is very nearly exactly the same size as Japan (free factoid), which is also a lovely country (free opinion), especially the Cottswold(s) (specifically). Also, I know I’m getting old when I see websites where Lego collectors rate and review their favorite sets. If you want a hefty dose of nostalgia, give ‘em a whirl.

  28. Zogtee says:

    I liked Lego Star Wars, I liked Lego Batman a bit less, and when Lego Indiana Jones came around, I was sick and tired of the Lego treatment. So I wont bother with this. The only thing that could make me pay attention again would be Lego Aliens or Lego Terminator.

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