|LEGO → System → Harry Potter → The Prisoner of Azkaban|
4866 The Knight Bus is a Harry Potter set released on June 1, 2011. It recreates the scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in which Harry Potter is rescued by the Knight Bus, a transport for a stranded witch or wizard, after fleeing Number 4 Privet Drive after accidentally inflating his Aunt Marge. The set is a remake of the earlier set 4755 Knight Bus, and has noticeable improvements and added detail to the original incarnation of the scene. The set costs $34.99 and includes the minifigures Harry Potter, Stan Shunpike, and Ernie Prang. Also included is Harry's owl Hedwig and a printed cylindrical piece to represent the Shrunken Head.
The Knight Bus was a triple-decker, purple AEC Regent III RT that assisted stranded individuals of the wizarding community through public transportation. It operated at a very fast speed and obstacles would jump out of its way, and could also deceptively fit through small spaces. To hail the bus, a witch or wizard had to stick their wand hand in the air in the same manner that a Muggle might do while hailing a Muggle Bus in the United Kingdom, though it was possible to book tickets for travel on the bus in advance. The Knight Bus was a relatively modern invention in wizarding society, which sometimes (though it would rarely admit it) took ideas from the Muggle world. The need for some form of transportation that could be used safely and discreetly by the underage or the infirm had been felt for a while and many suggestions had been made (sidecars on taxi-style broomsticks, carrying baskets slung under Thestrals) all of them vetoed by the Ministry. Finally the Knight Bus was first commissioned in 1865. The idea was proposed by then-Minister Dugald McPhail.
While some wizards (mainly pure-blood fanatics) announced their intention of boycotting what was dubbed ‘this Muggle-esque outrage’ in the letters page of the Daily Prophet, the Knight Bus proved hugely popular with most of the community and remained popular. During the early 1990s, the Knight Bus' conductor was Stan Shunpike, who greeted passengers and handled baggage, and was driven by Ernie Prang.
The bus is based of the vehicle from the Harry Potter series. The Knight Bus is a purple triple decker bus. Inside, it has a removable bed which slides back and forth when the bus moves as it is not connected via studs. A chandelier loosely hangs from the roof of the bus and reaches down to the bottom floor where it swings like a pendulum. The upper two levels each contain two brown seats for passengers. The back of the bus is open with a footplate for the conductor, Stan Shunpike. The front has a spot for the driver, Ernie Prang with a blue steering wheel. The set includes Hedwig, a Shrunken Head, and a chest with two tan tiles printed with grey socks as accessories.
Differences from the Original
Unlike the original there are seats in the bus. The shrunken head is a cylindrical brick, and no longer printed on the windshield. The roof is much flatter and different types of wheels are used, meaning that the bus isn't as tall as it was before. This set also does not include The Grim, a street light, or a bush as the old one did.
The minifigures included in this set are Harry Potter, Stan Shunpike, and Ernie Prang. Both Harry and Stan are remakes, and this particular version of the Stan minifigure is exclusive to this set. Ernie is also exclusive. The Shrunken Head is also included in this set, but is cylindrical piece with a design printed on it and is thus not truly a minifigure. However, it is sometimes counted as one, such as on the LEGO Harry Potter website Characters page.
- This set includes many rare purple pieces including window frames, roof parts, fenders and Stan Shunpike's hat, body and legs.
- In the promotional images Harry is in school uniform, but he wears casual clothes in the final product.
- In the book and film, Hedwig is not present when Harry takes the Knight Bus, but she is in both Knight Bus sets.
- At Toyfair the boxart showed Ernie Prang with Professor Henry Jones I's head and Arthur Weasley's torso.