Up until now, I only owned the audiobooks, the Ultimate Edition Blu-rays (which replaced earlier DVD version of the films I had), and downloads of the film soundtracks. So this is the first time I’ve really got into buying Harry Potter themed stuff apart from that – with one slight exception that I’ll mention later, but basically I’ve never bought any other merchandise before.
There’s so much to buy in relation to the tour, so I did end up spending quite a bit. But it’s worth it to get some unique and special souvenirs. Some of the items I bought at the attraction on the day, and some I bought later from their online store, because there was no way I could carry everything I wanted home from the tour, and there were a few things I couldn’t find in the gift shop there anyway. So I hope you enjoy seeing all the things that I bought.
Broomstick Ride Photos & Video
The broomstick ride was really fun, as I explained in my previous post. And I’ve got a couple of nice souvenirs from it. I bought 2 photos – one of me flying across the Quidditch Pitch, and the other an overhead view of me flying over Hogwarts Castle. They’re printed on glossy paper and inserted into cardboard sleeves with fold-out doors, so it keeps them looking nice. And I was also able to download digital copies by going to a special web link and entering a couple of codes, so that was great.
The video, meanwhile, comes on a 2GB USB stick (the video itself is only about 250MB and is in MP4 format). The memory stick is branded with the logo of The Making Of Harry Potter, which is cool. I’ve copied the video on to my computer of course. And it looks really good, with a couple of minutes of bonus footage about how the broomstick flying was done in the movies, with my flight tagged on the end. Considering I couldn’t see what was happening on the monitor on the day, I’m pleased that it came out as well as it did.
It would be silly to go on a tour like this and not get the book that goes with it. It’s really nice too, with lots of pages that are full of great images and facts about a lot of the things you can see on the tour. It even has a nice fold-out centre spread of Platform 9¾ with the Hogwarts Express. So it’s a lovely companion piece to the tour, and brings back lots of fond memories of my visit there.
This is a huge and beautiful piece of artwork, that just seems to go on forever when you unfold it! There’s so much detail on it, so it looks really impressive. I’ll keep it in its plastic sleeve of course because it would be a shame for something like that to get torn or dirty, but I will of course take it out to look at it sometimes.
A wand is surely another essential purchase if you’re going to visit the tour, and there are loads to choose from. Unfortunately, the wand doesn’t choose you like it does in the stories, but then that gives you the freedom to choose whichever one you want here instead. Sure, you’re really just buying a stick if you want to go down to basics. But they do have significance and meaning, and every single one is decorated and sculpted in a different way to make it unique, so they do look great.
I decided to buy the wand belong to Neville as he’s one of my favourite characters in the series, with a great story arc. I feel I can relate to him a lot, because I started off as a very shy and awkward child myself, and then grew in confidence over the years, much like he does. So it just seemed to make sense to pick that one. And his wand is very nice, with a lovely swirling handle at the end. I did film the Wand Choreography lesson at the tour, so I’m tempted to have a go at that at home with my new wand, to see if I can perfect the moves a bit! Could be fun.
It’s been confirmed by both Emily from Fashioneyesta and a Buzzfeed quiz that my house is Hufflepuff (with quite a bit of Gryffindor thrown in too), and the verdict from the quiz does feel pretty accurate:
“You Are 42% Hufflepuff, 35% Gryffindor, 17% Ravenclaw, and 6% Slytherin! You’re undeniably a Hufflepuff, but you definitely have some strong Gryffindor qualities. You proudly wear your heart on your sleeve, but you lack the recklessness of a true Gryffindor, which means that you don’t act on your feelings without thinking. Your kindness and openness is what originally attracts other people to you, but they stay for your unwavering loyalty, meaning you’re constantly surrounded by a large group of friends. Your slight compatibility with Ravenclaw house hints at an appreciation for knowledge and wisdom, though they are not priorities for you.”
So, having figured that out, I obviously needed to buy something Hufflepuff related, and clothing was the natural way to go. So I got a t-shirt, which is grey in colour and has the word “Loyal” in big gold letters at the top, a big image of their badger symbol in the centre, and the word “Hufflepuff” on a narrow scroll across the bottom. And I also got a sweatshirt, which is also grey, and has the word “Hufflepuff” in big black letters with gold edging across the centre, along with the Hufflepuff badge on the sleeve.
Another item I got is a tea towel, because Mum wanted a new one, and I was able to find one in their online store. It looks lovely too. It’s a good size, it’s made of a nice material, and it features a big image of The Hogwarts Express coming along the tracks by some plants and trees. So we’re very happy with it.
Staying on the subject of the kitchen, I ended up buying 5 fridge magnets, as they were cheap and looked cool, and it’s nice to make the fridge look a bit more interesting. So I’ve got fridge magnets with images of the Hogwarts Express, the journey to Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Buckbeak and Dobby, all of which look really nice.
The shop on Platform 9¾ on the tour had quite a few different sweets, so naturally I decided to pick a few up to try them. And these toffees are really nice, with a lovely flavour and smooth texture. They’re quite tough to chew at first, as you expect with toffee, and it can get stuck in your teeth a bit. but it gradually softens in mouth, unlocking more of the lovely taste as you get through it. So I’ve enjoyed working my way through those.
I was really impressed with the size and design of this, in terms of both the packaging and the actual chocolate frog itself. It almost seems a shame to eat something that looks that good. But it was very tasty, and there’s a lot of chocolate to enjoy, because the frog isn’t hollow, it’s all chocolate throughout. So it’s very satisfying.
And you get a collector’s card in the box as well, mine being for Godric Gryffindor. It’s a lenticular card, so the image moves slightly when you turn the card from side to side, and there’s a brief description of the character on the back too. so that’s a nice little extra thing to keep.
This set certainly lives up to its name, as it has all sorts of random flavours – bogey, banana, earthworm, earwax, green apple, marshmallow, black pepper, vomit, rotten egg, soap, blueberry, sausage, sherbet lemon, cinnamon, candyfloss, grass, dirt, watermelon, cherry and tutti frutti.
So it’s quite a mixture, and as a result there are various Youtube videos out there with people trying them and having funny reactions. In particular, I love Fashioneyesta’s Every Flavour Beans video, where Emily and her mother try them, because their reactions are hilarious. That clip always makes me laugh!
So because it looked funny, I actually bought a pack of Every Flavour Beans some time ago from Amazon – while I was at my old house in fact, so we’re talking well over a year ago. The plan was to film myself trying them so that people could see my reactions, especially to the more disgusting ones. But I never posted it, because there wasn’t anything worth uploading. I just didn’t find them that bad. The worst sounding ones weren’t delicious, but they weren’t nasty either. They were just ok, I didn’t mind eating them. So I abandoned that video idea.
So while I was at the tour this time, I thought I would give it another go and bought another pack. But again, as you can see from my video this time, my reaction is still the same. And over the days since I filmed that, I’ve eaten every bean in the pack just like I would nibble on any other sweets. I’ve had every flavour in there, and none of them have struck me as being gross or disgusting. Some are nicer than others, but none are awful. Sure, they’re not sweets that I would buy regularly either – they’re only tiny beans and really just a novelty item. But they’re ok to have as a one-off like this. It’s just a shame – and it sounds weird to say this – that they aren’t as disgusting as I’d expected or hoped they would be. Defeats the purpose of the challenge really.
So I don’t know how to explain it. Either I’m a human dustbin who will eat anything, or I’m a superhero for being brave enough to devour them all, or the people who don’t like them are wimps. I’d say it’s a combination of all three! 😉 But if there are other sweets and confectionery that you feel I should try, either because you think I’ll like them or you think they would make for a fun challenge video, feel free to let me know. It doesn’t have to be Harry Potter related, I’m just happy to try new things and to do a challenge video of that nature if it’ll be entertaining, having never done one before.
Finally, this is an item that I got from Amazon and isn’t related to the tour. But it is still connected to Harry Potter. It’s a documentary about the real life magical practices from history that have connections with Harry Potter, and it’s really interesting. It features objects from the British Library’s History of Magic exhibition (which I’ve also been to recently and will blog about soon), as well as interviews with JK Rowling and readings from the books by actors who have appeared in the films. So it’s fascinating and really fun to watch, and complements the exhibition really well.
So my next post will include a short review of my visit to that exhibition – which is now completely sold out, so I’m glad I managed to get a ticket!
But in the meantime, that’s it for this post. I hope you enjoyed seeing all the items I bought recently. I don’t have any more Harry Potter things in the pipeline now, other than perhaps listening to the audiobooks or watching the films again at some point. So if there are any other Harry Potter products you think I should consider getting, or Harry Potter activities in London you think I should check out (apart from the ones I mentioned at the start of my tour review post), then let me know. 🙂