Harry Potter and the ridiculous merchandising: The ten nerdiest Potter products
Expecto patronum, channels change!
Millions of people will head out to theaters next Friday to take in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the final installment of the decade-long empire. And while the teeming masses will come, among them will be a select few (you'll be able to tell them by their capes) for whom Harry Potter is more than a pleasant afternoon distraction -- it's an obsession. These people are nerds, and for them, it will be a day of mourning. But they shouldn't mourn too hard, because while a series may die, its nerd-dom lives on in perpetuity in the form of meticulous dedication and, more importantly, in merchandise. So whatever object you crave to supplement your imagination, dear Harry Potter nerd, take heart: There is a product out there for you.
10. Harry Potter "Final Challenge Chess Set"
A pretty obvious pick for anyone who saw Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and knew they could never play chess with a normal chess set ever again, the Final Challenge set has got you covered -- but this isn't even the only Harry Potter-themed reimagining of the ancient game. There are also chess boards based on actual Harry Potter characters, of course, and even at least one that's Quiddich-themed. Because if you can't play a fictional game that involves flying broomsticks, you can at least pretend to do that while playing another, unrelated game.
9. Harry Potter 18-inch Motion-Activated Action Figure
Action figures are pretty much a staple for anything child-marketed or even mildly nerdy -- and Harry Potter is both in spades -- but this $30, foot-and-a-half-tall robo-doll is a step beyond. Not only does this baby feature an "articulated neck, torso and left shoulder," it also says all the shit you want to hear the young wizard say over and over again: "Have it your way," "Sound of wands" and "He's back. He's back. Voldemort's back," for example. Your conversations with it will be limited, sure, but it's better than no friends at all.
8. Voldemort Dueling Battle Trainer
One day, you will be forced to battle Lord Voldemort. Jk, you won't, but you might as well be prepared for the possibility. For that, there's the Voldemort Dueling Battle Trainer, which, to be honest, we don't really know what this thing even does. As far as we can tell, though, it's a plastic head that says things to you that fall roughly within three levels of difficulty, which you can reply to with either scathing witticisms or one of ten spells. Fun for minutes! And when you're bored, try using it as a holder for your skin-masks!
7. Lists of fictional locations
Nerd-dom can come in many forms, but one of its most classic is the accumulation of entertainment-related objects and media with no discernible purpose but to satiate -- if only for a short time -- the disquieting monomania. Yes, that book on the right is a real book ($30, plus shipping and handling), and it is pretty much the definition of obsession. It's devoted to more than just Harry Potter, true (dual Lemony Snickett/Potter fans, get your fixes all in one convenient location!), but that doesn't negate that it's hard to imagine a volume of less utility.
6. The Harry Potter Collectible Time Turner
The Noble Collection's collectible Time Turner will not allow you to travel through time -- you still need a DeLorean for that -- but it will... uh... well, actually don't do anything with it. Seriously, don't even hold it. From the product description: "While this Time Turner is fun to hold, it's a true collectible and not a toy. It's fragile, and may break if handled roughly." So I guess we have to take that back about the not being anything you can do with it, because what you can do with it is, you know, collect it. I guess.
5. Harry Potter Artefact Box
Also from the Noble Collection, which for some reason declines to spell "artifact" correctly, comes this assortment of other purposeless crap that you can presumably collect, although having it all in one place there would seem to take the fun out of collecting it. What "artefacts" might you receive? Why, pretty much everything, thanks for asking, including a Hogwarts acceptance letter (to supplant the real college acceptance letters you never received), an Order of the Phoenix lenticular photo (whatever that means) and an 8 1/2x11-inch receptacle for your tears of loneliness.
4. Kymera Magic Wand Channel Changer
The Clapper was awesome and everything, but the problem with it was that Harry Potter doesn't clap to make magical shit happen, he uses a wand. Now, at least as far as your TV is concerned, you can too -- and unlike many other Harry Potter products, this one actually has a use, meaning you can maybe impress your friends in a Lars and the Real Girl sort of way. Haha, not really -- you said goodbye to friends when you said hello to The Prisoner of Azkaban.
3. Lightning Bolt Wand Stand
As long as you have a wand that can do things, you'll probably be needing a wand-stand, preferably in the shape of a lightning bolt -- because when Harry Potter fictionally buys products, he most likely elects to buy products in the shape of the scar on his head. Make sure you buy the one before the other, though, because the wand is not included.
2. Harry Potter Trading Cards
No nerdery could possibly be complete without trading cards, and you better believe that when Harry Potter brings the trading cards, that shit is like Magic: The Gathering. Which is to say it's like wearing a sign reading "Please give me multiple wedgies." At any rate, you can get started like gangbusters with the $13 two-player Starter Set and build your sad, sad empire with an infinite number of add-ons from there. Now, if only you could find one other player.
1. Authentic Harry Potter Sword
Sure, you could spend the measly $27.99 and get some plastic piece of shit like you were a 10-year-old child with no real appreciation for Harry Potter's nuance, but you're a grown adult, so act like one by dropping the extra $249 and getting the real fucking deal that's pretty much mostly the real deal. It comes in a display case and doesn't actually have any edge -- more or less precluding the possibility of doing battle with it -- but the quality? Like the Mortal Kombat victories you'll imagine yourself garnering with it, it's "Absolutely flawless."
Get the Arts and Theater Newsletter
Weekly information keeping you in the know when it comes to the art and theater scene. Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events.