Saturday, October 23, 2021

Wizarding World Offers Magical Harry Potter Pumpkin Stencils

Who can forget the first time they witnessed The Great Hall's bewitching Halloween feast filled with candies and illuminated pumpkins hovering under the night sky? With the spooky season currently underway, the Wizarding World wants to help you fully decorate your common room with Harry Potter style carved pumpkins.

In celebration of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 20th Anniversary, WizardingWorld is focused on offering exclusive new content inspired by 20 Magical Moments from the film. Every Wizarding Wednesday, there are new games, quizzes, and secrets from the crew who brought the production to life.

Inspired by the unforgettable moment in the first film and the Great Hall pumpkins, UK’s leading pumpkin artist Pumpkin Freak created two special pumpkin designs for wizarding folks to use for Halloween! 

The Golden Snitch is a great starter for beginners, and The Hogwarts House Crest is perfect for more advanced carvers. 

Additionally, Hogwarts Mystery and Jam City also provided more stencils including The Sorting Hat, the Hogwarts castle, and a watchful owl inspired by Hedwig. 

Tutorials and a full set of materials for pumpkin carving and more crafts is available at HarryPotter20.com. These crafts involves sharp tools. Adults should supervise children.

Don't forget to show off your results by tagging @pumpkinfreakart and @wizardingworld on Instagram.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone celebrates its 20th Anniversary this November. Visit the WizardingWorld.com for more fantastic ways to enjoy the landmark occasion.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Harry Potter: The Exhibition Sets First Date and Location for World Tour


The Harry Potter Exhibition has traveled the world bewitching fans of the film franchise with a personal look at thousands of film costumes and props that made the Wizarding World come to life on the big screen. Now, the highly anticipated exhibition sets its sights for its world premiere.

In early 2022, the first stop will be at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

The Franklin Institute will be hosting the world premiere for a global tour slated to visit Latin America, the Asia-Pacific Region, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). 

Brand new behind-the-scenes technology will feature immersive designs and innovations that will enchant guests of all ages and give them a once-in-a-lifetime magical experience. 

This new tour promises to be the most comprehensive yet as visitors will enjoy the artistry and raftsmanship behind Harry Potter as well as Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child

Tickets will be going on sale for the general public at a future date.

If you haven't yet registered for updates regarding the tour and its future stops, visit the official website for more information.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Harry Potter Actors Reveal True Hogwarts Houses for 20th Anniversary

The Sorting Hat is a pivotal moment in every Hogwarts student's life. For fans, the sorting ceremony helps us claim the house in which we follow in Harry Potter and his friends footsteps for a lifetime of adventure.

In honor of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 20th Anniversary, the Wizarding World has announced a global challenge to see which house the cast and celebrity fans are sorted into - and friends to do the same. 

Harry Potter actors Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley); Warwick Davis (Filius Flitwick, Griphook and Gobling Bank Teller; Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks); Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas) are revealing their houses on the official Harry Potter instagram here

Now, every fan can participate in the official Sorting Hat ceremony on the Harry Potter Fan Club app. 

How to get involved:

Download the free Harry Potter Fan Club app and check out the Hogwarts Sorting Ceremony

Admire yourself wearing the AR Sorting Hat, and after snapping a selfie, make a short film explaining why you belong in your house before nominating and tagging a friend to join in

Share your prediction for which house they will be in, using the hashtag #SortingChallenge

Are they a proud Gryffindor, a resourceful Slytherin, a wise Ravenclaw or a loyal Hufflepuff – the only way to find out is to take the test and wait for their reply!

Enjoy more information from the official press release below.

 

‘But where to put you…?’

20th Anniversary celebrations for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone continue with cast and celebrity fans revealing their true house colours

 

Warwick Davis, Bonnie Wright, Natalia Tena and Alfred Enoch share their Hogwarts houses alongside celebrity fans Jordan Fisher, Perri Kiely and Jordan Banjo to celebrate 20 years of Movie Magic

 

[14:00 GMT 7th October 2021, London]: Kicking off today, Wizarding World fans from all over the world are invited to join in with a new nomination challenge, designed to help them find out more about their friends and family via the Official Sorting Ceremony!

 

The Sorting Hat is a magical hat introduced by Godric Gryffindor to place Hogwarts students in their rightful place, based on the abilities and skills they possess.

 

From the moment Harry sat beneath it on his first day at Hogwarts determinedly muttering ‘not Slytherin, not Slytherin’, fans have clamoured to be Sorted themselves. Thanks to the Official Sorting Ceremony on WizardingWorld.com and the Harry Potter Fan Club app, fans can answer those all-important questions and find out exactly where they belong. In celebration of the first film’s 20th Anniversary, Wizarding World invites everyone to share their house pride and nominate others to do the same!

 

Joining in the fun and enabling fans get to know them a bit better, Harry Potter actors have been announcing their houses with pride. Warwick Davis, who famously played multiple roles within the Harry Potter films, but perhaps is most loved for his ‘swish and flick’ demonstration as Professor Flitwick in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, has revealed he is in Ravenclaw after participating in the Sorting Ceremony.


Gryffindors around the world will be delighted to hear that Bonnie Wright, who played Harry’s eventual love interest Ginny Weasley and Alfred Enoch, known for playing Dean Thomas, are both true to their characters and have been sorted into Gryffindor. While Tonks actress Natalia Tena found herself in Hufflepuff after wearing the virtual Sorting Hat, joining her fellow house members who are known for their loyalty and hard-working nature.

 

Millions of members of the Harry Potter Fan Club community have been sorted to date, and now celebrity fans are also getting in on the action. Actor Jordan Fisher is a proud Ravenclaw and threw the challenge over to his wife, fellow actress Ellie Woods.

 

Diversity dancer and Kiss FM DJ Jordan Banjo nominated his co-host and fellow dancer Perri Kiely who is a huge fan of the Harry Potter films. Jordan, a proud Gryffindor guessed incorrectly that best friend Perri would be in Slytherin, due to them being natural opposites, but the Sorting Hat confirmed that Perri is in fact a Ravenclaw. Perri believes this is because he is “a little bit witty and a little bit eccentric”. 

In celebration of the 20th anniversary for first Harry Potter film, WizardingWorld.com is releasing new exclusive content every Wizarding Wednesday including games, quizzes, and secrets from the crew who brought the cinematic world to life.

The Harry Potter Fan Club App is available for download from the Apple Store and Google Play store. Follow along on social @WizardingWorld #SortingChallenge #20YearsofMovieMagic.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Vera Bradley Launches Magical Forbidden Forest Collection


Vera Bradley and Harry Potter have teamed up to launch their most magical collection yet - the Forbidden Forest.

Look closely throughout the captivating Forbidden Forest pattern, and you'll be dazzled by the array of memorable illustrations from the series like the Whomping Willow™, Hedwig™, Buckbeak™ , Fang™, and more waiting to be revealed.

This latest collaboration is the third chapter of Vera Bradley's partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products. Previous bewitching collections celebrated Herbology and the houses of Hogwarts.

The current selection of apparel and accessories include enchanting styles such as the Zip Hipster Crossbody Bag, Large Duffle Bag, Sling Backpack, and Vera Tote, to mystical accessories like the Zip ID Case, Bubble Umbrella, and Hedwig Forest Bag Charm, you are sure to find a little magic and mischief.

You can also don plenty of charming apparel around your personal common room such as the Cozy Life Robe and Jogger Pajama Pants.

The collection is currently available at VeraBradley.com and in Vera Bradley Full Line stores. 

Stay tuned - the magic does not end here! There will be more exciting additions to this collection in the upcoming months.

Check out the official Vera Bradley website for more information.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Harry Potter Stars Artwork Auction to Support Epilepsy


Harry Potter film stars Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid) and David Bradley (Mr. Filch) have sketched original drawings for a charity eBay auction. 

In support of Epilepsy Action and the 600,000 people across the UK who are living with epilepsy, their work will be auctioned off for National Doodle Day - September 17th, 2021.

The live auction will begin on Friday afternoon and it runs until Sunday. View the entire gallery of artwork held by the British Epilepsy Association.

More information from the press release:
Famous names from the worlds of entertainment and art have joined forces to support national charity Epilepsy Action. They have sketched unique artworks for an eBay auction which starts on National Doodle Day on Friday 17 September. The event celebrates its 17th anniversary this year. The auction includes works from TV favourites Aisling Bea (This Way Up), Freema Agyeman (Dr Who, New Amsterdam), Alice Eve (Belgravia, Black Mirror), Celia Imrie, Jools Holland and Dame Maureen Lipman DBE alongside celebrated artists and illustrators such as R.W Alley (Paddington) and Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo). Fans have until Sunday 19 September to bid on the original drawings. The proceeds from every doodle sold will help to support the 600,000 people living with epilepsy in the UK.

Philippa Cartwright, director of fundraising at Epilepsy Action, said: “National Doodle Day is a fantastic event which whips fans and collectors into a bidding frenzy. This is their chance to buy original artwork from celebrities, artists and designers and every doodle sold raises vital funds for people affected by epilepsy.

“Every year we are overwhelmed with submissions from all kinds of doodlers. Since launching National Doodle Day 17 years ago, we’ve had over 1,500 celebrities and artists support us. After all the lockdowns, we can’t wait to unveil their new creations. Don’t forget to get bidding on Friday 17 September and all weekend!”

Since National Doodle Day began in 2004, doodlers far and wide have raised over £180,000 for Epilepsy Action, all to improve the lives of people with epilepsy. All the latest doodles are now available to view in the online gallery and on eBay from Friday.

Book Review: This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

Briseis is gifted with an elemental affinity with plants. She can survive their deadly poisons, revive them from the dead, and grow seedlings into beautiful creations. When her aunt mysteriously leaves a sprawling estate to Briseis in her will, this feels like a perfect opportunity for herself and her moms to start over. To truly understand the potential of her powers, Briseis must unlock underlying secrets to the townspeople seeking dubious remedies and the biological family she’s never known.

Please Note: I received a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own. I do not receive commission if you click on any of the links in this post. If you'd like to send me a book or product to feature, check out my work with me page. Thank you for supporting my site!

Author Kaylon Bayron’s work has been highly sought after since her debut Cinderella is Dead in 2020. I’ve heard so much about her previous book, I didn’t know what to expect about diving in to her second title – But I like to think it helped me go in with a fresh mind without the lingering hype.

I might’ve picked up This Poison Heart for the beautiful cover and the inclusion of plant-based magic, but I stayed because the book was a genuine joy to breeze through. I didn’t even realize what a page-turner it was until I was racing to reach the ending.

Briseis is a wonderful character to lead the story – she’s not just gifted with the powers she inherited from her biological family, but also found family as well. Her adoptive mothers are respectful and compassionate about what Bresis is facing – magical or otherwise. Being in a world where it seems like no one possesses the abilities she does, enforces doubts and skepticism with others who might freak out about what she can do, take advantage of her, or shame her into hiding. Sometimes in stories including adoption, there are elements of the adoptive child being made to feel like they’re betrayed for wanting to learn more about their history. But here, Briseis’s parents support her but also remain cautious about her boundaries and if they’re being pushed too far. Because of that Briseis is free to explore what she needs to learn and also test the obstacles she faces. But it’s ultimately a combination of her gifts and determination that pushes her to face her truth.

I’ve read some reviews where the first half of the book is described as moving too slow. And, I somewhat agree. Briseis' interactions with other characters are the main source of trying to figure out where the story is heading next. With supporting characters knowing more than Briseis biological family and their reputation, it;s difficult to wait and discover if they’re trustworthy or not. The author does a great job with dangling the right amount of info in front of you and leave you wanting more, but it also made me question if everything would come full circle.

At the same time that mystery rolls out slowly in the beginning but kicks into high gear in the third act, I’d say the most of the book is more of a journey of Briseis accepting her abilities – not shielding what she can do and trying to trust the world around her. And the sprawling estate (which is more like a gothic mansion) full of secret apothecaries, deadly plants, and lingering family history is a beautiful metaphor for the complicated feelings Briseis has about her gifts. 

Bayron leads with mystery, fantasy, and a touch of romance, but also weaves in a layered magic system and mythology that really shows how Briseis connect with her environment. Her descriptions and clearly defined research lets you fully understand Briseis’s perspective and the entire world she’s laying out between over every chapter – and a splendid cliffhanger that makes me want more. 

This Poison Heart is a blast to read and didn’t expect how everything would come together. It captures the diverse gothic urban fantasy that’s been lacking for a long time. Visit Kalynn Bayron's official website here

Trigger warnings to consider: blood, violence, murder, death, poisoning, accidental cutting

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Zavvi Albus Dumbledore Wand (Product Review)

If I possessed the Elder Wand, what would I use it for? 

I pondered this question recently as I received Albus Dumbledore's wand from Zavvi.

Albus's wand arrived in two boxes. The first box is black with a glossy finish and protects the purple wand holder with a matte-like finish.  There's an oval cut-out in the black box to show off the reflective seal with Dumbledore's name and Hogwarts inscription underneath. Most wand boxes are plain without much extra detailing, so this was a nice surprise. The latter box also contains a strip of soft padding as well as a cut-out mold to hold the wand.

As a recreation from the wands in the films, the resin design is identical. Zavvi's wand fits the quality of wands that I look for - playful to not feel like it's going to break but sturdy to carry with me to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or put on display. The wand is about 15 1/2 inches long, and the structure is strong enough to not bend and has a steady weight from the handle to the tip.

One small attention-to-detail that makes a huge difference is the metal clasp stand with keyring plaque. Dumbledore's rounded handle makes the length of the wand unbalanced when displayed horizontally. The metal clasp sits snuggly on the wand's tip to hold it up. I wish my other wands had this accessory because it creates such a smooth display on my bookshelf.

I've mostly bought wands at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks or had custom wands made. I didn't quite know what to expect receiving one from an official retailer. I'm happy to say it does not disappoint - not only does it feel like I bought it at Ollivanders, but Zavvi's wands comes with a few extra perks I wish were available elsewhere.

Overall, I'm so happy that Zavvi extended to send me Albus Dumbledore's wand. It's a welcome and exciting addition to my collection. Please check out more photos below of the case, wand, and stand.

Please Note: I received this wand from Zavvi in exchange for a review. Opinions are my own. I do not receive commission if you click on any of the links in this post. If you'd like to send me a product to review, check out my work with me page. Thank you for supporting my site!