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Old 09-10-2012, 08:06 PM
allucha allucha is offline
Default Review: Harry Potter Wizard's Collection

Like a magical treasure chest, the Harry Potter Wizard's Collection is a fan’s dream come true. Filled to the brim with memorabilia, exclusive behind the scenes footage, and multiple formats of the 8 films, it will keep you entertained for days (if not, weeks!).

When I first received the box, I thought the incredibly large packaging was giving a false image to the true size of the box set, but I was soon proven wrong. My excitement only increased when lifting the box and wondering what on earth could be weighing so much. I had avoided watching preview videos of the Wizard’s Collection, which made the moment of my revelation much more magical.

The chest consists of 31 discs and six visible compartments, playing host to the films and authenticity certificate, and also three hidden compartments which feature certain items which truly make this box set stand out above the rest. Two hidden sections will spring out as you touch them, whilst the final compartment is one which you will only find if looking for it. A false backing conceals the final, and questionably most sought after item of the set, which is like a gift for finding the disc. The chest itself is magnificently decorated, with the Hogwarts Crest in multiple formats, Dragons, and ancient rule-like symbols that make the chest feel like it may indeed have some hidden magic.

Films 1-8 are each housed in a hardback book, containing the feature in both DVD and Blu-Ray, as well as the relevant Special Features (which, for the earlier films, have been previously released in various formats). The designs on the book alone are fascinating, with dragons for Goblet of Fire and scribbles which echo the Advanced Potions Making book for Half-Blood Prince. In addition to DVD and Blu-Ray, both the Deathly Hallows booklet also features 3D versions of the films, as well as the concluding parts to Creating the World of Harry Potter, with Part 7 (story) and Part 8 (growing up). The final disc, hidden behind a false backing, reveals the bonus Blu-Ray that everyone has been waiting for; five features revealing the secrets on Hagrid and Quidditch, as well as an extended version of When Harry Left Hogwarts, which alone is a great watch which you can lose yourself in.

SPOILER!!: Booklet covers for Goblet of Fire and Half-Blood Prince

To me, one of the standout features of the Wizard’s Collection are the physical items hidden away in the various visible and concealed compartments. An envelope conceals 5 postcard-sized sketches from Stuart Craig, detailing various angles of Hogwarts Castle, Hagrid’s Hut, The Burrow and Diagon Alley. Alongside this envelope is a Label Collection containing labels from films, from text books, all the way through to Honeydukes products and Vial Labels from Dumbledore’s pensieve cabinet. The authenticity certificate is stamped with a wax seal, revealing how limited these collections are (only 63,000 to have been released), and shares a compartment with 8 A4-sized art prints, one from each movie detailing a relatively significant moment (the Chess battle for Philosopher’s Stone, Dobby’s headstone for Deathly Hallows). Hidden away, you’ll also find Slytherin’s Locket, a scroll with a unique code for Ultra-Violet downloads, a blue print for Hogwarts Grounds, and a illustrated fabric flag detailing the Hogwarts Grounds, as well as various other significant magical locations. Lastly, a Catalogue of Artefacts awaits you, containing 81 artefacts that appear throughout the 8 films, with each spread dedicated to a character, event, or location.

SPOILER!!: Blueprints of Hogwarts Grounds and Print from Philosopher's Stone

Physical items aside, the bonus features give the Wizard’s Collection the ability to transport you from your house and into the world of Harry Potter. From a guided tour of Hogwarts with Philosopher’s Stone, to Preparing for the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire, you’re taken on a magical journey that puts you behind the scenes, and behind the magic. The Bonus Disk delivers a nostalgic end to the world of Harry Potter, with the stunt doubles for Daniel, Rupert and Emma sit down to talk, as well as a journey to the past with the cast members revealing the 50 Greatest Harry Potter moments.

The Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection is a spectacular piece of Harry Potter history that will entertain, and perhaps even stir up an emotion or two when going through the 31 discs. However, it does come at a cost which is hard to justify. Whilst the contents are no doubt mind-blowing, I cannot see why the collection costs as much as it does; my personal Harry Potter collection (which is in fact more “limited” as it was released with only 25,000 pieces) cost almost a third of the price of the Wizard’s Collection. I was also partly disappointed in that the special features are primarily found on Blu-Ray discs, as opposed to DVDs which may be easier to play for the majority of fans. Overall, it is a great item to see, but I cannot see myself buying an item like this, when no doubt a second “ultimate Harry Potter box set” will make an appearance in the future.

Order the Harry Potter Wizard's Collection at the Warner Bros Shop, on or (region-free) now.
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