Ah, the loot. I love loot. Looty, loot, loot.
If you’re a Harry Potter fanatic heading to the Wizarding World for the first time, you should check your wallet with someone who’s less enthused to be there. You might get caught up in the atmosphere and try to buy everything you see. And this shit isn’t cheap.
All of the Harry Potter World merchandise is in-character. Most of the candy and toy packages feature a tiny, requisite Harry Potter logo on the back. Other than the covert logo, the packaging is true to the story. When you get home and sort through your haul, it looks like you apparated into the Harry Potter universe and scored some genuine Honeydukes treats and Zonko’s gags.
Chocolate Frogs: As in the story, Chocolate Frogs contain a wizard trading card. I got the illustrious Rowena Ravenclaw. The actual chocolate frog is a 5.3 ounce chunk of chocolate molded into an enourmous, slick frog. This thing must weigh a few pounds. Total caloric intake: somewhat less than a Wendy’s Baconator Triple, but not by much.
In the outdoor Butterbeer line, we witnessed a teenage girl scarf down an entire melting Chocolate Frog. It was a race against the heat of the sun, but she won the messy skirmish for the frog-shaped clump of goodness. Her victory was not without a price: new zits bloomed on her face with every bite. She quickly ran out of face and zits grew on top of zits. By the time she got to her frosty mug of Butterbeer, her face was a mound of pus swells with three little tunnels leading to, presumably, her eyes and mouth.
Fizzing Whizbees: The best of the Harry Potter candies was Fizzing Whizbees. Who knew that chocolate-covered Pop Rocks shaped like queenbees would smack of epicness? I’m skeptical of chocolate-covered anything these days. I can still taste the essence of the chocolate-covered ginger that I ate last summer. Barf. My only complaint about Fizzing Whizbees is that the Pop Rocks take a few seconds longer to activate than normal.
On the other hand, it’s a blast to watch people eat Fizzing Whizbees and make weird expressions of anticipation as they take a first bite. You can see the progression of thought on their face, “I know there’s Pop Rocks in here. When will I be blessed with the fizz? Fizz, please. MOTHERFUCK I WANT FIZZ DAMMITALL *crackle*…oh… nom nom nom”
Bertie Bott’s Every Favour Beans: I have eaten these jelly beans many times before. I still have a half-written article sitting in my My Documents folder from when I brought a box of Bertie Bott’s to work almost four years ago. They are Jelly Belly-ish jelly beans with flavors like Dirt, Earthworm and, Rotten Egg thrown in the mix to keep you honest. The gross favors are all disgusting and taste surprisingly close to their flavorsake. Be especially cautious of the vomit bean. It’s sickeningly realistic.
One day, spawned from the boredom of waiting on our better halves, Security Gawd and I devised a game of Bertie Bott’s Russian Roulette. We took turns grabbing a random bean from the box and eating it while the other person snickered and watched for the slightest hint of a reaction. The final score out of twelve beans apiece: Security Gawd – 0, Zenestex – 3. That means the lucky bastard consumed zero nasty beans while I ate three of the puke bomblets—thankfully none were actually vomit-flavored. This is why I don’t gamble. And I demand a rematch!
Peppermint Toads: Rounding out the candy is Peppermint Toads. They’re good, but there’s no magical gimmick. The other candies conditioned me to expect some sort of sugary trick. These tiny toad shaped chocolates taste are taste like the peppermint-flavored chocolate blocks that you can buy from any craft store. Don’t emasculate me and ask how I know that.
Voldemort Wand: The Voldemort wand was pricey ($30), but I couldn’t pass it up. As in the movie, the wand comes in a dusty, black, shoe store style box. I don’t have the heart to throw the box away, so until I find a proper display, this wand will sit atop my computer desk in the opened wand box.
The wand is a finely detailed replica of Voldemort’s bone splintered, movie wand. It’s heavier than it looks and made of solid, sturdy resin. Replica wands are available for other characters such as Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Snape, and Draco among others. Most of these wands look amazing. Some, such as Dumbledore’s and Sirius Black’s wands, are a Must Buy if you collect movie replicas. I plan to grow my wand collection with each visit Harry Potter World.
Sirius Black Wand: We made a return trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter last weekend. Yeah, Spring Break crowd, y’all suck. That’s right: “y’all.” I’m from Florida. I say it; I’m not gonna hide from it any longer. It was so crowded last weekend that Mrs. Zenestex and I made an early escape to the in-park movie theater (inter-park is more accurate) to catch Take Me Home Tonight. Cool, 80’s nostalgic, rent-worthy movie. Anyway, the Sirius Black Wand was the only item I scored during our quick, nooner trip to Harry Potter World. Sirius is one of my favorite characters in the series, so his wand would’ve been on my Buy list regardless of its look. The wand does not disappoint with its magical-looking inscriptions and swirlies engraved in the dark resin-wood.
Golden Snitch: I didn’t plan to buy a Golden Snitch until I saw one preening on the store shelves next to all the Quidditch gear. I figured the Snitch would look sweet in my office. However, when I got it home and pulled it out of the box, I discovered that it’s a chintzy piece of shit. It looks completely fake. “Well, Golden Snitches ARE fake. Duh.” Yeah, yeah.
The plastic feels weak and light like a fifty-cent water-gun. In the movie, the Snitch’s wings are wavy and quiver like a hummingbird’s wings. The toy’s wings are made of a single piece of flimsy tape folded over printed tissue paper that makes them look textured. I thought the wings might be packaging at first and tried to pry them open to reveal the true wings inside. My hopes were shattered when I almost ruined the Snitch’s wings and realized that the tape was the wings.
When you press the button, the wings flutter disappointingly slow and even that action lasts for only a few seconds. For my $15, I would’ve preferred a motionless, resin-cast movie replica instead of this cheap knock-off with trembling, Scotch tape wings.
Boxing Telescope: This is the last item that I will ever buy from Zonko’s without trying it first. Dollar for dollar, the Boxing Telescope is the single worst toy I have ever purchased. Calling it a telescope is an exaggeration. There’s no lens on the large side, which houses the speaker. When you look into the Boxing Telescope’s eyepiece you see nothing. It’s like a kaleidoscope without the kaleido.
I expected greatness when I pushed the button while looking through the eyepiece. From the box, I figured a harmless boxing glove to spring from the telescope. Or maybe a boxing glove inside the scope would physically move towards the eyepiece. Either would have made the Boxing Telescope legendary. But no, the only thing this toy does when you press the button is light up a static picture of a purple boxing glove. The telescope also makes a feeble, but strained, whipping sound that the pushes the tinny speaker to its limits. The package claims this is a “punching sound.”
I wanted it all from Zonko’s: the Extendable Ears, the Screaming Yo-yo’s, the Robot Lilliput, the Fanged Flyer. All of it. Well, all of it except for the Pygmy Puff. Now I’m thinking twice. I played it safe the first time. My first instinct in Zonko’s was to horde an armful of the merchandise and sprint to the cash register before Mrs. Zenestex could react. I still have some quicks; I could’ve made it. But I didn’t make an attempt and I’m thankful that I exercised restraint (I make no promises of such fiscal responsibility at MegaCon later this month).
I hold the Golden Snitch and Boxing Telescope fully accountable for jading me on Harry Potter World toys. My follow-up trip to the toy section was less magical, but there are still items that I want. I’m going back more than a few times over the next year. As I empty my bank account, I’ll update the loot reviews and hopefully uncover more awesomeness like the wands and the Fizzing Whizbees.
On the To Buy List:
All the candies and cakes, Wands (Dumbledore and Snape), Dumbledore’s Army Wand set, Marauder’s Map, rubber Dragon, and plush Owl. I’ll hear no insults about the owl, it’s bodacious. No bodacious? Fine, it’s rad. But I like bodacious better.