Everything you ever need to know about buying Harry Potter merchandise in the U.K.
We have created this blog to help out fellow Harry Potter collectors here in the UK. If you’ve always loved the Harry Potter movies and books but are completely new to the world of collecting or maybe you have a small collection but want to know how to expand on it, then this article will help you become the ultimate Harry Potter collector.
Our history of collecting Harry Potter Stuff
Here at The Film Cell our love of Harry Potter started way back when the first book hit the shelves and the obsession of collecting really took off once the first movie hit the cinema and J. K. Rowling had only written the first few books. We were hooked! The first item in our collection was a Harry Potter wand brought years ago from a Comic Con in Milton Keynes (sadly not from Ollivander's in Diagon Ally, I'm still waiting for my letter). It became our new hobby, travelling around toy shops and Comic Cons here in the UK looking for new merchandise to add to our collection. It wasn’t always easy to find something new back then as there wasn’t loads around and Harry Potter merchandise wasn't what it is today.
In 2005 we decided to fill the gap in the market and started up our own business focusing on Harry Potter merchandise, we have been specialising in Harry Potter gifts and collectables ever since. During this time we have seen many different companies create fantastic new products lots of which are unfortunately no longer available, the companies that made these products have either lost the license or are sadly no longer in business. We’ve imported items from all over the world over the past 16 years and love discovering new products. So we are here to pass on what we know and have learnt, as collectors and as an independent Harry Potter shop.
So, what Harry Potter merchandise should I start collecting?
It all comes down to 3 main points, your budget, what you like and how you want to display your collection. Collecting Harry Potter merchandise can be expensive but you can also collect on a budget depending on what range of collectables you go for. You can always as add more expensive things to your Birthday or Christmas gift lists and let someone else buy you the more pricy items.
There’s so much Harry Potter stuff to buy, where do I start?
Lets start with where you going to display your collection, do you have a cabinet in your room? Do you have a whole room devoted to Harry Potter? Maybe you want to theme your whole house...
If you have a cabinet to display your items things that come ready to display such as the Time Turner Necklace ADD IMAGE or Hedwig in her cage are ideal.
If you are theming a whole room how about a statement piece such as a broom ADD IMAGE or the Triwizard Cup
You could also start with a favourite Character, for example you could just collect Dobby merchandise and have a collection of Dobby statutes, plushies, POPs, figures and more.
There is no right or wrong answer to the above question. If you do buy something when you are starting out and a few years down the line you no longer want it in your collection, you can sell this on places like eBay or Facebook market place. Other collectors are always looking for products they can't find anymore.
With so much to choose from, we decided to break things down a little, so we have created a quick overview of each category below. Have a look through our website and see what draws your attention.
Collecting Harry Potter Wands
As discussed above we started off collecting Harry Potter wands in the early noughties, the props and replicas that you can buy from the movie franchise are just amazing. It is a hobby that suits any budget as there are lots of different style wands to chose from and hundreds of different characters wands to collect from Hermione Granger to Professor Lupin.
The different styles and manufacturers of wands means you can range from toy wands to wands that connect to smart phone apps. There are even mystery mini wands, wand necklaces, wand shaped pens, the list is endless.
Our personal favourites are the Noble collection wands. There are around 100 different characters to collect which come in all shapes and sizes. Selected characters also come with an amazing replica Ollivanders box to display them in.
If you are yet to buy your first Harry Potter wand there are a few things you should know. Noble have a several different versions available to suit any budget or collection. Firstly there's the toy/kids/cosplay version for around £12, these are made from plastic and come with a bookmark. Ideal for dressing up as your favourite character for World Book Day or for kids to play with and pretend to be their favourite character. These are more robust and made for playing with, though the design is not as accurate as the collectors versions.
So on to the collectors wands, these are made from resin and are a tad more expensive. These are made for display and to collect or if you are a professional cosplayer these are the wands for you. These wands are more accurate replicas based on the movies and come in official Ollivander's wand boxes, the display boxes come with a silk style material lining and velvet style inner. There are only a few of these available which include the main characters like Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore etc.
Just an added note, Noble did make others versions in the past but these are now discontinued and are harder to find. The discontinued versions include characters such as Narcissa Malfoy and Neville Longbottom. Due to them being discontinued these can be expensive and you will only find these on eBay or second hand sites.
However there are almost 100, what we call, character wands to collect. These still have an Ollivander's style box but the are created to display outside of the box. Each of these come with a metal name tag so you can display these easily in your collection, you can even purchase a number of wand displays and stands for these style wands WAND DISPLAY PHOTO. Both the Character and Ollivander's wands are around £30 to buy.
There is also a slight cheaper version of these wands available, these are exactly the same wands but they have different packaging. They don’t include a deluxe Ollivander's style box or the metal name tags. You just get the wand.
If that isn’t enough to get your head around there are also some exclusive wands that you can only buy in sets that come with fantastic themed wand displays. For example you can only buy Fred and George Weasley’s wands in this display set.
There are a number of wand displays and these can work out a tad cheaper than buying individually. These are a great way to buy wands if you are just starting out as some of these sets come with the main characters wands.
The Dumbledore Army wand set for example comes with Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Neville and Luna’s wands all for £134.99. Which works out at around £22.50 a wand but you also get an awesome wall mount to display these in. This style of Luna wand is currently only available in this display set. Though you can buy Luna's other wand separately.
The tri-wizard wand set is one of our favourites, this looks like it’s just come out of Ollivander's wand shop. With its wooden base and clear plastic cover it looks amazing in any collection and is so easy to display.
We could go on for ages just about Harry Potter wands but we will create a separate blog, make sure you check out our other articles if you want more info.
What Harry Potter movie prop replicas are there?
If you are not keen on Harry Potter wands or looking for something a bit different there are loads of other movie prop replicas to choose from. From the iconic Professor Slughorn's hourglass to Mad Eye Moody's flask. We have a huge selection of the very best available in store and online.
If you are looking to collect prop replicas first you'll need to decide if you want to display these items or if you would prefer items that you can use or carry with you.
Items such as Dumbledore's Deluminator are perfect for both displaying and using as a prop replica for cosplay. The Ravenclaw Diadem also can be worn but also comes with an amazing display box so you can add this to your shelves or cabinet when you’ve finished wearing it.
Another good item that you can display but is also functional are the Harry Potter chess sets. There are a number of styles available, the great thing with these chess sets is if you don’t quite finish your game you can have them on display until you get a chance to finish it off.
From Harry Potter mugs to stationary...
If you want to collect Harry Potter merchandise but you don’t want them to just sit on display, you want to use and show off what you have purchased. Then the homeware category is probably what you would be looking for.
There’s a huge range of Harry Potter gifts or collectables you can buy for your home or taking to the office or work or even school. Mugs are a great idea, you can use them again and again and they also look great on your desk.
There is so much choice, you can buy Harry Potter mugs that have an image of your favourite character or scene from the movie, your favourite quote, the Harry Potter logo or even a 3D sculpture of Hedwig. These also make great gifts.
Stationary is also a great useful item that you can use over and over, we have a range of Harry Potter wand pens available in store and online. We even have a replica of Tom Riddles Diary that you can use as a note book.
Show off your Harry Potter clothing and wearable collectables
You can show everyone that you are a Harry Potter fan with the massive range of clothing that’s on offer. From full on cosplay outfits to lightning bolt earrings here’s a few wearable Harry Potter collectables you can add to your collection.
There are loads of T-shirt’s available, but one of our favourite collectables are the Funko POP Tee boxes. These are highly Collectable and you can either wear these in style or keep in the box as part of your collection.
Funko also have an amazing range of bags and purses from their Loungefly product range. These are super collectable and feature character themed collectables such as 3D Hedwig back packs or Hogwarts House purses. Each made to a super high standard, fully lined and sometimes with metal features around the zip.
There are loads of other manufacturers too, most supermarkets usually have a selection ranging from socks to pyjamas. These are usually cheap and mass produced so you wont get anything unique. Most independent Harry Potter specialists will specialise in more unique items of clothing, or higher quality garments.
Looking to theme a Harry Potter room in your house?
There are loads of things that can help you turn your house into Hogwarts in no time. You could add simple or subtle touches like one of our Harry Potter marauders map rugs in your living room or maybe you’d like a platform 9 3/4 sign on your wall.
If you want to go all out then you can completely decorate your house with Harry Potter marauders map wallpaper that glows in the dark. Ikea have some great cabinets that are perfect for displaying your Harry Potter merchandise, from clear glass cabinets to billy bookcases it all depends on how you are planning your room to look.
You might already have something valuable in your Harry Potter collection!
If you have a set of Harry Potter books in your collection you might already have some worth a few pounds to display. First edition copies of the book can go for thousands, depending on which edition you have you could be reading a book worth from anything between £100 to £40,000+.
How much is my Harry Potter book collection worth?
We often get asked this, or how can I tell if my Harry Potter book is valuable? There were a number of different Harry Potter books printed that either had misprints or were first editions before Harry Potter got really famous.
Just to give you a bit of history into the books. J. K. Rowling first went to 12 publishers before Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was published in the late 90’s. None of the previous publishers showed any interest on the books until Bloomsbury finally agreed to produce 500 first edition hardback books. There were also 1000 paperback produced at this stage. This first book from the Harry Potter series is now the third best selling book of all time with around 140 million copies in circulation.
But how do you tell if you have a rare Harry Potter book and which Harry Potter editions are worth money?
One of the first things to check on the first few pages of your book is who the book is credited by. The first editions had the crediting of “Joanne Rowling” and not J. K. Rowling. Also the first edition first printing will have a print line that reads "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1".
If you do have a first edition you need to keep this in good condition, it might also be worth buying a new copy to read so that you don’t damage your rare version.
How should you display your Harry Potter collection?
There are so many things you could do with your collection, our customers often send in photos of how they have displayed their merchandise. It’s always great to see as everyone does something different.
One of our customers has devoted their downstairs toilet to Harry Potter with the Harry Potter wallpaper that you can buy and a loo seat that says "Ministry of Magic this way". They have shelves in the corner with all sorts of replicas and collectables and metal signs on the wall like the Gryffindor Common Room sign.
Another of our customers has turned their hallway and stairs into a Harry Potter shrine. With the various wall displays we have on offer and posters and photos up the stairs.
We have a bit of knowledge ourselves in creating Harry Potter displays as we turned one of our rooms in our shop into a Dickensian Diagon Alley theme. You can do as little or as much as you like. We created cabinets out of MDF and gave these a gothic style frame and we used brick effect wallpaper as our back drop.
The possibilities are endless.
Where can I buy Harry Potter merchandise?
We specialise in Harry Potter gifts and collectables here at The Film Cell so it’s a great place to start. We sell online and in our shop in Warkton, Northamptonshire, it a great place to visit if you want a closer look at anything we sell through our website. We have loads of items on display and there are items in the shop that you won’t find on the website.
If you are not local to us though don’t worry, we also attend all the major comic Cons and some of the largest Harry Potter themed events all over the U.K. so chances are we will be bring our wares to a location near you in the future. Comic Cons are a great place to buy Harry Potter collectables, there are usually some unique hand made items from sellers that you can't find anywhere else.
We are always add new products, stock updates and information about where we will be traveling to on our social media pages. Check out our Facebook page and give us a like to keep up to date with all our latest news.
There are also loads of other places where you can buy Harry Potter merchandise here in the UK. With Warner Brother Studio Tours just outside London they offer loads of items that are only available via their shop or website.
There are also big chains and supermarkets that offer discounted products every now and then. So you can sometimes pick up some real bargains. You don’t get the personal touch that an independent gives you and they probably won’t have any knowledge of the product also you can’t guarantee they will have stock again. We also have sale events online and discount days in the shop every so often so make sure you keep your eyes on our social pages.
It’s best to find and regularly visit your local independent as they are more knowledgeable about what they offer and have can advise you on anything new that will be arriving. Plus you get to help out a small shop and keep their business alive.