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Review: Magic Alley Harry Potter Shop
Posted by Megs

In need of a gift for any upcoming holiday? Valentine’s Day *hint hint* 

If your special someone loves Harry Potter, Magic Alley is the place for you! Magic Alley carries officially licensed Harry Potter products of all types. They offer watches, necklaces, scarves, wands, tote bags, sweets and much more at great prices! They launched in 2015 and wanted to create a space with Harry Potter pieces you can’t find just anywhere. The founders also attend various conventions to sell their products and mingle with fans.

Magic Alley Harry Potter Golden Snitch Necklace and Platform 9 3/4 Watch Magic Alley Harry Potter Golden Snitch Necklace and Platform 9 3/4 Watch

Magic Alley very kindly sent over a Platform 9 3/4 watch and Golden Snitch necklace for us to review. They’re perfect everyday pieces for those who love the Harry Potter series and want everyone to know. Both pieces are also great for the fashion conscious girl (or guy!) who doesn’t want their Potter accessories to be too large and flashy.

Magic Alley Harry Potter Golden Snitch Necklace and Platform 9 3/4 Watch

As a fashion blogger as well as a huge Potterhead, this watch and necklace will definitely be making their way into my daily outfits without me having to feel embarrassed about them being “geeky.” Not to say that being geeky is a bad thing, I love to go all out with my Potter gear as well. But in my day to day life I like to keep it a bit more reserved.

Magic Alley Harry Potter Golden Snitch Necklace and Platform 9 3/4 Watch

The watch is very thin and has a burgundy faux leather strap and face showing the Platform 9 3/4 logo. The strap has a nice pebbled texture that really makes it look expensive. It’s the perfect understated piece for the fan who wants to show their Harry Potter love without screaming it.

Magic Alley Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4 Watch Magic Alley Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4 Watch

The golden snitch necklace comes on a silver plated chain with a very small (8 mm tall and 37mm wide) golden snitch charm. It is a perfect replica of the snitch used in the films. In the photos below it is shown with a rare Golden Snitch replica from promotion for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. You can see how closely it resembles the real thing.

Magic Alley Harry Potter Golden Snitch Necklace Magic Alley Harry Potter Golden Snitch Necklace

Even though they are in the United Kingdom, shipping to the United States only took a week. Always a plus to have quick shipping if you’re buying last minute gifts!

*I was gifted with the necklace and watch in exchange for reviewing them, but that in no way affected my review. My thoughts are my own. Thanks so much to Magic Alley for partnering with us on this post!

Filed Under: Products, Review
Un-boxing: USAopoly’s The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion for Hogwarts Battle
Posted by Megs

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Book of Monsters Expansion

Last October we revealed USAopoly’s deck building game, Hogwarts Battle, which was received with rave reviews! Today we’re un-boxing the new Monster Box of Monsters Expansion! The expansion is available at your local game stores as well as numerous online locations (see below) for $29.95. Now let’s venture into the Forbidden Forest and help defeat Lord Voldemort along with all new creatures!

One of the most exciting parts of this game is that you can now play as Luna Lovegood in addition to Harry, Hermione, Ron and Neville. There are a few other surprises in store, which we won’t spoil for you here. You will need to complete the Hogwarts Battle game before starting to use this expansion pack. There are 4 boxes to go through, each adding more difficulty and they build off of Game 7 in Hogwarts Battle. You can also combine all the boxes to create any type of game you want! The options are (almost) endless.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Book of Monsters Expansion

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Book of Monsters Expansion

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Book of Monsters Expansion

Click photos below to enlarge:

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Book of Monsters Expansion Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Book of Monsters Expansion Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Book of Monsters Expansion Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Book of Monsters Expansion Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Book of Monsters Expansion Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Book of Monsters Expansion

The official description is as follows:

Venture into the Forbidden Forest with The Monster Box of Monsters, the highly anticipated expansion to HARRY POTTER™: HOGWARTS™ BATTLE! Play as Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville or Luna Lovegood™ as you face frightening creatures and challenging encounters. Beware of any wrongdoing that might earn you detention! Only working together to defeat the evil forces and protecting iconic locations will make the Wizarding World safe once and for all!

The box includes: 152 cards (40 small, 68 regular, 44 oversized) – 1 Die – 4 Game Boxes – 4 Game Rules – 21 Chip Pieces (12 Influence, 1 Harp, 8 More)

The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion can be purchased at Warner Brothers Shop, Entertainment Earth, BAM!, Amazon

Watch the game trailer below:

Filed Under: Products, Review
Unboxing: LEGO Dimensions Harry Potter Fun Pack Featuring Hermione & Buckbeak
Posted by Megs

Hogwarts’ most diligent student, Hermione Granger, joined the action in LEGO Dimensions on May 9 with the arrival of a brand new Harry Potter Fun Pack! The Fun Pack features a Hermione minifigure with all new enhancements, including Wingardium Leviosa & Lumos. You can order the fun pack for $11.99 at Amazon, Target, Best Buy and Toys R Us!

Hermione will reunite with Harry and Ron for the first time in the game to explore locations in Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Buckbeak will join Hermione in the Fun Pack as an epic, rideable character. The Fun Pack will also unlock the Harry Potter Battle Arena for fans to play any of the four Battle Modes.

A preview of gameplay may be watched below:

Warner Bros. Entertainment sent us the Hermione and Buckbeak fun pack as well as a LEGO Dimensions starter pack so we could test out the character! You start off by making sure you’ve downloaded the Harry Potter character update, building Hermione and putting her on the game pad. Then directions to build Buckbeak will appear on your screen and guide you through the process. After you build him you can start to play! Since we don’t have and other Potter characters at the moment we played with Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle to defeat the Wicked Witch.

View more photos of the experience on our Facebook page, don’t forget to like us!

Thanks to WB for sending the product for us to test out.

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Filed Under: Products, Review
Review: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood – Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts Exhibit
Posted by Megs

Earlier this week Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood held a press preview for their newest addition: From J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: The Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Exhibit. We posted the official video footage and photos from the event yesterday, but today we have our own footage as well as a few more photographs (view in our gallery.)

The Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Exhibit is officially open for business today, December 9th. In case you needed any more reason to visit the exhibit, our correspondent Helena attended the event and wrote up a little review.

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At the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood press preview of the Fantastic Beasts exhibit they revealed props and costumes from the set. The adventure began by being driven down to the lot where a marquee displayed the exhibit title. The room was filled with old fashioned trinkets, luggage, and globes. Inside appetizers were served by caterers dressed in the classic 1920’s attire. In addition, bread carts were scattered around and looked so perfect that it was hard to tell if they were props or edible food. The carts themselves looked straight out of Jacob Kowalski’s bakery! The drinks that were served were rightfully called Polyjuice Potion and were complete with a few cubes of dry ice to add a magical effect.

After a short delay, Dan Fogler (our favorite no-maj Jacob Kowalski) came out and revealed that he loved the exhibit. Despite being a no-maj he was able to get sorted. He revealed that he was a Gryffindor, which came as a surprise since he feels more like a Hufflepuff. Shortly after, the wonderful Bonnie Wright who played Ginny Weasley came out. Her original wand was flown in from London and the two were reunited once more. With a flick of her wand she opened the exhibit.

The exhibit itself was different from what I was expecting. It is one long room that is divided between Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. Upon entering the exhibit you are immediately greeted by the Dursley’s fireplace and letters for Harry. Directly to the left was the Fantastic Beasts section. Newt’s costume is the first thing you see when you walk in to the area. Fantastic Beasts’ concept art covers the wall behind him. The detailing in these photos was phenomenal and breathtaking. In the corner lies Kowalski’s Bakery Pastries and all of his adventure inspired creations. In another corner is Jacob’s costume complete with a set of his broken apartment. On the bed lies Newt’s suitcase, closed to ensure no other beasts come out while on the adjacent nightstand is Jacob’s case, open to reveal all his wonderful pastries. Lastly, in the other corner, is Newt’s collection. In a somewhat disorganized fashion a slew of items Newt would have in his suitcase or pockets were displayed. These items included his wand, journal, and a few Occamy eggs.

Continuing on we see Tina’s belongings such as her wand, the tea pot that was used to capture the Occamy, some magazines, and books. If you turn around you are greeted by MACUSA and Grave’s costume. His wand, badge, a flyer for “Witches Live Among Us”, and the hallows symbol Graves gives to Credence are displayed in a shadow box. A giant Magical Congress of the United States seal lays on the floor. Throughout all of this, concept art is displayed along the walls.

This leads into the Harry Potter section. Your eye is immediately drawn to the giant display of the Great Hall. All of the Hogwarts Professor’s costumes are displayed on a platform and a single stool with the Sorting Hat is also displayed. The most interesting part of this room is Hagrid. Never before has the exhibit included Hagrid’s costume and it was wonderful to see his lovely figure towering over everyone. Slightly from the center of the room is Quidditch gear and spirit gear to delight fans of all houses. In addition Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s costumes are displayed right next the the professors.

Continuing on through the exhibit is one of Aragog’s children. Not being a fan of spiders myself, it produced a scream out of me. The detailing in it was amazing and everyone who passed by it took a step back in fear it would lunge out at anyone who got too close. Past this concept figures of Fluffy, the basilisk, Buckbeak, and Professor Lupin in werewolf form were dispalyed. Further down there was more concept art from the Harry Potter films.

All in all the Fantastic Beasts Exhibit was fantastic and is a must see. The detailing in all of the costumes is amazing. The best part about this exhibit is that everything is so open. Warner Bros. did an amazing job in making you feel like you were on set. I would highly suggest stopping by and saying hi to all of your favorite characters. Plus, while you’re there, you might as well stop to get sorted by the legendary Sorting Hat.

Filed Under: Review, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them [Spoiler Free]
Posted by Megs

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
This past weekend we were lucky enough to be in attendance at the Lumos screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them along with 3000 other excited fans. The anticipation in the room was palpable and the moment the Warner Bros. logo came on screen we were transported back into J.K. Rowling’s world. While still in the magical world, Fantastic Beasts delivers on a new level.

Since we don’t have previous source material to look back on the experience of watching this film is more suspenseful. While we’re familiar with wizards and magic, Fantastic Beasts is completely new. Learning about the way American’s view magic and no-majs (muggles for us used to British terms) is an adventure.  Fans will get to discover a whole new world with it’s own dangers. Wizards are on the brink of being discovered by muggles and the community is on high alert. Newt’s appearance, along with the escape of his creatures, couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them are all perfectly suited to their characters. Eddie Redmayne’s charismatic performance perfectly captures the awkwardness of Newt Scamander, who spends more of his time with creatures than humans. He pairs up with no-maj and native New Yorker Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler, whose comedic timing adds fun to the film’s darker moments. Alison Sudol and Katherine Waterston add depth to sister duo Queenie and Porpentina (Tina) Goldstein who are more than just pretty faces. These four combine into a ragtag team of so called “outsiders” to uncover a great mystery.

The cast is rounded out by Carmen Ejogo as President of MACUSA Seraphina Picquery, Colin Farell as auror Percival Graves, Samantha Morton as the Second Salemer’s head Mary Lou Barebone and Ezra Miller who masterfully portrays her oppressed adoptive son Credence. There are also wonderful performances by Ron Perlman as Gnarlack and Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty. We can’t forget two of our favorite creatures – Pickett the bowtruckle and Newt’s niffler – who are sure to be fan favorites. We have a few other favorites but will leave their reveals for the film. One moment in particular made this reviewer, who is normally silent while at the theater, laugh out loud.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Speaking of creatures, watching Newt interact with his creatures is one of the many highlights of the film. While there are many funny moments with them, we also see how much he deeply cares for every creature, even the misunderstood ones. The love and care he shows for these beings that most wizards would destroy is one of his best qualities. It is this characteristic that reminds us a bit of Hagrid, who also had an affinity for dangerous creatures.

The fact that Fantastic Beasts is completely new material and not adapted from a book is what makes it such a  great experience. We were able to fully immerse ourselves in the world without any prior biases from imagining the characters in our own minds. It really allows fans to appreciate the characters and story that much more.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts is also completely separate from Harry Potter. So if you have family or friends that haven’t read the books or seen the films, they can safety watch Fantastic Beasts without any prior knowledge. Of course Jo Rowling has put a few nods to the Potter films that fans will appreciate. We won’t spoil them for you here, but do keep an eye out for at least a few Easter eggs, and we’re not just talking about name-dropping Dumbledore.

In short – we laughed and we cried, we cried laughing, we gasped, and we have a renewed love of the wizarding world. If you see one film this holiday season, make it Fantastic Beasts!

Don’t forget to get your tickets to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ahead of it’s release on November 18th!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Filed Under: Fantastic Beasts Films, Review
Review: Puffs The Play
Posted by Megs

Last week our correspondent Alyssa was able to attend Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic in New York City. PUFFS takes a second look at everyone’s favorite world of wizards through the eyes of the Puffs, a lovable group of magical misfits. The full company features Langston Belton, Madeleine Bundy, Jessie Cannizzaro, Nick Carrillo, A.J. Ditty, Julie Ann Earls, James Fouhey, Andy Miller, Zac Moon, Eleanor Philips and Stephen Stout.

Puffs is playing now through the end of the year at The Elektra Theater (300 W. 43rd Street, second floor); Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 9:30pm. http://www. puffstheplay.com/

Warning: some mild spoilers within. Disclaimer: the reviewer is a Hufflepuff herself, and may be liable for some bias.

Since the advent of Pottermore, Hufflepuffs have had a surge in popularity. Originally framed as the ‘leftover’ house by the author and Potter fans alike, Hufflepuffs have recently been recognized and lifted up for their unglamorous but very worthy identifying traits.

Read on for the full review. More

Filed Under: Other Potter Related, Review
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