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Harry Potter + Vera Bradley Collection Now Available
Posted by Megs

The much-anticipated Harry Potter + Vera Bradley bag collection is now available! The Limited-Edition Collaboration, inspired by the Wizarding World, is comprised of over 50 items ranging in styles from crossbody to backpacks and duffles or totes! Something for everyone. The collection also includes other pieces like mugs, lanyards, a notebook and charms.

Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRA), a leading American bag and luggage company and iconic lifestyle brand, and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, are excited to introduce a Harry Potter™-inspired capsule collection including backpacks, handbags, travel duffels, accessories, cozy favorites, and more.

The captivating collection features an exclusive Home to Hogwarts™ pattern with nods to the iconic symbols from the Harry Potter™ film series and Vera Bradley’s signature bright, colorful touch. Select pieces are also available in patterns named and styled after each Hogwarts™ house — so whether you aspire to the bravery of Gryffindor, the ambition of Slytherin, the wisdom of Ravenclaw, or the loyalty of Hufflepuff, there’s something for everyone. In true Vera Bradley fashion, the smart styles are not only ultra-versatile and functional, but also feature hidden surprises and pockets full of wonder to bring a little bit of magic to every day.

“So many of our fans grew up with Harry Potter™ the same way they grew up with Vera Bradley. In fact, this was one of the most highly requested collaborations from our customers and associates,” said Rob Wallstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Vera Bradley. “The Harry Potter™ + Vera Bradley collection embodies the imagination, courage, and spirit of adventure that the Harry Potter™ movies are known for, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally bring this collaboration to life.”

The Harry Potter™ + Vera Bradley collection is now available in Vera Bradley Full Line stores, participating Vera Bradley retailers, and on www.verabradley.com.

Filed Under: Products
YuMe Announces Harry Potter Magical Capsules to be Released at Walmart This July
Posted by Megs

Toy brand YuMe has announced a brand new Harry Potter collectible that will be released as part of Walmart‘s Collector’s Con on July 17, 2020. Pre-orders for the capsules will begin on that date, so stay tuned!

Each of the YuMe Harry Potter Magical Capsules comes in a bronze Hogwarts’ crest. Collectors will find an iconic character from the Harry Potter series – 10 figures in series one. Seven magical surprises are inside each crest. You must use color-coded, heat, and water-reveal mechanisms to unlock the surprise character hidden within a secret chamber. Each pack contains one Hogwarts character,  a Fantastic Beasts Pet, a wand and 3 accessories. 

The full press release may be read below:

YuMe, an award-winning global toy brand, introduces an enchanting new collectible based on the Wizarding World™ with their Harry Potter™ Magical Capsules launching pre-orders exclusively at Walmart.com, as part of the retailer’s Collector Con on July 17, 2020.

Shaped to resemble the iconic Hogwarts’ School crest, the Harry Potter Magical Capsules introduce a new way for fans to show their passion for the Wizarding World. Inside each capsule are seven surprises, including a character from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, hidden within a secret chamber. Through an unboxing journey of discovery, fans will use color-coded, heat, and water-reveal mechanisms to unlock the surprise character inside.

“The incredible and enchanting world of adventure found in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises adds more than a little magic to fans’ lives,” said Michael Kwan, CEO of Maxx Marketing . “We are tremendously excited to extend the sense of awe and wonder that the films are famous for with our Harry Potter Magical Capsules and give fans the opportunity to collect, unbox and showcase the magic found inside of them.”

There are ten Harry Potter Magical Capsules to collect in series one with iconic characters such as Harry , Hermione, Ron , Luna , Snape and many more. Each capsule also includes a wand, a fantastic beast pet, and three other surprise accessories. Each capsule will retail for $9.99.

Harry Potter Magical Capsules are an extension to the successful line of Harry Potter products from YuMe in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products which also includes YuMe Harry Potter Real Talking Sorting Hat™ which left fans spellbound in 2018.

YuMe’s Harry Potter Magical Capsules will launch as part of Walmart’s Collector Con, the retailers initiative to allow fans to continue to build their collections with products normally only available at fan conventions across the country.

Filed Under: Products
Two New Unofficial Harry Potter Companion Books Releasing Tomorrow
Posted by Megs

Today we’re sharing 2 new books being released tomorrow, June 23rd. The first is MuggleNet’s Unofficial Harry Potter Character Compendium. The second is The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook which was written by Media Lab books prior to their partnership with MuggleNet.

The character compendium is a more expanded and stylized version of our character listing page. The book gives details on every character mentioned in the books, films and official websites like Pottermore (now WizardingWorld.com.) There are over 700 characters listed. Within the pages you’ll find large biographies of major characters and smaller paragraphs for those who are mentioned in passing. There are also some pages featuring family trees, alliances, the Hogwarts houses and more! There’s sure to be something new for even the most devoted fan.

The spellbook contains chapters for each type of spell as well as information on wands. Where possible, you are shown the preferred wand movement as well as when the spells were used. It even includes enchanted objects such as the Ford Anglia. Pages within the book also have “handwritten” notes and fun facts about certain spells. We love this added touch that reminds us of the original Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them book with similar annotations.

Both books are beautifully made and high quality, with a silky, embossed cover. We couldn’t stop petting the covers because they’re so velvety. They are a beautiful addition to any Potter fan’s bookshelf.

Filed Under: Other Potter Related, Review
Katherine Waterston Co-Founds SpareHand, a New Volunteer App; Jude Law Volunteers
Posted by Megs

Katherine Waterston, best known for playing Tina in the Fantastic Beasts films, is a founding member of SpareHand, an app that matches volunteers with organizations to help others during the coronavirus pandemic.

“At the start of the pandemic, I got COVID-19 and was hospitalised here in London where I received fantastic treatment from the NHS. While I was recuperating at home and considering how I might meaningfully give back, my friend Scott Liddle told me about his idea for SpareHand and I immediately jumped on board. It’s been great to be part of SpareHand and to witness its phenomenal growth in just a couple of months. It’s been great to see how individuals and charities alike have taken to the service; to hear them rave about its ease of use is really encouraging. I have always suspected that there’s a large portion of the population who want to volunteer but are deterred from doing so because they don’t know how or where or, like me, they have schedules that make it difficult to commit to regular service – SpareHand solves all these problems.”

Katherine Waterston

SpareHand helps charities and community groups find and manage volunteers through an app. If you are in the United Kingdom and wish to sign up as a volunteer visit this page. Organizations in the UK requiring help can register here.

From the press release:

SpareHand, a free platform that is helping charities to match volunteers to tasks in their neighbourhood, announces today that it has prepared and delivered half a million meals during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Set up in March 2020, SpareHand helps charities and community groups find and manage volunteers using a sophisticated algorithm to ensure high-quality matching of volunteers to those in need. The platform puts community groups and charities in the driving seat – giving them the tools to find, manage and schedule volunteers, reliably and at scale.

Over 3,000 volunteers have signed up, giving 27,000 hours of their time over the last 10 weeks. Volunteers include Jude Law, Vanessa Kirby, Lashana Lynch, and Naomie Harris who have played their part in preparing and delivering meals for those vulnerable to the virus. 

SpareHand was developed in partnership with HireHand, a tech start-up that has built the platform and sophisticated matching algorithm powering this Covid-19 reponse. 

Some of the charity partners SpareHand has worked with include:

  • Bicester Pioneer Volunteers: packing 1 million meals as part of the Salute the NHS project. SpareHand is providing over 100 volunteers every day, 7 days per week, for this effort.
  • South Central Ambulance Service: SpareHand finds drivers to help with crucial PPE deliveries.
  • Magic Breakfast: SpareHand provides volunteers to deliver breakfast supplies from schools to kids in households in need – right across London. 

Beyond the Covid-19 crisis, SpareHand seeks to reset fundamentally the way people think about volunteering, making it easy, fun, and meaningful – and crucially part of everyone’s weekly routine. The world will be different after the Coronavirus pandemic: strong communities will be at the heart of how we live and thrive.

Filed Under: Katherine Waterston
Jason Isaacs Raffling a 30 Minute Trivia Session for The Big Issue Raffle
Posted by Megs

The Big Issue is hosting a Big Issue Raffle as an urgent appeal to support vendors of the magazine who are no longer able to sell in wake of Covid crisis.

The Big Issue‘s mission is to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity, through self-help, social trading and business solutions. It offers people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income through selling a magazine to the public.. Learn more about the company by visiting their website.

The Big Raffle is raising essential funds to ensure The Big Issue can continue to support vendors while they are unable to sell the magazine safely on the streets and to support them to get them back to work safely in the future. 50% goes to supporting vendors and 50% goes to The Big Issue.

The prize draw opens on the site at 6am on Thursday June 4 and closes at midnight on Thursday June 18. Entries start at £5. How to enter the prize draw and the full competition T&Cs are available on the website thebigissueraffle.co.uk.

Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter series, will host a half-hour Harry Potter-themed quiz for you and a group of friends. There will be a Harry Potter goody bag for the winner. You can enter to win Jason’s prize on The Big Raffle’s website.

Filed Under: Jason Isaacs
J.K. Rowling Announces “The Ickabog” to be Released Online in Installments
Posted by Megs

J.K. Rowling has announced via Twitter and her website that she will finally be publishing a fairy tale she wrote ten years ago. The book will first be published online (for free) in installments so fans can enjoy while dealing with coronavirus. It will then be published in November with illustrations by fans! She has also announced that all author royalties from The Ickabog will go to help groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the pandemic.

UPDATE: The website for The Ickabog is now live! Find the first two chapters on this page of the website.

From her website:

I think The Ickabog lends itself well to serialisation because it was written as a read-aloud book (unconsciously shaped, I think, by the way I read it to my own children), but it’s suitable for 7-9 year olds to read to themselves.

I’ll be posting a chapter (or two, or three) every weekday between 26th May and 10th July on The Ickabog website. We plan to publish some translations soon and will post further details on that website when they’re available.

The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power.  To forestall one obvious question: the idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it isn’t intended to be read as a response to anything that’s happening in the world right now. The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country.

Jo then goes on to announce that she will be asking fans to illustrate the book for her!

Having decided to publish, I thought how wonderful it would be if children in lockdown, or otherwise needing distraction during the strange and difficult time we’re passing through, illustrated the story for me. There will be suggestions about the illustrations we might need for each chapter on The Ickabog website, but nobody should feel constrained by these ideas. I want to see imaginations run wild! Creativity, inventiveness and effort are the most important things: we aren’t necessarily looking for the most technical skill!

In November 2020, The Ickabog will be published in English in print, eBook and audiobook formats, shortly followed by other languages. The best drawings in each territory will be included in the finished books. As publishers in each territory will need to decide which pictures work best for their own editions, I won’t be personally judging the entries. However, if parents and guardians post their children’s drawing on Twitter using the hashtag #TheIckabog, I’ll be able to share and comment!  To find out more about the Illustration Competition, go to The Ickabog website when it launches.

Filed Under: JK Rowling, The Ickabog

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