Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection (UK)
My first thoughts on receiving the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection were that this box set is just as magical as the name would suggest. Complete with 36 DVDs, this set is any Harry Potter fan’s dream, packed full of extras, artwork, and memorabilia.
Made up of the eight ultimate editions of the Potter films, the collection sees the movies packaged in a brand-new way. The series started as books and has returned there with each movie receiving its own beautifully designed board book to host its DVDs. The set, designed by MinaLima, the graphic designers of the Potter films, is a veritable chest of delights, reminiscent of Professor Lupin’s traveling chest from Prisoner of Azkaban.
On lifting the lid, the artwork is stunning. Adorned with the symbols of the Hogwarts Houses, patterns that would feel at home on the walls of the Gryffindor common room, and stars and Snitches that make the whole box magical. The sides of the box pull away to reveal hidden drawers and magnetic boxes, all of which hold wonders that I’ll talk about later.
The bottom drawer holds a scene concept for each movie, and within the top drawer is a book of labels designed by MinaLima, which adorn the props within the movie, and an envelope of Stuart Craig’s own concept sketches. Each piece is beautifully presented on a card and reminds me of the presentation cells of animated movies.
Within a secret hidden panel at the back of the set, beneath the lid and behind the top set of disks resides the “Harry Potter – Catalogue of Artefacts,” displaying props from the movies arranged by character or scene. These show previously unseen details from key props, including the badger of Hufflepuff’s Cup, the chain of office of the Minister of Magic, and the Chudley Cannons print of Ron’s bedroom. Also in this hidden section is a beautiful blueprint of Hogwarts Castle from the Deathly Hallows movie and a printed cloth map of the Hogwarts area including Hogsmeade, the Quidditch pitch, and the castle itself.
Moving on to discuss the content of the discs, the most exciting sections of the DVDs are the previously unreleased Parts 7 and 8 of the Creating the World of Harry Potter documentary. While we are aware that a few box sets may be missing these discs (we hope they’ll receive replacements soon) most sets appear to be complete, and they really are a must-see.
Part 7 features a 45-minute conversation between J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves where they discuss the entire process of changing each book into a movie, how hard it is to stay true to the books, and how the focus remained on keeping true to their characters, and much more.
Part 8 reflects on the actors of the films and how their lives changed due to growing up with Potter, with previously unseen footage from behind the cameras.
This set is the most complete Potter movie experience; the only way to make it better would be to put on a screening of the set within the walls of Hogwarts itself. It really is a must-have item, and with its status as a limited edition, with only 63,000 being made – each with its own certificate of authentication – I feel very lucky to have been given the chance to review one. To those with the ultimate editions, the cost may be a little high, but the care that has been put into the production of the set rivals the care of the details of the movies, and I for one think it’s worth every penny.
Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection is also available in the US – check out MuggleNet’s review of the US edition by Micah Tannenbaum.