Welcome to the New “Into the Floo” Column!
by Mona Morsy
Wands out, everybody!
Welcome, witches and wizards, to a magical experience that will excite newcomers and wizarding experts alike. My name is Mona Morsy, and I’m happy to welcome all of you to Into the Floo, a special place where we take a handful of Floo powder, step into our fireplaces, and become transported back in time to where the Harry Potter adventures all began.
The thing I love most about the magical world of Harry Potter lies in the vintage merchandise, out-of-print Harry Potter Trading Card Game (HPTCG), and all of the pre-film items that many of us adored as kids. Now, please don’t get me wrong – I don’t dislike the movies. As a matter of fact, I – like many of you – have seen them so many times I can no longer keep count. However, when I was young, my introduction to Harry Potter was rather unique. Here’s a personal fact about me: I was a very poor reader when I was a kid, so in order for me to even experience the books, I listened to them on tape and read along as Jim Dale and his amazing character transitions brought the story to life. The world of Harry Potter would thrive in my mind and in my imagination like none that could be matched on any theatrical performance. I’m sure many of you will agree with this. The magnificence and mystery of Hogwarts, the adventures of the famous trio, the creatures that lurk deep inside the Forbidden Forest, the massive size of Hagrid, the half-moon spectacles and brilliant eyes of Albus Dumbledore, the classrooms and the hallways were all something that I had built in my mind with the help of the books – and Jim Dale, of course.
I had an opportunity before the movies ever came out to allow myself to create what I believe these different characters and places looked like. The only thing that comes close to matching my imagination were the vintage toys and merchandise made by big companies like Hasbro, Mattel, and Tiger Electronics in the early 2000s. Of all these outdated products, my absolute favorite is the Harry Potter Trading Card Game, which is now considered a “dead game” as it has been out of print since 2003. In this column, Into the Floo, I will be talking about all of these old pieces of merchandise that many of us either forgot about, still collect, or have never even known existed for being born in the “film age” of Harry Potter.
These articles will reflect the content that I produce on my YouTube channel with the same name. For those who want to see me break down each one of these toys and play with them or who want to learn more about the Harry Potter TCG, please read these articles and come along with questions as you watch the videos where we can have open discussions about all things Harry Potter.
So please grab your wands, put on your traveling cloaks, take a handful of that powder that we love so much, and come with me as we step so eagerly and enthusiastically Into the Floo.