Potter-Phernalia | EW.com

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Potter-Phernalia

The latest toys based on J. K. Rowling's wizarding novels

Author J.K. Rowling once kept merchandising control of her cash-cow creation, Harry Potter, stashed away in the Forbidden Forest. But after signing over rights to Warner Bros. (which has reportedly licensed out properties to 50-plus companies) in 1998, Potter goods are flying into stores. With Harry hitting the big screen in November 2001, this onslaught is a mere wisp of what’s to come. ”For every category of toys, we’ll have a product,” promises a Mattel spokeswoman. Here we sort the must-haves from the Muggle misfires.

1. BERTIE BOTT’S EVERY FLAVOR BEANS
The gimmick for these pricey jelly beans: Each handful has a few gaggable flavors — like sardines, black pepper, and grass. (rated 2 1/2 Wizard Caps)

2. QUIDDITCH CARD GAME
While a $15 Harry Potter Uno puts a new cloak on an old game, Quidditch — based on Harry’s fave wizard sport — really casts a spell. (rated 3 Wizard Caps)

3. BEACHAM’S SOURCEBOOKS: EXPLORING HARRY POTTER
A pretentious literary guide meant more for teachers than tots. While the brief history of real-life witchcraft and magic may win over some, the deconstructions are dim-witted: ”Muggle also suggests ‘muggy,’ meaning unpleasantly humid….” Huh? (rated 1 Wizard Cap)

4. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE TRIVIA GAME
Imagine Trivial Pursuit touched by a wizard. Before you dismiss this as child’s play, consider this stumper: ”What color is a Quaffle?” (Answer: It’s bright red.) Only obsessed wizard wannabes will survive. (rated 4 Wizard Caps)

5. HARRY POTTER: THE COLLECTOR STONES SERIES I
Calling it a collectible doesn’t make it so. You don’t have to be a wizard to know three shards of colored resin aren’t worth a five spot. (rated 1/2 Wizard Cap)

6. HARRY’S GLASSES
Simple. Straightforward. Stocking stuffable. Shabby chic. (rated 4 Wizard Caps)