As Harry Potter fans know, performing magic outside the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and in muggle territories is strictly prohibited. But, hey, sometimes rules are meant to be broken. In the spirit of this, CinemaBlend tried the Wizarding World’s first motion-activated and smart connected Harry Potter Caster Wands at the Warner Bros lot in Los Angeles, California. After testing them out, I’m genuinely contemplating violating the Statute of Secrecy to get my hands on one.
Prior to now, official Harry Potter wands that can interact with environments have only been sold for use at Universal Studios’ Wizarding World. At the theme parks, guests can choose wands based on famous designs of characters from the Harry Potter movies and cast spells during their visits to Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Let me break down what these new wands are and why I’m sold on recommending them as a Harry Potter gift for your holiday shopping and beyond.
What Is The Harry Potter Magic Caster Wand?
The Harry Potter Caster Wand I tried out was made by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and unlike the Universal ones, they can be taken anywhere and interact with your devices at home. Rather than the wands being designed after the ones Harry Potter, Voldemort, Dumbledore, etc. wielded, there are four original designs called Honourable, Loyal and Defiant, with an additional limited edition version called Heroic, which was exclusive to a thousand Harry Potter Fan Club members, and is already sold out.
The Honourable, Loyal and Defiant wands are currently available to order for $149.99 at the Harry Potter Magic Caster Wand website. Before you decide whether it’s worth splurging on, I’ll share my experience with it and what features made me want one.
The Caster Wands' Unique Interactive Experience
During my visit to the Warner Bros offices, I met with Mike Goslin, Product Lead of Harry Potter Magic Caster Wand, who presented me with an inside look at how these wands work firsthand. Upon opening the box to the Defiant wand, John Williams’ iconic “Hedwig’s Theme” plays as it lights up in sync with the music.
The wand’s box is its charging station too. There’s a discrete USB outlet there to plug in your wand to keep it charged, which I thought was a really nice touch. To get the most out of your wand experience, there is some setup required. You’ll need to download the free Magic Caster Wand app, which serves as your spell book and can additionally connect with your smart home devices like Smart television, light bulbs and speakers. While I’d definitely read the fine print and make sure your devices are compatible with this tech before buying, but if all the stars align there the interactive experience is pretty epic! As Goslin commented:
If I got a wand for myself, I could totally see myself taking it out when I have friends or family over and having them all take turns trying the spells. Because it does interact with various things like Tvs and lightbulbs, it’s an interactive experience that would be a social activity in a living room. I wasn’t expecting a wand experience to ever encompass that.
There’s A Learning Curve For Mastering Spells
Another element of these wands that interested me are the casting of the spells themselves. Rather than just waving them without purpose, each of the spells --there are currently over 50 that can be unlocked -- have a specific motion you need to make for it to work. To note, there is learning curve getting it to work, albeit a fun one. Once you do though, there are possibilities to keep practicing, master the spells and then unlock more. Here’s a preview of how it looks:
When you cast a spell, beautiful illustrations that correspond to the spell can play on your phone, tablet and/or TV and the lights will change if that is connected, and may interact differently depending on your Hogwarts House and Patronus, which you can also input in the app. The illustrations correspond with moments from the movies, which Goslin called a “nice trip down memory lane” for fans.
Find A Buddy And Try The Dueling Function
During my visit, I also tried out the dueling function of these wands, which would require someone else you know to have a wand too. In order to do so, one person would host a duel on their app and the other would accept it. Then, on each person’s app, a countdown is made and a spell is picked at random. The first person to correctly cast the spell gets a point and the game goes on until the first person gets three points, or correctly casts three spells first.
Of course, I lost my first duel given I had just picked up the wand for the first time mere minutes before, but it enriched the overall experience of having the wand. I worked on spells myself and then tested my knowledge on a competitor. Plus, Goslin plans to not only keep the app updated weekly, but continue to level up this dueling function.
These wands were even made with the help of creatives behind the Harry Potter movies. As Goslin shared with CinemaBlend:
Yes, it's still pricey to be a Potter fan, but do you see why I was so impressed? There are a lot of really neat features on the Harry Potter Caster Wand. It looks like a cool gadget to own, that’d I’d also spend hours getting lost into and then share with others. It feels like a fun way to experience the magical and beloved franchise beyond binging all the movies with my HBO Max subscription again or nabbing a wand at Universal I can only use at Universal. Here’s to throwing out the Statute of Secrecy rules!
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