After penning one of the bestselling book series of all time, J.K. Rowling is now one of the wealthiest, most influential women in the world. How did she get there? With lots of writing and hard work. And then there are the royalties being paid to her on products a little less illustrious than those bestselling books or top-grossing films. Most folks would take the money too, but some Harry Potter-affiliated products might make you raise your eyebrows and say, "Really?"
In honor of the last Harry Potter film release, we have compiled a list of the top 10 most ridiculous tie-in products out there. Take a gander and feel free to chortle at these "gems." Don't worry, if they cast a spell on your credit card, we won't tell.
[jump] Invisibility Cloak
For a mere $395, Dumbledore's one-of-a-kind gift to Harry Potter can be yours. This true-to-life replica of the cloak features hand-screened silk moons, stars, and charms (where are the clovers and blue moons? Lucky Charms, anyone?). Does it include a green screen or actual invisibility powers? Alas, no. And with that dent in your pocketbook, the only things that'll be invisible will be your bank account and your dignity.
Can't think of a way to spice up those bondage games? According to Harry Potter lore, dementors suck the life spirit out of a person. So do sensory-deprivation masks. Combine the two, and you've got yourself a Harry Potter-themed BDSM ride you'll never forget. This latex mask, equipped with jagged little teeth and a mouth-hole, seems like the perfect gift for that special someone you want to share some literary sexual chemistry with.
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry and the rest of the wizarding world were obsessed with the best broomstick on the market: the Nimbus 2000. Pretty soon, it wasn't just wizards clamoring over it: Muggle toymakers created their own new-and-improved model. At a whopping 34 ¾ inches long, this version made whooshing noises and vibrated. Yes, that's right, a kids toy meant to be nestled between one's legs buzzed like any quality toy found at an adult shop. Needless to say, the broom was discontinued faster than you can say "Quidditch" and made it onto Time Magazine's 10 Most Dubious Toys List. You can still find several models of this vibrating wonder on eBay.
As if there weren't enough controversy stirred up by the vibrating broomstick, there's also a vibrating book modeled after one of the furrier texts in the Harry Potter series. This plush book comes equipped with a pink tongue sticking out from between the pages that makes the whole tome vibrate when pulled. Besides that, the product doesn't really do anything else. There aren't any words to read and no pictures to see, just a tongue to pull. Yeah, we're not sure why this exists either.
Jelly Belly's buttered popcorn jelly beans are already pretty repulsive, so why would people be interested in Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans? Even though packages are sprinkled with flavor delights like marshmallow, cherry, and tutti-frutti, there's also a smattering of beans that won't tickle your taste-buds. Sorry, but but no one wants experience vomit-flavored jelly beans. Nor do they need to sample earwax or earthworm, and forget trying to feed folks rotten egg. What's next, dead skunk?
A picture says a thousand words, but these t-shirts showcase words that conjure up very specific images. What comes to mind when you read: On all fours for Gryffindors? We're thinking some steamy action involving Mr. Potter in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts library, but that's just us. With other naughty quips like "Don't be a stranger, Hermione Granger," these tees from Neighborhoodies are perfectly irreverent attire for Pott-heads with a sense of humor. Plus to be honest, we've always wondered: What's under that cape, Severus Snape?
Sultry pubescent school girls have always been in style for any dress-up party, so why stop when it comes to witches? Why leave magic up to the imagination when you can cast your spell on someone in this butt-grazing skirt and breast-busting top? It's obvious this costume wants to prove that less is more magical, and it can transfigure any old Muggle lass into a witchy woman. Pair this with a light-up wand, and you've got yourself a one-woman glow-in-the-dark show that might make you scream "Lumos" in efforts to turn on the lights and make sure she hasn't given you any Hogwarts.
Who knows how many Harry Potter fans are also avid knitters, but just in case you fit into that niche group there's a book for you. With a bunch of patterns inspired by the fashion in the books, you can learn how to make an invisibility shawl (invisible yarn might be hard to find, but it's got to be cheaper than a $400 cloak), holiday ornaments, and Hogwarts-themed socks. If you needed another time-consuming activity centered around Harry Potter, you got it.
Who doesn't want Daniel Radcliffe and his pals pointing their wands at you? Especially from your bedroom walls. These large decals showcase Harry and his friends in school uniforms and full Quidditch attire. While we're not big fans of vampire dreamboat Robert Pattinson either, posters of those yellow vampire eyes smoldering away might be a better-- if not sexier--décor choice.
We get that the characters in the Harry Potter series serve as role models for boys and girls alike, but do we really need a book telling us about the social implications of gender portrayal in Harry Potter? Apparently so. This feminist rhetorical critique of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix delves deep into the text as hallowed material ripe for academic study. However, folks may be a little skeptical that those kids on the cover are so jazzed about reading this dry tome when they could be having adventures with the boy-who-lived by checking out the actual Harry Potter series.