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Personal Finance > Saving and Spending
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What it costs to be a Harry Potter fan
graphic October 24, 2001: 11:13 a.m. ET

The money it takes to be a real Potterhead can add up fast.
By Annelena Lobb
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    NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - It's probably a child, but it may be an adult. It may be someone who has kept this habit from you for a very long time. It could even be you.  Whoever it is, you probably know someone who has more Harry Potter paraphernalia stashed away than most folks ever knew existed.

    Harry Potter, in case you didn't already know, is a young wizard - the hero of a series of books that have achieved enormous popularity in the United States and in Great Britain. Pottermania has traveled all the way to China, where more than 1.3 million Harry Potter books have been sold.  Singer Geri Halliwell (the artist formerly known as Ginger Spice) has written a tribute song to the fictional young wizard and his friends. 

    If you're one of those folks who collects Potter books and other Potterana, you know that being a Potter fan is a serious (and sometimes expensive) operation - there are four books out, three more to come, a full-length feature film opening November 16, plus lots of other goodies and knick-knacks.

    If you feel that magical pull to join the ranks of serious Potterheads, here's your shopping list.

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    The fourth Harry novel.
    Start with the books - the core of the Harry Potter experience.  At Amazon.com, you can purchase all four, starting with "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," on which the upcoming movie is based.  In fact, you can even pre-order the fifth book, "Harry Potter and the Golden Phoenix."  As if by magic, it's already on Amazon's top 10 list, despite the fact that no release date is yet available from J.K. Rowling, the author. 

    You might also consider audio recordings of the books, taped by actor Jim Dale.  They're marvels in their own right - Dale has a recognizable voice for each character, and the sound quality is spectacular.  Supposedly, J.K. Rowling supervised the recording, and made sure he got each character's voice just right.

    Once you've educated yourself about Muggles, Quidditch and wizardry, visit harrypotter.warnerbros.com.  There you'll find the list of supplies that young Harry himself uses in his first year at Hogwarts (prep school for wizards).  "The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1)," "Hogwarts (A History)," "From Egg to Inferno: A Dragon Keeper's Guide," and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" are all available.  With these books, you can home-school yourself in the arcane ways of the wizard class.

    Now that you know the basic language and tools of this territory, you're prepared for the next step into fanhood.  Eleven-year-old Potterhead Andrea Munar says that, aside from the books, she likes "the clothes, and especially the accessories."

    At J.C. Penney, for example, they sell Harry Potter T-shirts and hats; short-sighted fans can even purchase a pair of Potteresque glasses with extra-thick round frames at eyeglass vendors, such as Pearle Vision Center or Eye World.

    For fellow students, Harry's face has been emblazoned on backpacks and notebooks and folders - along with images of Quidditch, Bertie Botts, Gryffindor and Hogwarts.  (If you haven't read the books, some of these terms will be meaningless to you.  But trust us, their images are on backpacks.)

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    Fans queue to purchase "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire".
    Whole rooms can be thoroughly decked out with the image of the bespectacled boy wizard.  A few possibilities include a set of Harry Potter sheets and a decoration or two - Harry Potter's Gryffindor Victory statue and Harry Potter's Hagrid's New Arrival statue are two popular options.  If you want to keep your Potter novels fashionably displayed, Harry Potter and his best friend Hermione can even be put to work as a pair of bookends.

    You can actually eat like a wizard if you so choose - Jelly Belly sells bags of Bertie Bott's beans, jellybeans favored by the wizard crowd, in flavors like Toast, Coconut and Strawberry.  But Bertie Bott's beans also come in flavors like Grass, Black Pepper and Sardine.  To commemorate the movie, Jelly Belly is actually making beans in Vomit flavor - the flavor that turned the Headmaster of Hogwarts off of Bertie Bott's beans forever.  Now you can see if they have the same effect on you.

    Want active involvement in Harry's adventures, instead of just reading about them in books?  Get your hands on some of the toys and games that are now available.  Try Harry Potter Trivia, with 750 questions about the books.  If you think you know it all, think again: each question can be answered three different ways.

      graphic A SAMPLE SHOPPING LIST  
       
  • Boxed set of hardcover books (amazon.com), $60.06
  • Harry Potter 180-count full-size sheets (JC Penney), $49.99
  • Harry Potter trivia game (amazon.com), $24.99
  • Denim backpack/Bertie Botts Beans (sylvanlaneshoppe.com), $19.99
  • Harry Potter's Gryffindor Victory Statue (imaginarium.com), $89.99
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    Fans of the board game clue will love Harry Potter's Mystery at Hogwarts Board Game.  It's a similar detective game - but instead of secret passageways, you might encounter a roaming ghost that sends you back to the starting line.  Harry Potter's Sorcerer's Glow Puzzle and Quidditch Glow Puzzle have special hidden images that are revealed when you complete the puzzle and turn out the lights.

    According to The Guardian, the London-based daily newspaper, Britain is already anticipating an influx of fans on Potter pilgrimages, and next month, the British Tourist Authority will publish a map of film locations with the possible tagline: "Why not Potter around Britain?"  Harry Potter holiday tour packages are already on sale. They'll take you to see filming locations such as King's Cross Station (to see Platform 9 3/4) and Gloucester Cathedral (its 14th-century cloisters were used for Hogwarts Hall).  graphic

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    Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
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