Contributions by Neus Forner and Katie Waits.
I am an avid merch collector for many of my book series, but as the huge Harry Potter fan I am, the majority of merch I own surrounds this magical world. I’ve collected a few bits and bobs from my travels to The Wizarding World in Universal Studios or the Studio Tour in London. I own multiple copies of the books in different languages, illustrated versions, added companions to the original series… the list goes on and on. I have also collected multiple prop replicas that either appear in the movies or in the books, but my most special merch item is a copy of the Advanced Potion Making textbook that is shown in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie and that Harry is invested in. I received this as a gift, and it is the most special Harry Potter item I own. It is hand-made and has the feel of an old, used textbook and it is the exact copy of the one Harry owns in the movie. The inside of the book is filled with potions and includes the scribbles added by the “half-blood prince”, who we know is Snape. The detail on every page is what makes this book so special. It truly feels as if they took it out of Hogwarts. I also love that this book is from an independent seller in Etsy and not from licensed merchandising.
Ever since 2012, when my dad bought me the trilogy, I have been a huge fan of The Hunger Games. I’ve reread the books several times, and last year I devoured The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in a couple of days. Being an American book series, I struggled to find merchandise anywhere here in
Wales. That was until one day, I walked into a Waterstones shop when out on a day trip and there, in a little plastic box, were Mockingjay pins. I remember rushing over to them in excitement, determined to buy my own. It wasn’t cheap, but it was so worth it. For a while, I even had it fastened on my school tie. Nowadays, the pin is slightly bent, and I’ve accidentally misplaced it in my house on more than one occasion. Recently, my parents found it in the shed among other things that had been moved there! Fortunately, it’s now safe and sound on a windowsill. I often pick it up, just to look at it. It’s nostalgic and it reminds me of the time in high school when The Hunger Games was a big deal. It’s definitely one of my most precious pieces of merchandise!