J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Crate from Loot Crate is the a bi-monthly and official Harry Potter subscription. For $34.99 every other month, you’ll get 5-7 unique and officially licensed Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merchandise, so there’s no need to go to Diagon Alley!
The Dark Mark! The only place I’ve seen this crest version is on Harry Potter merchandise. I think the illustration may be in one of the accompanying texts, but I’m not sure.
Instead of a scroll this month, we received a folded letter.
It has a faux seal on the back. Warning, if you haven’t made it through the entire Harry Potter series yet, there are spoilers in this review.
The letter tells you how magical this month’s items are – the stars denote that the items are exclusive to the box! Each item is an exclusive this month.
All the magical loot in the DARK ARTS crate!
Azkaban Prison Pouch ($12?)
This zip pouch bears the same design on both sides, and is designed to look like the inmate plates at Azkaban.
This is actually the plate that Sirius Black was assigned.
It has a nice zipper and is fully lined.
The bottom has a gusset. Even though Sirius’ inmate plate is a little odd for the Dark Arts box (he was innocent), I think they probably picked this one because subscribers would be more interested in using it.
Tom Riddle Diary Pin ($15?)
This fancy pin came mounted on a nice folding card.
Tom Riddle transformed a blank diary into a Horcrux to collect the deepest, darkest secrets of the writer, tucking a fragment of his own soul within the pages as a way to gain immortality.
Ginny’s outpourings allowed Voldemort to gain control of her mind; he forced her to open the Chamber. I love the details on this, including the book corners & pages.
Harry destroyed the diary with a Basilisk’s fang, and that’s attached to the little book. You can pierce it yourself!
Basilisk venom is one of the only substances that can destroy a horcrux.
Even the back is detailed! As a horcrux is one of the deepest dark arts in the Wizarding World, this item is perfect for this box!
Professor Umbridge Frolicsome Feline Plates ($15?)
Well these are a hoot and a half! Before we got started, I personally love them, and most especially, my 8 year old Harry Potter fanatic absolutely adores them!
They are, of course, Professor Umbridge’s precious plates!
The surfaces had all been draped in lacy covers and cloths. There were several vases of dried flowers, each resting on its own doily, and on one of the walls was a collection of ornamental plates, each decorated with a large technicolour kitten wearing a different bow around its neck. These were so foul that Harry stared at them, transfixed, until Professor Umbridge spoke again.
According to Pottermore, Delores’ hobbies include “collecting the ‘Frolicsome Feline’ ornamental plate range.”
Our plates are handwash only and not microwave safe, and alas, the kittens don’t move, but they are both darling and hilarious. From smallest to largest:
Love that this one features the handknit sweaters!
Professor Umbridge wasn’t really a practioner of the Dark Arts (although she was a tyrannical and cruel despot and certainly did threaten the Cruciatus Curse!). This set would be great in a Hogwarts room. We’re going to fashion a hanger with a pink ribbon. If you’ve set yours up already, please share!
Chamber of Secrets Stationery Kit ($18?)
This set came with a stack of notecards and envelopes and a little velvet bag.
The door to the Chamber of Secrets is embossed on the black cards – there are 6 (though really, wouldn’t 7 be more appropriate?). My daughter pointed out that Voldemort fragmented his soul into 7 parts, and there are 7 snakes, and 7 is the most magical number, according to Bridget Wenlock.
Each comes with an envelope. It would have been useful for this set to include a white or metallic gel pen for writing on the black cards!
Inside the black pouch there’s a wax seal and a stick of sealing wax!
The seal matches the card and also bears the Chambers’ door.
I believe I need remedial lessons at Hogwarts (and also I didn’t want to drip wax into an expensive candle). My daughter flipped over this one. Did you know that the Scribbulus store at Harry Potter Universal is one of the most heavily trafficked shops? Young and old witches and wizards can’t get enough of fancy stationery and accoutrements (ask me how I know after dropping $40 on a quill set!).
I wasn’t quick enough with the wax but I like the little threads of it. It’s so eerie.
My daughter wanted to practice so we collected the wax and tried again!
Percival Graves/Fantastic Beasts Shirt ($15?) Percival Graves was head of MACUSA’s Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Gellert Grindelwald, second only to Voldemort in darkness, takes his place via transfiguration in Fantastic Beasts. The quote is actually a Grindewald as Graves quote, and another great item for this box (so dark!) as well as a nice tie-in with the video release of Fantastic Beasts (which I’ve yet to see!).
And the terrifying bottom of the box! It’s covered with Death Eater masks!
I rang up about $75 in estimated value for this box, and everything is exclusive! I was honestly a bit worried about the Dark Arts box – most Harry Potter fans are firmly on the side of good, so I was happy to see such a lighthearted mirthful item like the cat plates, and a more neutral item like the pouch and the pin. The shirt and stationery set fit more firmly within the Dark Arts lineage, and I’m not sure if everyone will be happy with this box. I think regular subscribers will love it, but people that subscribed for a Dark Arts box in particular might be a tad put off.
One thing to note in particular – Loot Crate had said: “This crate features the first collectible in an ongoing exclusive set!” No mention was made on the card and I couldn’t possibly tell which item will be part of an ongoing exclusive set. The pin is the most likely, but we could also get a series of pouches or an entire stationery wardrobe. Was it an extremely oblique spoiler hint, knowing now that Professor Umbridge collected plates? A lot of people assumed a figure series, and honestly, I did too, although clearly it says “collectible.”
Overall, I’d say it was a good box, but no wow item (unless you’re crazy about the plates). My daughter was excited about every single item and has repeatedly (and delightedly) destroyed the horcrux diary many times already!