Toy Stories Chapter 11: Harry Potter Toys

by Paul Fish | 31 May 2021

Industry Commentary, Op-Ed

In addition to Games, the second anchor for the Harry Potter line was the amazing magical toy line created by Kip Pohlman's Advanced Concepts Team and Alton Takeyasu's Harry Potter Toy Design Team. The best of the bunch was Snape's Potion's Class! So, this week we look at Toy Stories Chapter 11: Harry Potter Toys!

Another super-successful product in the Harry Potter line was Snape’s Potions Class, and was also part of the Pitch line. Kip Pohlman showed us the magical self-stirring mechanism that was at the core of the toy, and we decided that it was a great play-pattern fit for the brand, as it delivered the Hogwarts experience in a truly magical way. Mark Sullivan brought in his FoodTek contacts from his Dr. Dreadful days to get the formulae right. Not every kid wants to be Harry Potter, but everyone wants to go to Hogwarts and learn magic.

  We never expected Action Figures to drive the line, and they didn’t, but they were a staple, nevertheless. My favorite from the launch line was the transparent Invisibility Cloak Harry. What did indeed help drive the line was our Micro-Scale Hogwarts which, on strategy, delivered the world of Harry Potter.

We identified role play as a core play-pattern for the license, because it too delivers the magical Hogwarts experience. Sure we had light-up “Lumos” wands and a Sorting Hat, but what does anyone want more than a flying broom. And the broom every witch and wizard wanted was the Nimbus 2000. This was by far the most notorious item in the Harry Potter line. After all, it was a vibrating stick that you put between your legs. It seems like harmless fun at the time, but boy did the press have a field day with it! In today’s world, it would never have survived, and it barely did then. Still, in one of our product meetings I do recall someone saying, “Moms will love this!’ Dunno…might have been me….. and still we pressed on! Ah, the good old days…

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