Harry Potter has officially been over for three years. But with the likes of Pottermore, the Studio Tour and the Wizarding World theme parks popping up all over the place, Bloomsbury are on board with squeezing as much money out of The Boy Who Lived as they possible can.
But frankly, we don’t care. Franchise merchandise is often seen as an easy way of ripping off fans for everything they’re worth, but many would happily buy a hole punch in the Gryffindor house colours if JK tried to sell it to us. Just trying to keep the Potter magic alive, one paycheck at a time.
So you can imagine the excitement levels when we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the new redesigned children’s editions before their release on 1 September 2014 – just in time for the start of the Hogwarts school year.
The set features brand new covers, with artwork by Jonny Duddle on the fronts, backs and spines. The contents have also been given the Transfiguration treatment. Daily Prophet articles, Hogwarts letters, handwritten notes and Educational Decrees have been reformatted, complete with columns, handwriting-esque fonts, crests and wax seals.
Also to get excited about are expanded JK Rowling biographies at the end of each book and (aah!) hand-drawn maps of the Hogwarts grounds at the start. Just prepare to have your headcanons completely thrown off.
Like with most of the Potter cover designs these are a thing of beauty, but Duddle draws from his experience as a children’s writer and illustrator to create images that are not only fun and eye catching but represent what the series is about. It’s essentially a kids’ book full of magic and creatures and monsters, and that’s exactly what Duddle has given us.
Duddle confesses that he hasn’t always been a Potter fan, but he was quickly converted after starting work on his designs.
“I worried that I just wasn’t qualified for the job, having only read the first book years ago,” he says. “I felt like an imposter, amongst millions of Harry Potter fans. A proper Muggle.
“But then I realized that this gives me a fresh perspective, and I’m hugely excited to work my way through the wonderful books, reaching each one as I produce artwork brimming with fantastic and unforgettable creatures.”