Harry Potter is EVERYTHING in Jensen’s life at the moment. And if it’s everything to him, it’s everything to his brothers too. We are watching it, reading it, talking about it, wearing the t-shirts…and he’s desperate to visit the Harry Potter Tour in London for his birthday next year. On his Father Christmas list is Harry Potter, Harry Potter and more Harry Potter [and Star Wars, we can’t forget that]. And this week, the most amazing toys landed on our porch which amazed even me. Harry Potter Wizard Training Wands. He’s been a little, shall we say, keen, for the new Fantastic Beasts film to be released [today!] and getting him off the sofa where he’s been watching every Harry Potter movie on loop, has been a challenge.
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Before you ask, his expressions throughout this post are serious. Now he’s seen to the end of Harry Potter, he knows what it is to be a wizard. It’s not all chocolate frogs and owl training. He’s just over the moon to have a real Harry Potter wand, not grumpy. Haha.
But anyhow, he’s up and out, and SO excited, because, oh my stars. I don’t think we’ve had a toy which has been so engaging in quite some time. The Harry Potter Wizard Training Wands we were sent by Jakks Pacific and we have Harry Potter and Hermione wands in our collection. Jensen decided he would be Hermione as apparently she’s the brains of the operation. There are quite a few spells to learn – training spells at first, and then when they’ve all been mastered, wizards can duel with the wands to see who is the best. There are two other character wands to choose from Lord Voldemort and of course Albus Dumbledore. A light and correct sound is released from the wand if you complete the spell properly – and there are no naughty curses in there to learn [thank heavens].
How to Cast a Spell Using the Harry Potter Wizard Training Wands
There are a few buttons on the wand. The top squared button is the casting button, and then the other buttons are for each of the modes. To cast a spell, hold down this very important button throughout the spell and release upon completion. Pressure. haha. So get ready. This is serious stuff. I’ve already been told off for not taking it seriously enough. Before you read this review, just take a look at Lyoto below. First, take a quick guess whose crazy gene he got…and then guess what spell he was casting at the top of his lungs. He was in his element – these wands are amazing.
Button One: Spell Training Mode
This is a single player activity – you can of course train with other friendly wizards, but you can also train alone.
Now concentrate. When the Spell Training Mode button is pressed, watch the lights on the wand. It will display a light pattern, which corresponds to the Spell Chart in the instructions. Whichever buttons are lit will indicate which spell is to be performed. For instance, if all five buttons are lit, the spell to be learned is Meteolojinx.
There are eleven different spells to learn – and none of them are the unforgivable ones, and so we’re all safe. If the spell is cast correctly, the wand produces a unique noise for each spell and then shows another light pattern for the next spell. The boys love the anticipation of waiting for the spell noises – they’re all unique and I won’t give them away, because I’m not that mean. If the spell isn’t cast correctly, the wand makes a fizzling kind of noise [which is still very cool].
If one of the spells is just impossible for you, a quick press of the Spell Training Mode button again will skip it over and display a new light pattern.
There are a few spells which are still alluding Jensen’s wizarding capabilities, and I remind him that Hermione didn’t get to be brilliant without a huge amount of practice. He stands in the mirrors upstairs and is determined to be successful.
Button Two: Spell Practice Mode
The second button down from the casting button is the Spell Practice Mode. This is for two players – which means two wands.
Here’s where it gets technical. Wizards face each other, with nothing between them except air. Eye contact must be made. It’s very important. Haha. The first wizard presses the Spell Practice button, followed by the second wizard as the wands begin a countdown, and then a matching light pattern is displayed on each wand.
Once the spell has been decided on by the wand, each wizard needs to hold the casting button down and cast the spell faster than the other wizard. The winning wand will play the winner’s melody.
Button Three: Training Mode
This is another two player mode. It’s slightly easier to do than Spell Practice Mode. Each wizard presses the Training Mode button, and then each wizard is free to cast one of the five training spells from the front of the instructions. If the spell is cast correctly, the corresponding noise for that spell is made, and then the wands decide who is the winner and award them a point by lighting a button on the wand. The first wizard to five is the winner! Just remember that you can’t get a point for doing the same spell twice!
Button Four: Wizard Tag Mode
This is the mode that is played NON STOP in our house. This is because as many people as you want can join in. It’s brilliant. Jensen has explained it to me very carefully.
Each wizard has five points which are shown by the five buttons being lit. To tag another wizard [and make them lose a point], cast a spell at them by pointing at them and pressing the casting button. If they are hit with the spell, one of their lights is extinguished. Once all of the lights have gone, to recharge simply press the casting button and swish your wand counter-clockwise rapidly to see your points come back!
Button Five: Free Play Mode
This is another single player mode, if you want it to be. If not, play with your fellow wizards! Perform all of your favourite spells over and over, renacting them at your will without losing points or zapping anyone! Hero loves this because even if he gets it wrong, there’s still the zap of the spell casting noise which sounds awesome. This mode means that anyone can play, regardless of ability.
That the instructions weren’t written in such small type! It was quite the ordeal, going through the concertina pages to learn the modes.
That the spell chart had been made into a little Hogwarts spellbook or poster, which would have really added to the reality of the wands and made it feel as if you were in Spells and Enchantments 101 with Harry and friends.
There were more wizard wand choices – if you’re a trio who consider themselves to be Harry, Ron and Hermione, well, Ron is left out, as is any budding Draco.
The boys love that they can play anywhere with them – no wifi, or charge [their words, not mine].
That there’s so much they can do – the five modes mean that there’s something everyone loves to do – and when they’re not playing and learning spells, they are playing at being Harry Potter and friends instead.
What’s amazing is that once all of the spells are learned well, it’s not the end of the toy unlike with other toys – it’s just the beginning because the better you are, the faster you become in tag. The boys are completely obsessed now.
After five minutes of not being played with, the wand conserves its battery and switches off. To bring it back to life, you can either touch the casting button or, as everyone knows, turn it off and turn it back on again!
The price – at around £25, this is amazing value for money. I can’t think of another toy which is so loved for that price.