Monday, December 17, 2012

Platform 9 3/4 is now open for business

Good news for Harry Potter fans who either live in or plan on visiting London: this weekend, the official Platform 9 3/4 gift store opened in London's King's Cross railway station.

The shop in question is located right near the Platform 9 3/4 art installation, which has half of a luggage cart trolly sticking out of the wall, and it will offers visitors the chance to buy pretty much anything Harry Potter related. House scarves, sweaters, and pins are all for sale, as are plush Hedwigs, Olivander's Wands, and all sorts of other officially licensed swag.

These collectables are all pretty much identical to what you'd find at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (or the Orlando airport...), and the layout even looks identical to most of the shops that you'd see in the amusement park.  The one major draw to the station shop, however, is that it allows Harry Potter fans to purchase golden Platform 9 3/4 train ticket while standing inside of King's Cross station.

This may not sound like that big of a deal to a non-fan, but the atmosphere of the shop and its location in the railway station mentioned so prominently in the books makes for a pretty compelling sales pitch.

Being both educated and cynical by trade, I thought I'd be immune to this sort of "0mgI'mactuallyhereIneedtobuyit!!!" draw myself but I'll be damned if I didn't drop $65 at Oliver's Wand Shop on a pair of wands for my wife and me when we visited Harry Potter World The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last year...

Lesson learned: There is no credit card in the world powerful enough to resist rampaging fandom.  Next time I'm in the UK, you better believe that I'll be picking up a ticket.