They say trends come in cycles and they really do! Around twenty years ago, I was discovering Harry Potter for the first time and I was a massive fan. I owned the books, queued in bookshops for the releases of the later books so I’d get them as the clock struck midnight and shops were able to sell them and always saw the films on the opening weekend. It’s fair to say that for years there was a lot of Potter Mania about and I loved being part of it, then it seemed to quietly go away for a while. But over the last few years, it seems to have come back with a bit of a bang! The books are being republished, Harry and the gang star in their own video games and the brand is all over clothes again. The most exciting (for me anyway) part of it is some of the new Harry Potter toys that are available.
My daughter is ten and is beginning to develop a real interest in all things Potter. For her, it’s stemmed not from the books or films initially, but from some games on her Xbox which she has got really into. It has now, of course, expanded into the books which I’m grateful for and her Christmas list is peppered with Harry and Hermione requests, from wands to pyjamas to chocolate frogs! So I’m always on the lookout for a Potter-themed present for her and we were delighted when we were given the opportunity to try out a Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak from Wow! Stuff.
An invisibility cloak – is this a joke? Is it a scam, akin to The Emperor’s New Clothes? Afterall, we adults know that a cape can’t make us invisible… can it? Well, the short answer is yes it can, with a bit of help from modern technology. You will need a phone or tablet to be able to use the invisibility cloak, but once you have downloaded the Wow! Stuff app to your phone, not only can the cloak make you invisible, you can also record videos and images of yourself using the cloak and going from visible to invisible in seconds!
The cape looks just like it does in the Harry Potter movie and I was really impressed with what it feels like and how heavy it is. Because most kids who are going to have an interest in Harry Potter are likely to be older, the length of the cape is very generous. It more than touches the floor when my daughter is wearing it, and isn’t too far off when I wear it (I’m 5ft 9”) so it’ll be suitable for the vast majority of kids. The outer of the cape is a luxurious feeling velvet which looks just like Harry’s cloak from the movie. It’s kind of dark and mystical with a bit of a hint of astro and we thought it was great and very realistic. The cape is fully lined, and the lining is where the magic happens! It’s bright green and works as a ‘green screen’, rendering the cape invisible when viewed through the app. There is also a metal clasp around the collar of the cape so it will stay on securely whilst you’re using it.
To use the cape, once you have downloaded the Wow! Stuff app, you will need the activation code from inside your cape. This is printed on the instruction leaflet, so make sure you keep it safe – you won’t be able to use the cape without it. Your phone will need to be super still for you to use the app, and it’s definitely best to use the phone stand that comes included in the box with the cape. Once you’ve set it up on the stand and started the app, all you need to do is walk in front of the phone wearing the cape – we liked it best doing it with the ‘proper’ side outwards to start with before standing in the centre of the shot and swooshing the cape inside out, shrouding yourself in it. All of the parts of you that are covered with the green fabric will become invisible on the screen, and depending on how you wrapped yourself up, you may end up completely invisible or be a floating head or even just a pair of walking feet!
We found the cape and the app to be pretty reliable on the whole – you do have to be really careful not to knock the phone at all when you’re swooshing your cape as it will stop it recording with even a small knock. That’s why there is a timer for you to set when you’re using it, you can set the timer then make sure the camera is going to be completely still whilst you’re in shot.
The Wow! Stuff Invisibility Cloak is a wonderful Christmas gift idea for any Harry Potter fan, and my daughter is over the moon with hers! She has now added a Harry Potter wand to her Christmas list to complete her ensemble, something I never would have thought would happen – a ten-year-old who wants to play dress up again! We absolutely loved it and it’s wonderful to see some of the imaginative little skits that my daughter comes up with and records on it.
Currently priced from £38.99 on Amazon.
The cloak is available to buy via Amazon, Smyths and Argos.