The Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak has just been released in toy stores worldwide. Alice Webb-Liddall got the chance to try one out.
It’s a Tuesday, and a snowy owl flies above my head on the way to work. It poops on me. That’s extra good luck, I think to myself. I get to work, make a coffee, sit down on my usual chair at my usual desk. Oh no, I’ve left my coffee in the kitchen. ‘Accio!’ I command. The coffee flies towards me, but it’s too fast. It spills down my front. Luckily it’s not too hot, but now I have an embarrassingly large stain on my t-shirt. Nobody has noticed yet, but I know they will. I have to sneak away before they do. I must disappear. I must… turn invisible.
Hogwarts acceptance letters are supposed to arrive at 11 years old. Mine, sadly, got mixed up in transit. The owl tasked with flying it here got lost somewhere over the Pacific and returned home for safety. It’s fine; I may not have been trained in the healing properties of Dittany by Professor Sprout or perfected my swish-and-flick with Professor Flitwick, but I can still do magic.
Every day I look at the clock at exactly 11:11am. I sometimes press the button to cross the road and the green man appears instantly. I can bite ice-cream with my front teeth, I’ve never had a brain freeze and I can turn invisible.
An invisibility cloak was dropped on my desk last week by a tawny owl. Designed by British scientist Dr Mark Gasson, the Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak combines relatively simple technology to allow people to recreate the effects of the invisibility cloak from the movies. I had to try it out straight away.
I Colloportus’d myself in The Spinoff’s podcast studio, perfected my cloak swish and my ‘oh no, something’s coming’ face, and then turned on the camera.
It’s not just a cloak, it’s not just a toy, this invisibility cloak? It’s pure magic.
Sprint home, bag off, phone camera out, cloak on. My cat is levitating. My kettle is pouring itself. My body’s gone! Put it on a chair, sit on said chair: you’re sitting on nothing. I’m screaming. It’s so fun. I wear it around the house all night, the cape rustling behind me. My boyfriend asks me how often I plan on wearing it, I look into his eyes and whisper ‘always’, then turn around and swish my cape in his face.
It’s true that this cloak is powerful magic. So powerful it made me turn into a 12-year-old nerd. If someone had introduced it into my life 10 years ago, I think my head would have exploded. My ‘Ali Potter’ Halloween costume would have been the talk of the town. My dad, dressed up as Hagrid for a skit I was making with my best friend, would have lost his mind seeing my special effects talent.
The box says it’s for ages 4+. Usually that’s some kind of indication whether it’s a kids toy, but not this time, Voldemort. You can rip it from my cold dead hands – and not only because at $130, it’s one of the most expensive things I own.
If I die young bury me in green-screen, lay me down on a bed of mandrake, sink me in the black lake at dawn, send me away with the words of ‘flippendo’.
Final review: (It’s 5 stars but you can’t see them because they’re invisible).
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.