The moving story of an orphaned boy who defeats the ultimate evil (the wizard one, not the space one ... or the other wizard one) has provided Warner Bros. with a handy "unlimited money" lever they can pull whenever they want to wring some hard-earned dollars out of a niche group of earnest millennial nerds. Still, all the spinoffs, theme parks, and other existing merchandising opportunities have failed to sate studio execs' cocaine-lust, so they're opening the first official Harry Potter store in New York City later this year.
The store, which will span an entire city block and contain three floors of cheap scarves (two less than Johnny Depp's house), will reportedly also offer personalized robes, exclusive but vaguely described wands, foods, and "interactive experiences and numerous photo opportunities." To the uninitiated, that might sound legit, but for people who would have to travel to the east coast, which is most people, you can get pretty much the same stuff at Universal Studios and ride a hippogriff. Hell, you can get a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans in every Barnes & Noble in the world. However, If you think that spells doom for the flagship retailer then you don't know any terrifying Harry Potter fans. Our primary attack move is choking our corporate foe with our own money, so as with every other development in the Wizarding World in the last decade, the news hasn't been met with a backlash so much as a deep long-suffering sigh as we eagerly open our wallets.
Thankfully, the local community board is stepping up and complaining for us. It turns out the only available building big enough to house the blatant cash grab is a historic 19th-century structure, and there are pretty firm restrictions on what you can do to such buildings. Specifically, you can't erect a huge fiberglass dragon, no matter how bitchin' it promises to be. As the chair of the committee put it, "If Harry Potter can put a dragon, then Nike can put a shoe, then the bakery down the block could put a croissant, and then where do you stop?"
With a bunch of snobby pearl-clutchers fretting over the possibility of their neighborhood becoming tacky in one corner and a soulless corporation in the other, there's really no good side to be on. So while we can't legally direct you to a variety of surprisingly high-quality Etsy knockoffs, we do know a guy who lurks in dark corners of the library and owns a screen printer, that you can talk to about, you know, whatever.