What does Warner Bros say about Canberra's new 'Harry Potter' store?
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What does Warner Bros say about Canberra's new 'Harry Potter' store?

There's a magical shop coming to life deep in the heart of Fyshwick at this very moment - but it's not a Harry Potter store.

While its shelves are lined with stuffed Hedwig toys, levitating broomstick pens and Tom Riddle diaries, the name of the store is Quizzic Alley, and if Canberrans start referring to it as 'the Harry Potter store', well, that's on them.

Former paralympian Michael Milton (with puppy Sparkles) and his family are behind new store Quizzic Alley on Pirie Street.

Former paralympian Michael Milton (with puppy Sparkles) and his family are behind new store Quizzic Alley on Pirie Street.

Photo: Jamila Toderas

Quizzic Alley is the vision of Canberra's Milton family - kids Matilda and Angus, mum Penni and famous dad Michael Milton, a gold medal-winning paralympic skier, and former paralympic cyclist and triathlete.

Milton admits there were many conversations on copyright and intellectual property law - including with Warner Bros' own in-house legal team - in the lead-up to construction commencing on Pirie Street.

After all, can a Canberran really wake up one day and decide they'll open a retail store themed on JK Rowling's $25 billion book, movie and merchandise franchise?

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"We need to be very careful about what we do," Milton explains.

The back wall of Quizzic Alley features a replica of the Flying Ford Anglica from the Harry Potter books.

The back wall of Quizzic Alley features a replica of the Flying Ford Anglica from the Harry Potter books.

Photo: Jamila Toderas

"We are not an officially licensed 'Harry Potter' store - we are Quizzic Alley - but we do sell licensed Harry Potter products."

In essence, Warner Bros holds the global license for Harry Potter-themed consumer products, and works with a handful of specific manufaturers on the production of licensed products.

Thousands of those products are being shipped to Canberra for next week's opening, including Jelly Belly chocolate jumping frogs, chocolate wands and jelly slugs, and sorting hat and deathly hallows necklaces from official Harry Potter jewellery house The Carat Shop.

Legalities aside, the new Fyshwick store is coming together as the ultimate, ahem, "wizardry experience", including an exact replica of the Flying Ford Anglica used by Fred, George and Ron Weasley to rescue Harry in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Milton was stoked when he found the lookalike car in a shed in Goulburn.

Kids (and adults) will be able to have Harry Potter-themed birthday parties out the back of the store in rooms enclosed with red velvet curtains.

The store will sell chocolate jumping frogs, jelly slugs and chocolate wands.

The store will sell chocolate jumping frogs, jelly slugs and chocolate wands.

Photo: Jamila Toderas

The old-wordly furniture, including side tables, settees, leather reading chairs and an antique typewriter, inside Quizzic Alley were mostly sourced from eBay and Gumtree to replicate the grandeur of life at Hogwarts.

But beyond the novelty factor, is there a realistic long-term commercial outlook for Quizzic Alley? Milton says yes.

"From a marketing perspective there's two primary groups of people for this store," he says.

"One's the committed adult fan - the book's over 20 years old now - and a lot of them are sharing it with their kids as well, so there's a committed adult fan base.

"And then there's the kids, reading the books and watching the movies is very much a rite of passage for the majority of kids out there.

"It's timeless and ageless - there are very few enduring ideas and concepts in the world, but I think this is one of them."

Quizzic Alley opens to the public at 10am on Thursday September 13.

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