Full speed ahead for revamp of Harry Potter trains and toys

Hornby Hobbies Harry Potter Hogwarts ExpressHornby Hobbies and the Corgi brand have re-released a line of Harry Potter die-cast products, tapping into the current resurgence for the Wizarding World brand.

Last year, the British toy model and hobby specialist teamed up with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to kick-start a three year licensing partnership for the Harry Potter brand. The partnership resulted in the launch of the headline-grabbing Hogwarts Express Train Set, an entire kit for building the Harry Potter-themed model railway layout.

Coming soon: Hornby Hobbies Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle, with sound

Coming soon: Hornby Hobbies Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle, with sound

To complement the set Hornby is now releasing a range of accessories, enabling model-makers to add a further touch of magic to their layouts. These include Hogsmeade Station, Platform 9 ¾ and an additional line of coaches. A Hogswarts Castle locomotive
with sound is also due for release soon.

The models are based on how the GWR 4900 Class 5972 Olton Hall was “dressed”for the films, with additional steam pipes, which do not feature on the original steam engine. Olton Hall was renamed to Hogwarts Castle for the films, the name suggesting the locomotive is a much larger and more powerful Castle Class, not a Hall Class which of course, it is, as steam fans have noted. This also led to Hornby making their models a Castle Class.

Harry Potter Corgi Hogwarts Express

Harry Potter Corgi Hogwarts Express

Some ten years ago, and before being acquired by Hornby Hobbies, Corgi launched a range of Harry Potter-themed die-cast models. With consumer demand in the collector’s market rising gradually over the last number of years, Hornby Hobbies are now updating its models.

Harry Potter Corgi Flying Ford Anglia Harry Potter Corgi Flying Ford AngliaThe Hogwarts Express Locomotive now features exact matching red paint as the film franchise’s iconic train. Corgi’s Flying Ford Anglia, the light blue car in which Harry Potter and Ron Weasley travel to Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, also matches its film colours.

Hornby Hobbies Harry Potter Trains and Sets

Corgi Harry Potter Die Cast Toys

WEB LINKS

• Wikipedia: GWR 4900 Class 5972 Olton Hall | Fandom Wikia: GWR 4900 Class 5972 Olton Hall

BBC News (31st August 2018): How the Hogwarts Express engine was saved from a Welsh scrapyard

The locomotive that has entranced millions of Potter viewer was once earmarked to be dismantled for the furnace. Written off, abandoned and forgotten for 17 years, this lowly engine’s final destiny was originally far from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But the story of humble GWR 5972 Olton Hall, is as enchanting as any told by JK Rowling…

National Railway Museum (August 2010): Cleaning the “Hogwarts Castle” 

• Harry Potter fans can ride the real-life Hogwarts Express. The Jacobite Steam Train, travelling between Fort William and Mallaig in Scotland has some very magical destinations. The Jacobite served as one of the Harry Potter filming locations , standing in for the Hogwarts Express in all of the films, and there’s no denying that it’s a pretty unique way to travel. Just don’t be an idiot and try to walk the tracks at the Glenfinnan Viaduct like some fans.

Track down some of the best Harry Potter filming locations across the UK and take a trip on the Hogwarts Express with this advice from NationalRail.com

• Three full-size replicas of the 5972 Hogwarts Castle are at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando Resort). Two are part of the Hogwarts Express train ride (actually  actually Funicular Rope pulled trains with fake wheels); the other is a static exhibit in the Hogsmeade area. There are also static models at the other Wizarding World of Harry Potter locations in Hollywood and Japan.

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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3 replies

  1. Can Hornby Hobbies explain why a locomotive so obviously based on the common GWR Belpaire firebox, taper boiler, 4-6-0 design and given the name Hogwarts Castle has straight external steam pipes (as seen on the Halls, Manors, etc) and not the double curve steam pipes – as seen on actual Castle and King class locos? That the real 5972 – Olton Hall – was renamed Hogwarts Castle for the films is hardly a justifiable excuse for the wrong steam pipes on the model; nor using the Olton Hall number both in the films and on the model. When Hornby Hobbies have gone to the trouble of designing and making what is a quite pleasing model, why get such a major visible feature out of step with the name? What market is this in-between model aimed at? Someone with £299.99p to spare for a toy train set – but no sense of authenticity?

    • The models are based on how the GWR 4900 Class 5972 Olton Hall was “dressed”for the films, with additional steam pipes, which do not feature on the original steam engine. Olton Hall was renamed to Hogwarts Castle for the films, the name suggesting the locomotive is a much larger and more powerful Castle Class, not a Hall Class which of course, it is, as steam fans have noted. This led to Hornby making their models a Castle Class. I’ve amended the article.

  2. Thanks, John. I know we should not expect fiction to reflect reality! That’s why watching or listening to or reading it – even buyiing the tie-in merchandise – needs “suspension of disbelief”.

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