Harry Potter is still a big deal.  Just so we're clear.

I'm amazed at the sheer weight of a set like the one announced by Warner Bros Home Video today.  I'd imagine this thing has be heavy enough to crush one of my kids, just based on the description of it.  31 discs.  I think that's the largest movie set I've ever seen.

It's fitting, though.  The world that JK Rowling created still seems to have its hooks in people completely, and a collection like this feels like a fitting way to wrap it all up for people who loved these movies.  I'm probably okay just owning the eight films, but I'm not a maniac for Potter the way some people are, and for them, this has got to be an exciting announcement.

We knew Warner was planning this, but we didn't realize what the five hours of new bonus materials would entail.  The full details were finally released today, and if you're on the fence about committing nearly $500 to a collector's set, check out the full list that Warner Bros. sent over.  And since, according to Rowling's writing, today would be Harry Potter's 32nd birthday, it seems like a perfect time for Potter fans to celebrate.

Just in time for Harry Potter’s birthday, Warner Home Video announces today the exclusive features that can only be found in the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection. The most successful film franchise in history will be available September 7 in a limited-edition collectible box set. The most comprehensive Harry Potter movie collection yet, the set will include all eight films, exclusive never-before-seen content and must-have memorabilia for the most devoted Harry Potter fan.

The Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection is a limited edition set containing over 37 hours of special features, including all previously released special features for all eight Harry Potter films. Also included are nearly five hours of exciting, never-before-seen bonus features that offer fans an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the Harry Potter franchise.  Wizards and witches everywhere will enjoy the all-new  documentaries like “Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part 7: Story,” in which J.K. Rowling sits down with the series’ screenwriter Steve Kloves and discusses the process of translating the books to the big screen.

“Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part 8: Growing Up” incorporates new and vintage interviews with the cast to understand what it was like growing up on the set of the world-famous films, and ends with Daniel Radcliffe’s emotionally charged farewell speech to the cast and crew.

Eight pieces of movie memorabilia, designed exclusively for the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection by the graphic designers from the films, give fans a unique chance to bring the artistic details of the world of Harry Potter into their own home. High-quality concept art prints and a colorful fabric map of Hogwarts and the areas surrounding it are perfect for framing. The hard-bound “Harry Potter Catalogue of Artefacts” and the artistic “Label Collection” offer fans a broad look at the intricate  details of each film prop. Also included are a blueprint poster of Hogwarts castle,  sketch prints from the production designer, a Horcrux locket prop replica and a certificate of authenticity.

In addition to the theatrical release of all eight films, the collection also includes the extended versions of  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; and the 3D versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows –- Parts 1 and 2.

Beautifully packaged in a stunning gift box measuring 12-3/4” x 10-9/16” x 11-1/4” and weighing 19 lbs, the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection is the largest collection ever released by Warner Bros.

Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection will be available for $499.99 SRP.

Films Included in this Collection – All on Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Theatrical Version and Extended Cut
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Theatrical Version and Extended Cut
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 2D and 3D Versions
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 2D and 3D Versions

Blu-ray Special Features for Hours of Entertainment – Includes all previously released Special Features

Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection Bonus Disc
Nearly 4 hours of features including:

All New! “The Harry Potters You Never Met” - Meet the stunt doubles for Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as they demonstrate how they balanced major stunt work with seamlessly mimicking the actors they represented and share their favorite moments.

All New! “Designing the World of Harry Potter” - Explore how production designer Stuart Craig and his creative team brought J.K. Rowling's imagination to life on the screen.

All New! “When Harry Left Hogwarts” (Extended Version) - Hear candid and emotional stories about the final days on set in this extended behind-the-scenes look.

All New! “50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments” (Definitive Version) - Take a look back with cast members who share their on and off-screen memories.

All New! “Secrets Revealed! Quidditch” – At last, the secrets behind the special effects required for the breathtaking Quidditch scenes are revealed!

All New! “Secrets Revealed! Hagrid”- See the camera tricks, towering stand-in and voluminous body suits behind the beloved Keeper of  Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Bonus Disc
Over 2 hours of features including:

All New! “Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part. 7: Story”
Plus all previously released special features!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Bonus Disc
Over 4 hours of features including:

All New! “Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part. 8: Growing Up”

All New! “A Conversation with J.K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe: Extended Version” - with 15 minutes of new footage

“Hogwarts’ Last Stand” (Extended Version)

Plus all previously released special features!

Exclusive Premiums
Memorabilia designed exclusively for the collection by the graphic designers from the films

Label Collection –  A collection of prop labels created by the production for potions, wizarding products and more

Harry Potter Catalogue of Artefacts – 48-page rigid book featuring the favorite props of the film’s graphic designers

Blueprint poster of Hogwarts castle – Detailed blueprint of Hogwarts castle is 22” x 26”

Concept Art Prints – High quality color concept art prints from the films are perfect for framing

Map of Hogwarts and the areas surrounding it – Full color 24” x 36” map of Hogwarts  printed on fabric

Stuart Craig Sketch Prints -- Series of 5” x 7” black and white concept sketches from Harry Potter production designer, Stuart Craig

Horcrux Locket  –  Wearable, high-quality prop replica created by Noble Collection

Certificate of Authenticity – A uniquely numbered 8” x 10” certificate inspired by a Hogwarts Express ticket
 
Absolutely jam-packed, and the little doodads and knickknacks only add to the pleasure for the hardcore fans. 

I hope this does well if for no other reason than it will send the message that people still want this sort of physical artifact as the endgame of their fandom for something.  We've seen studios slimming down these sorts of collector's sets, making them smaller and cheaper, and I'd much rather they go for broke and make something great.  Something like this.

Planning to pick it up?  Let me know about it in the comments section, because I'd love to know what looks most exciting to you about the set.

"The Harry Potter Wizard's Collection" arrives on shelves September 7, 2012.