A Harry Potter-mad student who forked out £3,000 on wands has hit back at trolls who brand his collection a ‘waste of money’ – and vows to buy at least 40 more.
Connor Cundale, from Buckhurst Hill, Essex, has splashed the cash on his 80-strong wand collection over 12 years, but claims he has 40 more to go before completing the set.
The 20-year-old admits that trolls, and even some pals, have questioned why he’s spent so much on them, but Connor says the magical collection brings him ‘happiness’ and has vowed to keep them forever.
Since sharing his treasure trove on TikTok, the advertising student has impressed fellow wizardry enthusiasts, while drawing derision from trolls who question why a 20-year-old would buy ‘toys’.
But Connor maintains that the wands aren’t toys and that they carry sentimental value for him as he grew up watching Harry Potter’s adventures.
Connor Cundale, 20, from Buckhurst Hill, Essex, has splashed £3,000 on his 80-strong wand collection over 12 years, but claims he has 40 more to go before completing the set
The 20-year-old bought 60 of the wands, which make the bulk of his collection in the past two years alone during lockdown
Connor said: ‘I have 80 wands overall, I started collecting them in 2010.
‘I’ve always been a massive fan of Harry Potter, I saw the first wand in Hamleys in London.
‘I bought one and over the next ten years, I would get another one once in a while.
‘I was kind of collecting them but it wasn’t until lockdown hit in 2020 that I started my big collection and really got into it.
In addition to the wands, pictured, Connor also got their boxes as well as several accessories who come with some of them
While his collection has raised eyebrows and was criticised by trolls saying he is wasting his money, Connor still plans to buy another 40 wands to complete the set
‘I had 20 by that point, but I’ve gained about 60 in the past two years.
‘Every character has their own wands. These wands are based on the ones in the films, they’re all unique and different from each other, none are the same.
‘I’ve been getting most of them from [prop replica store] The Noble Collection, but I do have a few from the Harry Potter Studio Tour too.
‘My favourite wand is Lucius Malfoy’s, it’s conjoined with his walking stick and it’s got a snake’s head on top of it.
‘On average each wand costs about £30, I reckon I’ve spent about £3,000. That includes the cases and some of them come with different ornaments to put on them.’
The Harry Potter fan, pictured modelling a wand outside, left, said they hold sentimental value to him because he grew up with the Harry Potter films
Connor insists his wands are not toys but ‘replicas’ from the movies accessories, and said the collection makes him happy
The magical-themed hobby has drawn mixed responses both online and in real life, as some question the wisdom of spending money on the wands.
Connor said: ‘The collection means a lot to me, it really is like a hobby. It brings me a lot of happiness, even though there’s not so much you can do with them.
‘I watched these films growing up so there is a nostalgic element to it too. They feel like I’m bringing the movie to life.
‘People are always like “why are you so obsessed with them? They’re toys”. They’re not toys, they’re replicas.
‘I get a mixed reaction from people about my wands. Most of my closest friends are all a bit like “oh, why do you that? That’s not too normal.”
Pictured left: some of the wands’ boxes, which Connor neatly stores in a cupboards, and other accessories he has on show at home, right
The Potter fan has also visited the Harry Potter studio near London, and bought some wands there
‘They just think it’s a waste of money. They don’t understand it, they think I could be putting the money to better use.
‘Since I shared my wand collection on TikTok, most people have said they’re impressed with them.
‘I’ve had a few hateful comments from people saying “why would you spend money on that?”
‘I’ve had people comment “You’re 20 years old, why would you spend money on toys?”, but as I said, they’re replicas and they make me happy.
The fan at the Harry Potter studios, which houses a replica of the Hogwarts school of Wizardry
‘I just think “Well it makes me happy, that’s all there is to it”.’
Connor isn’t finished just yet as he has another 40 to go before completing the set.
Connor said: ‘There are at least another 40 wands to collect and this isn’t even covering all of the characters in the movie, it’s crazy how many there are.
‘I plan to get the rest of it. I had to take a little break for a while when money got tight but I’m getting more money coming in so I can go back to the collection and spend more money on them.
‘I can’t imagine selling any of the wands off at this point. They’re a collection, I’d want to pass them down, keep them forever.’
Connor also visited the replica of Gringotts – the magical world’s bank – during his visit to the studios
The superfan posing with a replica of the Hiogwarts Express, which transports pupils to the magic school in the movies