Heads up, Harry Potter collectors: There’s a glaring mistake in select copies of the new Fantastic Beasts book, meaning this particular version may be worth something one day.
Update (March 19): Scholastic has confirmed the misprint and is offering to send affected customers a corrected copy of the book.
In the day since Hypable’s report, readers have told us that the mistake is appearing not just in the box set, but also in some copies that were sold individually. Part of their statement is below:
In the first printing of the newly updated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, released by Scholastic, three sentences were inadvertently omitted. We regret this error and we want to assure our readers that those editions are no longer being shipped and a corrected edition is now in print and being shipped for all current orders.
We want the Harry Potter fans who eagerly secured their copies on the initial release to be fully satisfied with their purchase. Therefore, any book with the missing sentences can be exchanged for the newer version by returning the book to Scholastic.
Original story (March 18): Harry Potter fan Michael wrote to me yesterday when he happened to notice something strange: His new copy of Fantastic Beasts was missing a paragraph on the Hippogriff that was included in the 2001 edition.
J.K. Rowling’s new edition of Fantastic Beasts includes a new forward by Newt Scamander and six new beasts to bring the book up to speed with the 2016 film. While adding in those new beasts, the publishers made a big editing mistake.
Newt’s section on the Hippogriff was originally two paragraphs long, whereas in the new edition that Michael has it’s missing a full paragraph (the one starting with “The Hippogriff burrows for insects…”). Here’s the photo from Michael in which he compares the 2001 edition (top) with the 2017 edition (bottom):
We both thought this was strange, so I popped into my local Barnes & Noble to check out a new copy of the book for myself.
I opened the new Fantastic Beasts in store, but the issue in Michael’s copy wasn’t there. The new edition of Fantastic Beasts that I was looking at had both paragraphs like the 2001 edition. I inspected a few of them and they all looked fine. Was Michael pulling my leg? Did he somehow have an ultra rare copy?
Then I noticed that the above photo from Michael showed that he bought the entire box set — the one that comes with Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
The Hogwarts Library box set comes shrink wrapped, meaning I had to purchase it first before seeing if this copy of Fantastic Beasts would be missing the ‘graph, or risk getting arrested by BNPD. I dropped $40 on it, exited the store, and immediately ripped the shink wrap off.
Bingo! The second paragraph is missing just like it is in Michael’s copy.
As I started comparing the two 2017 copies of the book, I pieced the puzzle together a bit more: Each of the books were part of a separate print run. The book with the missing paragraph, sold in the box set, was a part of the second print run (10 9 8 7 6 4 3 2 17 18 19 20 21) while the one with no error, sold on its own, is from the first print run (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 17 18 19 20 21). Both are first editions.
Further, the one with the mistake was printed in China, while the one with no mistake was printed in the USA.
Beginning at the Hippogriff mistake, the two books pages are out of sync from page 38 to 53.
The one printed in China may’ve been made overseas so that it could be included with Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard in the Hogwarts Library box set. Michael speculates the paragraph may’ve been accidentally lost when they were adding in the section right below it about the Hodag, one of the six new beasts that J.K. Rowling added to the book in 2017.
It remains to be seen how far-reaching this mistake is. Michael and I are both in Southern California, so right now I can’t even tell you if this problem covers the entire USA.
Needless to say this issue will be fixed for future print runs, making these copies with the missing paragraph more valuable as the original supply dwindles. Go buy the Hogwarts Library box set now if you want to get in on the collecting fun!*
If you’re overseas or noticed your copy is missing the paragraph, please let us know in the comments below! Be sure to tell us what country you purchased it in, and if your copy is a part of the box set.
Hypable has an email into Scholastic for comment. As far as I can remember, this is one of the most significant errors made in a Harry Potter / J.K. Rowling book, though there’ve certainly been a few small hiccups over the years.
*No promises on your copy in the box set having the mistake.