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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Tri-Wizard Harry Potter - Goblet of Fire
Sixth Scale Action Figure

Star Ace
Date Published: 2016-01-11
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Introduction

When Star Ace first started their sixth scale series based on the much beloved Harry Potter movies, they focused on the first film, and thus, a young Harry, Ron and Hermione. Some collectors responded that they loved what they were doing, but they were really only interested in older versions of the three main characters.

If you're in that camp, your wait is over.  The newest Harry is from the film 'Goblet of Fire', and is an older wizard, more capable and strong. You'll also hear this refereed to as the 'triwizard' version, since the TriWizard Tournament was the focus of the film and this outfit was perhaps the most recognizable thanks to the dragon challenge.

This is a bit of an early review - Harry won't start shipping for a couple weeks yet. You can get your pre-order in  at $210 - $230, depending on the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Packaging - ****
Like the recent Hermione, the interior window box is covered by a slip with terrific character graphics. I particularly like this one because of the spackled, crackled effect. There's something about it that adds an air of gravitas.

Of course, it's all collector friendly, and there's no need to damage anything to remove the figure and accessories. They have used the plastic bags on the hands and feet, similar to what both Sideshow and Hot Toys do, but they are loose fitting, with no need to cut them off.

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Sculpting - ***
Harry (and Daniel Radcliffe) clearly changed as he aged over the course of his years at Hogwarts.  I checked out a few stills from this film for comparison, including this one, this one, and this one. There's also the great shot on the cover of the box.

I think they've done a terrific job with 90% of the overall portrait.  The eyes look great, as does the overall shape of the head and set of the jawline. The lips and mouth look about right, and they've used a very light texture to add some realism to the skin.  Even the hair is a step up from what we see with most non Hot Toys manufacturers. with some very nice detailing in the strands and style.

But there's something about the nose that just isn't working for me.  It's a little too big, a little too long. It tends to throw off the overall accuracy a bit, at least to my eye.

As I said, the realism is great though, less doll-like than the much younger version they released earlier. My only other nit is with the hair line, which sits too far from the face and forehead, making it look more like a hat than hair on his head.

The scar is sculpted, not merely painted, and it looks quite good. It has the irregularity and unevenness of a real scar, again lending additional realism to the portrait.

The figure is scaled appropriately, coming in at about 11" tall. He'll fit in nicely with the adults within the series, as well as adults (and kids) from other lines.

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Paint - ***1/2
While they still have a little way to go, Star Ace continues to improve on the realism and life-like quality of their paint application.

The best aspects of the work here are the skin, with a slightly freckling, the lips, and the softly defined eyebrows.  Even the scar has the right variation in color and tone, making it look like the imperfection it should be.

On the minus side, the eyes show a bit more bleed into the white than they should, and the eye liner is a little heavy.  The blue iris' look great, and they use the star pattern to give them a human appearance in hand.  You can see the lines in macro photos, but in hand they look about perfect.

The only other area that could use a little help is the hair. The sculpt detail is quite nice, but the solid brown color doesn't highlight it particularly well. A little more highlighting, perhaps with a wash, would have shown off the nice work on the hair a bit better.

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Articulation - **1/2
My first real problem with this figure comes in this category.  However, this is not because of the underlying body.

In fact, this shorter body is very nice, and other companies should take note.  The double jointed neck works much better than the adult body that Star Ace has been using, and the joints in general are very tight and solid, with a terrific range of movement. If not for two design decisions, this might have been a four star score.

The first problem is with the boots. I'll complain about them again in the Outfit category, but for the purposes of this situation let's focus on their restrictiveness. They are very hard plastic, and run up the shin past the ankle.  They completely incapacitate the ankles, allowing no movement (other than turning the foot side to side) and make even basic stances difficult.

Then there's the gloved hands.  The post hole is buried very deep in the hands, and the long glove does NOT fit over the forearms very well. The hands are produced in hard plastic as well. Between this tight fit, the very short post, and the very deep hole, swapping the hands is quite difficult. Like the boots, the hard plastic gloved hands take away all the wrist articulation (other than turning the hands), and that hurts a lot of upper body poses.

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Accessories - ****
There's plenty of film specific extras including with Harry, all of them well done with great sculpting and paint.

Let's start with the hands. I already complained about how hard they are to swap, but at least there's five different to choose from. There's a set of gripping hands, perfect for the broom, a set of relaxed hands for a wide variety of poses, and one additional gripping right, designed for the wand.

The wand looks just like you'd expect, but the broom is quite complex.  The Firebolt is much larger than the previous brooms of course, and it has adjustable foot supports. The handle has the specific sculpting and paint (including the characters) and the work is quite nice.

Both the Triwizard Cup and the Golden Egg are also included. They have terrific, highly detailed sculpts, including textures and runes, and the scale is very good. The top of the egg turns to release the petals, opening to reveal the clear interior. 

There is a rock-like base included that lights up with a bright blue LED. Either the egg or the cup can be placed on this base, and the bright light illuminates them cleanly.

The final extra is the multipurpose clear base and stand, designed to hold the figure standing or in flight with the broom. It doesn't work quite as well with this larger, heavier figure, but you can get it to work with a little effort and determination.

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Light Feature - ***1/2
As I mentioned in the previous category, both the Triwizard Cup and the Golden Egg light up, thanks to the single rock base.The bottom of the base has a rotating cap which turns the light on and off. You can also turn it slightly further, and remove the cap - no need to get out the screwdriver to replace the batteries.  I appreciate the design, as it makes it far easier to remove the batteries for even short periods.

You have to supply the batteries (two C2016), but the feature works extremely well thanks to a very, very bright LED. My only nit is that having some sort of tube to attach to the egg or cup and cleanly light up the accessory would have maximized the amount of light shining through. As it is, you have to line it up manually the best you can, and if you're off slightly, the amount of light passing through can be greatly reduced.

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Outfit - ***
This is another multi-layer outfit, and thanks to excellent tailoring and high quality materials, it isn't bulky, thick or out of scale.

There's socks, nylon pants (with zippered ankles) and the long sleeve Griffindor shirt. Over this is the hoodie, and over that is the long robes, complete with hood and 'Potter' name on the back. The quality on all these layers is excellent, and the fit looks terrific.  If I had a nit to pick, it would be on the length of the sleeves, which could have covered the forearms to the wrists just a little bit better. But it's a very minor nit at best, and the materials, stitching and tailoring are up there with the best. Harry is prepared to best any dragon in this outfit.

So why the lower score?  Those damn boots.  Even if you ignore the hard plastic and their restriction on the ankles, there's the weak sculpt and paint to contend with. They look like something from a mass market toy, below the quality of the rest of the costume.

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Fun Factor - ***
The boots and gloves mean you won't get to pose and re-pose this guy quite as much as I'd like. It's a pity too, since the rest of the body (and accessories) allow for plenty of looks. Fix those two issues, and this guy would be a four star fun figure.

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Value - **
Prices on this guy vary quite a bit by retailer, and I'm judging this at around $220.  You can end up paying $10 more than that, or $10 less than that, depending on the seller.

At $210, I'm tempted to go up another half star, and at $200, it would certainly get an average value score, maybe even three stars.  But at $220, it's a tougher sell. There is the light up option, and both the costume and accessories have plenty of complex pieces. But they are playing in the Hot Toys market, and competing with them at this price point is going to be tough.

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Things to Watch Out For -
Have a hair dryer handy when working with the hands. You can soften up the glove tops with a little heat, making it easier to force the hands in place.

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Overall - ***
I think it's fairly obvious that there are really only two major issues with this figure: the boots and the gloved hands.  Because they are restrictive (and because the boots look much cheaper than the rest of the costume), the score gets pulled down.

Still, this is another solid release overall from Star Ace. The accessories look great, and I love the way they managed to give you two light up accessories with one base. The paint work continues to improve, and the sculpting is well above average.

I suspect the next release to ship will be the ball gown Hermione, but an older Ron can't be far behind.  From early photos of the Hermione prototype, it looks like she could be another four star release, but only time will tell.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - ****
Light Feature - ***1/2
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***

Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has him at just $209.

- has the pre-order up for $220.

- Entertainment Earth is at $228.

- Sideshow is at $230.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I just covered the young Hermione a week or so ago, and started with Harry and Ron, then on to Voldemort, Sirius Black, Mad Eye Moody, Sirius in his Prison Garb, and Ron and Harry in their 'casual' clothes.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Tri-Wizard Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2016, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved.