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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Casual Hermione - Harry Potter
Sixth Scale Action Figure

Star Ace
Date Published: 2016-08-31
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Introduction

One of the aspects of the Harry Potter books and films that makes them such a strong influence on young readers and viewers (and us old ones too) is the excellent assortment of well developed and interesting characters. Without this amazing supporting cast, the story of Harry and Voldemort would be far less intriguing, and far less engaging.

I love lots of the students, wizards, and evil doers, but a personal favorite is Hermione. For me she's the strongest of the three main kids, the brightest, bravest, and often the leader in the darkest moments.  Played by the terrific Emma Watson, she's an excellent role model and engaging character.

Star Ace has already produced a Sorcerer's Stone version of course, and they've been teasing us with shots of an older, ball gown Hermione for months.  As they did with both young Ron and Harry, they have also just released their 'casual' Hermione, wearing the outfit from the end of the first film. This matches with the casual outfits of Ron and Harry, making it possible to place the three together sensibly on the shelf.

Hermione is shipping now, and will run you about $120 depending on the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Packaging - ***
The basic shoe box is covered by a cigar band style wrapper.  Inside is a single plastic tray that holds the figure and accessories, with the display stand sealed in a plastic bag below.  I'd say it's all collector friendly, except they did wrap the whole thing in sealed plastic, which you'll need to tear off before you can get anywhere near the contents.

I really like the color and style of the outer box, but taking away the collector friendly aspect is a big negative.  They had to do it to keep the cardboard band in place around the box, but it's still a bummer.

Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Sculpting - ****
This is the same head sculpt that came with the original version of course, and it hasn't changed either negatively or positively.  That was a fantastic looking figure...this is a fantastic looking figure. Of the three kids, I think the Hermione portrait is easily the best, and captures both her actual appearance and her overall sunny attitude beautifully.

It's also a very realistic sculpt, which can be difficult to do with a child. They have less texture, less wrinkling, less 'personality', and the head sculpt can take on a Barbie doll appearance. By adding just the right amount of texture to the lips, properly detailing the eyes, and creating a subtle hair pattern for the eyebrows, they avoid that entirely.

As before, her wild long hair is rooted, which was an excellent decision. It works great for her character, who had a pretty insane mane in the first film that tended to be bigger than her head. You can get different looks depending on how much product you want to use, and how much styling you want to do.  In some of the photos I went for a calmer, flatter look (like the LifeSizer photo), while in others I poofed it out a bit and let it go more natural.  There's plenty here to work with, and while it is a little longer than she had it in the first film, the volume is just about perfect.

She has three hands, one sculpted to hold the wand, the other two sculpted for general posing.  They look great, and are properly scaled.

She's on the same child body as before, coming in at 9 1/2 inches tall, perfect for a sixth scale display.

Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Paint - ***1/2
The soft skin tone on her face looks good, and it matches between head, body, and hands fairly well.  The lips and eyebrows have a subtle, realistic transition, and the eyes are straight and sharp. There's even a slight freckling to the skin, much like we saw with the first release.

There is some bleed in the eyes though, an on-going issue that holds her back from a perfect score in this category.  It's the only nit I have however, and is likely to vary from figure to figure.

Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Articulation - ***1/2
The highly articulated child's body that Star Ace is working with allows for plenty of posing, and the joints are tight and sturdy.  She can take natural stances easily, and she can hold any pose long term. Of course, the ball jointed neck is critical to adding the right amount of personality to any stance, but the shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, knees, hips, and waist all combine to create flowing, realistic poses.

The outfit provides one negative and one positive to this category this time around.  She's wearing white stockings, and these cover up the knee joints. Seeing those joints was a common complaint with the earlier figure, and thanks to her change in costume, is no longer a problem.

On the minus side, the skirt is quite tight fitting, which reduces the hip movement and shortens her stances quite a bit.

Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Accessories - **1/2
Here is the one category where I'm a little disappointed.  Ron has the chess set - Harry had Hedwig. Hermione comes with just a book (Magical Theory), her wand, and one additional right hand to hold the wand. She also has a clear display base, similar to the flying bases but with only one support rod and waist clamp to keep her standing.

The hand swaps easily enough, and it holds the wand perfectly. The wand looks great, as does the book...but with the $20 increase in price over Ron and Harry, this feels awfully light. Since the books are just printed stickers over a standard sculpt, a couple more added in would have gone a long way in this category.

Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Outfit - ***1/2
Her outfit consists of her shirt, sweater, stockings, skirt, and shoes. The quality of the materials, tailoring, and construction is top notch all the way around.

There aren't a ton of stills I could find that show off the complete outfit particularly well. There's this one I linked to earlier which shows off the sweater pretty well, as well as this with the three kids together. The serious Potter fan will be able to find nits to pick with the sweater pattern, but they are pretty minor. The skirt, shirt, and stockings all look great, and while the shoes are a little over sized (they were on the original figure as well), it's another very minor nit with an otherwise excellent costume.

Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
One of the important features of the film is the characters, and having them all is a critical feature of your display.  If you have casual Ron and Harry, this Hermione will complete that final battle look from the first film, and provide for plenty of display possibilities.

Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Value - ***
I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed in the $20 price increase. Ron and Harry were $100 each in their casual garb, and while the accessories are always re-used, theirs were more elaborate or complex.  Another book or two with Hermione would have gone a long way toward making the increase seem a little less painful.

Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
Hermione was a fantastic figure the first time around - she's a fantastic figure this time around. I did drop her a half star overall however, due to the lower number of accessories and therefore lower value, even at $120.

As I side note, Star Ace is struggling with the issue of properly producing all three of the kids. We know that they've talked about Ron selling the worst out of the initial three, and their reticence to produced more versions due to that. However, it's critical that they understand that if they don't produce more Rons at the various ages to go with the Harry and Hermione figures, they'll also sell LESS Harry and Hermione. Not every collector that buys Harry will buy Hermione and Ron to go with him. But just about every collector that bought Ron also wanted the other two - it's a set. This is critical to understand, because it's decisions like these that can sink a line.

Let's do a quantitative example with fake numbers.  Let's say they sold 3000 Harry's, 1500 Hermiones, and 500 Rons the first time around.  They decide Ron just isn't able to make enough profit, and is lucky to break even.  They drop Ron from the next movie themed release...and don't sell 3000 Harry's this time, but only 2500 or less.  The effect is even worse with Hermione. The 'or less' comes from two factors - some collectors simply don't want multiple versions.  What's worse, they've lost all the potential collectors that didn't buy the younger version of Harry, wanting only an older version, and who aren't interested now because they can't complete the trio.

Dropping Ron will create the appearance of a drop in demand for ALL the figures.  Instead, treat Ron like a loss leader.  Create a Ron that just breaks even based on sales estimates and costs - don't try to make any profit off the character. Instead understand that he will help drive sales of the other two. And that's my two cents for the day.

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

Casual Hermione Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has her for $119.

- is also at $119.

- Entertainment Earth is also $119, but has free shipping.

- Sideshow also has her for $120.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I just covered two more of the kids, Harry and Draco in their Quidditch gear. Of course, the  most important review to go with this one is the Casual Ron and Harry. Other Star Ace releases include Star Ace Dumbledore, Hagrid, Snape, Tri-Wizard Harry, the young Hermione, young Harry and Ron, Voldemort, Sirius Black, Mad Eye Moody, and Sirius in his Prison Garb

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

Discussion:
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Casual Hermione 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.

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