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Review of Sirius Black Azkaban Prisoner version
Harry Potter Sixth Scale Action Figure

Star Ace
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Introduction

Star Ace continues on their roll with the Harry Potter license, releasing their first variant with Sirius Black in the Prisoner of Azkaban outfit. This is a bit of an early review, and he should start shipping widely in the next few weeks.

Their first release of Sirius was excellent, and might be my favorite figure in the line so far. They actually provided two outfits with that one: his full suit, plus the hairy coat for his quick change into and out of his more comfortable form. That makes this technically the third outfit you can use for your Sirius display, capturing his look from shortly after he escaped imprisonment.

I mentioned that this was the first variant - we know they are releasing another Ron and Harry in alternate duds, and I'd bet we'll see the same happen with Hermione. However, that doesn't mean we won't be getting new characters, and at the rate they are going we should see several more in 2016.

This guy will run you around $180, the same as the first version, and about $50 or so below most high end sixth scale figures right now.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Packaging - ***1/2
They've done a nice job producing a consistent look to the Potter packaging, and yet providing a reasonable amount of character personalization each time. Everything is collector friendly too, with no need to damage the box or the trays when freeing poor Sirius and his accessories from their plastic prison.

I did dock them slightly though, since the materials are still a little thin, including the interior black plastic tray.  They could also use a place to put the bagged display stand, which tends to float around under the tray.

Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Sculpting - ***1/2
When I reviewed their first release of Sirius, I was quite impressed with this sculpt. That remains true, particularly since this is the exact same portrait.  Of course it would have been nice to get something with a wilder look to it, but I understand their desire to keep costs reigned in on these variant releases.

They've done a marvelous job with the skin texture and the stranding of the hair, adding plenty of realism to the face and beard. The glassy eyes aren't too deeply set, and the thickness of the hair in the beard and mustache varies, implying one is a more permanent part of his look than the other.

If you were to pop this head off the body and hand it to a not-so-serious Harry Potter fan, they'd recognize both the character and the actor immediately. That's always an excellent sign that they've captured the look extremely well.

Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Paint - ***1/2
While Star Ace hasn't quite reached the level of quality with their paint work that we see from Hot Toys (on Hot Toys best days), they have gotten to a level that will make collectors consistently happy with their releases.

The skin tone is great, with a very slight translucence to the outer layer that adds a realistic appearance to the face.  The transitions from the hair to the skin are subtle and gradual, and the blue eyes are sharp and straight. There does seem to be a slight bit of bleed in the whites, but you'll only notice it on extreme close ups.

They've included all the tattoos on his body once again, including the one across his lower neck. I like that there is a bit of a faded appearance to some, giving you the impression of age and time passed.

Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Articulation - ***
One area where Star Ace could improve all of their lines is with the engineering of the body. While it's reasonable, it's not at the level of some of the better bodies on the market, and it would be a relatively painless improvement.

They went with the solid neck and head this time, which means the only neck joint is the ball at the torso. I've complained about this particular joint before, since the shape of the hole in the torso isn't designed to allow an unrestricted movement of the head. You simply can't get as much tilt and lean as I'd like, and it makes many poses less fluid and smooth.

This neck joint adds a new problem with this figure, because the clothing allows it to be visible.  The weird gaping at the neck hurts the overall look, and doesn't do anything to improve the mobility of the joint.

The majority of the rest of the articulation is great, with a nice range of motion and a stiffness to the joints that allows him to hold any pose long term. The hips are even ratchet joints, which adds to his stability and strength over time.

But he's wearing high top boots here, and they completely restrict the ball jointed ankles.  That means a lot of stances are ruled out completely, and it can be difficult to find a good center of gravity even with simple stances.

Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Accessories - ***
He doesn't have a ton of extras, but there's enough here to outfit him properly on the shelf.

Of course he has his wand, and it's intricately sculpted up and down. There is a fine scrolling pattern as well as some lettering, all done to perfection.  The wands have all been nicely sculpted, but because of the surface detail on Sirius', his turns out to be my favorite.

This wand can be held in the extra right hand supplied. The hands swap easily enough, and I wasn't afraid of breaking a post, but adding in a couple extras would be a smart move.

To complete his prisoner look, he comes with a set of handcuffs, attached to each other with a long, real metal chain, and a prisoner number plaque that can be worn around his neck. Once again, the chain is real metal.

Both of these look great, and I really like the placard. He can hold it in his hands to get the classic pose, or wear it around his neck for just about any occasion. By sculpting the 'Azkaban Prison' across the top rather than simply painting it, they've given the plaque added depth.

You'll have to pop off his hands to put the cuffs in place, since they don't open, but I prefer that. It means less chance that one of the cuffs will break over time.

Finally, he has his clear plastic display stand with multiple posts and pieces. This is the same one used to hold Harry or Ron aloft, and can be used to create all sorts of dynamic looks.

Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Outfit - ***
The outfit consists of his prison shirt and pants, as well as the outer coat he wears when he escapes.

In hand, the prison outfit has a reasonable amount of dirt.  It actually has a bit of a gritty feel to it, but that doesn't translate in photos. They did add a little damage as well, particularly along the bottom edge of the pants.  However, while both of these things are reasonable, they aren't as good as I'd hoped, nor are they as realistic as they were with the prototype.

The shirt and pants needed a bit more variation in the dirt and staining to give it a more worn look, and the damage around the ankles is too 'fresh' and clean.  Most collectors will be able to improve on this once they have him in hand, but I'd like to see him come out of the box a bit more weathered.

The outer coat isn't as much of an issue.  There are a couple rips in the coat that are very realistic of age and wear, and there are actual variations in the color thanks to the dirt. In hand it seems more worn and aged than it does in photos, but part of that is because of the tactile nature of the wear. That doesn't mean it's perfect, and I'd still like to see a bit more damage, especially around the edges and seams, but it's an improvement over the prison shirt and pants.

Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Fun Factor - ***
I backed off slightly on the Fun Factor with this guy, simply because the high top shoes make posing a bit less exciting.  They'll limit you, although you should still be able to get a great look on the shelf. I think I'm going with a sitting pose myself, which is why I included two photos of him that way, one on a crate, one on a chair.

Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Value - ***
Most high end sixth scale figures, including those from Hot Toys, Sideshow and others, are running around $230 - $250 right now.  Star Ace has released this guy for $180, the same as the first version, and I'm still quite please.

But not quite as pleased - you'll notice I did drop this score a half star.  With the re-use of the head and body, I would have felt better with a slight reduction here, say $160 or so. But even with the re-use, it's a great figure at a much better than average price.

Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. Everything is sturdy, and I had no problems with the clothing or accessories.

Overall - ***
I really am quite happy overall with the work Star Ace is doing with this series.  There's some areas I'd like to see them improve, but overall they are producing a solid line up.

Even here I almost went that extra half star. Obviously the portrait and paint job were going to do well, since they did well last time. The accessories are nice as well, and all can be used in the display.  But the prison pants and shirt need some more dirt, grim and wear to be effective, and the high top boots made posing difficult. I do wish they'd re-engineer the body in general, and in particular the neck.

Hermione is coming soon, and I'm really looking forward to her release.  Of course, Snape, Hagrid and Dumbledore are must haves, but I'm hoping that Star Ace shows the female characters a lot of love, since getting figures of Luna, Umbridge and McGonagal would be outstanding.

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

Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner action figure by Star Ace

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has him at $180.

- is at $177.

- has him for $180.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've been keeping up with the Star Ace Harry Potter figures, covering Mad Eye Moody, Sirius Black, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Voldemort.

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

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Harry Potter Sirius Black Prisoner 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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