Harry Potter Magical Minis Dumbledore

(Picture below for scale)

The new series II toys for Harry Potter are starting to trickle out.  We've seen a few playsets, some of the next series of figures, and now the new 'Magical Minis' collection.

These small figures - about 3 3/4" or so for the kids, taller for the adults - have just started to show up at Target stores.  There's Harry, Hermione, Ron and Malfoy of course, but also Dumbledore (reviewed here) and Hagrid.  

I've only seen them once so far, and there was only one Dumbledore on the pegs, and no Hagrid's.  I wouldn't be surprised if these are shipping in lower numbers than the four kids.  The price at Target is $4.99.

Packaging - *
That's a pretty low packaging score from me - why?  Well, it's not because it's unattractive.  They've done a nice job with the graphics, and the curved bubble front on this package looks good and will withstand a lot of shelf abuse.

And it's not because it's not collector friendly, although that does account for some of the low score.  I always try to open things carefully at first to test out the collector friendly theory on the package, and this one failed pretty quick.  But considering it's intended for kids, that's not too big of a deal.

Nope, the problem here is the awful hair 'controlling device'.  If you opened your 12" Arwen, you've seen something like this before.

There are two pieces of plastic, with two plastic threads interwoven between small groups of strands of the hair.  This arrangement is supposed to keep the hair neat, but it is very difficult to get it apart, and it will require a parent's assistance, and a sharp knife.  Be very careful that you don't pull to hard on the hair or get it too wild trying to pull this monstrosity off.

The hair could have been contained the same way the beard is - there is a rubber band around the waist that holds the long beard in place.  After removing the figure, I used this same rubber band to hold the hair in back.

Sculpting - ***1/2
These are not based on the film, but rather the books.  The sculpts are very nice, including both the head, body and accessories.

One nice touch here that might not be obvious from most pictures, is that they have sculpted a short beard and moustache under the rooted beard.  You can see it in the picture to the left.  It gives a 'base' to the rooted beard, and really improves the look without being obvious.

Paint - **1/2
The paint ops on this figure could have been a little better.  The face and eyes aren't bad, but the coloration of the glasses makes them blend into the face so much that at first you might not realize he has eyes!  Also, the seam of the body runs through his belt and pouch, causing the colors on these areas to not match up as nicely as they should.

Articulation - **
Dumbledore has three points, so his score is lower than the kids, who also had leg articulation.  He has shoulders and neck.

I suspect Hagrid is similar to Dumbledore.

Accessories - ***
Dumbledore has two accessories - a wand, and Fawkes, his Phoenix from the second book.  Both are nicely done, although small of course.  Fawkes has no articulation, and not a whole lot of detail.

Play Value - *
These figures all come with a play 'gimmick'. If you wave the wands, the little figures that come as accessories - Fawkes with Dumbledore or Ron with Scabbers - magically move.

Of course, there's a small magnet in the bottom of the accessory, with a piece of metal in the wand.  I thought there were magnets in both at first, but I think the wand simply has a small steel rod.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work worth a damn.  I couldn't get Fawkes to move a millimeter, no matter how I waved that little wand.

Value - ***
Five bucks a pop isn't too bad for these, or maybe all the ridiculously priced $8 and $9 figures on the shelves these days just have me confused.  It would be a far better deal if the wand worked, at least a little - perhaps I just got a bum wand.

Overall - **1/2
These are very cute little figures, and I do plan on picking up the whole series.  But they could have been sooo much better, with just the slightest extra work.  Still, I can't complain too much, and it's nice to see a five buck price point on an action figure again.

Where to Buy
Target is the only store I've seen these at, but I'm betting we'll get flooded with them over the next couple months.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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