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Review of Lord Voldemort - Harry Potter
1/6th scale action figure
Star Ace
03-20-15

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Introduction
A review of the Lord Voldemort sixth scale action figure from Harry Potter by Star Ace:

Most great long running stories have only a handful of protagonists, often only one, and yet a parade of antagonists. They chronicle the adventures of a hero and his (or her) small band of merry men (and women) as they battle various beasties and nefarious sorts.

Occasionally you get a nemesis, a Moriarty to your Holmes. They aren't around for every story, and they aren't the constant center of your pain, but they do pop up on a pretty regular basis to make the hero's life less pleasant.

And then there's the rare situation where a long running story really only has one antagonist, one character that every plot twist, every hazard, every storyline revolves around. The entire hero's journey is about defeating that one character, and we spend hours and hours watching the battle unfold to its ultimate conclusion. Such is He Who Shall Not Be Named - Lord Voldemort.

He was behind every issue that poor Harry and his Scooby Gang faced over eight films and countless hours in the darkened theater. The Harry Potter series is an amazing achievement in film, and much of that is due to the power and intrigue of the villain. When Star Ace announced they were producing a sixth scale line of action figures based on the films, Voldemort was second only to Harry when it came to must haves.

He's shipping very soon, and this is a bit of an early review. You should be able to snag him for around $190, maybe a little less, at most online retailers. As always, I have some excellent suggestions in the Where to Buy section - remember, the sponsors make the site possible, so please patronize them when possible.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Packaging - ***1/2
The box is very attractive, with a slip cover over a standard window box. I've been digging on the more recent use of the shoe box style by other companies, because it allows for the inclusion of the interior art card, but the work here by Star Ace is well done. The graphics emote the right feeling for the character, and the consistency with the other releases is appreciated.

Of course, it's collector friendly too - no company would put out a package for the current sixth scale market that wasn't. The plastic tray inside holds everything safe and sound, but if you plan on using the clear stand, you'll have to tear up its packing bag to get to it.

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Sculpting - ***1/2
There's two portraits included with this figure, which is always a huge plus in my opinion. One is a somewhat neutral look, or at least as neutral as he ever looked, and the other is a 'fierce' expression, perfect for battle poses, or when his team loses during March Madness.

When it comes to this sort of sculpt, where an actual film character is being produced, I've come to recognize three key aspects - Realism, Life-likeness, and Accuracy.

The sculpted detail work on these is excellent, with a perfect skin texture and extremely realistic lips, nose and eyes. In terms of realism, Star Ace is at a level here that rivals the big boys in the industry right now. My only nit is on the screaming sculpt, where the teeth are a bit too soft and rounded.

And then there's life-like, another aspect of any portrait that they've knocked out of the park here. Both expressions provide personality and emotion to the character, avoiding any 'mannequin' effect. The muscles aren't slack, the eyes aren't blank - there's real intent in both sculpts.

Finally, there's accuracy, the one area where they've come up just a tad short. The better portrait is the standard version, where they're 90% there, but missed the mark just slightly around the nose. It's a bit too extreme in the nostrils, although I can cut them some slack since that varied from scene to scene, thanks to the CGI work.

The screaming sculpt is further off, at least to my eye. It has the same issue with the nostrils, but seems a bit too stretched and elongated, with the teeth jutting out in a very horse-like manner.

Still, the quality here can't be denied, and Star Ace is very, very close to producing an ultimate head sculpt.

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Paint - ***1/2
The beauty of these sculpts is enhanced by an overall excellent paint job, with plenty of perfect detailing. I really only have two issues, and neither is a killer.

The eyes, lips and skin are extremely realistic and life-like, and I love the look of the soft, fine veins under the skin. There's consistency between the hands and face as well, and even the fingernails have the perfect grubby application. If I had one complaint over both versions, it would be that the lips are just a tad dark. This is a VERY minor issue though, and one that only us truly picky types are going to notice.

My second issue is only with the angry expression. As in the Sculpting category, the problem is with the teeth.  The paint doesn't help the slightly soft sculpt, with a bit too much slop and gloppiness. Had they nailed that, this would have been a four stars outing.

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Articulation - ***1/2
I'm warming up to the underlying adult body that Star Ace is using, although I have the same issue around the neck that I had with their Steve McQueen. It's tight, it's solid, and the build quality is excellent.

From the neck down, there are all the joints you expect, and they all work fantastic. The range of movement in the shoulders, hips, elbows, knees wrists and ankles is excellent, thanks to well designed joints in every location. I was particularly happy with the waist and ab-crunch, which allowed for some solid fighting stances, and for the ball ankles, which allow the feet to be positioned flat on the ground in most poses. He's not wearing shoes either, which is a big plus for the ankle mobility.

My one issue is with the neck, which doesn't quite have the mobility at the torso that I'd like. It tends to rub against the body, blocking some of the tilt and lean action. It wasn't as problematic here as it was with Mr. McQueen, hence the slightly better score, but it was still a minor issue.

It's worth noting here that the costume also is very posable, thanks to a number of wires within the hems at various points.

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Accessories - ****
If you consider the price tag - a good $40 below current market average - you'll see what a plethora of extras he has.

Obviously, there's the second head sculpt. I can't stress enough how much I like it when there's two portraits, and swapping them is relatively easy. All we need now is someone to do the black suit that he wore, and you can put together two completely unique figures.

That's also possible thanks to the inclusion of a decent assortment of hands. There's three sets in total - two wand gripping, two relaxed poses, and two that have slightly more specific gestures designed to work with the accessories. These swap easily, but I do think it would be a good idea for Star Ace to include a couple extra wrist posts just in case, or better yet, give us a wrist with every hand. Scale is also very, very good, something that we've seen other companies struggle with.

Voldemort also has two properly scaled wands - his own, as well as Dumbledore's. Spoiler alert for the 3 people in East Armpit that haven't seen the films: that wand is really important. Both have excellent sculpts and paint, but I do have a worry about Voldemort's. Mine came with a slight bend, and it feels much too easy to break if you're not careful. I don't want him to end up like poor Ron!

There are two very deadly and beautiful translucent plastic pieces as well. One is a ball of flame that wraps around his wrist and rests suspended over his open palm. This is a unique design, and I really like the way it turned out.

The other is a bolt of energy that can attach to the end of a wand. It's quite heavy, however, and the wands are very thin. The instructions even warn you to support the bolt to avoid warping. And that's where the last accessory comes in...

That would be the clear stand, similar to what we received with Harry and Ron. There aren't quite as many parts this time, and what's here doesn't really work the way I'd like. It will work great as a standard stand, and there are three different height posts to go with the waist clamp. With Voldemort's flowing robes, you could pretty much completely hide it from view.

However, it's also intended to hold aloft the long, heavy, wand lightening, as pointed out in the instruction sheet. While it can do this, it's not the best approach. They should have included a specific attachment for the top of the posts for this purpose, instead of leaving you to the standard pieces.

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Outfit - ****
The outfit is very simple - but very, very well done. A costume doesn't have to be complex to be perfect.

The outfit consists of the outer robe, the long 'shirt' that reaches the ground, and the underlying pajama pants. The quality of the material is fantastic, and the stitching and tailoring are just about perfect. The color of the cloth matches nicely, and the dark green matches the screen look pretty well.

As I mentioned earlier, there are wires in various spots - the bottom of the inner robe, the bottom of the outer robe, the sleeves of the outer robe, etc. These thin wires are strong enough to allow for some reasonable posing, and this can be especially useful with the sleeves.

There's another item that you might consider an accessory, but I've lumped in here with the Outfit. There's a three piece 'extension' for the robes made up of three tendrils, all attached at one end. There's also a magnet embedded in the cloth at that point, and this can attach to his upper back. These 'tentacles' have wires running along both long edges.

The idea is pretty simple: attach the magnet on the back with the tendrils running out through the sleeves or other areas on the costume. We saw Voldemort do this with his outfit in the film, giving him a Spawn vibe.

It's a great idea, with one exception - the magnet isn't particularly useful. While it does hold, moving the long tendrils around even slightly pops it off his back. I found it worked best if I got the extensions in the general pose I wanted, and then bent the end to allow the magnet to fit and stay in place as best as possible.

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Fun Factor - ****
With the variety of accessories and the solid articulation, this guy is a ton of fun to pose and arrange. Because working with him is fairly simple and painless, he'll be one you'll re-arrange regularly without fear of damage or frustration.

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Value - ***
With Hot Toys, Enterbay, Sideshow and Medicom well past $220 and closing in on $250 for even a standard figure, the sub-$200 market is wide open. Companies like Star Ace, ThreeZero and Asmus are jumping in to fill the demand, and fill it with quality options.

At $190, this figure is a perfect example. With two head sculpts, a terrific costume, plenty of key accessories, and a highly poseable base body, they've provided exactly what fans want, and at a price they might be a bit more able to afford.

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Things to Watch Out For -
I mentioned the wands, particularly his own. They do feel a bit weak, and you'll want to take a lot of care to avoid breakage.

Other than that, you should be good to go. The rest of the accessories and costume are quite sturdy, and I had no fear of damage or breakage when I was working with him.

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Overall - ***1/2
While I have my nits here and there, this figure proves that Star Ace is here to stay and to make some major waves in the licensed sixth scale market. With the last four releases, they've gone from unknown to a company that I would feel good about on any license, without reservation.

They *almost* nailed this one. It's close, but the sculpt is just a smidge off. Still, I'm extremely pleased to have him, and really can't wait for Sirius to show up. I'm expecting a home run very soon, and from early photos, it looks like it just might be him.

While this Voldemort doesn't really go with the already released Harry, having him pretty much cements their plans to produce an older version. I'm hoping we see at least all three main kids in their older style, and I certainly hope we see some of the other key adults - Mad Eye Moody, Snape, McGonagall, etc. - from the later films as well. This license has a ton of potential, and I'm hoping that Star Ace gets the support they deserve from fans and collectors alike.

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

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has him on pre-order for $180.

- is also at $180.

- Sideshow has begun carrying the Star Ace products, and have this guy at $190 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace

Related Links -
Star Ace has already released both Ron and Harry from the Sorcerer's Stone. Sirius Black will be shipping soon, and Hermione is also due this year.

Perhaps my favorite HP collectibles have been the Gentle Giant busts, like Filch,  Cedric DiggoryKreacher and the second Sirius Black,  Ginny Weasley and Ron in his Quidditch gear, two Lupin's, the Weasleys, light up Harry, Cho Chang, Luna Lovegood, Draco Malfoy, Merperson mini-bust, Voldemort, Hagrid and Mad Eye Moody, Ron and Hermione, Snape and Dumbledore, Dobby and Dementor, and a guest review of Harry and Sirius.

I've also checked out the Noble Collection wands, the action figures from NECA including Fenrir Greyback, Half Blood Prince Harry, Ginny, Draco and Mad Eye Moody, the OOTP series 3, the first series of figures, along with the first series of OOTP, and the series 2 Snape released early at Borders.  Also from NECA in this scale is the very cool Hagrid.

In a smaller scale, there are the 3 3/4" figures that are the UK exclusive from Cards Inc, or if the US collectors want an alternative in this scale, check the small versions of the NECA OOTP figures, exclusive to Borders in a three pack.

Gentle Giant also did a statue of the Hungarian Horntail, and the Riddle Grave.

And I looked at another of the Noble wands, this time with the Olivander box.

Just in case you forgot how bad some of Mattel's figures were, here's Extreme Quidditch Harry and Dueling Club Harry. And if you're looking for a slightly different Hagrid, don't forget the Mattel version

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Harry Potter Lord Voldemort 1/6 action figure by Star Ace


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

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