Hagrid's Gift

Can you feel it?  It's coming, swelling up slowly, creeping up on you rather than slamming you all at once, but it's coming nonetheless.  'It' is the marketing monster that will be HARRY POTTER THE MOVIE.  

Part of this massive campaign is a series of items based not on the movie images, but on the theoretical images from the books.  The first of the 'action' figures (and I'm using that term in the loosest possible sense) are currently hitting Wal-mart.  There are three Classic Scenes - Hagrid's Gift, The Mirrir of Erised, and the Chamber of Keys.  Each sells for about $20.

Packaging - **1/2
This is an odd box - sure, there's lots of times that the toy isn't really designed to be taken out of the package, or the package is designed to accentuate the toy.  But rarely is the package designed to be part of the action.  Here we have Harry printed on the front of the box, in just the right spot to appear as though Hagrid is giving him Hedwig.  Unfortunately, once you take it out of the package you lose this cool feature.

The other problem with this package is that they used two twist ties on Hagrid's arms, connecting him to the back of the package.  The problem with that is it required putting holes through the very cool background.  This wasn't necessary in any way because a) his arms don't move and b) he's attached to the base with screws.  The two twisties attached to his arms are a complete waste, and end up damaging an otherwise great background.

Articulation - Bupkis
Look!  There are joints at the waist, legs and shoulders!  Surprise! They don't turn!  Now maybe they are suppose to, but I twisted these bad boys almost to the breaking point and they didn't budge.  This is a plastic statue, pure and simple.

Accessories - **1/2
I'm counting Hedwig, and the base as accessories.  The owl is terrific, very well sculpted.  And the base is ultra cool - in the package, the background looks cheap, but once you open it up you'll find that it's actually made of pliable plastic, and is embossed with various parts of the store fronts.  Hey Playmates - this is what you should have used for the Treehouse of Horror playset!

Sculpting - ***1/2
For me, this looks adequately like Hagrid.  The sculpting is extremely good, and the attention to detail great.  This is one big, mofo, but he still conveys the simple kindness you expect.

Paint - ***1/2
No problems with the paint ops, although there isn't really anything too fancy or tiny going on.  They've used pretty basic colors, and the detail isn't too extreme.

Value - *
It's natural to compare this to a Simpsons playset.  They are about the same size, for starters, and the price point is about the same.  But a Simpsons playset comes with accessories, and plays the various voices.  Here, there's little extra value beyond a big Hagrid on a base.  Twenty bucks is definitely overpriced.

Overall - **
This guy looks quite a bit better out of the package than in, but I was tremendously disappointed in his lack of articulation.  At this price I expect a lot more, and I realize that Harry Potter is all the rage, but that doesn't mean you can charge any price and get away with it.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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