Packaging - **
Fairly basic, and certainly nothing particularly eye catching. Card/bubble
packages for this large of figures also tend to take a real beating on the pegs.
Sculpting - **
Of the four figures released, I picked this one out for one reason - I had expected to hate this figure from top to
bottom. It turned out I was wrong, at least to some degree.
But I wasn't wrong about the sculpt. It's terrible! This is one
of the goofiest looking versions of Harry we've ever been treated to, and I
don't know who thought this God awful grinning madman looked anything like our
hero. And what the hell is the deal with the goggles? I'm I
forgetting some rule change in Quidditch in the third book requiring eye
The body sculpt is a little better than the head, but it's definitely from
the school of this is just a toy for kids sculpting. They clearly
assumed that meant there was little need for detail.
Another aspect of the sculpt is scale. Why they switched I have no
idea, and while I actually like the larger size, I also realize that they
managed to alienate their previous collectors in one swift move. I have
every figure from the earlier waves, and my completist gene had me hooked - but
they've killed the evil monkey on my back by switching scales. Kids might have
more fun with this scale, but even they will be disappointed that the new
figures can't play with the old.
This scale also seems like it will be a problem with any adult figures.
Already, Harry doesn't seem that much smaller than Lupin, although that's tough
to tell with his funky 'transformation' feature throwing things off.
Paint - **1/2
Generic toy work. Again, this is the cheapest and most basic level of
paint ops. There's only a handful of colors, and everyone is done in a
broad, simplistic style. Even then, there's poor definition between areas
like the stripes and the shirt.
And while Harry has never been close to George Hamilton's skin tone, he's not
exactly Casper either. They've made him very pale, with an odd yellowish
color for his lips and scar.
Keep in mind that painting this figure in the theme of 'cheap' isn't
necessarily a bad thing - til we get to the value score.
Articulation - ***1/2
Here's a category that's surprisingly good. Mattel was smart enough - or
at least the product manager was - to know that even if you're going for the
kids, they still want articulation if it's done well.
Harry has neck, ball jointed shoulders and hips, cut biceps and thighs,
elbows, wrists, knees and waist joints. That's plenty for this figure, and
gives him all kinds of posing possibilities. It also adds to his fun
factor, and makes the use of the nifty display stand and magnetic features, both
discussed later in the review, much better.
All the joints are tight, and all have a decent range of motion. Mattel
gets points for giving the figure just the right amount of articulation, making
it all fairly unobvious, and making it all useful.
Accessories - ***
Harry comes with a nice assortment of accessories, and all make perfect sense.
There's his Quidditch broom, the Snitch, and a bright blue display stand.
The broom and snitch both work with magnets in Harry's hands and feet.
This way he can hold them at a variety of odd angles, or in gravity defying
poses. The display stand snaps around his waist, and twists at the top,
and moves forward and backward at the base. The combination of this
adjustable base with Harry's articulation makes for plenty of cool poses.
Action Feature - ***1/2
The 'action feature' here are the aforementioned magnets. The magnets work
well, although I had to find the sweet spot on the broom to get it to hold
tightly to his feet or hands. It still wasn't quite as solid of a hold as
I'd like, but it wasn't bad.
Fun Factor - ***1/2
This really is a great toy, with lots of potential for play. The big
problem is the scale, which pulls the fun factor down from four stars.
Kids aren't going to have as much fun with this since they only have Harry, and
no Hermionne or Ron yet. I'm sure we'll see both of them in later
assortments, but right now the fact that he's pretty much on his own hurts the
play value slightly.
Value - *1/2
Ten bucks! Ouch. I had first found these at Media Play for ten
bucks, and thought that meant they'd be closer to eight at most retailers.
Media Play, being a smaller toy retailer, tends to have higher prices.
But now that I've seen these at Target at the same price, and at Toys R Us
for even more, I realize what an awful value they really are. Yes, they
make great toys, but action figures that have cheap qualities like sculpting and
paint, based on the excuse "they're just for kids", certainly
shouldn't be pulling this kind of price point.
Overall - **1/2
I'm not sure what 'extreme' quidditch is. Seems to me that it's a
pretty extreme sport already, and unless they start playing over a lake of piranha,
I'd say it's about as dangerous as you can get.
Back to the figure - he's far better than I had expected. Sure, he's
still no four star beauty, but kids can have a ton of fun with him.
Switching scales is fairly annoying across the board, but they helped soften
that blow with great articulation and play value. I love the magnet
feature, and the included display base makes lots of sense.
Unfortunately, at this extreme (pun intended) price point, with knock off quality paint and
sculpting, he still can't rise above (pun also intended) the average.