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Review of Sirius Black - Harry Potter sixth scale action figure

Star Ace
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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Introduction

For fans of the terrific franchise Harry Potter, collectibles that match the quality of the source material have been rare.  Perhaps the best have been the replica wands produced by Noble Collections, but I've always liked the Gentle Giant mini-busts, although they are very hit or miss. But the long dry spell is over - Star Ace is providing fans with an exceptional series of sixth scale action figures.

They've already done Harry and Ron from the first film, as well as Voldemort.  Tonight, I'm checking out the latest release: Sirius Black.  Coming up soon is Mad Eye Moody, as well as a young Hermione, and others (like Snape, Dumbledore and older versions of the kids) can't be far behind.

Expect to pay around $170 for this guy, depending on the retailer.

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

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Packaging - ***
The boxes are pretty straight forward, but do have some very attractive graphics.  There's a simple plastic tray inside to hold the figure and it's accessories, and it's all very, very collector friendly, with no twisties, tape or other encumbrances. I lacks any instructions - one of my pet peeves - but since there's not much you have to do, it's not a huge deal.

Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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Sculpting - ***1/2
I'm a huge fan of Gary Oldman, and one of the true strengths of the franchise was their use of actual actors - people like Oldman (and Maggie Smith, and Robbie Colran, and Richard Harris, etc.) who are chameleons, creating unique and memorable characters.

Oldman has a unique face, making it a little easier on Star Ace. The accuracy is extremely good, and in hand, you recognize both the character and the actor immediately. One of my tests is whether you would recognize the portrait if it wasn't on the body - that's a big yes here. The face seems just a smidge drawn out and thin, particularly in the cheeks, but it's not far off based on any one of the many stills you can find out there.

It's also a winner when it comes to realism, rivaling the best in the market in this area.  The hair is extremely detailed, with very fine stranding, and the skin texture is spooky real, particularly around the eyes. The eyes themselves are penetrating, and I like the deep stare. I think the lower face is a little slack though, and with the muscle/skin tightened just a bit, they'd avoid any comparison to a mannequin. A little more determination in the jaw and mouth would also lend itself to fighting stances a bit more.

Another minor nit is the beard, which isn't quite as detailed as the hair or eyebrows. I'm betting this is more of a paint issue than a sculpt issue, and will hit him up for it there. It's also not quite the same style that I remember (where there was less at the chin and more in the mustache) but the amount and style of his facial hair did vary a bit over the course of time.

My only real complaint is not with the portrait, but with the hands. As tends to be the case with every company in the market, they're just slightly over sized.

Still, this is very solid work overall, and should please fans of the character, actor and license quite a bit.

Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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Paint - ***1/2
I believe I've mentioned it with the past releases, but while Star Ace is stepping up to the plate across the board, they aren't hitting quite as well in this category. It's still excellent work, particularly for the price point, but they have a way to go to rival the best in the market in paint application.

The work on the hair is quite nice, with some subtle gradations and highlights. The skin tone is good, and has that slightly translucent effect that gives it depth and realism.  The eyes continue the quality run, sharp and straight and intense.

But I think that the beard lacks the definition and variation that it needs.  I'd love to see this guy with a repaint by one of the top customizers - I think he'd really shine. Add a little more detail and shading to the beard, and the realistic effect would be complete.

If you do strip off the jacket, vest and shirt, you'll find that they have given him his tattoos as well, and they look great. This is designed to work with the black fur coat, and swapping to that costume is fairly simple.

Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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Articulation - ***1/2
The underlying body was already quite tight - I had no issues with floppy joints on either the Voldemort or Star Ace's Steve McQueen, but they aren't taking any chances. Not only is the entire body tight and solid, the hips incorporate ratchet joints, which click into place and hold deeper stances. The size of the 'teeth' on the gear must also be fairly small and tight, because the legs can be adjusted in tiny increments.

The shoulders are super articulated, with multiple joints that allow the arms to fully cross the body and hang quite tight at the sides. The torso joint works well, and the shirt, vest and jacket isn't as restrictive as you might assume.

The ball ankles are great in general, but not very useful here. The sculpted boots restrict them quite a bit, making them far less useful than with a barefoot figure like Voldemort.

I'm still annoyed by the neck, however. With the single joint at the torso, here's far less mobility here than with the better bodies on the market. This is the one area where this body needs some redesign.

Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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Accessories - ***
Sirius isn't quite as heavily loaded as the kids, but he has some critical items.

Most obvious in that category is his wand, which looks quite accurate based on the Noble version.  It fits nicely in the provided right gripping hand.

There's not a ton of hands, which was a little surprising. He has the relaxed set he comes wearing, along with a gripping right and a posed left. The swap is a bit difficult, since the holes in the wrists are tiny, but with a little diligence and care you should be fine. There's no extra wrist posts, so take that extra time with them.

As with Voldemort, they've given you a blue flame for the end of the wand. Unlike Voldemort, the fit is quite good, and the sturdier wand doesn't feel like a wilting threat. He can easily use the blue fire with some very cool poses.

Finally, he comes with the same clear display stand and support rods that we saw with the previous three figures. This is clearly the Star Ace default.  You can use it to get some jumping poses though, and the various rod/clamp options are nice.

But that's it - and that's pretty light. I appreciate the lower price point that this reflects however, and am fine with fewer accessories (as long as key items are included) if we can keep the figure cost to well below $200.

Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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Outfit - ***
Sirius had a number of different costumes over his couple movies, but they've gone with perhaps the most common and well known here.  Check out this photo for a good look at the screen appearance.

The main costume consists of his shirt, vest, jacket, belt, pants and boots. To change things up a bit, they've also included the black fur coat.

As expected, the material quality and stitching is excellent. The tailoring is generally quite good, but I did think that the sleeves on both the jacket and the coat were just a tad long. The fit is good though, and the multiple layers don't look bulky or out of scale.

I love the boot sculpt, but because they ride up just past the ankle and are made from very hard material, they restrict the ankle mobility.

The belt and buckle are the perfect example of how you can cut costs and still make something look great. The buckle isn't really a buckle, since it doesn't actually clasp the belt. Instead, the belt just wraps around through the loops, and they hold it in place, while the buckle is merely attached to the belt at a spot that lines up with the center of his body. It looks great, works easily, and certainly saved them some money.

The shirt has the appropriate striping, but the stripes are slighlty too large.  The collar is a little too large as well, making the shirt the only piece of clothing to disappoint. I was able to get it to lay a little better when I stripped off all of the upper body clothing to switch to the fur coat, but it still wasn't ideal.

The vest includes the proper pattern, and there's a double watch fob chain that runs to either pocket. It is held in place with a simple hook, quite easy to remove but remains in place with normal handling.  The vest and shirt have fake buttons, but are closed with very thin Velcro.

The outer jacket looks great, and I think the collar and stripes here look much more appropriate.  As I said, the sleeves seem a smidge long, but the overall look is terrific.

That leaves the alternate look, the black fur coat. They've used a fuzzy material that approximates the fur quite well, and it's high quality stuff. You'll need to remove the shirt, vest and jacket to use it, so it's not a quick swap, but you can show off the tats that way.

Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
With high end, expensive action figures like this, the 'fun' is all in the posing and re-posing. The more looks, stances and poses you can get out of them, the more fun they are for collectors. You'll have a great time working with this guy, looking for that perfect display stance.

Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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Value - ***1/2
As we see high end sixth scale figures regularly sell for $220 - $250, sometimes without much in the way of accessories, it's refreshing to get something $50 - $80 cheaper but of a similar quality. This is particularly attractive when working with lines like this - while Potter is still very popular, the demand for figures is naturally going to be far less than a license like Marvel or Star Wars. While we don't know exact numbers, I can say with complete certainty that they are producing far, far fewer Sirius Black figures than Han Solos, and yet keeping the price well south.

Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***1/2
With the release of Sirius, Star Ace continues to hit it out of the park with the Harry Potter license. While there's not a ton of extras, they did include the most important, and by adding in the black coat, they've given you two very different looks.

The cost can't be ignored either, and unlike most of the time I mention cost, this is actually a good thing. Being able to produce high end figures from what is no doubt an expensive license is becoming a rare thing indeed, and if they can keep it up, I suspect fans will buy.  Moody is at a higher price point - $200 - but with the moving eyeball and complex leg, I can understand the reasoning.

Two areas that I'd like to see improved are the paint and the neck joint. If they can get these two issues - and they are both minor - corrected, then four star figures are sure to follow.

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

Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has him for $170.

- Sideshow has him for $180.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered all of the Star Ace Harry Potter line so far - 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.

Discussion:
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Harry Potter Sirius Black action figure by Star Ace

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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