Packaging - **1/2
It's some pretty plain stuff, but the clamshells are nice and sturdy.
As long as you're able to handle a knife without stabbing yourself, you
should have no trouble getting into the package. The graphics are
fairly dull however, and the great expanse of plain behind the figures
doesn't do much to call them out.
Sculpt - Moody ***;
Ginny **1/2; Draco, Harry **
While all four of these figures were a bit more articulated than I'd
expected, they are still bordering on Nerd Hummel status. That means
that the main pose that was in the mind of the sculptor as he or she
worked had better be a good one, because it's pretty much the only (or
at least best) one you'll get.
the four, I like Mad Eye the best. I think he has an even better sculpt
under the paint that I'm giving him credit for, but when the paint is
weak (more on that in the next section) it can be difficult to discern
the true quality.
The detail work on his hair and
quite good, and the costume looks quite realistic for the scale. The
softer rubber coat can be slightly repositioned in some poses, and his
size and girth fits in well with the overall scale of the line.
not sure what's exactly up with Harry, but I will say this - they got
the glasses right. It's so difficult for companies to get glasses in
scale (even with larger figures like the recent Sideshow Toht), but
NECA seems to have just about nailed it here.
Alas, that's all
they've really nailed from the neck up. I assume his expression is
supposed to imply resolve or determination, but instead it looks like
he just caught a whiff of Hagrid after a beans and cabbage lunch. The
nose is way off, and the face is a bit too aged, even for Half Blood
Prince. The hair is nicely detailed, but without the glasses on, I'm
not sure I'd even recognize who this is supposed to be. Think 30
something Harry Potter cosplayer, and you're on the right track. Better
yet, think love child of Harry Potter cosplayer and Robin Williams, and
you'll be dead on.
From the neck down, he's not
bad, and the
action pose works well enough. My big issue here is the sculpted right
hand, which is supposed to hold the wand. Harry's wand has the more
ornate and thicker handle, and there was no way to get it into his hand
without hot water...or damaging his thumb.
There's also some
re-use here from the previous wave. The legs are identical to the pair
used on the Order of the Phoenix Harry, and what's worse...so is the
right hand. The OOTP Harry came with the Prophecy Orb, which fit in
this sculpted left hand. Here there's nothing to go in the hand, and
the empty, slightly deformed, clutching pose just isn't working here.
is another sculpt largely hurt by the gloppy paint. There might be a
very pretty, very accurate head sculpt under there (and I bet a two up
version of that sculpt, with proper paint, would look much better), but
it's lost here. She has a slightly odd, unattractive hair line, with
eyes that are a little too wide set.
Draco suffers from the same
aged appearance as Harry, looking more like a 30 year old version of
himself. He also has an egg shape to his noggin' that I don't recall
from any photos of the actor. Again, if you popped the head off the
body, I doubt you'd recognize who this was supposed to be.
with those issues, Draco's biggest problem is with his legs. They are
very long and stilt-like, particularly in person. It's not as obvious
in photos, but you can get some idea of what I'm talking about in the
group shot. He almost looks like a circus performer who's afraid of
heights, so his stilts are only about 6" tall. In person, this
gangliness is all the more obvious due to the sculpted pose of the legs.
personal pet peeve of mind is figures that can't stand on their own.
Oh, I understand if the sculptor is going for some extremely dynamic
pose, and the only possible way to keep the figure up is with some sort
of support. But if the figure is just standing there, then it better be
able to stand there, sans stand.
That's the case for Harry and
Malfoy, both of whom stand fine on
their own, but not the case for Ginny and Moody. Mad Eye can stand if
you get the center of gravity just right, but oddly enough, this is
easier without the cane in the intended pose. In Ginny's case, I
couldn't find any way to keep her standing without either heating up
her legs to reposition them, or using the stand.
Paint - Moody, Draco
**1/2; Ginny, Harry **
has often been the case the last couple years, the real downfall here
is the paint ops. NECA has had some troubles with various
factories, but things were looking up recently. Unfortunately, they've
taken another turn in the wrong direction.
Over the entire set of
figures, there's one consistent problem - gloppy, thick skin tones. On
both the hands and faces, the pale skin (and they are all very pale - I
had to back off the exposure on the camera to keep them from blowing
out), is thick and heavy, hurting any potential the sculpt underneath
might have had.
This is the worst on Draco, and
problematic on Moody, but it's present on all of them. Some other
issues are specific to each figure - Harry has a sweaty, glossy paint
job on his face as well as funky lips, Moody has an oversized iris and
pupil on his one good eye and awfully yellow hair, and Ginny has some
weird eyebrows - and these all bring their scores down even further.
can't overemphasize how important paint is to every figure, every
collectible, every toy. Kids and adults alike have little patience for
sloppy, bad paint. Great paint can elevate even a weak sculpt, and bad
paint could run even Michaelangelo's David. That's probably why he
didn't paint him.
Articulation - Moody ***; Harry,
Draco, Ginny **1/2
This was the surprise category for me, since these are little more
articulated than past releases.
four have a ball jointed waist that allows forward, backward, and side
to side tilting, along with the obvious ability to turn. This joint
works better on some than others, and with Moody, was critical to
aligning his center of gravity.
Moody also has a ball jointed
neck, down inside the torso, NECA pin shoulders, cut elbows, and
pin/post wrists. The wrists allow for quite a bit of movement as well,
making the tricky 'resting on my staff' pose possible.
Below the waist, he has cut
joints at the ankles, but the pants make these pretty much useless.
has the same basic articulation, but it was less useful. I was
surprised that I could actually get several decent poses out of Moody,
since he was clearly intended for one very distinct and unique stance,
but I wasn't able to get as much out of the other three. Draco's right
shoulder doesn't come down as close to his body either, making a
relaxed pose impossible.
The shoulders on Harry and Ginny
have that problem, and they have pretty much the same articulation.
Ginny gets a cut joint at the top of each leg (although this did
nothing to help keep her standing), but no ankle joints. If Harry has
ankle joints, they are useless due to the tight coverage of the long
Accessories - **
Each of the figures comes with one accessory and a very basic, plain
has his walking stick, with carved head. The carving is a little soft
though, and the very dark brown paint obscures most of the detail that
is there. It's about the right scale and height though, and is critical
for the intended pose.
Harry, Ginny and Draco each come
with their wand. These wands are all different, and are based right off
the movie versions.
And that's it. Considering the
price point, that's much too light.
Fun Factor - **
With limited articulation, these aren't really intended for a whole lot
of 'fun'. If you're looking for something for a kid that loves Potter,
you're better off tracking down the old Mattel figures, or hunting up
the Popco versions.
Value - **
Most figures run $14 - $15 these days, so it's not the price itself
that pulls this score down slightly. Most figures that run that much
include more, and tend to be better looking, so this is more of an
indication of what you're getting for the price.
Things To Watch Out For
If you're picking them off the shelf, you might do better on the paint
getting the wand in Harry's hand is problematic, so you may want to
heat it up first (the hand) in some hot water before attempting it.
Just remember that the thumb is easy to damage no matter how you do it.
Overall - Moody **1/2;
Draco, Harry, Ginny **
There's been a torrid on again/off again relationship between NECA and
the gods of paint for the last couple years, and it looks like they
were definitely on the outs this time around. I think that these
figures had some potential, even with the specific sculpting issues of
Harry and Draco, but the paint is just not letting any of the good show
is clearly the figure of choice in this series, and he's worth picking
up to compliment the earlier releases. But Harry is a very easy skip,
and only the completists and hard core fans are likely to pick up Ginny
and Draco this time around.
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - Moody ***; Ginny **1/2; Draco, Harry **
Paint - Moody, Draco **1/2;
Ginny, Harry **
Articulation - Moody ***; Harry, Draco, Ginny **1/2
Accessories - **
Fun Factor - **
Value - **
Overall - Moody **1/2; Draco, Harry, Ginny **
Where to Buy -
Toys R Us will have these in stores. Online options include:
has the four for $53, or a two pack for $27.
Earth has the set of four for $57.
- so now you have to hit
Other Potter collectible reviews:
- other figures from NECA include 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
- the busts from Gentle Giant have been hit and miss, but there's
plenty of them, including Ron
and Ginny, the Lupin's,
Weasleys, the 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
- 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 right now.
- there was the guest review of the Tonner
- Gentle Giant also did a statue
of the Hungarian Horntail,
and the Riddle Grave.
- the Noble Collection has done some nifty wands.
- just case you forgot how bad
some of Mattel's figures were, here's Extreme
Quidditch Harry and Dueling
- and if you're looking for a
slightly different Hagrid, don't forget the Mattel version!
Want to chat about this review? Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be
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