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Review of Harry Potter sixth scale action figure

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

Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Introduction

My kids and I just recently finished up re-watching the entire run of Harry Potter films, and I was again amazed by the massive undertaking and overall success of the film makers and actors. Everyone has their favorite and least favorite out of the eight movies, but the you can't argue with the overall outcome.

Of course, there's been plenty of merchandise over the years, and there will be plenty more in the years to come as each new generation finds Harry for themselves.

Star Ace, a new company to the sixth scale world, is doing a line of Harry Potter figures, high end of course.  This isn't the first time we've seen a company take a run at this license - Medicom did an older Harry and Snape a few years ago.  But Star Ace is starting at the beginning, releasing Harry from the Sorcerer's Stone first, with Ron already up for pre-order and Hermione, Sirius Black, and Voldemort already announced.

This is an early review, and the figure won't officially be released for a couple more months, depending on where you are in the world. He's going for around $185 at most retailers in the U.S., and is scheduled for January here.

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

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Packaging - ***
There's nothing particularly exciting about this package, but they didn't do anything wrong, either.

The graphics are well done, with a nice shot of Hogwarts and Harry, the actual character, not the figure. This is a slip cover over a traditional window box. Inside, everything is collector friendly, with no packaging damage required to free him or any accessories.

They've included some instructions, which are reasonably good, although I had a little trouble figuring out how to use the stand with the Snitch. More on that in the Accessories section.

Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Sculpting - ***1/2
It's easy to forget just how young Harry was in that first film, but he was a mere boy of 11. The box has a photo on the front to remind you, and you can find plenty like this with a quick google search to refresh your memory.

This is a 1/6th line, but as a kid Harry is much shorter than the usual 12" of course. He comes in at about 9 3/4 inches tall, just about right for his age.

This smaller size and younger age complicates every aspect of this figure. It starts with a portrait of a child rather than an adult, which means that the age lines, wrinkles, scars, and 'personality' that we tend to acquire with age don't exist with young Harry. There's less texturing to the skin, and it's much harder to create a realistic life-like sculpt without those features to work from.

They've made up for it by applying detail where they can. The stranding of the hair is extremely fine, and looks amazing. The lips have a light texture, and the eyebrows are sculpted with care.

They also have the overall facial proportions down, with perhaps one exception. The cheeks seem just a little chubby to me, more like Ron than Harry in the first film, but that's due in part to the choice of a smiling expression.

Speaking of that expression, it's an interesting choice.  It really doesn't work with battle poses, but it does reflect him a bit better in the first year, when things were new and exciting, and he was leaving behind his horrid life beneath the stairs.

They went with metal frames for the glasses but these are a permanent part of the head sculpt. Smart move on their part, since you wouldn't pose him without them, and they would just fall off, get lost, or get damaged much too easily if they were separate.

There are no lenses in the glasses, but that's another smart move. At this scale they would have been thick, and difficult to make perfectly clear. I think this choice, while not entirely accurate, is a good compromise between reality and attractiveness of the final product.

He comes with five different hands, designed to work with the accessories. Scale is decent, and the sculpted poses work well with most stances.

Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Paint - ****
Here's a rarity - I don't have a single nit to pick with this paint job. He's not going to have the extreme look of a Hot Toys adult, because of that same pesky problem we see with the sculpt. He's not grizzled, there's no facial hair, there's no imperfections. He's a fresh faced punk kid, and a very even skin tone is the right way to go.

The detail paint work is really in the eyes, hair, eyebrows and lips. Everything is very, very clean, with straight, aligned eyes and a crisp hairline. The eyes have a nice gloss coat, allowing them to create their own natural catch lights. 

The glasses are well done too, with the silver details cleanly applied.

We still don't know if Star Ace can hit the level of paint quality of a Hot Toys or an Enterbay, since Harry is naturally not going to require the details of skin tone and blemish.  But this is still an extremely good first outing for a company new to the market.

Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Articulation - ****
While Harry comes with a stand - a very adjustable one at that - he doesn't require it to stay upright. He manages just about any pose just fine on his own, thanks to the tight joints and great shoes.

The underlying body is extremely well designed, with ball joints in all the right places (including the neck) and no loose joints of any kind.

Because this body is well designed and well manufactured, I suspect we'll see some demand for customs - Hobbits, anyone? If Asmus and ACI were smart, they might be making a call to Star Ace for some inventory...

There are several extra hands (no extra pegs), and these swap easily and cleanly. They also stay on when swapped, making it easier to work with the accessories.

Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Accessories - ****
They've included a nice set of extras here, covering all the key areas.

He has 5 hands in total: the relaxed, gesturing pair he comes wearing, as well as three designed for gripping. They work well, particularly with the handle of the Nimbus 2000 and his wand.

Yep, he has a wand of course. It's an accurate duplicate of the on screen version, and scale is quite good.

And yes, he has the Nimbus 2000 as well. Again, scale is excellent, and he can easily ride the nicely sculpted broom.

This is where his display stand comes in handy. It consists of a clear base, three clear rods of different heights, three adjustable connectors, three post connectors, a couple plugs for unused holes in the base, a cradle for the handle of the broom, and two different C style clamps, one adjustable, one not. These pieces *might* come already attached to each other in your bag - I know they did in mine. They do disassemble and reassemble however, and by mixing and matching these various pieces, you can create just about any sort of cradle for flying and standing poses.

There's also a small copper wire, designed to hold the Snitch in the air. The Golden Snitch itself is well made, with sturdy but pliable wings that reduce the odds of breakage. The instructions weren't particularly clear on the use of the wire with the Snitch, but you are supposed to place the end of the wire in one of the three large holes on the base, and then place one of the plugs or connectors inside as well, holding it there.

I ended up using some poster tack to hold the wire out further from the base, and I'm sure you can come up with some pretty creative ways as well. The Snitch is very light weight, so keeping it suspended isn't too difficult.

Harry has three other accessories, all quite central to the movie. Perhaps most important is the Philosopher's Stone itself. This tiny reddish translucent rock fits nicely in the palm of Harry's hand...or his pocket. 

They've also included his friend and ally, Hedwig. The scale and detailing on the owl is very, very good, with a lifelike appearance to the feathers and eyes. This is supported by an excellent paint job, including the highlighted feathers on the wings. While there isn't any place specific to put him, his feet are wide and flat, allowing him to stand just about anywhere.

Finally, there's the sorting hat. They've once again got the scale just right, and they've included the cloth lining and ties. They also went with an appropriate scowling expression on the 'face' of the hat, perfect for the dilemma of putting Harry in just the right house.

Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Outfit - ****
Considering the size of this figure - remember, while this is sixth scale, as a child that makes Harry less than 10 inches tall - the tailoring and thickness of the multiple layers of clothing is extremely well done.

Here's a good shot of the three kids wearing this particular outfit, where you can easily see the details of the robe, sweater and tie.

There are three layers, starting with the white shirt.  The collar is properly scaled, no small feat since a lot of companies can't manage that with a full 12" adult figure, let alone a much smaller child.  The same is true for the striped tie, knotted perfectly at the neck.

Over this is the knit sweater, with stripes in a V pattern.  Overall, the colors are excellent on all of these pieces, but you will notice that the stripes on the sweater are too large. This is no doubt an issue with translating it down into this scale, and being able to machine knit stripes small enough.

I was surprised by the stripe around the waist at first - I certainly didn't remember it. I looked at a lot of photos and couldn't find it, but the bottom tended to be folded over. Finally I found this one, and sure enough, there's a stripe around the waist.

The tie does pooch out the sweater a little, especially up high on the chest. It's not a major issue, but it is noticeable in some poses more than others.

This layer of costume finished off with the properly tailored gray pants (no belt), gray socks, and nicely sculpted shoes.

Over all this goes the final layer - the hooded Gryffindor cloak.  This is made from very thin material, allowing it to hang naturally. There's a hood in back, folded neatly across the shoulders, and it stays out of the way and inconspicuous, as it should.

There's also a thin wire through the bottom edge of the cloak, which was used in promo photos by the company to create some pretty dynamic looks. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the wire to hold anything so dramatic, since it's simply too thin to do much more than flip up the edges. Your mileage may vary.

The house seal is on the left breast, and is an iron on decal.  It looks good, but it's too small, and not quite as colorful as I'd like. The colors seem muted, lacking the vibrancy we saw on screen.

My final costume nit is with the double closures on the front of the cloak. These actually work, if you'd like to use them, but they are very large, the one area on the entire costume that seems out of scale. They aren't nearly as obvious in the movie (you might not even remember them), and this throws off the overall look of the cloak quite a bit.

Even with these handful of nits, this is a terrific costume. Again, the key is that the layers were done well for a much smaller figure than even the usual 12" version. That bodes well for upcoming releases, and I'm sure Star Ace will learn as they move forward.

Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
This is a very sturdy figure overall, much more so than most high end sixth scale releases. You can pose and play without fear of damage, as long as you use some common sense.

Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Value - ***
It's getting rarer and rarer to find a sixth scale action figure under $200 these days. Even figures that should be clearly less than this - I'm looking at those Stormtroopers, Hot Toys! - are at or above this level.

That makes it all the more refreshing to see a figure like this at $185. 

Consider the situation - this is a new company to the sixth scale market, which is always a tough proposition.  They've produced a figure with a layered costume, multiple accessories, excellent head sculpt and paint, under a popular and no doubt expensive license. Doing that for less than current market price is clearly a winning situation.

Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Things to Watch Out For -
The hands are pretty stiff, so you'll want to take care when using accessories like the wand. However, this is a very sturdy figure overall, and there's little chance of damage or breakage with normal handling.

Harry Potter sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Overall - ***1/2
I was a bit skeptical at first, since it can be tricky and difficult for a company new to the sixth scale market to pull off a license like this. The expectations have been set mighty high by companies like Hot Toys and Enterbay, and newbies like ACI, Asmus, Qmx, and ThreeZero have a tall order to fill.

Add in the problems with trying to do a child, and one that's so well known, and you can see why I had my doubts.

Thankfully, it looks like those doubts were unfounded. This is a terrific first release, and sets the stage for the on going line.

This figure was sent to me by the company, and I think the very best endorsement I can give it is that once I had it in hand, I pre-ordered their Ron immediately.

My only disappointment right now is that they haven't announced my favorite character - Snape - yet, but I'm assuming that since Medicom already did him, Star Ace figures it's more important that they get to critical characters like Voldemort and Sirius first.  I can live with that...at least for a little while.

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

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has him at $185 with free shipping.

- has him and Ron on pre-order for $185.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered a ton of Harry Potter merchandise over the years. Perhaps my favorite series has 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 right now.

- 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 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 sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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

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