Harry Potter Busts
Ron and Hermione

I admit it.  I'm an adult male and I'm a huge Harry Potter fan.  Oh, not the kind that pays a whole lot of attention to the license when there isn't an imminent movie or book, but a big fan nonetheless.  And while several companies have done some decent collectibles, none have yet matched the overall quality of the Gentle Giant mini-busts.

The latest pair has just hit, and includes Harry's two best buds, Ron and Hermione.  However, unlike the first Harry they produced, these aren't the youngest possible versions, but rather the slightly older and not yet quite completely wise versions.

Ron comes to us from the fourth film, after his mom has sent him some uh...lovely dress robes for the ball.  Hermione is holding the book of monsters, monstrous in its own right.

Both run around $50, depending on the retailer.  The next wave of Hagrid and Mad Eye Moody should be out in February. 

Packaging - ***
Both boxes go back to the window style, allowing you to see at least the faces of both characters before buying.  That is if you're lucky enough to have a local retailer carrying them.  That's a big plus in my opinion, since you really should be given the opportunity to see the actual product.

There's the usual high quality foam tray, along with the baseball card sized COA.  Ron is limited to 2000, and Hermione to 2500.  I wonder if Rupert Gint finds that annoying.

Sculpting - ***1/2
In early photos of production pieces, I was fairly worried.  God knows, Gentle Giant has screwed the pooch on more than one occasion with the final product, particularly in the Star Wars mini-busts, but so far the Harry Potter line has been almost perfect from the start.  But early photos had me worried.

Fortunately, these look much better in person, and the flaws that are here are largely due to the paint, not the sculpt.  Both Ron and Hermione are quite close to the actual characters - in the appropriate films of course, as they've aged considerably over the course of the four movies - but they do have a couple minor nits each.

Ron lacks the slightly chunky cheeks, with a slightly thinned out face.  And to make sure every nit is picked, I have to mention the rather funky looking fingers on the left hand, which are quite long and oddly thin.  

The hair sculpt is excellent though, and the eyes and nose are very close to perfect.  The complex outfit is the most impressive, with sculpted patterns in the coat and shirt, and the ruffles captured down to the smallest detail.

Hermione had is an almost perfect sculpt from the eyebrows down, although she does look slightly older here to me than in the particular movie.  While the hair has excellent detail, the forehead is a tad large, certainly bigger than Emma Watson ever displayed on screen.

Her body sculpt is dead on as well, and the book of monsters looks amazing.  This choice of pose and the inclusion of the book was an excellent design concept.

These 'busts' do fall lower on the body than most of the rest of the line, coming down below the crotch on both of them.  This is a little annoying, since it is a slightly different look than we've had up to now, but it's not a major detraction.

Paint - ***
The paint work is generally quite clean, and the basic technical quality is certainly above average.  The detail work on both bodies/outfits is particularly amazing, and Ron's robes and clothing are outstanding.

The paint application on the hair, eyes and lips is also great, and the lips and eyes use a slightly glossy finish to add some realism to the appearance.

However, both of them have a very mannequin appearance to their skin tone.  I realize they're pasty face Brits (and before you yell at me, realize that I'm so white Casper the ghost offers ME sunscreen), but both of these are a little too pale.  Add to that the very dark - jet black - nostrils that have been painted in, and you get a rather odd look. I'm not sure why they went with the black nostrils, and this seems to vary from figure to figure for them, but on the kids it really doesn't work. I shot them from a high enough angle that it's not too bad, but in person it will jump out at you.

Value - **1/2
At $50, you'll be paying far too much, but the good news is you can pick these up closer to $40 at a number of retailers.  At $40 - $45, you're paying about what you expect, and getting what you should.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not a thing.  These don't appear to have any particularly breakable areas, short of dropping them on a concrete floor.  If you are picking them up in person, you should certainly look for the best paint, but most of us will have to throw the dice on that one.  Fortunately, GG is usually pretty consistent.

Overall - ***
Neither of these blew my socks off like Snape, Dumbledore or Dobby, but they're solid entries in the line up, as good as the first Harry or Sirius.  And with the line just getting rolling, I have tremendously high hopes for Hagrid, Moody and Voldemort.  Best get your orders in now, especially for Hagrid, who I expect to disappear fast.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt/Design - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Value -  **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
There's a number of online options:

- Dark Shadow no longer has Ron, but they still have Hermione available for $42.

- Alter Ego has them for $42.50 each.

Related Links:
I've reviewed all the past HP mini-busts, including:

- a guest review of the first Harry and Sirius.

- my review of my favorite pair, Snape and Dumbledore.

- my review of the Dementor and Dobby.

Keep scrolling down for more photos!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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