Guest Review #0041: Harry Potter

HARRY POTTER

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (NECA)

Hey! So it’s that time again, that super rare time where Jill has a review to write for the figure in question (because Ethan is not in a state to write this in time!). Harry Potter is back, and he’s got an awesome backpack because he’s a high school drop out. This figure, like the Sirius Black figure from The Order of the Phoenix was a Christmas gift from Ethan when he and Tim were trying to convince me to be interested in toys and action figures. (Unfortunately for my wallet, they have been successful).

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This figure of Harry from The Deathly Hallows has 8 points of articulation, none of which are in his legs, like all my other NECA figures. He also comes with a removable backpack and a wand. I thought for a few minutes that his glasses were removable, but after some careful tinkering, I have discovered that they are just precariously attached. He stands about 8 inches tall, and has a passing likeness for Daniel Radcliffe during part one of the Deathly Hallows movies. It’s not perfect, but it’s ok. He’s recognizable. It is a little frustrating that his legs do not have any articulation, it makes it so he only really has one pose that makes sense, which is a battle pose, but his facial expression definitely doesn’t look like he’s in battle.

The backpack is fun, I like being able to pose him with or without it, and it’s accurate for the movie. The wand is both my absolute favorite and my least favorite part of this. This tiny, 1 inch strip of plastic is actually very close to what Harry’s wand looks like in the movies (I should know, I won the fancy prop version in a Harry Potter trivia contest my freshman year of college) and I think the effort that went into making this teeny-tiny little prop is exceptional. However, it is a teeny-tiny little strip of plastic that bends easy and is not held securely in his hand, which means that my greatest fear is that I’m going to lose it. If it falls out of his hand, there’s no getting this back. (My complaints about Sirius’ wand were very similar).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was my second Christmas present from Ethan, and it helped to establish the trend the boys have started of getting me action figures and toys as presents until the completionist in me had to start looking for the entire series of multiple toys. This figure is one of the first action figures I actually owned, and since I have gotten him I have bought several figures (including Rue) and established other collections thanks to Tim and Ethan (I own most of the Alex figures in the minecraft lines, and several other series, including some composers). My collection is not as vast of broad as Ethan and Tim’s, but it is growing, and this Harry Potter figure is part of the reason why. He’s not perfect, but he is important to my collection journey.

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Guest Review #0038: Rue

RUE

THE HUNGER GAMES (NECA)

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The following is a guest review from Jill Mardesich.  Take it away Jill!

Rue is one of the iconic characters from the book The Hunger Games. She was the female tribute from District 11, the farming and agricultural district of Panem. Small and bird-like, she made up for her small stature with her cleverness and her ability to jump from tree to tree like a squirrel. She loved music and won over both the hearts of Panem and the readers/viewers of the 74th annual Hunger Games. She was an excellent tribute and a beautiful character… until, you know, she got stabbed with a spear and died

THE FIGURE ITSELF

rue2Rue stands 5 1/4 inches tall and has 10 points in her articulation. These points are in her neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, and ankles. Her hair is quite accurate to the character’s, but because it is molded plastic it greatly reduces the range of motion in her neck. She also has no articulation in her hips nor her knees, so there are very few positions you can actually put her in, which is a little disappointing. However, her sculpt is quite nice. I love how you can see every ringlets of her curls in her sculpt,and how detailed all of her clothing is. Each article of clothing looks like a distinctive fabric, which is accurate to the movie. Her paint is ok; there’s some slop along the lines on her jacket and her face doesn’t look great. Her facial features aren’t dainty enough to truly be Rue and go with the size of the figure. Her eyelids are heavy and her cheekbones are done is a way that really ages her,and her eyes are very strangely painted. It makes her look like she has an older woman’s face on an eleven (twelve?) year old’s body. Nothing is glaringly bad, but close inspection of the figure does make me feel like it was a little rushed. Rue comes with no accessories, which wouldn’t bother me if her right hand wasn’t obviously shaped to hold a knife like she does in the movie. Having the knife would also make her limited poses make more sense. According to Ethan, she looks like she was originally planned to have the knife, but NECA was probably told to just release her without it to save time.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Rue is the very first figure I actually bought for myself. Ever. Before her, the figures I owned were the two that Ethan gave me for Christmas. I hadn’t really gotten into collecting the figures yet, but I saw her at the store Yesterday’s Fun and decided to get her. Rue is one of my favorite characters from The Hunger Games trilogy, even though she is only in one book. Her story is tragic from the beginning, because as a reader you know that Katniss is going to be the one that survives because she’s narrating the story. The odds were never in her favor (heh), but I fell in love with her. She was cheap and I liked her, so I got her. Though she has issues, I really do like her and am glad that she is one of the starters for my personal figure collection.

Guest Review #0037: Overworld Alex

OVERWORLD ALEX

MINECRAFT (JAZWARES)

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The following is a guest review by Jill Mardesich.  For more from Jill, check out her blog Future Music Educator Rambles on Life.

Minecraft by Mojang is a game that has managed to sweep the nation, and one of my personal favorites. It is available in just about every platform you can think of, minus Wii and other Nintendo consoles. Because, you know, Nintendo doesn’t play well with others. Alex is the female version of the basic player character (Steve), and I absolutely adore her. She’s not super exciting, but the design is so much more interesting than Steve’s, and she’s a girl.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Alex2Alex is, as stated before, the female player character in the wildly popular game, Minecraft. She is a part of the third series of Minecraft figures. She stands approximately 3 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. She is a very blocky figure, which follows the game’s overall aesthetic. Her paint work is exceptionally detailed, but there are some fuzzy edges along the facial features, and there’s some pretty noticeable slop on both of her arms, but especially the left one. The orange of her hair is nice and vibrant on top of her head, but when painted onto the body, it seems to have been applied overtop the green of her shirt and causes the color to look really dingy and just… off. From a distance she looks awesome, but up close she gets a little disappointing. I don’t care that much though, because I’m really into her as a character anyway. For her accessories, she comes with a bow, a gold sword, and a Slime. The box looks pretty cool, but the edges of the paintwork are not clean, and it’s a little tricky to get her to hold it in a secure fashion. The sword is pretty nice, the paintwork is super neat and the sword is immediately identifiable as the material it is made of in the game. The Slime is a cool item to receive, replacing the normal building block that comes with the figures in this line. It also looks really cool, a 1.5 inch cube made of transparent green plastic with different shades of green plastic on the inside to provide the detailing. It leads a super clean likeness to the Slimes in the game, and a really cool looking piece. My one complaint about the Slime character is that the color green for the transparent plastic is a rather dark green, which is inaccurate to the game and causes the detailing inside to be difficult to see. If the transparent plastic was a lighter green like it is in the game, I think the details inside the Slime would be more vivid and impressive.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Even though there is literally no story to the game Minecraft, I have loved Alex since she was introduced. She was a surprise to me in one of the updates (because honestly, who actually reads the entire update list when they log in to Minecraft?) and I was ridiculously excited to discover that my Doctor Who skin wasn’t working and it was instead I got to meet Alex. I think she has a really cool design, and I think the fact that she was such a surprise to me is part of the reason why I love her so much. She was like a present that I never expected. It seems fitting that my wonderful boyfriend Tim got her for me at the store in the same manner. She’s not a perfect figure, but she is still really cool and I’m excited to have her.

Guest Review #0031: Sirius Black

SIRIUS BLACK

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (NECA)

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The following is a guest review by Jill Mardesich.  For more from Jill, check out her blog Future Music Educator Rambles on Life.

Hey there! It’s Ethan’s resident book nerd friend, Jill! Ethan got me this figure of Sirius Black from the movie version of J.K. Rowling’s book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for Christmas this year. It’s been a while since Christmas… I’ve been busy. Anyway, Sirius Black, in case you do not know, is the God Father of the main character, Harry Potter. He was best friends with Harry’s father, James, and was framed for the murder of the character Peter Pettigrew, so spent the majority of Harry’s life in the wizard prison, Azkaban.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sirius2Sirius is designed off the look he has in the fifth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He stands approximately 7 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. He comes with one accessory, his wand, which is about 1 inch long and surprisingly detailed for such a small stick. It actually does look like the prop wand that they gave to Gary Oldman in the movie. He also has a black stand, but is fairly well balanced and can stand up without it. His jacket is molded from a very flexible, rubberized plastic, so his movement isn’t restricted by it, which is good because it isn’t removable. His face is quite life like and there don’t appear to be any paint flaws. His hair, which is a solid piece, is well placed to not interfere with the motion of Sirius’ head. My only complaints about Sirius are that his legs are a solid piece beneath the waist, which Ethan tells me is fairly standard for NECA figures at this time, and that his wand is loose in his hand. It’s very easy to lose such a small, dark piece of plastic and it is my greatest fear that the next time I look at him he will no longer have it. He also only has one “good pose” to place him in because his legs are locked and his elbows don’t bend, but at least it’s a cool, “magical fighting,” action pose. I’m not sure if his face is quite a “magical fight” expression, but he is still really cool in this position.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Sirius Black was my Christmas present from Ethan this year, and he is the first action figure that I have ever owned. I was so excited about it. Sirius is one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter books, which will always hold a special place in my heart. I grew up reading them, and even skipped school to see several of the movies growing up. I was touched that Ethan would get me such a perfect figure to begin my collection. I think he looks really cool, and very accurate to the movie look.  I wish his legs were posable, but I like the pose that he sits in, so it’s okay. Overall, I love this figure and hope that future Christmas presents include more from this line! (hint, hint)