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Sans that one time he stood naked with a horse in that Equus stage play, Daniel Radcliffe has never looked better in the eyes of his adoring fans than when he played “the boy who lived,” Harry Potter. While he and the rest of the HP cast literally grew up on screen across 7 films, there is one stylistic look, from one particular movie, in which Harry Potter has stood out the most… The Triwizard Tournament, as featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

The 4th film in the series saw Harry thrown, unwittingly, into a magical competition that thrusted appointed champions to trials of bravery, cunning-ness (Oops… almost typed “cunnilingus” which would have been unfortunate), and skill. It was a very exciting affair until things ended badly *spoilers* seeing the death of a classmate and terrifying return of, well, you know who. The future of Harry Potter and the entire wizarding world would continue into some serious dark days, but hey, at least Harry got some spiffy athletic gear out of it.

For one thrilling adventure, Harry got to put aside his regular boring old house robes and trade them in for some new threads; threads that look like Hugh Hefner designed the latest fashions for the Eastern European mafia – swooshy pants and fabulous robe. HP may not have been the best wizard, but clothes maketh the man, and these duds made him (at least look-wise) live up to his legend.

This introduction is prelude to a very awesome and relatively new high-end collectible company by the name of Star Ace, who have sent NerdBastards a figure from their ever-expanding and exceedingly popular Harry Potter line. For your consideration, we check out – you guessed it – the Triwizard Harry Potter 1/6th scale figure from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

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PACKAGING:

A package is just a package until it isn’t. Good packaging is supposed to tap into the appeal and connection people have with a character/franchise –  it’s supposed to grab your eye and transport you back into that character’s world. Star Ace does this, in spades.

The box features a top slip cover featuring a headshot of Harry and the film’s logo on its front, with a textured leather effect faded over the graphic, making the box look like an old spell book of sorts. The rear of the slipcover gives credit to the figures design and production team with the film’s logo (again) and the Gryffindor house banner. Underneath the cover is the actual the box, with a open window showcasing the figure. The rear of the box shows a 3-quarter shot of Harry, with the same withered leather graphic from the slip cover.

Much like Sideshow Collectibles and Hot Toys, the the figure and its accessories are housed in plastic trays. No twist ties or tape or magic needed to release this figure from its binds. You’re free to remove it and repackage the goods. The goblins at Gringot’s would love this, as it would protect one’s investment.

Obviously, nobody buys box art solely for the packaging, but it’s an integral part in creating a tangible product for fans to get excited about. This box art is the right kind of vibe – dark and a little haunting. It’s right in line with something outta the HP universe.

THE FIGURE:

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If the Star Ace design team could produce a Patronus, I’m pretty sure it would be in the form of Daniel Radcliffe’s face. They obviously studied it hard, ‘cause this looks exactly like the teenaged, angst driven, and somewhat hapless Harry as seen in Goblet of Fire. It does lack some life-like detail (it’s too clean, lips are a little off, and eyes a little dead-ish) but facial structure, signature lightning bolt scar, glasses, and feathery devil-may-care hair is spot-on to Radcliffe’s pubescent mug.

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The figure is decked out in full Triwizard champion regalia. This outfit is by far the true prize of this figure. The multi-layered attire is made up of a black undershirt, black hooded over shirt with red accents, black and red quilted hooded robe with laces and studded loops, and a pair of swishy athletic pants with yellow trim. It’s a 100% hand tailored costume made of real fabric, and looks as screen accurate as any house elf (that’s no way to refer to a maker wee tiny doll clothes) could make. The commitment to detail here is what elevates this from decorative doll to a life-like recreation – it’s like someone took a wand and said “el-shrinko-de-clothso” and cast a miniaturization spell on Radcliffe’s Tri-Wizard costume.

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This figure has 30-points of articulations, with joints in all the right places; allowing for a practically full range of motion in the head, torso, and limbs. The figure does also come with an acrylic base with 3 clear pillars, with the intent of holding Harry on his rocket-like broom and posing him to recreate the same dashing escape from the dragon in his first Triwizard trial. The latter pillars are jointed and allow for various positions/adjustments but they are not sturdy and barely hold the weight of the figure. It actually takes a lot of patience to get Harry in a mid-flight pose, but once you do, the effect is worth it.

ACCESSORIES:

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Because no collector wants to be limited to one display option, accessories are a necessary add-ons to any toy/collectible. Star Ace was sure to include some  Harry’s go-to accessories, as well a couple of the film’s MacGuffins. Included in this figure are: Harry’s Firebolt broomstick, Wand and 3 extra hands w/ various grips. Plot devices from the film are the Golden Egg and – the Goblet of Fire itself – the Triwizard cup. The latter two items can be given an illuminated effect thanks to the light-stone base which rounds out the accessories.

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If you’ve seen one wand you’ve seen ‘em all (that’s what she said) but Harry Potter fans can tell you which wands belong to what wizard. There’s no mistaking this is Harry’s wand. For something so little and slender, you’d half expect a toothpick-type piece of smooth plastic and call it a wand. Star Ace got the length of the wand right in proportion its life-size counterpart and shares the same small bump, crevices, ridges, and various wood stained colors that make Harry’s wand unique. This same level of detail can be said about all the packaged add-ons.

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Die-Hard HP fans can probably describe Harry’s broom in detail from memory. Most people, however, just remember it as a cool broom awarded to him for being Gryffindor’s Quidditch Seeker, and perhaps forgetting just how ornate and special it was. But let this accessory be a reminder that Harry flew the Cadillac of Broomsticks. From the brass colored foot petals, orange finish on the handle with golden lettering, and the thick bristles on on the end of the stick, make for one flashy worth piece of wizard transportation.

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After the action-packed Triwizard Cup dragon challenge scene, Harry claims his clue for the next round… a golden egg. This egg is faithfully recreated here, with a golden wash and ornate etchings on its outer shell. The 3 petals open open to reveal the translucent inner egg. Sadly, or perhaps thankfully, the egg does not scream bloody murder when opened like in the movie.  To add to the effect of something magically, however, you can place egg atop the light-up base for an aura-like effect.

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The whole movie is based around Harry’s name magically (literally) appearing in Triwizard Cup which sets forth the plot for the rest of the film. So, of course, this is an absolutely necessary accessory to have packaged with this deluxe set. Short of it bellowing a magical blue mist, it couldn’t look any more real – well, actually, thanks to the light up bases, it comes comes pretty close. The blue tinted plastic really gives off a mystical glow when lit via the base.

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CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM (The Not So Good Stuff)

What’s the phrase –  “the devil is in the details?” With high-end collectible figurines, it’s the little things that all combine to make a big impression. While there are many things working for this figure, there are a few minor quibbles to be had:

First complaint comes in regards to the details, or lack thereof, in the face. In the field of hyper-realistic pop culture figurines, Star Ace and Hot Toys are in a class all their own, leaving competitors in the dust. However, at least in this one case, Hot Toys has the edge on facial details. The head on the Triwizard Harry looks adequately enough to resemble its model of inspiration – Daniel Radcliffe.  What it lacks, however, is the Hot Toys touch; in way of skin pores, blemishes, fine details that make up for a life-like face. Even the eyes look a little dead. Even with the screen accurate and impressive wardrobe, this figure looks a little too doll like. It is a doll, no question there… but the point is you know it’s a doll rather that what could be (on lets say a Hot Toys figure) a crazy amount of detail forcing you to question “that’s a doll?!” It should be noted, this really isn’t that much of an issue. From afar, the figure looks as real as any figure can be. It’s only upon close inspection that you’ll notice the rather plain look of the face.902514-product-silo

Second and third issues come down to not with detail but function. The pegs in the interchangeable hands and the plug holes in the wrists are both too small. Trying to swap out a hand, and you’re left fighting to push the peg in the hole (that’s your cue to say “that’s what she said”), and even after struggling with it, you’re left feeling left unsure on whether or not it’s secure – which it probably isn’t. The hands pop off so easily. Try posing this figure on broom (and the stand it comes with) and you’ll spend 20 minutes fighting with it – hands ripping off, limbs going wibbly wobbly – before the figure goes flying (forcefully) across the room without the assistance of magic.

Speaking of functionality (and I dunno if this was a one-off a packaging error in my case) but the light-up base does not come with a battery. Considering the price point on a figure like this, and the fact that most high-end figures (from competitors) include batteries, it’s mildly frustrating having to go out buy a battery. And, it’s one of those flat circular batteries no less (2 of them at $5.00+ a pop!) –  which Voldermort could have used as a Horcrux, as finding one of those is impossible.

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

The progression of Harry Potter and his various looks across the 7 film series leaves fans with a lot of collectible options to consider. While Star Ace offers quite a few iterations to match up with the character, the Triwizard Harry is arguably the very best. The film itself was one of the more exciting and thrilling of HP adventures, and his outfit in the movie was perhaps the coolest he’s ever looked on screen. Star Ace does this version of Harry complete justice; using a talented selection of sculptors, designers, and a little magic, to create a truly amazing display piece. There are a few issues to bemoan but for Harry Potter figure like this, in the hands of a fan, has never been/looked better. Short of Star Ace making a naked (anatomically correct) Danielle Radcliffe from Equus, there couldn’t be a more desired collectible.

Nobody likes to see a money magically disappear from one’s wallet/purse. $229.00 is a good amount of galleons to shell out for any collectible, but this isn’t just any of kind of collectible, baby, it’s magic. Yes, we’re gonna end this review on another magical based pun. Truly, though, if you’re a HP fan then this is a piece is worth consideration.

If you’re not polished on your “accio” retrieval spell quite yet, you can buy this deluxe figure HERE.

Category: Cool Stuff, Featured

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