Pros: nice likenesses and action feature, I finally found a toy to review before JediKermit
Cons: Not the best figure in the line, and rather difficult to find
Did you ever have one of those teachers who always knew what you were doing? That seemed to have eyes in the back of their head?
Professor Quirrell teaches Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. But who is this pale, young man with the stutter and why is he so uncomfortable around Harry? As the story unravels we learn his dark secret in the final battle for the Philosopher's Stone.
I am, I admit, one of the few people in the country who went to see the Harry Potter movie and was surprised by anything that happened. Alas, my secret shame is out: I've never read the book. Any of the books. My name is yo, and I'm a Harry Potter novice.
Or at least I was; between the movie, and the action figures, and living with several people who've read the series, I feel I've been pretty filled in (not that I'm avoiding reading the books--I have every intention of devouring them someday). Of course, it doesn't really hurt that Mattel has chosen to give away major plot points on the front of their packaging. So while a major mystery of the first book is which of the Professors are working for the dark Lord Voldemort, you can simply turn the Professor Quirrell figure around, look at the back of the packaging, and you'll have your answer: Professor Quirrell's head turns to reveal You-Know-Who! And just in case you-don't-know-who, they've got a snazzy little picture there with it.
"But wait," I hear you say. "You said they were giving away secrets on the front of the packaging. It's not like someone just strolling down the aisle will know what's lurking under that jaunty plum headrag." Ah, but wait! There's more!
Professor Quirrell was released in limited quantities, most likely to keep things secret as long as possible (since the figures were shipped before the movie's release). So, you know, yay and many kudos to Mattel for at least trying, but then they go ahead and shoot themselves in the foot. The metaphorical foot. For which it is much, much easier to buy metaphorical shoes that metaphorically fit better than I can non-metaphorically do in the non-metaphorical world. Lousy shoe stores, catering only to those slight of frame and foot. But I digress.
Out of every "X" number of Quirrell figures, there was a variant "Voldemort" figure. With his Voldemort face peering out of the blister and the very obvious "Lord Voldemort" name at the bottom. Turn the card around, and there's the same info about Quirrell. OOOOOOooo, mysterious! Grah. But enough grousing; on to the meat of this review!
The first thing you'll notice as you open the figure is the full, rich, new-action-figure smell that comes wafting out of the package; that heady concoction of plastics, paints, and chemicals that's all the more potent for having been trapped inside the blister for so long. Take a deep whiff. Ahhhh! An excellent vintage.
All the Harry Potter action figures had the benefit of RealScan technology (a process whereby the actor's likeness is scanned into the computer via a series of high-precision laser imagings), so the sculpt of the face(s) couldn't be better. However, there are a few problems with the rest of the figure.
The most obvious flaw is the sculpt of the Professor's robes--they billow out in front, as if his knee were pressing against the material. Pose him with his leg as such, however, and the figure leans too far forward to stand. And while the main body of the robe is molded from a soft, pliable plastic, the long, flowing sleeves are a harder material, and will not move in the slightest; if you move Quirrell's arms from his side, those long, pointy elbows simply look ridiculous. And with such poor articulation, you'll never really be able to have a good battle between him and Harry.
The choice of articulation seems rather spurious, as well; while the legs have articulation in both the hips and knees, poor Quirrell's arms move only at the shoulder. Not at the wrist, not at the point where they emerge from his cloaksleeves, but solely at the shoulder. I've got McFarlane figures that are more poseable, for cryin' out loud!
(a side note for the uninitiated: that's not a compliment)
The figure's not all bad, though--as I said, the sculpting above the neck is top notch. And yes, that includes the turban; not only is it wound around his head, but there's a texture to the "cloth" as well. Under those robes, Quirrell's vest has the same sort of texturing, and he is indeed quite a gaunt little fellow, looking quite like he might faint at any moment. Well done.
But from that sculptacular high, our emotional Harry Potter rollercoaster swoops down to its lowest point, the figure's accessories. The only things to be found in the package with Quirrell are a "Collectible Casting Stone" and a "Magic Medallion Trick." Bah. Wastes of plastic both, that serve no purpose but to increase the price of the figure. I'd much prefer it if Mattel left those out and gave us a cheaper figure, or perhaps some accessories that actually belong with the character. Alas, that's one magic trick that not even the esteemed Mr. Potter could pull off.
Poor Professor Quirrell stands 6 1/4" tall, and has eight points of articulation. Like all the Harry Potter figures, he comes with a casting stone and a really crummy magic trick. And again, like all the Harry Potter figures, he could've been cheaper and better executed...