It's not often that we review an accessory by itself. But then again, it's not often that an accessory deserves it. We repeatedly said that it wasn't worth buying the individually carded Goblet of Fire Harry and Voldemort, because they were also available together in a box set. But the set costs significantly more than the price of two figures; is it worth it?
The figures in the set are the same as the individual versions, so you know those are good. Harry's a nice variation, and Voldemort is just as creepy as you'd want him to be, so that part of the set is taken care of, just leaving the backdrop diorama.
The final duel took place in the graveyard which Harry had been seeing in his dreams all year. Voldemort hadn't had a body of his own since he'd attacked the Potters 14 years ago, and home was the best place for him to hide and attempt to recover.
Rather than just a cardboard insert or somthing, the graveyard scene is a fully 3D plastic piece. Sereval pieces, actually, joined into one massive diorama. There's no way something this huge and complex could have come out of just one mold. The base is 14½" wide and 4½" deep, and reaches up to about 11½" tall. Huge base.
What the scene actually depicts is the Riddle family grave: the huge blocky headstone and the Angel of Death statuary off to one side. Pleasant thing to have looming over your remains, don't you think?
Anyway, the ground is the same grassy texture as the bases included with Harry and Voldemort - isn't that clever! The terraced grave marker has the slightly pebbly texture of real stone, but also features some truly impressive patches of moss claiming their spots on the various surfaces. Three names are carved into the stone: Thomas Riddle (1880 - 1943); Mary Riddle (1883 - 1943); and Tom Riddle (1905 - 1943). The dates don't quite line up with what's said in the books, putting Tom's birth about 20 years too early, but what are you going to do? Maybe instead of him and his parents, it's supposed to be his father and grandparents?
The Death statue is lovely. It depicts a robed skeleton brandishing a scythe, and its feathery wings wrap around the headstone. The skeleton himself is more than 9" tall at the top of the head. The robes don't flow entirely realistically, but in this case, that's fine. Whereas the the folds in the clothes on the human figures are meant to depict real fabric, this is the cold stone (or metal - whatever) of a sculpture. It should look a bit unreal. The skeleton's bones are designed in a similar manner: not like the real thing, but like a representation of the real thing. Its ribs press against the robe, and you can even see vertebrae holding up its head at the back of his hood.
The scythe is removable, which means that this accessory (the base) has an accessory of its own. The weapon is 11¼" tall, and has a 4¼" blade. It's molded in several pieces, but they're glued together firmly. The statue's right hand is molded to clutch the scythe, and there's a small notch in the robe where the staff rests comfortably. Not sure if that was intentional, but it sure is handy.
In the film, Harry is pinned against the statue while Voldemort is performing his rites. Of course, there's no way you could get this statue to hold Harry in place with its scythe unless it had some kind of articulation. It has some kind of articulation. The arms move, where they emerge from the robe's sleeves. That means the left joint is near the wrist, while the right is closer to the elbow, deep inside the sleeve. They're both just swivel joints, but it's enough to get the scythe into both hands - and yes, you can fit Harry in behind there, as well, though the pose isn't quite right. Still, how cool is that? An articulated accessory!
Though the color scheme is green on green on green, the piece still looks very nice. The grass is somewhat yellowed, to match the other grass bases. The gravestone is dark, nearly grey, but with lighter spots for the moss and a few streaks of rust. The statue is the brightest green, suggesting it's made of copper that's oxidized - think of the Statue of Liberty, which should technically be brown. There are deep shadows painted on the robes, bones and wings, as well.
Much like NECA did with their Kill Bill figures, Harry and Voldemort's bases connect with the graveyard diorama, placing them at either end of the scene for their climactic duel. Of course, by "connect" we mean they just sit there next one another, but it makes for a nice display. This is definitely a set for openers, not the MOC crowd - it just looks too good once everything is in its proper place. The box it coes in is less than impressive, anyway, with a ton of empty, wasted space, especially above Harry's head.
If you can find this Harry Potter vs. Lord Voldemort box set, definitely get it. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same fault as a lot of NECA's sets: it's nearly impossible to find. These things just never get the orders they should. Did you ever see the Sin City Hartigan/Yellow Bastard set in a store? The Highlander one? How about the Shaun of the Dead Winchester two-pack, which is supposedly out already? What do you think the odds are of spotting the Reservoir Dogs? NECA box sets aren't items that you can take a "wait and see" approach to - you pretty much need to snap them up the first time you see them, and take your chances. Fortunately, this box set is definitely worth it. Forget the individual Harry and Voldemort; this is the one you want.