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Mad-Eye Moody

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
by yo go re

We're just a few weeks away from the next Harry Potter movie, which means we're just a few more weeks away from a new series of Harry Potter figures from NECA. Hopefully these will be easier to find than the Half-Blood Prince toys, because you almost had to give your left eye to get your hands on them!

Alastor Moody, nicknamed Mad-Eye because, well, he's got a crazy eye patch, is a veteran of the first wizarding war and a powerful ally in the Order of the Phoenix. But just be careful because that mad eye of his, like everything else at Hogwarts, is magical.

Mad-Eye Moody was hired as the new (doomed) Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher in The Goblet of Fire... more or less. He didn't actually show up until the end of the story, but he became a major figure in Harry's life from that point on. Which is honestly just a bit weird, since all the time Harry spent bonding with Moody never actually happened. Best not to think about that, I suppose, because the alternative is either that A) Harry is drawn to threatening mentors (something that's not really unsupported by his history), or B) as long as you look right, he'll do what you say. The greatest wizard in the world, and he imprints on people like a baby duck.

Moody wears a thick brown duster, and the sculpted wrinkles say it hangs appropriately on his large frame. Beneath that is a black coat with a zipper and straps up the front, and four large pockets - one of which has been sculpted with some odd little doll's head poking out of the pocket. Is it a voodoo doll? An overly ornate stopper for a vial of polyjuice potion? Some other magical doo-dad that I can't identify? Whatever it is, it's there. Beneath the coat is a simple black shirt that's buttoned up to the neck. His pants are black, and the left leg has a zipper around the knee; remember, he has a prosthetic leg, and that probably makes it tough to put on pants. Kudos to NECA for making the left foot a dark metallic grey, rather than the same brown as the right shoe.

Mad-Eye Moody was portrayed by Brendan Gleeson, who you may recognize from... a lot of things, honestly. Look him up on imdb, you'll be surprised by how many of his movies you've seen. The likeness is very good, though it does look a bit more like an old woman than it should. Great work on the scars, though, and his magical eyepiece/headband thing. His hair is very yelllow, when it should have more gray.

The figure is clearly designed for one specific pose: standing still with his hands crossed on top of his walking stick. And granted, he looks very nice in that pose, but sometimes you want to do more, right? Well, because NECA is smart, you can. His head is balljointed, with the joint nicely concealed behind his wattle. The shoulders are swivel/hinges, the elbows are swivels, the wrists are balljoints (as is the waist), and the ankles have swivel/hinges. Since the elbows are cut in at a steep angle, you can straighten the arms out. Sure, it doesn't look comfortable, but it's better than nothing. His feet aren't quite even: the metal one comes down lower, so they don't rest flat on the ground. Still, he's surprisingly stable, especially when you consider that his center of gravity has him leaning slightly back and to the side.

If you're worried about the figure remaining upright, he includes one of those plain black oval bases, and has peg holes in both heels. His only accessory, however, is the aforementioned walking stick. In the movies it's seen to be somewhat magical, and he uses it more often than he does his wand. The toy version is about 5½" tall, and the sculpt is a beautiful re-creation of the prop. The top resembles a ram's head, while the base is clearly a hoof. A vine seems to curve around the body, and there's a section that's wrapped in cloth or leather and is meant to be a grip.

You know that every time there's a Harry Potter series, there's going to be a Harry Potter in it. What's always interesting to see is what other characters will be there with him, and NECA is really good at making sure those other characters are good choices. There are still a few major characters we're still missing (McGonagall, Lupin, Quirrell maybe), but the fact that we got a Mad-Eye Moody - and that the figure is so nice - is awesome. Let's just hope that this year's releases are more plentiful.

-- 10/31/10

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