One of the key differences between J.K. Rowling's fascinating, popular franchise Harry Potter and other fads born from children's franchises, like, say, Twilight, is that Harry Potter is actually really good. Rowling created a world of fascinating characters, both likeable and evil, sympathetic and horrific, who would be brought to life phenomenally by brilliant actors and exceptional filmmakers across the film's decade-long run. Popular toymaker NECA has already produced many fine figures based on those characters, with superb likenesses of the actors, but there's still so many more that could be made - before you is a list of 12 of the most essential. Consider that this is hardly a complete list, as there are always many more that would excel (Kingsley Shacklebolt, Mundungus Fletcher and Wormtail for starters).
The HP world is rich with all a manner of beast and creature, including the small and crafty goblins, the keepers of wizard gold at the Gringott's bank. Although a minor character in the entire mythology, Griphook is an important part of Harry's story arc - he is the first non-human magical creature Harry encounters, taken to his vault before his first Hogwarts year even begins, and later plays an essential role in Deathly Hallows. Griphook is played by Warwick Davis, a very talented actor who also played...
11. Professor Flitwick
The very talented head of Ravenclaw, Professor Filius Flitwick is a part-goblin wizard who triumphed across his schooling to become the Charms Master at Hogwarts and a very talented wizard, playing an essential part in the big finale, the battle for Hogwarts. A fine and likeable character, he too deserves his own action figure! Make him and Griphook a two-pack, and be the first toy company in history to offer two Warwick Davises at once.
10. Narcissa Malfoy
The matriach of the Malfoy family, Narcissa turns out to be a surprisingly deep (and somewhat pivotal) character at the end of things. She's also the only Malfoy NECA hasn't made, and is an essential addition to our collections!
8. and 9. Arthur and Molly Weasley
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley begin as innocuously as every other character in Rowling's universe, merely the oddball parents of Harry's best friend Ron: Arthur fascinated by the workings of Muggle society, and Molly forever fussing over her children and family. But as the series becomes darker, their roles change, both taking to the forefront of the battle against Voldemort, facing immense danger as they fight to protect their family.
6. and 7. Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks
Also known as Moony, Lupin was a close trusted friend of James and Lily Potter, who would one day go on to become Harry's teacher as the Dark Lord was rising to power once more. Despite also being a werewolf, he becomes close to Harry and his friends whilst remaining an important part of the Order of Phoenix, also finding love in the arms of Auror Nymphadora Tonks. A young Metamorphmagus, she is able to alter her appearance (in particular, her hair, which changes depending on her mood) and fights valiantly against the Death Eaters to protect Harry from the Dark Lord. Tonks in particular would be a great one for variants: either do a running change, a la Ghostface's skirt, or a chase variant with different-colored hair. Or how about thermoplastic that changes color with temperature, like so many Hot Wheels or Barbie figures?
5. Luna Lovegood
It's impossible not to love the flighty, adorable Luna, who believes in all a manner of wizarding nonsense and is a faithful friend to Harry, even if the face of nearly-certain death. She remains ever optimistic and is adorned in very suiting, weird wizard garb, as well as those awesome glasses. She is one of the most demanded figures of the series, and is essential alongside...
4. Neville Longbottom
While the series protagonists were busy growing up across the films and adventures, no one matured more than the portly, insipid Neville: without any confidence in himself and with the permanent scars of loss burnt into his psyche, the young wizard began his schooling at Hogwarts as a joke. But as the years went by and he was faced with further adversity and loss, he grew into a very intelligent, very confident and very powerful wizard. This very popular character deserves his own figure, with the sword of Godric Gryffindor as a pack-in.
3. Dolores Umbridge
Proof that it's possible to be a villain even if you're not taking orders directly from Voldemort, the roseate Year Five Defence Against the Dark Arts professor represents a more insidious sort of evil: the kind that drapes itself in the cloak of "protecting" children while actually hating them and everything they do. She's a hateful martinet, and everyone wants to see her get what's coming to her. Plus, as the only pink item anywhere near the boys' toys aisle, she'd stand out on shelves like a candle in a dark room.
2. Fred and George Weasley
This is a no-brainer: NECA only needs to make one sculpt and we'd all buy it twice! Create different paint apps for their shirts or something, that's all it would take. Twins Fred and George Weasley first appear a set of troublemakers at Hogwarts, forever bending the rules and rejoicing in troublesome magic, but their true colors shine after the evil Umbridge takes over, and their pranks (which Hermione later notes are actually impressive and difficult forms of magic) turn to rebelling against the authoritarian oppression sought by the Ministry of Magic, then the Dark Lord. They mature across the series and take part in the final battle against Voldemort and his vicious Death Eaters.
1. Professor McGonagall
The head of Gryffindor House and close friend of the late Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall is an accomplished witch and adviser to each of the protagonists across the series. Old Hardcastle McCormick is an essential member of the Order of Phoenix, a powerful female authority figure and a wonderful character and deserves a place alongside our Dumbledore and Snape figures!