Spoiling plot points and capturing (ripping out?) the hearts of collectors everywhere is the ever-expanding Deluxe Creatures line from the recent hit-flick Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Like the original Harry Potter figure series, the new film has a host of 5" action figures including the usual suspects, and a further Deluxe Creatures line which continues from the original, featuring all the weird and wonderful monster characters.
The first three Deluxe Creatures (Fluffy, Hagrid and the Mountain Troll) were, despite being the best of the Harry Potter line, not the most deluxe toys, lacking a little in sculpt and articulation. Fortunately the latest in the line have smoothed over the flaws of the original and come off even better toys and better value. The value in particular: this line of figures is particularly big - you'll notice the way Aragog and Norbert are squashed into their huge packaging - and with the new detail, the price at $12 (or less) is excellent value.
Aragog is the creature I'm looking at today, spoiling one of the most memorable scenes from the movie/book in which Harry and Ron are led to the enormous spider in the scary dark woods. The character Aragog is enormous and frightening, and the big figure presents this wonderfully, with a huge 7" body from pincers to abdomen, and 7 1/2" legs (overall 16" from the end of one leg to the other).
The sculpt is faithful to the movie and very nicely detailed, with an appropriately scary (albeit simple) paint job of mostly dark blacks/blues highlighted with light blue drybrushing to make the spider look hairy. The detail on the eyes appears simple, all one white color, which would be disappointing had it not housed a nifty little feature that isn't even mentioned on the package - his eyes glow in the dark! Not only his eyes, but also the "teeth" on the end of his fangs, creating a nice creepy little effect.
Aragog is as articulated as possible, with ball joints at the end of each leg with a peg joint in the middle to separate the two halves and allow the standing poses. The articulation guarantees realistic and cool-looking "spider" poses, similar to the poor Episode 2 figure Acklay, but better designed so that the articulation is sturdier to support the weight and to keep Aragog standing. Aragog's midsection is also articulated, so that its abdomen can move - this joint isn't as useful as the others, though.
Although Aragog doesn't include any accessories, he has an appropriate action feature; pressing the mildly concealed button on his midsection makes his pincers move in a "talking" action feature ala the film - or more likely an attack feature where he snaps his pincers and eats his victim. It's nifty and allows you to get a bite out of Harry, and as mentioned the "teeth" on the end of the pincers glow in the dark.
I'm very impressed with this figure - nice enough to fit into not only the Harry Potter universe, but anywhere else in your collection that yearns for giant spiders, Aragog is a creepy, imaginative toy. The articulation and detail is excellent, and the action feature is a bonus - further, the value for money makes him a must-have.
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