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Harry Potter Pop! PEZ are Out this February

Accio PEZ! Fans of PEZ, pop culture and the magical world of Harry Potter have a new obsession with this Harry Potter line of Pop! PEZ. Harry, Ron and Hermione are in the process of getting sorted by the beloved Sorting Hat. Luna’s sporting her iconic spectra specs and Dobby is eager to help his friend Harry Potter. Collect them all and eat all the candy.

Pop! Pez: Harry Potter are out this February from Funko.

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Grindewald posterFans of the Potterverse can rejoice: you have a great sequel on your hands. While the first Fantastic Beasts seemed more concerned with worldbuilding and funny side-business, this second act of a planned five Fantastic Beasts films goes deeper and darker than we’ve ever gone before. The adage goes that in act 1, you introduce characters; act 2, dig a giant pit and throw them in; act 3, get them out. This is a deep, dark wizarding pit and definitely in my top 3 favorite Potterverse films.

From the get-go, it hits you with a fierce intensity. An opening scene re-introducing our villain Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and a subsequent jailbreak have more action crammed into the first ten minutes than the entire first film combined.

We also get continued beautiful character development of our hero Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he is recruited by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to try to track the escaped Grindelwald down. Grindelwald is obsessed with finding Credence (Ezra Miller), who against all odds survived the confrontation at the end of the first film and is now hiding in Paris. Dumbledore is hiding a mystery of why he won’t move against the dark wizard himself, but fears the Ministry of Magic’s Auror office, headed by Newt’s brother Theseus, and their heavyhanded tactics will play into Grindelwald’s plans.

There’s another wrinkle, as Theseus is set to marry fellow Auror Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz) who was a Hogwarts girlfriend of Newt’s in the perfect Hufflepuff-Slytherin relationship the fandom has always wanted. Newt, however, is still in love with American Auror Tina who is also in Paris searching for Credence and Grindelwald. So when her sister Queenie and now-fiance Jacob Kowalski show up on Newt’s doorstep, they all head to Paris searching for each other, for Credence, for Grindelwald.

Everybody get that? Sorry, it’s complicated.

The plot is more layered and delicate than a perfect french pastry. Even better, the characters and their arcs also feed in to the broader themes of the film. A big part of this is also about accepting and loving people because of, not just in spite of, their differences.  Expanding the main quartet from the first film to six by adding in Theseus and Leta is a brilliant move that is executed flawlessly. You have a half dozen people who are so incredibly different from each other and they all love one another in very different ways. Whether related by blood or not, they are like family. And so much of Credence’s story — despite him being the macguffin for this story — is very much about his own search for meaning and who his family is.

There’s also great commentary woven in here about how we co-exist with one another. A major plot point revolves around the legality or acceptance of marriage between the magic world and the non-magic world. There’s a complex morality about whether maybe wizards and witches should reveal themselves to the human world in an attempt to help the humans? Or just outright rule them. And ultimately identity and who we love is the main focus of this film. It is heartbreaking on multiple levels.

You also have Dumbeldore and Grindelwald as these perfect foils for one another. While not mentioned in the film, it would be worthwhile to review their early relationship around searching for The Deathly Hallows and the fateful three-way duel between them and Albus’s brother Aberforth which resulted in the death of their sister. (Note that all of those events take place several years before the first Fantastic Beasts film– you’ll want to get your timeline straight when you see this.)

The film also delivers a climax of epic proportions. When I compare this to the artistry and moral stakes of the finale of The Empire Strikes Back, I do not invoke that comparison lightly, but it is the best analog to what we have in this film. There are emotional stakes. There are plot twists. Bring tissues.

Sounds pretty amazing, right? It is. But the film has some other, er. . . problematic areas.

The first is the casting of Claudia Kim as Nagini. In later films/books, we know Nagini becomes Voldemort’s pet/horcrux, and fans have (rightfully) pointed out the racism in casting a Korean actress as a character who later becomes a pet. Rowling also caught justifiable flak for defending her choice saying:

Yikes. Koreans are not Indonesian, Chinese, Javanese, or Betawi. Ok, so this is hella problematic.

Here’s the deal, though: Claudia Kim in this movie is magic– no pun intended. She gives one of the best performances of the movie. Her character is a strong woman with agency, morals, and a personal story arc. She can also transform into a snake and is Credence’s best friend. It’s actually really terrible that she has to be Nagini and not just some other unnamed Maledictus, as she was originally listed in the casting. This is, of course, a problem endemic to prequels.

The other giant glaring problem with this movie is Johnny Depp. I don’t care what you think of Depp as a person or as an actor. But he is garbage in this movie. I haven’t seen someone so clearly just picking up a paycheck and not expending any effort since…  well, Johnny Depp in the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I haven’t seen a character so grating and unappealing in a tentpole franchise film since… well, Johnny Depp in the last Alice in Wonderland movie. He is terrible, and Warner Bros need to cut their losses and recast him for the inevitable (and well-deserved!) sequel. He’s a distraction every time he’s on screen, because he is expending so little effort that it’s simply, “Look! Johnny Depp in a platinum wig!”

The film’s saving grace is he isn’t in it very much despite being the title character. The downside is, this character deserves better. Here’s the real deal: Grindelwald has a point. Like Thanos, like Erik Killmonger, like the best baddies of 2018, he is a villain whose logic is sound, whose grievances are real, but whose methods are immeasurably unconscionable.

This is otherwise a near-perfect film– easily the equal of an Infinity War. But Johnny Depp’s magic spell he casts on this film is to drag it down by an entire star just by himself. In a cruel twist of either irony or tonedeaf marketing, most prints are being paired with the trailer for Aquaman starring Amber Heard as Mera. If there is any sense of cosmic justice, Aquaman will kick Grindelwald’s butt at the box office and Warner Bros may wise up that, hey, maybe having Depp star in our tentpole franchise is a bad idea.

Just sort of expend as little effort as possible in paying attention to Depp– at least as little as he is expending in performing– and try to enjoy the film pretending he is replaced by, oh, say, Christopher Plummer– just kidding. But seriously– Ewan MacGregor. Or Russell Crowe. Or Javier Bardem. Or Paul Bettany.

If you can do that, you will absolutely fall in love with this film. It raises the stakes, dashes expectations, and leaves you wanting more. Bring on the third Fantastic Beasts movie — and look for a spoiler-filled article from me later about why Newt Scamander is the hero we all need for 2018.

4 out of 5 stars

Eaglemoss Adds WWE and the Wizarding World to Their Collection

Eaglemoss Hero Collector, designers, manufacturers and publishers of high-quality collectibles from across the many worlds of pop culture adds two new popular universes to their roster – each revealed to the public this past weekend at New York Comic Con.

Shown for the very first time at NYCC was the WWE Championship Collection, a comprehensive magazine and statue collection showcasing the greatest superstars in the history of the WWE. Featuring Champions from every era, including Superstars The Rock, John Cena, The Undertaker, AJ Styles, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, Finn Bálor and many more, each expertly sculpted polyresin statue presents the superstar in a fixed pose on a base and has been produced at 1:16 scale (approximately 4-1/2 to 5 inches tall). The accompanying magazine features a history of the superstar and chronicles their championship reign, greatest matches and top rivalries. This new collection will be available beginning in early 2019 via subscription, through select specialty retailers and online in the Eaglemoss Shop.

Also joining the Hero Collector lineup is the Wizarding World Figurine Collection, launching in Novmeber 2018. Bringing together characters from the entire Wizarding World, including the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film franchises, this officially authorized collection features the most famous witches, wizards and magical creatures. Every figurine is meticulously sculpted in a classic pose at 1:16 scale and cast in a specially formulated resin. Each also comes with a guide to the character, profiling their magical adventures and how they fit into the Wizarding World.

Pop! Harry Potter: Harry Potter Series 5 this August

Harry Potter and other iconic characters are back again as all-new Funko Pop! This series includes versions of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger dressed and ready for Herbology class! Be sure to keep your earmuffs on to avoid the Mandrake cries!

Pop! Harry Potter: Harry Potter Series 5 are out this August.


In addition, look for Ginny Weasley with Tom Riddle’s diary, Gilderoy Lockhart, Tom Riddle aka young Lord Voldemort and Nearly Headless Nick!

Be sure to look for a Herbology themed 3-pack of Harry,
Ron and Hermione – Only at Books-A-Million!

Look for another version of Gildeory Lockhart at Books-A-Million!

A sepia version of Tom Riddle can be found at Target!

Look for a 6” version of a Basilisk and a 10” version of Dobby at Target!

Funko Introduces 5 Star: Harry Potter

Funko dives deeper into the world of storytelling and pop culture with their latest line of collectible vinyl figures – 5 Star!

In addition to Funko’s usual attention to detail and characterization, the 5 Star line boasts several unique features including three points of articulation, allowing the figures to be posed, window display box packaging that mimics the opening of a book and situates each character in their unique world, and thoughtful accessories that further the character’s narrative.

Collectors with a passion for creatively displaying their figures can capitalize on the ability to use 5 Star figures’ different poses, incorporating the accessories and even the packaging to create a unique tableau or diorama that continues the narrative adventure.

The 5 Star line launches with the ever-magical Wizarding World with the beloved Harry Potter and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley with their Hogwarts mentors Albus Dumbledore and Rubeus Hagrid. Each figure is accompanied by an animal companion such as Hedwig the owl or by an iconic character-defining object such as Harry’s Hogwarts acceptance letter or Hagrid’s pink umbrella. Each figure will cost $10.

The 5 Star line will expand with additional licenses later this year. Be on the lookout for 5 Star in stores near you this summer!



Look for additional Harry Potter characters including Severus Snape available exclusively at Walmart!



Holiday Gift Guide: Marvel, DC, and Harry Potter Nano Metalfigs

If you’re looking for a gift for that geek in your life, Nano Metalfigs are perfect stocking stuffers for fans of Marvel, DC Comics, Harry Potter, and Disney.

Metalfigs are miniature versions of your favorite characters captured in metal for you to play with.

We show off one set of Marvel, DC, and Harry Potter.

You can order some today!

Jada provided Graphic Policy with FREE samples for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Unboxing: Nerd Block’s March 2017 Classic Block

Nerd Block Classic‘s March 2017 box has arrived and here’s what you can find inside. The box features items from Transformers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Harry Potter!

What’s inside? Check out the video to find out!

You can get your own Nerd Block.

 

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

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