Knight Models HPMAG010 Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game: Malfoy Family Expansion Pack, Mixed Colours
Unfortunately, based on the product I've received today, I cannot recommend this product. So much so, that I've felt the need to write a review now that I've just finished unboxing and building, which I think is a first for me. Warning this is also a long one.
My issue can be boiled down to a singular issue however; lack of quality.
On paper the concept of a Harry Potter miniatures game seemed like a really cool idea when I came across this product as a recommended product here on Amazon, particularly as someone who has a group of friends who enjoy all things board gaming (we've amassed everything from Warhammer, to Jenga, to Cards Against Humanity, to Brass and many other games in between), and from the pictures of this product that I'd seen here and on the Knight Models website, it seemed like a worthwhile investment, particularly at the lower price of ~£48 at the time I ordered it.
Now, I'll point out that I'll be holding onto this game, in order to test out the mechanics with the gang and get a feel for how it plays, so I'm not giving 1 star as I can't comment on play style, but to give it three stars would require me to want to buy more from Knight Models, which based on this offering I won't be (and I was initially considering further orders on the wider range, which I'm glad I resisted doing). I’ll also not hold the damaged metal box over them as this could have been a delivery issue.
Considering the RRP for the products in this line are on a par with many other miniature core box sets, I expected a similar level of quality with this product, but that is definitely not the case. Everything about this product instead seems more like it was put together as a proof of concept for a game or some attempt at a Homebrew game that a bunch of gamers like myself put together rather than a finished and polished product ready for commercial release. Everything just feels cheap and homemade rather than a quality licensed product. Below are some of the quality issues:
Damaged internal packaging
Not specifically a manufacturing issue but the inside plastic container was cracked and not on the side of the denting on the container suggesting this may have happened when it was inserted.
Damaged gaming boards
Again nothing to do with the packaging/delivery as they were in shrink wrapping with a foam cover to protect them, which I suspect means they were allowed to go out for sale in that condition.
The wands (which I believe another review has mentioned) were broken on two models when I opened the packaging, the packaging itself is not put together in such a way as to either stop the movement of the models or otherwise to protect them from damage. One of these definitely broke in the box (Hermione as I located the broken piece and was able to glue it back on, the other wand was not in the box, which was well sealed, which makes me wonder whether it went into the box damaged in the first place, which given my next point may be the case
These definitely feel cheap, like they were made using a cheap home 3D printer, rather than a commercial production attempt, it’s even clear that different resin was used on different parts (presumably whatever was on hand when they made each batch?); they all feel flimsy and rough. Some of the models looked like they been clipped off a larger sprue without any care to presentation or quality of the models. Compared to other established companies such as CMON, FFG or GF9 or even some other independents on the net, these just are not quality builds.
Cards, Tokens & Rulebook
Again, just flimsy, cheap and lacking in general quality. The tokens don’t have the bulk you would usually expect of a token, so much so that when I first took them out I thought they were actually stickers and maybe the card (which turned out to be the boards) were the tokens to stick them on! But no, they are just really thin card, the laminate was even peeling off one of the larger pieces that came off the frame.
Similarly, the cards are all very thin, I can see them wearing out and becoming torn and bent very easily with any consistent amount of use that you might reasonably expect from a decent miniature game, they have cut edges too and even then the edges haven’t been consistently and evenly cut, again like a hand job rather than any kind of precision. The rulebook isn’t much better, it just doesn’t feel like it’s going to wear well.
You can tell with games like these when the materials used for the tokens, cards and rulebooks in particular have been considered for the job, because the materials used are built for wear and tear, being handled by lots of people, having people flipping back and forth to discuss rules and the like, which just doesn’t feel like it’s been considered here. There was so many quality issues everywhere that I even started to notice tiny things by the time I was done with unboxing it, like the lack of quality to the inlay of the dice, as petty as that may sound, the big issues, make everything else that more noticeable.
Again these all feedback to the fact that it feels like a homebrew or prototype quality build for testing or funding bids. At least if it was advertised like that you would have an idea what to expect, but there’s a whole line of products alongside this core box; the Chamber of Secrets box RRP’s at I believe over £100. Alas this box has sufficiently put me off Knight Models that I can’t see myself getting anymore of either this or the two other ranges of models they have in their lines (Justice League & Batman).
I can only hope they learn what works from some of the big names in terms of build and presentation quality and review and revamp product lines like this, because at present I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone.