HARLEY QUINN (2014)
I’m not sure when I’ll get this posted, but as I write this it is January 17; my birthday. Today I turn 36. I am officially in my LATE 30s and it’s a little bit of a bummer. But only a little bit. I’m not the type to sulk over getting older and every year I throw myself a big birthday party. Tonight I’m going out to my folks’ place for dinner and then my parents, siblings and I are going to play poker. Tonight’s game should be fun and if all goes as planned I should kick my family’s ass and take their money (update: they took my money ).
Tomorrow night I’m hosting a party at my place for all my friends which should also be a good time. I don’t expect much in the way of presents but both my brother Doug and my pal Andrew have already told me that they picked me up something cool, and if history has taught me anything it’s that they probably bought me action figures. Last year Andrew got me Metalhead and a make-your-own action figure kit and Doug always finds me something cool. I’ll keep you guys posted on any good scores (update: Doug got me an awesome Batmobile + Batman set and Andrew got me some Spider-Men dolls). Vanessa gave me my birthday present last night. I’m a stickler for “the rules” so I wanted to wait until midnight but she rarely stays up that late so she had me open if at 10:30.
Vanessa got me a cornucopia of candy (Junior Mints, Nerds, Mike & Ikes, Toffifee) , the extended cut of Wolverine on Bluray, a new pair of pants, vinyl Pop figurines of the Governor from the Walking Dead and Spikor from Masters of the Universe, and this Harley Quinn action figure.
Harley is a character that was originally created for the Batman animated series in 1992. The 1990s Batman series was probably one of the best animated shows ever. I enjoyed it every time I watched it but truthfully I didn’t watch a whole lot of it. I was in junior high/high school at the time and didn’t have much time for cartoons. Even now I have a hard time sitting through half hour animated programs aimed at children no matter how good they are. Though I love the animated DC movies. I remember going to see the animated movie “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm”, which was a spin-off of the 90s series, in theatres. What a huge mistake it was going to a see an afternoon matinee of an animated movie. I remember the place being chalk full of talking kids and crying babies which soured the whole experience for me.
I don’t recall if I saw the episode that introduced Harley (I think I did) but I at least saw a handful of episodes which featured her. I liked her right away so I can understand how the character became so popular so quickly. She was fun and quirky with an awesome costume design. The two-toned red and black harlequin jester costume with the white face made for a visually appealing and instantly recognizable character.
It took a while for the character to be brought into the main DC comic universe but doing so was a no-brainer. The character had garnered a large fan base and it would’ve been foolish not to capitalize on it. After being introduced in a 1999 one-shot special she soon got her own on-going series which is a rare thing for a villain. I hardly read any DC books at the time but I picked up the Harley Quinn book because I enjoyed the character so much. Terry Dodson’s artwork didn’t hurt either.
Harley received a pretty drastic makeover for the console game Arkham Asylum. Gone was the happy-go-lucky clown outfit, replaced by a creepier, torn mini skirt, pigtailed appearance. I didn’t mind the look as an alternate version of Harley but I preferred the original.
When the DC universe got rebooted as the “New 52” in 2011 Harley got rebooted right along with it. Her new look seemed to draw a lot of inspiration from her video game version. She now had the pigtails and the more revealing clothing and was a member of the super villain team Suicide Squad. Again, I don’t mind the new look but I miss the more whimsical Harley. I collected Suicide Squad for a while but the rest of the cast didn’t do much for me so I eventually jumped ship.
This is a brand new figure of Harley Quinn based on her New 52 design. I first saw it at Strange Adventures this past Wednesday. DC is one of my smaller toy collections but I try to acquire at least one figure of each character I like, a list which has grown over the past few years. I didn’t have a Harley figure in my collection before this. There have only been a few of them and most are quite expensive on the secondary market. So while I would prefer a figure of Harley in her original outfit this one was more financially attainable. I looked it over, hummed and hawed, and ultimately left it behind. I told Vanessa that I was torn about whether or not I should go back and buy it. Vanessa took matters into her own hands and went out the next day and got it for me as a birthday gift.
This is a pretty nice figure. I wasn’t sure about it at first but now that i have it in hand it’s really grown on me. The sculpt is really nice with lots of attention to detail. Her face is pretty and feminine, her socks are ribbed, and her corset has stitching on the front, daggers on the side and bullets on the belt. The articulation is better than I’m used to seeing on a DC Direct figure. She’s articulated at the knees, hips, thighs, shoulder, elbows , forearms, neck, and even her pigtails. Some waist articulation would’ve been nice but as I said she has far more joints than any other DC Direct figures I’ve reviewed; and they’re well hidden which is a big plus. The paint job is also really nice. I really like the off-white color used on her skin tone; it gives her a porcelain appearance. For accessories she’s got a pair of pistols which can be holstered at her waist and a mallet.