HARLEY QUINN (2015)
For my birthday in January 2014 Vanessa bought me my first Harley Quinn action figure. It was based on the character’s appearance from the recently relaunched Suicide Squad comic. I liked the new costume design even though it was a pretty drastic change from Harley’s original court jester costume which I was a big fan of.
The costume change occurred in 2011 to coincide with DC’s line wide reboot known as the New 52. Two years later Harley got her own solo comic book series and with it came another costume design but the 2013 make-over wasn’t as drastic as the 2011 one. Most of the New 52 design elements were retained but they were tweaked to give her a roller-derby girl look. This included the addition of knee pads, shoulder pads, elbow pads, and of course roller skates. I really dug the new look but I don’t know if I would’ve loved it as much if Amanda Conner hadn’t drawn it; that woman can do no wrong.
I had every intention of buying the new series once the collected edition came out but based on my brother’s reviews (he’s been reading the monthly issues) I think it might be too silly for me.
I actually think some comics should be silly. Too many books are dark and dreary these days and Harley’s a good candidate for silly. But I’ve read quite a few silly books over the years (Deadpool, Bomb Queen, Superior Foes) and I just got burnt out on it. I may still pick up the new Harley Quinn collections one of these days but for now I’ll remain a fan from afar.
Even though I’m not reading her current series I was still very excited when this figure was announced a few months back. I immediately pre-ordered one from BigBadToyStore. As far as I could tell it looked amazing and was influenced by Conner’s artwork. I’ve been wishing for action figures based on her art for years. It’s an absolute crime that DC hasn’t yet released an Amanda Conner Power Girl.
There was no doubt in my mind that this new figure would be superior to the Suicide Squad Harley and I couldn’t wait to add her to my collection. I was notified a month ago that BBTS had it in stock and ready to ship to me but I was frugal and patient. I waited until a few more pre-orders came in before telling them to send it because I wanted to save some cash with the combined shipping. Last week, once my Boondock Saints and Rocketeer figures were in stock, I told BigBad to ship my package and earlier tonight it arrived.
I really like this Harley Quinn. Both the sculpting and the painting are great. The sneakers alone put the previous figure’s to shame. Derby Harley’s shoes have sculpted laces and pompoms and multiple paint apps whereas the 2014 figure’s kicks had hardly any sculpted detail and zero paint apps. The new Harley still has ribbed socks but ups the ante with painted stars and stripes. The shorts are more attractive this time around and they also have additional star and diamond paint apps. The stars and diamonds motif continues onto her elbow and shoulder pads. Instead of a frilly collar this Harley has a choker with bells, like something a BDSM reindeer might wear. It’s isn’t by a wide margin but I think this face sculpt is prettier too. Trading in the black mask-like make up for a more subdued pink eyeshadow was a good call in my opinion. The hair is similar on both figures except the new one’s pigtails are a fair bit longer. At a glance I think the thing I most prefer about this new figure is that she’s wearing black and red like her original jester costume. The red and blue of the Suicide Squad version isn’t as dynamic. Also this Harley’s skin is pure white as opposed to the porcelain off-white of the other figure and the white on black contrast makes this one really pop out at ya.
For accessories Harley comes with a pistol which can be holstered on her hip and her trademark mallet. I’m happy to see a return to her cartoony red mallet. The brown and grey sledge hammer that came with last figure wasn’t nearly as fun. Also she comes with removable roller skates which plug into her sneakers. The wheels actually spin so you can cruise her across your computer desk or kitchen floor if you’re so inclined. I knew she had skates but I didn’t expect them to actually work or to be removable so that was a pleasant surprise.
This figure is pretty great but its not perfect. I’m not a fan of the bell choker. It makes it appear as though she has a really short neck. Also the combination of the choker and the pig tails really hinder the head movement. Lastly, this figure still doesn’t have any torso articulation which is something I griped about in my last HQ review. She really should be able to turn at the waist. Other than that though the articulation is good.
I was really excited to receive this figure when I hit “send” last week and it pretty much lives up to my expectations. Unfortunately that excitement was slightly diminished a couple of days ago thanks to an announcement at last weekend’s San Diego Comic Con. DC Collectables revealed that they have a new Harley Quinn figure coming out next year based on Darwyn Cooke’s artwork. Darwyn is one of the best and most unique artists in the business and his Harley looks incredible. The design is almost identical to this figure so this figure suddenly felt kinda redundant just days before I got it. Oh well, thats toy collecting for ya. 9 out of 10.