Sunday, November 5, 2017

Unite the League: Harley Quinn- Dress Ver. No.042 from Suicide Squad MAFEX by Medicom

    I'm really loving Medicom's MAFEX offerings lately. Their quality has improved tremednously and both their BvS and Suicide Squad figures have been incredible. They've got some impressive looking stuff on the horizon from both the upcoming Justice League and the past Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy, too. The prices seem to be going up a bit, however, which is definitely causing me to keep my eyes open. For now, though, they're some of the most impressive "higher end" action figures on the market for the money. Today I'm looking at the MAFEX Harley Quinn No.042, which is Harley in the gold dress from the beginning of Suicide Squad. So far as I can tell this seems to be the last Suicide Squad figure MAFEX is offering although depending on how well it sells I could always see them offering more Harley variants. She always sells, doesn't she? While she's not officially confirmed for Justice League, there are rumors that both Harley and the Joker might show up, so I figure she is deserving of a spot in my "Unite the League" banners to help get us pumped for the review of the film. Let's take a closer look at Harley after the break...



 The Facts:

Height: 6 3/8ths

Articulation: Balljointed ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips with vertical hinges, balljointed waist, balljointed mid-torso, shoulders with interior balljoint and exterior swivel/hinge, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a double balljointed head.

Accessories: 7 interchangeable hands, alternate portrait for MAFEX Harley Quinn No.33, two bubble gum bubbles, alternate portrait for MAFEX BvS Batman, and a display stand.

Non-Scalper Price: $50-$55 dollars
 Comparison


* Here's a quick shot of the MAFEX Harley Quinn alongside Mattel's version of Harley Quinn in the gold dress from their DC Comics Multiverse line. As you can clearly see, the MAFEX version is much, much more realistic and lifelike. I will say that the silhouette of the dress on Mattel's does look a bit better, though.
 The Positives:

* Harley is fantastic looking. I really like the MAFEX style: It's still very authentic and "realistic" but there's something about it that also seems just a bit stylized, giving the figure some extra character. Margot Robbie's portrayal of Harley Quinn features some pretty busy costume design and MAFEX manages to nail every necklace, bracelet, ring, and tattoo that the character sports. The body is appropriately colored to be just a bit pale. She's not fully white, but she doesn't look quite "normal" either. You can definitely see that the chemicals did something to her.
 * MAFEX has really improved their quality over the past year and this version of Harley has the same great articulation you expect from this product range.  She's a little over 6 inches tall, putting her in-line with most of Mattel's movie based Multiverse line. The unusual articulation scheme offers a great range of motion (the vertical hinges on the hip balljoints, the nearly double balljointed shoulders, and the balljointed ankles) although some collectors may not like how visible some of the articulation is and how it affects the aesthetics of the sculpt.

 * I love MAFEX's portraits as they hit the sweet spot by being subtly stylized while also having a great likeness. You can clearly see Margot Robbie in the sculpt. The hair, makeup, and expression are very different from those on the standard Harley figure. The facial features appear to be printed and they look incredible, particularly the eyes.

* Harley's necklaces look great. They're part of the sculpt (and not separate accessories) and feature some very sharp paintwork. The tattoo on her chest is also impressive. Again, these are printed rather than painted and they look great.

* Let's talk about the dress as it's a central part of this figure. In order to pull off the effect of Harley's Gold dress on the figure MAFEX actually crafted the dress as a separate piece. It's permanently attached by the shoulder straps but the rest of it hangs down. The sculpt is quite nice. The texturing definitely seems to match Harley's dress in the film as do the beaded frills that hang down from the bottom. I'm not a fashionista, so they might be called something completely different, but they look pretty cool and seem very accurate. The figure is articulated underneath the dress (hips, waist, and mid torso joints) but the movement isn't terribly restricted. It works as well as anything other than making the dress out of soft goods. (If you're interested in that, Hot Toys is actually releasing this variant sometime soon.)

* The straps on the back of Harley's dress are actually individual loose straps at the bottom. They tuck into the bottom of the dress so that they look like they're attached but can still move freely without any fear of breakage. Good design decision! You can also see Harley's "Property of Joker" tattoo. That guy has some control issues, doesn't he? I'm really hopping that the DCEU Harley becomes independent of the Joker in the future. It's been a great long term character art for her in the comics and has made her a stronger character.

* Mattel left the "I'm Watching You" tattoo on Harley's lower back off of their version of this figure. MAFEX didnn't and it printed out really nicely. It's a bizarre tattoo, but I'm glad they included it.


* The rings, bracelets, chains, and tattoos on the figure are excellent. I never even noticed the diamond patterned tattoo on her forearm!

* Harley comes with seven interchangeable hands, all with intricately sculpted and painted jewelry. You get a pair of pointing or pistol grip hands, a pair of open gesturing hands, a pair of standard gripping hands, and a left hand that's posed in a gesturing motion. They swap easily and look great.
 * Harley comes with the same stand that a number of other MAFEX figures include. The stand comes fully assembled and features multiple points of articulation to help keep your figure posed: A swivel at the base, three hinges on the arm, a swivel at the top, and a hinged clasp to secure the figure. The arm can be removed from the base and placed in any one of the three holes present there. These seem to be pretty standard across MAFEX releases.

* Harley in her gold dress doesn't include many accessories for the figure as there isn't a whole lot that she used in the movie. Instead, MAFEX has included some extra portraits to be used with previously released figures. First up is a new portrait that can be used with Harley Quinn No.033. It's an angrier looking Harley and is just as good as any of the headsculpts included with the release. I love having another option, though.

* Oh, and if you want to do something different with Harley you can attach this bubble gum bubble to her lips. MAFEX includes two (because they're really, really tiny) and the piece simply slips over the more pronounced lips on this figure. Pretty cool!

* The second headsculpt is an alternate portrait for the MAFEX Batman from BvS. This is pretty similar to the previous headsculpt (the eyes are better) but this one is wearing the breathing device from Suicide Squad. This is a great inclusion as Batman uses this in the scene in the film where Harley wears the gold dress.
 The Negatives:

* I mentioned earlier that some of the articulation, while offering exceptional movement, does hurt the aesthetics of the figure. This occurs at the shoulders. You can work things out to look better in some poses but often the shoulders definitely look wonky.


* The coloring on the strips on the back of Harley Quinn's dress have rubbed off onto her back, leaving some smudging. Not cool.

* The dress looks impressive except for that it looks... wider than it shoulder. The dress doesn't adhere to the figure's form and ends up looking like it almost impossibly blouses out. It's tougher to notice in some poses but pretty apparent in others.

  I've become a pretty big fan of MAFEX over the past year and I'm hoping that trend continues. I'm definitely excited for what they've got on schedule for next year but I'm worried they might price themselves out of being a solid competitor in the US market. This figure, despite some flaws, shows off what MAFEX does well. I love he alternate portraits, too, as it makes two figures I already own even better. That definitely helps to make the Gold Dress version of Harley Quinn a Great figure.


I've reviewed so many Harley Quinn figures that she has her own review index. Check out the Harley Quinndex!

For more MAFEX reviews, check out the following:

Batman v. Superman MAFEX by Medicom (2016)
Armored Batman
Batman
Knightmare Batman No. 31

The Dark Knight Miracle Action Figure Ex/ MAFEX by Medicom
The Joker No.005 
The Joker No. 015 (Bank Robber Version)
 
Suicide Squad MAFEX by Medicom (2017)
Deadshot No. 038
Harley Quinn No. 033

2 comments:

  1. Great review. I ve just ordered this figure and I'm thinking of getting the Hot Toys version too. Don't have the other Mafex Harley. I have the Figuarts which I prefer, so the extra heads are useless for me, but the extra hands look cool. I might have to do a golden pole for her to dance about.
    Finally I guess the bulkiness of the dress is so it doesn't restrict her posing too much, but I cannot see any other alternative unless they sculpted the dress like Mattel.

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