Monday, January 15, 2018

Action Figure Review: Harley Quinn from One:12 Collective: DC Universe by Mezco

    At the end of January I'll be releasing my annual "best of the previous year" lists so over the next week or two I'll be catching up on a few more items that either came out near the end of the year or that I wanted to make sure I reviewed before making my final decisions. You better believe that Mezco's One:12 Collective line is going to be a major player in my 2017 favorites and I'm getting ready to review a few of them in a row. First up is the Suicide Squad version of Harley Quinn. Harley is an interesting figure for One:12 Collective for a few reasons. Number one, she is the first female character that Mezco has tackled in this line. That means a completely new body with no reuse fro  previous figures. Secondly, Harley has a fairly unique costume. While most figures have traditional superhero outfits, jumpsuits, or outfits with the pants and shirt stitched together, Harley has multiple individual articles of clothing. While it may not seem like it at first glance her outfit is actually really quite complex. Third, this version of Harley Quinn is a character that multiple high end companies have already released, so there are going to be more comparisons made than on a standard One:12 Collective figure. Harley doesn't seem to be as in demand as some other figures (it's really tough to tell which One:12 Collective figures are going to be almost impossible to get a hold of immediately and which ones will linger and drop in price a bit) as I picked her up around a month after her initial debut at slightly lower price. I will go ahead and say that Harley is one of the figure I'm the most conflicted about in this line. The figure has a lot of issues but there's also plenty of really cool aspects to it, too. In the same figure you can see the merits of cloth outfits and removable accessories alongside some of the problems that still come up when working with them in this scale. Let's check her out after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 1/8ths inches

Articulation: Balljointed ankles, swivel/hinge knees, thigh swivel, balljointed hips, balljointed waist, balljointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, double balljointed head, swivel hair bunches.

Accessories: Three interchangeable heads, five interchangeable hands, pistol, baseball bat, shirt, four bracelets, choker, shorts, shoulder holster, jacket, display base w/ peg, articulated display arm, storage bag
 The Positives:

*  Yes, Harley isn't wearing a shirt. And yes, I have a reason for showing this. Unlike any of the other One:12 Collective figure I've owned, Harley's wearing a "regular" clothing rather than a jumpsuit or traditional superhero costume. Like the Star Trek One:12 Collective figures, this means her outfit is removable. It's pretty cool that Mezco gave Harley her red and black bra and all of her tattoos. It's not something I expected to see but it's movie accurate. It's simply painted on but that works just fine for what it is. I imagine that the shorts and fishnets could be removed as well but it seems like they would be a pain to take off. For someone wanting to customize, though (and yes, there are folks who customize these) this one seemingly doesn't require you to damage the outfit in any way.

* Harley's baseball shirt looks pretty incredible. The scale and fit are pretty perfect. The material is a bit stretchy to help give it an improved fit, which is a good choice. Also, this is the only higher end Harley in this scale to not be designed with a permanent jacket on, so that's cool, too.

* In person the head doesn't look oversized but the pictures definitely seem to make it look that way. The headscupt is pretty good with some excellent paintwork (particularly on the eyes) and in the hair. There was a lot of criticism of this headsculpt when pictures of the actual figure started showing up in November but in person it's quite good. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
 * Like the alternate head for the MAFEX Harley, this figure also comes with a bubble gum blowing head. This head sculpt looks incredible too (probably my favorite) and the bubble is pretty cool. Yes, there is a small mold line through the middle but I'm not sure you'll really be able to see it well in person. Remember these pictures are probably displaying an image on your computer (or even mobile device) that is larger than the actual figure itself. Some of the little flaws just aren't visible to the naked eye.

* Last up is the laughing head. It's another great sculpt that gives you a lot of variety in displaying Harley. The bunches of her hair on the sides are articulated and can swivel back and forth. They're also easily removable, probably to help keep them from breaking.

* Harley's fishnets are great. They look excellent in this scale and the various tattoos on her legs are noticeable (if not quite legible). Of course, while Bandai, Medicom, and Mattel all simply painted Harley's legs a grayish color to give the illusion of fishnets, Mezco's Harley is the only version of the character to have real fishnets.

* Harley's wrists feature four removable bracelets. The "Yes" and "Sir" bracelets are removable when you remove her hands while the spiked wristbands simply can be pulled off as they aren't full bands. Be careful not to lose them!

 * Harley has five sets of hands: A right handed pistol grip, a pair of tight grips, and a pair of open hands. The paint on the gloves on the left hand looks great, as do the alternately painted nails. Oddly enough, Mezco's Harley does not have the elaborate ring on her right index finger. Weird, right?

 * The tattoos that are visible, such as this diamond pattern on Harley's left forearm, are quite elaborate and look great.

* Harley's boots are handled hear pretty cleverly: The bottom part of her boot is a solid piece but the top part floats over the shin and ankle. You can slide it up and down for posing and displaying. The paintwork and sculpting here is really good.

* Harley includes a removable shoulder holster that's kind of cool. I have an issue with it (which I'll get to in a minute) but the look of the holster and the functionality is great. Harley has two speedloaders in pouches under her right arm and the holster for her revolver under her left.

* Harley's jacket is another piece where I have some positive things to say and some negative things. I'll get to the negatives in a minute but for the positives I'll definitely compliment Mezco on the quality of the stitching and the excellent work on crafting the jacket. It's a very nice looking piece and the printing on the back is excellent.

 * Harley includes her customized Chiappa Rhino 60DS revolver and it's as well detailed as you would imagine. Mezco did a great job capturing all of the little details on the weapon!

* Harley's bat is also pretty outstanding with lots of great paint applications. The printing on this is incredible and most of the little details are quite legible, too. It's a nice and sturdy accessory that Harley can grip quite easily.

*  Like the other One:12 Collective figures, Harley Quinn features a round display base featuring a logo. Rather than her specific symbol (which would have been cool), the base features the Suicide Squad logo and an off-centered peg  that helps to keep the figure standing nice and secure.

*  There is also an articulated display arm that can be inserted where the peg is (you just have to remove the peg). You can get some great, secure poses here as the joints are very nice and tight on the display bar. It can absolutely support the figure's weight if you want to depict Harley leaping in the air to smash some goons. 

 * Harley comes packaged in a very collector friendly storage box. You can remove the figure and all of her accessories without damaging the box in any way. It's a very cool looking box and while it features the newer design of a simple slip cover over a window box rather than an opening 5-panel box, it's still pretty cool. Harley also includes a One:12 Collective branded Ziploc styled bag to store extra hands and accessories if you want to have them readily available but still want to keep them from getting lost.
 * I've actually saved talking about Harley's articulation for last as there are parts of the figure's design and articulation that will roll over into my discussion of the Negatives. Being the first female figure and a figure without a full body outfit Harley features a new design. The articulation is still good and Harley is still a very solid, durable figure but the articulation is a bit more limited than most other One:12 Collective figures. The knees and elbows are all simple swivel/hinge joints and lack the finesse of the articulation of the male bodies used in the line.

 The Negatives:

* Harley's elbows have a pretty limited range of motion. This is as far as her elbow can bend which is pretty disappointing as it doesn't allow for very expressive poses. I really hope Mezco solve this before they release another female figure (Wonder Woman and Catwoman are both scheduled for release sometime later this year).

* The tattoos on the figure look OK but they're pretty inaccurate to the source material. If this were "Mezco's take on Harley Quinn" it would be understandable but this is clearly Mezco's offering of the Margot Robbie Suicide Squad Harley, so the inaccuracies are disappointing.

* I'm not a big fan of Harley's belt. It's a plastic piece that floats over her waist but it tends to flop all over the place. It's very difficult to get it in a position that looks natural.

* The "Puddin" collar that Harley wears is a bit oversized. There's something about it that just doesn't work as well as other parts of the figure.

* I mentioned that Harley's shoulder harness is pretty cool but that it has a problem. The problem is that it is pretty large; so large that when Harley wears it with the revolver in the holster she can't put her arms down. That's not how a shoulder harness should work, just FYI.

* Harley's jacket is a nice look piece but it looks kind of baggy on her (which isn't how it fits in the film) and it is an absolute nightmare to put on. The cuffs on the arms are really, really tight, meaning you have to take off Harley's hands, bracelets, and spiked wristbands to get it to fit. 

 * Last, let's talk about the waist joint right around Harley's stomach. This is definitely a very ill advised spot for articulation on a figure with an exposed stomach. If you pull the shirt down low enough the joint is hidden but the tattoos (which should be exposed) are covered. Show off the tattoos and you're left with this odd joint. Heck, sometimes the tattoos get "absorbed" by the joint while posing. This really should have been lower (maybe below the waistline?) or left off of a figure like Harley where this is visible.
   Harley Quinn is clearly a figure that Mezco did put a lot of thought into as she's quite complex and has some incredible features. She's also a figure that shows that Mezco is having to learn what works for figures with more exposed skin and for female figures. She's not a terrible figure but she's not near perfect like many of Mezco's other releases, either. I really like her thanks to the cool headsculpts, the detailed accessories, and the overall look of the figure but I'm definitely a bit put off by the more limited articulation and some of the awkward elements like the shoulder holder, the misplaced tattoos, the oversized jacket, and that awkward joint right at her stomach. All things considered, I still think Harley is a Great figure with a lot of solid positives but she definitely is on the lower end of Mezco's typically incredible work on this line.

   I've reviewed so much Harley Quinn stuff that she has her own review archive. Check out the Harley Quinndex today for more reviews!

For more DC Comics One:12 Collective reviews, check out the following:

Armored Batman: Batman V. Superman (Convention Exclusive)
Batman: Batman V. Superman 
Batman and Mutant Leader (SDCC Exclusive)
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (PX Previews Exclusive)
The Flash
Green Arrow 
The Joker 

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