Monday, January 15, 2018

Toy Review – Suicide Squad Harley Quinn from Hot Toys

By Dave


I decided over a year ago that I wanted to review a bunch of different versions of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. I love the character design, which lends itself to plenty of variations between manufacturers. And there were plenty of manufacturers – Mattel, Medicom, Bandai, Funko, Mezco, and possibly more that I’m not thinking of.


I’ll be reviewing Mezco’s One:12 version soon. I passed on Mattel’s DC Multiverse releases because I thought they looked terrible. Funko produced a line of 3.75” Suicide Squad figures, but the version of Harley that I’ve been reviewing was an exclusive. If I see one cheap someday I might grab it. Until then, I am almost done with my Harley experiment.
Prior to finally caving and ordering this Hot Toys figure, my favorite was Bandai’s SH Figuarts release. It’s not as detailed as Medicom’s MAFEX, but to me it just looks better.

As for this one, I didn’t really expect to be reviewing it. Hot Toys are generally out of my self-imposed price range. But deals abound during the holidays and I managed to pay what I felt was a reasonable price.


THE PACKAGE

While I appreciate good packaging, it’s rarely a selling point for me. But in this instance, as soon as I opened the shipping box I felt like I was looking at something special. The sheer artistry involved in not just the graphic design, but the structure of the box itself is breathtaking.


The exterior art is phenomenal; possibly the best I’ve ever seen on a toy. Packaging designers Dixon Chan, Rock So, and Zenith Wong deserve raises. If I could buy some sort of print of the box front to put on my wall, I would. There’s a perfect combination of colors related to this version of Harley, and the printing alternates between glossy and flat. It’s a gorgeous product in and of itself.


The box itself consists of a slipcover with an interior carton. 



The interior box has interlocking flaps that open to reveal the plastic tray that holds the figure. It’s all very classy and sturdy. The cardboard used for the box is thick and the plastic of the tray pieces is much heartier than what I’m used to seeing these types of boxes.


The figure and all of the accessories are all contained in the single tray, with a cardboard backdrop that I totally forgot to take pictures of underneath. It all unpacks easily and can be put right back if you so desire.


THE TOY

This is the most incredible action figure head I have ever owned or even seen.


Harley’s hair is plastic, but is sculpted with so much fine detail you could almost believe it’s individual strands. The platinum blonde coloring with the pink and blue ends is spot-on, but the metallic finish on top makes the hair look absolutely perfect. In pictures it presents a slightly odd effect, but in person it looks like real hair. It’s wild.

The bangs are separately molded pieces, but they’re very securely attached and flexible enough that they can be moved as needed. The colored ponytails are articulated at the ties with little ball joints that allow 360° rotation, but also a bit of play in other directions. The bottoms of the ponytails are sculpted to sit on the figure’s shoulders, but in such a way that even when they’re in different positions look great – there aren’t noticeable concave spots as there might be in less pricey toys.

The likeness is uncanny, as you can see. A fantastic sculpt can be ruined by poor deco, but that is absolutely not the case here. I can’t even imagine the process involved in bringing this level of perfection to the consumer, but the head of this figure is one of the several factors that make me understand the price point. All of Harley’s tattoos are here and looking like tattoos rather than paint. Her eyes and teeth have an incredible gloss that bring them to life. Each ear has the different array of earrings that Robbie wore in the movie. It’s easy to say that of course it’s an accurate representation, but we’re talking about individually detailed pieces and not just lumps of golden plastic. It’s fascinating to look at.


The figure’s body seems to be specifically tooled to be Margot Robbie’s physique. This is another thing to consider with the price point. Most lines have some degree of parts sharing, but I’m pretty sure Hot Toys tailors each release to represent the subject as best they can. All of the proportions of this Harley are very recognizable as being unique to the Suicide Squad character.


Joints are concealed where they can be, usually by the clothes. The skin tone is the unnaturally pale shade the character has, and is uniform across the figure. There’s a very subtle overspray to give it a more realistic look. All of the tattoos look amazing. They have the subcutaneous look of real tattoos rather than looking like deco.


The arms have some sculpted tone with tattoos in the right spots. Each hand has the appropriate accoutrements – a highly detailed fingerless glove on the left, an equally detailed ring on the right, and nail polish on the fingers of both. Each finger on both hands is individually sculpted, as you’d expect from a collector-oriented figure in this scale.


Harley’s fishnets were achieved in a very interesting way. The figure has standard jointed legs with a sort of skin on top that goes from the tops of the thigh joints all the way to the ankles. This “skin” incorporates the sculpted fishnets and the deco of the tattoos, so the overall look is much more organic than other releases. The knee joints are still visible, but simply as shapes rather than cut lines. It’s an ingenious solution, but it does require some extra care when you’re posing the figure. It actually states in a small included instruction booklet that the “skin” on the legs should be shifted when moving the knee joints to prevent it getting pinched and possibly torn. It’s easy enough to do, but is an extra bit of effort that most collectors aren’t used to. Whatever the case, good-looking fishnet has always been a challenge for action figures and I think Hot Toys found a great solution. Neither of the Bandai or Medicom releases’ legs look this good.


Unlike some of the other releases, these shoes are one solid piece. It limits the functionality of the ankles, but does look much better. The sculpt and paint are tremendous, with red highlights and piping that I wasn’t even previously aware of. All of the laces and straps are well defined.

Something that’s surprised me about all of these Harley figures is that despite the high heels, none of them have problems standing and holding poses. That’s some great toy engineering across the board.

As for separate pieces that I don’t consider “accessories”, Harley has a few items of clothing – shorts, a belt, a bra, and a shirt.


The shorts are stretchy and vibrantly colored, with detail that looks like sequins on a very tiny scale. They fit and sit perfectly on the figure. The belt sits on top of them and is an actual belt. It is a leather-like material complete with attached studs and a functional buckle. The holes even have eyelets in them!


Harley’s bra looks a little weird, but that’s to conceal a joint. Otherwise it looks like what was in the movie and fits the figure well.


The shirt is insane. Like several other portions of the figure, it reveals a lot of detail you might not catch just from watching the movie. The printing – letters and red portions – is great, but the stitching and damage is what’s truly amazing. To have achieved this accurate a look at this scale is truly impressive. This makes me want to see the soft goods on more Hot Toys figures just to enjoy the detail.


THE ACCESSORIES

Harley comes with six alternate hands, a bat, a purse, a pistol with two speedloaders,  her choker and bracelets, a chunk of concrete, a shoulder holster, a jacket, a stand, and a background piece.


The extra hands all, of course, look as great as the default ones. They’re sculpted in various poses to interact with the other accessories. They come off easily and stay on well. My one minor complaint is that the gloved hand has very little poseability as a result of the long cuff, but what are you gonna do?


The bat is by far the best of these I’ve seen. The sculpt is great and all, but the painted detail is astounding. The words “GOOD NIGHT” are obvious enough, as is the harlequin diamond pattern that matches Harley’s tattoo, but there are hundreds of words in various colors all over the rest of the bat and each one is actually a word. I can’t make them all out, but they’re distinct and perfectly rendered, as though written on in several colors of Sharpie or ballpoint pen. Under all of that deco is a nice wood grain that gives the bat even more character.


The purse is the one Harley steals just before she bends over and creates one of the most memorable visuals of 2017. It’s on a metal chain made of links. The purse itself is sort of a metallic tortoise shell design. It looks cool and is, I assume accurate. I wasn’t really looking at the purse, people. 


We’re bad guys. It’s what we do.


Harley’s pistol is a work of freaking art. The sculpt is ridiculously detailed and all of the wacky shit is painted on precisely. It fits perfectly into the holster and the two included speedloaders – which look great – slide into slots on the other side.


The biggest problem I have with this figure is that these accessories are made out of a brittle plastic. They look great, but one of the spiked bracelets broke into two pieces when I tried to put it on the figure. The bracelets all fit quite snugly and don’t allow any room for movement. To put the choker on, you simply pop the head off and slide it onto the neck. The head comes off fairly easily, so no big deal.


The chunk of concrete is probably from a specific sequence in Suicide Squad, but I can’t remember it right now. It looks great. For a chunk of concrete.


This shoulder holster is ridiculous. It’s a similar leather-like material to the belt, but a bit thicker. The red stitching is legit and not just deco. All of the studs and rivets and eyelets are metal. This thing is crazy. It slips easily onto the figure and hangs nicely. 


The pistol and speedloaders fit into place well and stay put.


The jacket is just as impressive as everything else about the figure. It fits perfectly – though slightly better without the shoulder holster underneath – and the fabric looks right for the scale. The details are tremendous. The zipper looks functional (but isn’t, which is fine), the cuffs, bottom, and collar are elastic with gold trim, the gold stipes are sewn on, and the entire design on the back is embroidered. 


This truly is an unbelievable piece of soft goods. On top of all of that, there are wires running down the sleeves to allow the jacket to look right while hanging in the figure’s hand or from its shoulder.


The stand has a thick, heavy base with the movie logo and Harley’s name on the front. There’s sculpted and painted detail on top that looks like the scene of the final confrontation with Enchantress, but could probably also be anywhere from the movie.

Rather than a clip that would go around the figure’s waist, this stand has two prongs that support its crotch. It probably isn’t quite as secure, but it sure does look better. It would’ve been nice if this giant, thick base had been hollow to store accessories.


The backdrop piece looks cool, but I doubt I’ll use it.

I'm not gonna lie - a couple more expressions would have been nice, especially for the price. It’s not so much that I feel like I didn’t get my money’s worth as I just want more head options and Hot Toys is only selling those with entire other figures. Granted, I’d like to have them both, but I’m not made of money, dammit!


THE VERDICT

If you are okay with spending the asking price for this figure it is absolutely worth it. I have a select number of toys that I think of as sort of “trophy pieces” – items that I particularly enjoy seeing every time I enter the Phantom Zone that are things I know are going to draw guests’ eyes faster than others, as well. They’re sort of centerpieces of each are of the room - Hasbro’s Big Millennium Falcon, NECA’s quarter scale movie Turtles, pretty much all of the One:12 figures. This Harley is absolutely a trophy piece of the highest caliber.

Buy one from Amazon and help out Needless Things!:



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