Monday, April 24, 2017

Toy Review – Miracle Action Figure EX No. 33 Suicide Squad Harley Quinn from Medicom

By Phantom Troublemaker


In all likelihood this is going to be the penultimate review in my series on Suicide Squad Harley Quinn toys.

Also, I think this is the first time I’ve used the word “penultimate” on Needless Things.

To catch you up, I liked Suicide Squad. I still do. I’ve watched my Blu-ray copy a few times now. It’s disjointed, but to me it represents a pretty darn good movie about Task Force X. In my opinion Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn was the highlight of the whole thing, for multiple reasons including her shorts. She felt like Harley. A somewhat middle of the road Harley – not too crazy and not too violent, but definitely capturing the spirit of Harley Quinn.

Because of that and because of the unusual toy situation that we’re in – multiple companies have released this exact version of Harley – I decided to buy them all and compare them over a series of reviews. The first one to arrive was Bandai’s Figuarts Harley, which was excellent. Mezco’s One:12 release should be coming in the next couple of months and unfortunately DC Collectibles has cancelled theirs because there was simply too much competition for this style of action figure, so they killed the line.

I skipped Mattel’s DC Multiverse releases because, quite frankly, they looked like garbage, but I did order their Amazon Exclusive Harley just because I liked that different look on her and figured nobody else would bother making a figure of it (Medicom is).

I didn’t love Medicom’s Joker (and I like it less as time has passed – he might end up in a Needless Things Mystery Box), so my expectations were lowered a little bit for this figure. Based purely off of the original solicitations I thought this was going to be my favorite, but the Figuarts release was so damn good that after seeing some of the design issues Joker had I assumed this Harley would be inferior.

Is it? Let’s see…

Side Note: I am going to do my best to avoid comparisons to the already reviewed Figuarts Harley and judge this figure on its own merits. Whenever I’m done reviewing these I’ll compare and contrast in a separate piece.

FIRST GLANCE

My first reaction to Medicom’s Joker was that it didn’t look as nice as Bandai’s Harley.

My reaction to this Harley was, “Holy shit – does this look better than the Figuarts figure?”
Initially the sculpt and paint look just as good and the box has way more accessories. Look like there’s more competition here than I expected. And I’m okay with that. I have a feeling this one is going to come down to personal taste, so if you have agreed with most of my eight years of toy reviews, sit back and read on.

PACKAGING

The box certainly isn’t as exciting as the Bandai release. This one looks much more like a standard comic shop collectible-type toy. I still don’t get the practice of putting a picture of the toy on the box. There’s a window right there. We know what the toy looks like. Give me some shots of the character for reference.


I dig the bright green interior and love how it provides a high contrast background for the figure.

The back is simply the Suicide Squad theme with some more pictures of the figure.
In the end, the box doesn’t matter, which is a good thing because this one is Dullsville.

LOOKS

Side Note: I am avoiding  comparisons, but I thought it was worth noting that this figure is a good bit larger than the Bandai version. That one is the smaller, true 1/12th scale while this one is a more traditional “sort of 6” scale”.

The face sculpt on this figure is phenomenal, but the paint is where it truly stands out. The makeup on this version of Harley is a defining characteristic and Medicom really nailed it. The eyes are incredibly realistic and the surrounding eyeliner and eyeshadow has the perfect hue and design. The layering is excellent, as well. It doesn’t look painted on – it has that cosmetic application look. The glossy lip color is good and the eyebrows actually look like eyebrows. I understand Medicom has some sort of fancy printing process for all of this rather than standard paint apps and in this instance it’s flawless.

Harley’s hair has plenty of fine detail and the shape of the bangs and pigtails looks very good. The blonde color works and the way that the blue and red blends in looks good, though I wouldn’t have complained if those colors were a bit more vibrant. It probably wouldn’t have been as film accurate, though, so it’s fine. The bands holding the pigtails are sculpted and the colors match Harley’s jacket and shorts.

The “PUDDIN” choker seems a little loose to me. It’s a separately sculpted piece that’s about as golden as you’re going to get without doing vac metal. It looks fine.


The torso sports the all-too-familiar “Daddy’s Lil’ Monster” t-shirt, a shoulder holster, and some tattoos on Harley’s bare midriff. The printing on the shirt is excellent. The red dye bleeding onto the white looks much better in person – the effect has a very fabric-y look to it and sells the shirt. There are some holes with nice sculpting and painted flesh peeking through that also work to make the shirt look like a separate piece of fabric.

The shoulder holster is essentially flat, with a bit of an opening at the top. Rather than holding the actual pistol accessory, there’s a grip that clips into the top of the holster to create the illusion that the pistol is in there. This was presumably done to lower the profile of Harley’s jacket so that it didn’t have to sit open so far on that side, but it didn’t totally work. There’s still a noticeable gap there that doesn’t quite look right. It isn’t bad by any means and it doesn’t bother me, but I think Medicom could have gotten away with a functioning holster and it wouldn’t have made much difference.


The figure has tattoos on the front and back of its exposed midriff and they look great. They have that faded ink look rather than looking like they were drawn on with a Sharpie.


Harley’s jacket done all in vibrant, metallic colors that truly resemble the satin the film version might be made of. The sculpt is immaculate, with folds and wrinkles all over, as well as a collar that sits a little lower on the figure’s back, making it look like it’s hanging a little more causally. The golden printing and trim is bright and placed well. The paint job on this figure literally could not be better. I keep finding little bits and pieces that are simply unbelievable in the perfection of their execution.


The arms match up to the jacket nicely. Both wrists have removable, clip-on studded gold bands that look great and match the other pieces of jewelry on the figure. Both hands also feature painted nails. The right is bare, with some wacky piece of finger armor on the index finger.


The left hand has a fingerless glove with tons of sculpted and painted detail. It’s really impressive.


Harley’s shorts and midriff are all one piece. It’s made from a soft plastic so that the hip joints can have a bit more range. The sculpt of the shorts is excellent and looks very much like sequins. The belt is a separate piece that can move around freely. The studs, buckle, and eyelets are all sculpted distinctly and the paint is a different, but equally good gold to what is on the jacket.

The legs have fishnet sculpted on and a paint wash that completes the look. The tattoos on her thighs look great and have the same faded look as the others, though they are a bit darker. It’s very easy to picture Harley sitting somewhere just applying these herself.


The shoes are tremendous. The upper portions are separate from the legs, though they don’t move a whole lot. The lower portions are attached at the ankle joint. Everything is sculpted – the laces, the panels, the trim. These are amazingly detailed. I haven’t looked up a reference, but I’ll give you a dollar if these vary from the film versions in any significant way. Even the red trim is painted on, and that’s often missing in the many, many different versions of these wacky shoes that have been made, both life-size and toy-size. The heels are ridiculously tall and narrow, but are a very rigid plastic, so the figure doesn’t have problems standing.

ACCESSORIES

Harley comes with a stand, five extra hands, an alternate head, a bat, a mallet, a pistol, and a pistol grip piece.


The alternate head features all of the excellent sculpt and paint of the default head, but with a laughing expression. The heads swap out easily and both have articulated pigtails. I prefer this one. I also look forward to getting more heads with the upcoming dress version. This is one thing that Medicom does that gives them a distinct advantage – they include accessories for past figures with ongoing releases.


The bat is sculpted nicely, complete with tape around the grip. The distinctive harlequin pattern is painted on, as well as “GOOD NIGHT”, but the cool part is all of the extra stuff written on it. I hadn’t noticed this before and it’s a great detail for Medicom to have captured.


The pistol has an intricate sculpt and plenty of paint. The gold detailing on the trigger and barrel is fantastic. The figure comes with left and right hands posed to hold the pistol and it fits nicely in both and stays put. The grip plugs into the holster.


Harley’s trademark mallet was a nice surprise that I hadn’t realized was included. The haft is metallic blue with a black grip. The head looks wooden with all kinds of chunks taken out of it from use – another awesome detail. The harlequin diamonds look good and the smiley faces on either side look nicely drawn-on.


The hands all look great and match the defaults. They interact with the parts they’re supposed to interact with. They’re also, however, one of my problems with the figure, as they come off far too easily. If you’re doing anything with the hands or arms of the figure, these are going to come right off. They’re on straight pegs with no bulbs on the ends, so they’re just sitting there. It’s not terrible, but it isn’t great, either.


The stand is the same kind that Joker came with – a clear base and armature. It’s going to take up a lot of space on your shelf, but fortunately isn’t really needed. The figure can stand quite well on its own.

I wish that this figure had included an extra pair of arms with just shirt sleeves, but there are already so many accessories that I understand why it didn’t. I do hope to see those arms included in a future release. Hopefully one that I want.

FUN

With Joker I had to make a note about the quality of plastics used in parts of the figure, but Harley didn’t seem to have those issues. Overall this figure feels pretty solid and on par with other twelfth scale figures, possibly a bit better.

Harley is also sturdier than Joker. He had plenty of parts that would just come off – head, hands, hips – but Harley only has the loose hands. Everything else stays together quite well.
Overall Harley has very good articulation, though there are spots that end up limited.
There’s a barbell-type peg at the top of her neck that allows for a very good range of motion there.

The shoulder joints are too complicated for me to explain. The figure’s upper arms are mounted on a mechanism that swivels and hinges and rotates and moves all over. The jacket piece restricts the range somewhat, but it’s still far better than most figures. And her arms don’t just fall off like Joker’s.

The elbows are double jointed. There aren’t swivels, but the crazy shoulders more than make up for it. They don’t seem to bend as deeply as you’d want, but they do. The wrists swivel and pivot and are great.

There are two joints in the abdomen that allow for a good range of movement. The upper one is visible, but the lower joint is concealed by the t-shirt.


Harley’s hip joints are about as crazy as her shoulders, but fully utilizing them really messes up the profile of the figure. They literally come out of the sockets and look weird. You can’t get a whole lot of forward and backward without exposing this. Plus, the ankles are extremely limited, so it’s not like this figure is going to squat, anyway.

The knees are fugly. The joints are huge and you can see light through them. These are, without a doubt, the most disappointing aspect of the figure. And the thing is, with the limited ankles there’s really no point in having double-jointed knees anyway. The figure can kneel, but it looks so ugly doing it that it’s not worth it.

The ankles rotate and that’s about it. They pivot a bit in every direction – just enough to get some different stances. They’re better than NECA ankles, but not by much.

That being said, this figure is still on the upper end of very good as far as articulation goes. While some of the joints are limited, I experienced very little frustration in trying to achieve the poses I wanted. There are still plenty of cool and badass things this Harley Quinn can do.


Between that and the better than average supply of accessories, this is a fun figure. And unlike the MAFEX Joker, Harley feels fairly sturdy. I wasn’t worried about breaking anything or misaligning any parts to the point that they’d be a pain to get back into place.

OVERALL

This Harley Quinn is definitely a win for Medicom’s MAFEX line. Even though I mostly liked the Joker, I felt like Figuarts was the superior brand. Now I’m not so sure. There’s a lot to recommend this figure and as of right now I can’t pick a favorite. I can’t express enough just how flawless the paint is. It’s probably one of the best decorated figures I’ve ever owned.

If you like this look for Harley Quinn, this is a great figure. As of now I cannot definitively recommend this over Bandai’s or vice-versa.

4 out of 5

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