Monday, May 15, 2017

Toy Review – DC Designer Series Bombshells Harley Quinn by Ant Lucia from DC Collectibles

By Phantom Troublemaker


I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this particular Harley Quinn action figure.

Preview images made it look like it would have the articulation of DC Collectibles’ Icons line, but weren’t clear about the scale. I’m pretty sure this first series was solicited prior to the handy scaling chart that DCC uses in Previews now.


The extensive articulation seemed like an odd choice for the Designer Series, which is typically much more concerned about profiles and aesthetics than posability. But after I opened the figure it became clear why there were so many joints – because these Bombshells designs are based on Ant Lucia’s pinup versions of DC’s female characters, and pinups have to be able to pose. While I would have been satisfied with a figure that looked great and had standard DCC articulation, I am truly impressed that the DC Collectibles gang had this revelation.

I’m definitely a fan of Lucia’s Bombshells. Some are better than others – I’m appalled that Batwoman was given a baseball gimmick because she’s my favorite of the characters they’ve done and I loathe baseball – but for the most part the designs do a fantastic job of capturing the feel of classic pinup art. I can’t even argue against the baseball motif, I just wish it had been used for someone other than Batwoman (yes, I get it – BATwoman).

I haven’t read the comic that this art spawned, but it must be at least pretty good because it’s twenty-three issues in and still going.

FIRST GLANCE

I was still expecting an Icons-sized (true twelfth scale) figure, so I was surprised at how large this was.

It’s impressive in the box – lots of elements and a great profile with plenty of accessories. I had to leave the store before I just impulse bought the other three Bobmshells.

PACKAGING

The standard DC Collectibles box with the wraparound window. I like this design quite a bit and DCC is good at using colors and designs to differentiate between the lines. Icons, Animated, and Bombshells are pretty easy to tell apart even beyond the visible figure inside.

The back features the rest of the wave, including INSANE-O Bombshell Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, and BATwoman (hardy har).


There’s also the creator credit, which I appreciate seeing.

LOOKS

The head sculpt is absolutely killer. As with most figures, this was a critical element and DCC nailed it. The hair is sort of big like the original art and the ponytails look like they’re in mid-bounce. The sculpt is excellent. Harley’s face is sculpted with a photogenic smile, but still looks mischievous. Her goggles have a great thickness to them and almost look like a separate piece.

Side Note: Our pal Ryan Cadaver reports that the right ponytail on his figure basically just fell off when he opened the figure. The connection points on my figure feel alarmingly loose, so just know that you might be doing some repair work if you buy one of these. And, unlike the MAFEX and Figuarts figures I’ve recently reviewed, these ponytails are NOT articulated, so don’t even try to move them.

Also, just to update, I still don’t know which one of those I prefer. Ryan liked the MAFEX release more.

The paint on the head is top notch. The goggles and hair bands are precise and the way the red blends into the blonde hair looks fantastic. Harley’s makeup and facial features are all as precise as you could want. I wish NECA could get their stuff to look this good. Of course, then their figures might be $28 apiece.


I think it’s worth noting that this is a more traditional whiteface-by-way-of-makeup Harley rather than the chemical-catastrophe-induced all over paleness that has been more common of late. It works really well for this design, as the face stands out against the standard pinup tan.


The excellent paint work continues with the bomber jacket. The sculpted zipper, epaulets, and fur collar look good, but the detail of the paint job makes it all resemble the work of art that is the original painting. The leather looks weathered and worn and the fur collar has a wash to bring out the nice texture sculpting. The zipper is bright gold – as a 50s-era zipper would be – and there are even sculpted medals and details with paint on them on the lapels. I’m also impressed with the painted waistband and cuffs. Their darker color really brings these features out and defines the jacket more.


The back of the jacket features a Joker logo and an unfortunate smear of white paint. I didn’t notice the smear until after I was done with the photos, but it scraped off easily. Otherwise the Joker design is applied perfectly and looks solid. I think Joker’s face is a little off-spec for the era, but it’s not a huge deal.


You can see where the opening around the shoulders isn’t quite snug enough, but it’s pretty much only noticeable from this exact angle. Not a big deal. Harley’s gloves look like red work gloves. I lie the flared tops that call to mind the frillier gloves of her standard costume, but are more in line with this pilot theme.


Harley’s top has sculpted features and isn’t just painted on. It looks good and the paint has a different gloss than her skin, which creates a good contrast between clothing and flesh. The utility belt is a nice touch. The Bat emblem on the front suggests she pilfered it from our favorite Dark Knight – a nice character accent that lends a little more personality to this different Harley Quinn. The sculpt is great and the combination of red and black on gold makes this item pop. It’s a separately sculpted piece that can be moved around on the figure.

The shorts are black with some highlight paint to give them texture. The sculpt is good, right down to the closure being unbuttoned.


There’s a joint where the bare legs meet the thigh-highs. This and the sculpted stripes make them look better than just painted legs. The card stuck in the top of the left one is also sculpted, with an excellent tiny paint job.


The socks are sculpted with thickness and wrinkles and look great. Harley’s boots are tremendous. The laces, eyelets, soles, and seams are all well-defined and every portion is painted in detail.

ACCESSORIES

Harley comes with four extra hands, a mallet, and a pistol.


The hands are all posed well and are useful with the other accessories. The splayed hand looks particularly good. I could’ve done without the peace sign, as that’s a more recent convention than works within the era this figure is representing, but whatever. I’m old and cranky.


The mallet or hammer or whatever you want to call it is my favorite that has come with a Harley figure. Especially a DCC one. It seems like the designers don’t often put a lot of thought into Harley’s signature weapon – most times it’s just a plain cylinder on a stick with minimal detail. This one is a tiny barrel tied (somehow) to a pole. It’s awesome. The sculpted wood grain and complimenting paint job look wonderful. This thing has so much character. It obviously wouldn’t be appropriate for every Harley, but it’s perfect for this one. The best part is that while the figure can hold it quite well, it’s large enough to use in other ways, too:




It’s not just a weapon, it’s a prop, which is important for a pinup!


The pistol is Harley’s usual popgun, but altered for the era. The sculpt and paint on the grip and cork are phenomenal, but the mind-blowing thing is the tiny little Batman charm. It’s a separate piece that moves freely on the ring it’s attached to. The paint on this tiny thing is remarkable. It could have easily just been blue and I don’t think anyone would have complained, but look at it! Amazing.

FUN

I was shocked to discover that this figure is right up there with Mezco’s One:12 Collective figures as far as how much fun I had playing with it goes.

It’s easy to tell that this Harley is packing plenty of joints, but until you start posing the figure you don’t realize just how functional and well-designed they are. These days it’s not at all uncommon to get a figure that has double jointed knees, but limited ankle joints. Or a torso hinge with barely any range. I found that all of the points of articulation on this figure worked very well together and that I could achieve just about every pose I wanted.

It wasn’t until I started playing around with these joints that I had the aforementioned revelation that DCC actually designed this figure with the concept of it being a miniature pinup in mind. I had a blast trying to come up with poses that seemed appropriate for the theme.

While all of the joints were great, the ones that had the most impact were these hip joints:


DCC – clearly influenced by Japanese toymakers like Bandai and Medicom – designed them to sort of move out of place so that the figure has an unprecedented (for DCC toys) range of leg poseability. A necessity for a pinup.


Between the incredible articulation and the solid accessories, this is a figure that’s going to stay on my desk for quite some time. The only problem is going to be deciding which pose to put her in once she does go to the shelf.

OVERALL

I’m surprised at how much I like this figure. I didn’t order it – or any of the Bombshells – initially because I felt like I needed to see the finished product. It definitely delivered. The sculpt and paint are simply outstanding. This is one of the best figures DC Collectibles has delivered and they’ve released some truly stellar product.

Me and the missus are both big fans of the Bombshells versions of these characters and now that we’ve seen this Harley in person I’ve been told that I need to buy the rest of them.

5 out of 5

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