The Amanda Conner-inspired Harley Quinn makes for one of the best DC action figures from Mattel in a decade.
2018 has been a weird year in the toy world, but one of the few undeniable positives has been the dramatic improvement in Mattel’s action figure output. From the ambitious Jurassic World collection, to some truly fun Comic Con exclusives this summer, to the long-overdue refresh of the Four Horsemen’s DC Universe Classics model for DC action figures, Mattel has really stepped up their game this year. And a figure like the new Wal-Mart exclusive Harley Quinn perfectly illustrates what these toymakers are capable of making– a great looking, playable, and source-accurate comic book action figure.
The new Harley is based on her modern design by Amanda Conner, and from costume details to the figure’s well-sculpted face, Conner’s design is rendered perfectly in three dimensions. Unlike fellow Wal-Mart exclusive Spoiler, Harley is an entirely new sculpt, which offers some great new points of articulation, and much better proportions than the Four Horsemen DCUC female figures.
Harley sports the traditional DCUC articulation, along with half-ball elbows, a ball joint in the torso which offers a much smoother sculpt than the segmented ab crunch, double jointed knees, rocker ankles, and the newly designed ball hips which Mattel borrowed from the WWE figures. All combined, this means Harley is a very well articulated figure, capable of striking a number of good poses without sacrificing the integrity of her sculpt.
The figure’s paint is simple, solid colors– reds and blacks for the costume along with pale white skin and silver highlights– which are cleanly applied and lend themselves to the comic book aesthetic of the figure. The figure’s face is painted very well, enhancing the playfully sinister expression which mirrors Conner’s art style, and Harley’s ever-present pigtails sport a nice wash to signify the pink and blue highlights she wears along with this costume.
Mattel’s DC figures were never known for their accessories, but Harley bucks that trend, as well. She includes a mallet, a pop gun with removable “bang” flag, two bolos, and a Mother Box, an added accessory for the Collect-N-Connect Lex Luthor figure which will be released in the next wave of Multiverse figures. That’s an impressive variety of gear for a single figure!
As a long-time fan of Amanda Conner’s art, I’m happy to see a toy capture her style so effectively. It’s especially impressive considering this is a mass-release figure from a mainstream toy company! Harley also represents a promising trend which will hopefully continue in the future of Mattel’s Multiverse toy line, as they move beyond the good but outdated designs they have been relying on for about a decade now, to create action figures that feel more contemporary and competitive by 2018 standards. Even if every figure they release isn’t as successful as Harley, this figure is absolutely not one to be ignored.
Look for Harley along with Spoiler, in a mini-wave exclusive to Wal-Mart. Since the case of these figures is split evenly between only two characters, Harley should be pretty plentiful, when your Wal-Mart gets these in stock. Happy hunting!