As we revealed last time, most of Mattel's Arkham City toys were not sculpted by the Four Horsemen, but were instead just tweaked versions of the digital files. Well, only two figures bucked that trend - Series 3's Arkham City Nightwing and Harley Quinn.
Arkham Asylum psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel was assigned to treat the Joker, but became obsessed with her patient instead, falling madly in love with him. After she helped the madman escape, the good doctor concocted her own criminal identity: Harley Quinn. She is violent and unpredictable and her only motivation, beyond general mayhem, is earning the Joker's maniacal approval. And since her beau's titan overdose in Arkham Asylum, Harley's mind has further deteriorated. She is blindly determined to put a smile on her puddin's face - even if it means putting herself in harm's way.
Harley Quinn's role in Arkham Asylum (aside from looking like a "Sexy Nurse" Halloween costume come to life) was mainly passive - she spent her time directing goons, rather than engaging in any direct conflict. That bio definitely makes it sound like Arkham City changes all that - she even gets her own DLC expansion pack this time!
Is there anything about this toy that immediately screams "Four Horsemen?" No, but they weren't sculpting it in their style, they were trying to match the game renders. And in that regard, they absolutely succeeeded. Still, there's some certain undefiniable "something" about the toy that makes her look better than the other Mattel Arkham toys.
Harl's no longer cosplaying a nurse, but neither
has she returned to her classic costume. She's got a "Hot Topic Punk" thing going on, with knee-high boots, leather pants, studded bracelets and a corset. She retains the alternating red/black zones on her costume, but it's more sturdy than a spandex jumpsuit. There are thick seams on the boots and pants (also diamonds on the front of her thighs), she has a wide black belt with individual eyelets, and her corset appears to be padded and laced. The shirt she's wearing wrinkles and bunches just like it's being held down, and her frilly bra and panties poke up just enough to be seen.
The paint seems to be problem-free, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. The colors are slightly more muted than we'd like, so in some areas it's tough to differentiate between the red and the black. Several
apps (like the silver for her belt) have been skipped on the back, because who's ever going to notice? Her blonde hair is pulled into two pigtails to mimic her usual jester's cap, and the tips are dyed red and black. What's really impressive, though, are her tattoos: they're not colored in, like they are in the game, but both the armband on her right bicep and the design on her left hip are duplicated very well.
Here's a sentence you won't hear very often: this Mattel toy has
some surprising articulation. She has a swivel head and hinged neck, injection-molded shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel boot tops, swivel/hinge knees and hinged ankles. What? What happened to the Mattel that always let figures go out the door with the crappiest articulation possible? This is just
about up to modern standards, and is nearly enough for a gymnast like Harley. Could be better, but it's not bad!
Harley Quinn comes with one accessory: a candy striped baseball bat, just like she uses in the game. It's made from rubbery plastic, and droops when she holds it. Uh-oh! Since this figure is part of the Batman Legacy line, she also includes a display base with her name on it, and a rolled-up poster featuring Arkham City promo art of Harley telling off Batman.
At 6⅝" tall, Harley is a little too big to really integrate
with your DCU Classics - all the Arkham City toys have been strangely oversized, so at least she'll fit in there. Still, it would have been neat if you could put her in a regular collection, because Harley's Arkham City design heavily influenced the new DC reboot version of Harley as seen in Suicide Squad. Yeah, a lot of fans hated the new design, but it exists, and this could have been a suitable stand-in for her, if it had only been a little bit shorter. Other than her height, this is an excellent toy, brought down only by the fact that she and the rest of Series 3 is pretty damn hard to find. I lucked out and found a scalper's stash at Target, and that was the only time I ever saw her.