Harley Quinn has come a long way since her introduction as Joker’s sidekick in 1992 via Batman: The Animated Series. Not only has she become part of the main DC Universe, but she has a more consistent, arguably greater presence in it than the Joker himself. Harley’s popularity as a character has led to several volumes of an ongoing solo comic in addition to a role in the Suicide Squad. When the Suicide Squad film was announced as a part of the DC Extended Universe, Harley Quinn found herself front and center on perhaps her biggest stage yet.
As always happens when an established character gets a reinterpretation or redesign, there is a divide between fans over whether it is character ruining or not. In the case of Harley Quinn, there is a deep love for the original black and red body suit. The main criticism Harley Quinn redesigns receive is that they are skimpy and sexualized, though there really only was one direction to go, given the starting point. Nevertheless, Harley Quinn as portrayed by Margot Robbie in 2016’s Suicide Squad is comfortably on the skimpy/sexy end of the scale and Bandai, as evident from its choice in promotional photos for this figure, does not shy away from it.
The S.H. Figuarts Harley Quinn figure comes in a colorful, Harley-themed box with a fair amount of accessories. In total, the figure comes with seven interchangeable hands. One thing I like about them compared to other figures is that the angle of the peg holes are perfect for holding the figure’s accessories. They are, however, a very tight fit on the figure’s wrist pegs and I worry about ripping the pegs out every time I do a hand swap. I also find it a bit odd that she lacks closed fists or a gun-holding left hand, but realistically, they won’t be too sorely missed. It’s hard to complain about a couple of hand options when she comes with three complete heads with articulated pigtails. These are likely to be the main selling point of this figure, as they capture the film likeness of Harley Quinn about as well as you can expect at the 6″ scale. I particularly like the big, open smiling face, as it is so expressive that it makes the others feel almost dull. The only thing missing as far as I can tell, is there is no “Rotten” tattoo on her right cheek, which I can’t say that I miss. The gun has some fine detailing painted in gold, with the “Love” on the cylinder even being readable, though “Hate” on the opposite side is not, at least on my particular figure. The baseball bat is missing some detail that appears on the movie prop, but again, it’s not crucial detail, and something I only know from looking up images for comparison. What is a concern is the fragility of the bat. The bat comes apart above the wrapping in order to be placed in the figure’s hands which is a design I’ve grown to hate because those pegs always seem to break. This was no exception as the peg on mine broke after I finished taking photos of the figure.
The figure itself is loaded with detail and captures the onscreen look of Harley Quinn beautifully. Every detail is sculpted and painted, though she is missing at least one waist tattoo that she had in the movie. The “Puddin” choker is removable, but hides a very ugly lower neck joint, so I would suggest leaving it on. The sculpt is a bit soft in places, most noticeably on the tears and stitches on her shirt. Some shading may have brought out these details more, but there is no shading anywhere on the figure. That leaves the figure looking a bit flat, which I don’t always mind, but with a figure based on a real person such as this one, it does stand out a fair bit, even to me.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this figure is its poseability. The hips in particular are impressive as they are just ball pegs, but the shorts are soft enough and shift enough to give pretty much all the range you need without creating a ton of gaps. Harley’s elbows and knees offer great range considering they are single joints. The torso is made up of three pieces held together by double ball pegs that are fairly well hidden. I particularly like when a joint is hidden by sculpted clothing like her lower ab joint is here. Working together, the joints allow the figure to lean back fairly well, but forward not so much, as the bottom of her shirt eventually hits the top of her shorts. The figure’s neck joints don’t allow her to look down or up very much, but do move a fair bit side to side, which is arguably more important for a playful/mischievous character like Harley Quinn. The figure is also able to balance surprisingly well considering her sneaker-heels.
Previously, my favorite Harley Quinn figure had been the S.H. Figuarts Injustice version. After handling it again for comparison shots with this new figure, though, I think I have a new favorite. It’s an odd comparison to make considering one is meant to capture a human being and the other a video game/comic book character. I also do prefer the design and accessories of the Injustice figure, but with both in hand, the Suicide Squad Harley is just a better constructed, better looking figure. If you were the least bit interested in the figure before, I highly recommend picking it up.