ADVANCE REVIEW: Kotobukiya DC Comics HARLEY QUINN Bishoujo Statue
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Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo Statue line has been a huge hit with comic book fans, and for good reason. We all love statues of pretty ladies, but there’s only so many you can collect before they all start looking the same. Koto, however, takes the traditional female superheroes and villains of the DC Comics universe and reinvents them in the unique Japanese Bishoujo (“pretty girl”) style as imagined by famed illustrator Shunya Yamashita. The ever-growing collection has brought such heavenly bodies as Supergirl, Batgirl, Poison Ivy, and more. Today we’ll take a look at the next member of this elite club due out next month, the popular and irascible Harley Quinn!
Quinn first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, and though initially intended to be a minor character turned into so much more. The following year she would pop up in comics for the first time, and DC has never looked back. A psychiatrist working at Arkham Asylum, Dr. Harleen Quinzel found herself seduced by the Joker and became his costumed sidekick. Her name naturally suggested a jester identity and the name Harley Quinn, leading to her iconic red, black, and white costume. Though the current versions of Quinn look a bit different (in the New 52’s Secret Six as well as the Batman “Arkham” video games), it’s still this costume, makeup, and mask that most people think of when you say “Harley Quinn.”
The Kotobukiya Bishoujo Statue packaging is clean and simple in its layout, without too much stuff getting in the way. There’s a window so you can get a glimpse of the statue inside, though with the plastic trays and wrapping around it you really can’t see it all that well. The box is overall white with red and black details. On the front panel around the window is the DC Comics Bishoujo Statue title to the left and the character’s name at the bottom next to a thumbnail of Yamashita’s art work. One side of the box has a small window, the same thumbnail, and a brief description of the line while the other side has a full size image of the attractive illustration. The back of the box has two photos of the statue and a full description of the item at the bottom. There’s also a small “coming soon” note at the bottom for the next DC statue, Power Girl.
Harley Quinn is always playful, even when wielding deadly weapons and threatening the safety of Gotham and its inhabitants. This time around, the mad jester lounges on a comically oversized hammer, ready to do her “puddin’s” bidding with a big smile on her crazed face. Harley wears her slinky costume, comprised of a sleek bodysuit in a symmetrical checkerboard pattern. Embedded into the costume are patterns of diamonds at the upper legs and arms, done in the opposite color as that part of the outfit. Harley’s soft shoes have relaxed, bunched fabric at the ankles, while her wrists are decorated with thick decorative ruffles. Both her star-shaped collar piece and two-pointed floppy hat end in puffy, cotton-like balls with excellent texture. Quinn’s bishoujo-styled face captured the Japanese beauty aesthetic with classic large eyes, small nose, and slightly smiling mouth, all in a delicate presentation that looks great on this statue. There’s plenty more small sculpted detail to enjoy like the subtle creasing of her costume at the seams and joints, and the wear and tear on her mighty hammer.
Whether you first saw her in the Animated Series or in comic books, Harley Quinn’s bold color scheme is unforgettable. The red and black is perfectly recreated here, and the opposing symmetry of the combination is really eye-catching. Everything on the left is contrasted with everything on the right from the shoes to the large sections of the costume, diamond decorations, gloves, and hat. It’s even more striking with her cute pose that subtly bends and shifts the color pattern. The white of Harley’s collar, wrists, and face really pop from the dark red and black of the rest, immediately drawing your eyes upward. Koto even went so far as to include two interchangeable faces with this statue. They share the exact same sculpt, the cute elfin face glancing to the side with a sly smile and harlequin mask. The difference is one has a pale flesh tone while the other is painted white with makeup. The faces attach firmly to her head via a powerful magnet; just gently pull it forward to remove. There’s also a specially designed box on the underside of the statue’s base to store the face you’re not currently displaying. Harley comes with the un-adorned face in place, and while I thought I preferred that one my opinion changed as soon as I popped in the white face; that’s definitely my favorite as it really ties in to the rest of the white on her costume. Your preference, of course, may vary!
Harley comes fully assembled, so all you need to do is free her from the packaging and you’re ready for display. At 10 inches tall (1/7th scale) she makes for a commanding presence and looks good alongside all sorts of other figures and collectibles. Quinn and her hammer come built into the smooth black display base that elevates her about an inch. If you’re a Batman fan, or of course specifically a lover of Harley, this is absolutely the statue for you. It’s a fresh take on the classic costume and look that’s playful and beautiful at the same time. The pose and giant hammer make Harley dynamic on your shelf, and the addition of the alternate faces really puts it over the top. The mad jester will be available everywhere in November for about $60 (you can preorder yours directly from Kotobukiya), a very fair price for this fun statue.
Review and photos by Scott Rubin.
Review sample courtesy of Kotobukiya.
Last edited by JeffSaylor; 11-28-2012 at 08:44 AM.