Batman has one of the best rogues gallery in superhero comics; his only rival in that department is probably Spider-Man. Stop your average Joe in the street and start saying names like the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman, and that person will say, "Why are you randomly listing the names of Batman villains at me?"
If you started tossing in names like Two-Face, Clayface, Scarecrow, and Mr. Freeze, you'd probably start getting some blank looks if this hypothetical Joe isn't a comics fan. But if he is, then he will know exactly who you're talking about. You might even get down to Bane, Killer Croc, and Man-Bat before Joe starts looking at his watch and trying to interject and say thanks, but he'd really hoped to see his firstborn child's birth. (If you get to Kite Man, you've gone too far; turn around and look for signs for the Sprang Bridge.)
Since the 1980s, there have been two significant additions to Batman's rogues gallery: the aforementioned Bane
and Harley Quinn. But unlike the other villains, Harley first appeared not in the comics, but on Batman: The Animated Series. Originally created as an all-purpose lackey for the Joker, she won over fans with her goofy-yet-sexy outfit, gangster-moll accent and undying devotion to her abusive beau. A few years later she was introduced into the mainstream comics universe.
An Arkham Asylum psychiatrist assigned to treat the Joker, Harleen Quinzel was instead driven mad by the Clown Prince of Crime and helped him escape. Nearly as insane as the Joker himself, Harley Quinn is a violent and unpredictable felon who will do anything to prove her love and loyalty to the Joker, her beloved.
Harley appears to have the same base body as the DC Superheroes Batgirl and Catwoman, with a few small changes: pointed elf-boots on her feet and ruffles on her wrists. The jester's collar is a separate piece, though it's glued on in the back. (There's a little white frost from the glue on my figure - not a big deal, but worth mentioning as a potential QC issue.)
The excellent face sculpt captures Harley's hotness, while also conveying
a bit of her insanity - she's got the "crazy eyes." One thing that's bothered many collectors is the blue wash on her face. It's very evident, and some fans think it's too strong. Personally, I like it, particularly since it mostly falls in the shadowed areas of her face (her cheeks and chin). Various Harleys seem to have varying amounts of wash, so if it matters to you, be sure to look through them on the pegs.
The figure is mostly molded in a shade of red plastic that's a bit more muted than Red Tornado's. Both the red plastic and the black paint have a nice matte look, and there's very little slop on my figure. The poker-like
diamonds on her upper right thigh and lower left calf are very sharp, but she doesn't have the diamonds on her right bicep or left forearm that she's usually drawn with (presumably because they would have been too difficult to apply on a mass market figure).
Harley has the standard DCUC articulation: balljoints at the neck and shoulders, hinge joints at the elbows, knees, ankles and abdomen, post-hinge joints at the hips (for balljoint-style range of motion), and swivel joints at the wrists, biceps, thighs and waist. The horizontal range of the hip joints are slightly limited by the construction of the H-joint.
Mattel has gotten much better about including cool accessories
with their DC figures. Harley comes with two of her signature weapons, an oversized, cartoon-like wooden mallet and a huge revolver with a cork in it. The mallet fits in her hands well, but the pistol tends to sit rather loosely in her right hand, and I had to use some Blu Tack to secure it. She also comes with Grodd's head and torso. As cool as these accessories are, I think Harley looks best holding the tommy gun that came with the DCSH Two-Face figure.
As a member of the Bat-rogues, Harley was one of my more anticipated figures in this wave, and she doesn't disappoint. As a rare female figure, expect her to vanish from toy shelves.