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Katana

Suicide Squad
by yo go re

Apparently hoping to cash in now that the movie has won exactly as many Oscars as Pulp Fiction and Citizen Kane, Mattel has at last seen fit to release the second wave of Suicide Squad action figures.

This is Katana. She's got my back. I would advise not getting killed by her. Her sword traps the souls of its victims.

Thanks, Captain Exposition! In a movie chock-a-block full of bad decisions and a clear case of "too many cooks" editing, Katana has to be among the worst. The movie slowly slowly slowly drags its way through introductions of character after character, and then just as things are about to happen (which is fully halfway through its run time, for the record), Katana walks in with no buildup or fanfare, and Rick Flagg clumsily word-vomits out that stupid spiel up above. That's her entire introduction. Daddy's Little Cosplayer and One-Eyed Willy get complete little mini-movies, everybody gets funny title cards full of fancy fonts and Easter eggs, but Katana? She's got my back. I would advise not getting killed by her. Her sword traps the souls of its victims.

[I'll see you and raise you a "Here comes Slipknot, the man who can climb anything." --ed.]

Thanks to Arrow, we already had a great live-action Katana (who may or may not have had anyone's back). But then DC mandated that the TV shows write off any characters who were going to appear in the film, so now we've got this one. Sadly, the toy doesn't duplicate Karen Fukuhara's stringy hair, instead saddling her with a '60s flip.

At least her costume is nice. Seriously, in a movie where the costumes waver between way too understated and way too overdone, Katana hits the sweet spot. It's a simple outfit - brown combat boots, black leggings, leather jacket, small white shirt - but it looks like a costume rather than just civilian wear. That's helped by the inclusion of a bright red sash around her waist, and a flowing one tied around her shoulders, plus the gold lotus and katakana images painted on her pants and jacket. While her mask already calls to mind the Japanese flag, she has a Hinomaru armband on her right sleeve. Like Harley, the toy is sculpted with proportions closer to a real human being than a comicbook or cartoon character, which makes her look "wide," for lack of a better term. We're not asking for wasp waists or inhumanly long legs, but a little exaggeration would go a long way. They did sculpt a long scar on her belly though, suggesting a past fraught with danger.

For a martial artist, her articulation is not great. Thanks as always, Mattel. Katana (she's got my back; I would advise not getting killed by her; her sword traps the souls of its victims) has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, swivel/hinged elbows, swivel wrists, a hinged torso, swivel waist, H-hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and hinged ankles. No swivels at the tops of her boots? And the swivels in the elbows are completely unnecessary, because placed below the hinge (as they are) they offer the same range of movement as the wrists do, and placed above the hinge, they'd offer the same range of movement as the biceps. Why do them at all?

I don't know if you're aware of this, but Katana's sword traps the souls of its victims. The figure includes both that sword (Soultaker) and a shorter one, and both fit in scabbards that are held in place in her sash.

The figure comes with two pieces of the series' Build-A-Figure, Killer Croc. She has the hips and the head, so you'll need to buy her if you want to build either version of him.

This is Katana. She's got my back. I would advise not getting killed by her. Her sword traps the souls of its victims. And I would also advise not buying her, because while she's one of the better-looking characters in the movie, the toy is completely mediocre in every way.

-- 03/02/17


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