SUPERGIRL, LIVEWIRE, BATGIRL, HARLEY QUINN, & POISON IVY
BATMAN: ANIMATED (DC COLLECTIBLES)
Female action figures are, on a whole, a rarity. This stems largely from the days when the line between action figures and dolls was really just that one was marketed to girls and one was marketed to girls. But, in the 50 years since the term “action figure” was invented by a marketing department, the definitions have become a little more rigid, and opinions on who collects them have slightly changed. This is my very long-winded way of saying I’m reviewing my second all-female boxed set in the space of three months, which even by modern standards is kind of cool.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Supergirl, Livewire, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy make up the “Girl’s Night Out” boxed set, released last year as part of DCC’s Batman: Animated line. They’re based on the New Adventures of Batman episode of the same name, which sees Supergirl and Batgirl teaming up to defeat the combined forces of Livewire, Harley, and Ivy. Only the Superman characters are actually new to this set, with Batgirl, Harley, and Poison Ivy being re-releases of their single figures from the main line, sans most of their accessories. Since Harley’s new to me, I’ll be reviewing her here, but for my opinion on the other two, go here and here.
For Superman: The Animated Series’ third season, Supergirl was introduced to open up some new story-telling possibilities. However, due to DC’s then-standing policies on Clark being the only remaining Kryptonian, they had to money around with her origin a bit. On the plus side, the character remained more or less the same. This figure replicates her tweaked animated design. She stands 5 3/4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. Her sculpt is a rather faithful recreation of the design from the show, which is a real first for Supergirl, as her prior animated figures have all strayed from the proper design. There are some minor nitpicks that can be made, like her head maybe being a smidge too big for the body. However, that’s really looking for issues, and comes down more to personal preference than anything else. Her paintwork is very clean, and the colors are bright and eye-catching. Definitely a nice departure from this line’s penchant for fuzzy edges on everything. The biggest downfall of this figure (and this set as a whole) is her lack of any accessories outside of a stand. At the very least, a spare set of fists seems like it should come standard.
After the successful creation and reception of Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya in Batman: The Animated Series, the creators tried their luck again with Livewire (though Livewire *actually* appeared in the tie-in comic before the show). While she didn’t quite take off the way those two did, she did still pick up a decent fanbase of her own. She never actually got a figure during S:TAS’s run, but she’s made out alright since the show’s end. The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and she has 23 points of articulation. Like Kara, her sculpt is quite a good match for her show appearance. In fact, I even have trouble finding the minor nitpicks like I did with Supergirl. The proportions are more balanced, and the lines are all very sharp and clean. Her paintwork is appropriately monochromatic, and the blues interact well with each other. There’s a little bit of fuzzy work on the edges, but it’s mostly confined to the “emblem” on her torso, where it’s somewhat acceptable, with her being an energy being and all. She also is only packed with a display stand. The lack of extra hands is slightly less frustrating for her, since she doesn’t need them as much, but I’m still not 100% okay with it.
And speaking of successful creations from the DCAU, here’s the character that’s by far the greatest success story, Harley Quinn! Outside of Batman himself, she’s actually the character with the most figures in this line, which really speaks to her marketability. This figure is a re-issue of her second single-carded figure, which was based on her TNBA appearance. Harley is one of the characters whose two appearances weren’t that different, but they were enough for the eagle-eyed fan to need two distinct figures. This figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 19 points of articulation. Okay, so, first thing’s first, let’s discuss the articulation. You know ankle joints? Harley doesn’t have those. Why not? Your guess is as good as mine. Apparently, DCC didn’t feel Harley needed them. They also didn’t feel she needed the ability to stand either, though I guess that’s linked to the lack of ankle movement. The point is, it really sucks. Really, really sucks. Her sculpt is fine, but it reminds me that I prefer the subtle differences of the B:TAS version. The big head’s throwing me on this one. I guess it’s not a terrible offering though. Her paintwork is pretty decent. The dual-toned color scheme looks sharp, and the application is overall pretty clean. Like all of the others in this set, Harley’s only accessory is a display stand. No extra hands, no weapons of any sort. Nothing. Not even the accessories from the prior figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When the Batman: Animated line launched, I was excited by the prospect of a complimentary Superman line. It didn’t so much come to fruition, and I’ll admit, two of my most wanted figure from said theoretical line only being available in a big boxed set with two figures I already had kind of killed my excitement. I ended up getting this set at the same time as yesterday’s DKR set, as a birthday present from my parents. Supergirl and Livewire are very nice figures, slightly held back by a lack of accessories. The other three are kind of dead weight. Harley’s easily the worst version of the character from the line, and while Ivy and Batgirl are perfectly fine figures in their own right, having to buy them again, and not getting any accessories the second time around is really lame. And a note to DCC: if you’re only going to include a single set of hands, can you at least make it something more useful than the limp open palm? This set’s begging for some cool fight set-ups, but as it currently stands, all they’re really prepared for is a big slapping fight.