Kenner Batman: The Animated Series Harley Quinn Kenner, 1994
Day #441: July 12, 2012
Harley Quinn The First-Ever Harley Quinn Action Figure
The Adventures of Batman & Robin Action Figure
Item No.: Asst. 61145 No. 63829 Manufacturer:Kenner Includes:Knockout Punching Glove and Trick Pistol Action Feature:Punch glove "punches" Retail:$5.99 Availability: ca. 1997 Other: Five points of articulation
I don't think I'm being hyperbolic by saying that the release of Harley Quinn about 5 years after the character debuted was a big deal. The bulk of the Batman Animated line were updates of characters which had been around for years, in some cases decades, with few newcomers like Bane and Phantasm. With the Joker's endless popularity, it stands to reason he would get some of his own accessories, like a Jokermobile car and, of course, a girlfriend. Unlike Bane or Ra's al Ghul, Harley sold pretty well and commanded a slight premium for a while too. And like most figures from the 1990s, today, nobody cares.
The simplified style from the TV show made for great Kenner-style action figures. Limited articulation meant the silhouette of the character could be kept intact quite nicely, while keeping the poses more or less restrained with a few exceptions like the Phantasm and Poison Ivy. Harley's right hand is extended in an unusual-for-a-villain pose, but I quickly noticed it seemed she was designed almost perfectly to compliment the Joker from the same wave. The two could hold hands-- I assume this was intentional, which is nothing short of adorable. Her arms could move freely, as could her neck, and her legs had an acceptable range of movement. While she had no holes in her feet for pegs, which was unusual for this line, she generally had no problems standing unassisted. However, her accessories made her too top-heavy and as the packaging said, some poses would require hand support.
As one of Kenner's many 5-inch scale lines, this series of Batman heroes and villains was one of the best. Sure, it was infuriating to collect as some assortments had 1 of each villain-- if that-- to a dozen or more Batmans and Robins, but that made finding the bad guys all the more rewarding. Today the figure is quite cheap on eBay and packaged samples go for about ten bucks. The card art is pretty fantastic, and the graphic design is usually fairly simple and stripped-down compared to modern lines and even other lines of that era. The figure's sculpt is certainly quite good, the card art is nice, and as this is basically the first good toy of the character. Her lack of popularity is surprising, but the good news for you is that she's easy to get. The figure had some deco changes and was reissued in a Toys R Us exclusive gift set shortly before Hasbro/Kenner broke up with Batman/DC and it moved over to Mattel.
I like this figure bunches, even if it does have a few flaws. Her accessories don't help make her better, but the stand-alone figure, by itself, is one of the better sculpts in this line and it just looks dang cool. If you loved the 1990s cartoon series, like most good people do, she's worth tracking down.
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