I mentioned a few days ago that I found an unexpected doll at Target, which I was very excited about, right? Well, this is her.
Now, this wasn’t entirely unexpected. I’d seen promotional artwork of the doll line some time ago…though I admit I had totally forgotten about it until I saw the dolls in person. (And I don’t think the promotional artwork I saw included Harley.) I couldn’t resist getting Harley, because I love the character, though I still think of her as looking like this:
Despite that it’s not the look I’m used to for Harley, I couldn’t resist this adorable-yet-slightly-psychotic face:
Anyway, this is a line of superheroine dolls aimed at girls, giving DC a real edge over Marvel, whose toy department is being run by an utter moron who thinks it’s still the worst part of the 1980s. (Or whatever it is that he’s thinking. My brother says Disney’s trying to oust him, but apparently they’re not working fast enough.) Of course, that being said, it’s still not quite ideal.
I’ll want to cover the different parts of the back of the box in some detail, but let me start by saying that it’s a high school setting (um, could Disney sue them for ripping off Sky High here?) and that Mattel — at least in the packaging — is giving it the same basic treatment as it gives Monster High and Ever After High. (In fact, those lines probably inspired this one in one way or another.) My brother’s concerned about how the tie-in products (particularly the comic books) are going to go, because he’s really big into comics, particularly the DC ones, and he’s sometimes even more of a feminist than I am, so he’s very sensitive to it when the comics get things wrong regarding the heroines. And if the comics are anything like the back of this box, he may have very good reasons to be worried.
Um, “Heronomics”? Seriously? Lame, dudes. Very lame. Also, do you really want to put the word “friend” right after the word “super”? Last time I checked, Superfriends was still somewhat of a laughing stock. Maybe that’s changed, but…speaking of things that have changed, I — personally –am still used to thinking of Harley as being on the villain side. I realize that’s no longer the case in the comics, but…I pretty much only know the original Harley, the one on Batman the Animated Series.
Yeah, I’m used to Poison Ivy being a villain, too. Though that doll doesn’t really say “Poison Ivy” to me; she says “Leela from Sky High” to me. (And that is so what I’m going to name her when I get her, btw. Or was it spelled Lila? Well, whichever…) Anyway, since I’m already talking about the other dolls in the line, I’ve gotta say that they all look really great, except Supergirl. Her costume actually looks worse in person than it does in the promotional photo on the box. That collar is awful, and…I don’t even know exactly what it is else that’s wrong with it, but it just didn’t look good to me. I won’t be getting Supergirl except on Superclearance. (Or maybe at Tuesday Mornings.) The others, though, looked great, even though Batgirl’s outfit is primarily a hoodie. Wonder Woman looked terrific, with hair that’s partially black and partially about the same deep navy color as the hair on the Wonder Woman Pullip. And I love the fact that she’s wearing pants! I’m not familiar with the character of Bumblebee, but the doll looks very nice, and the promotional photo there doesn’t do her justice, because her head’s turned so you can’t see the lighter streak in her hair, which really adds a lot of extra character.
Okay, so now let’s move on to the text above the pictures…specifically the part that says “Super Powers”. I’m used to Harley not having any powers, though my brother informs me that in the comics Ivy hooked her up with some enhanced speed and stuff like that. However, the doll line is going with the original, non-powered Harley, and so they had to put in non-super “Super Powers”…but I have to dock them a lot of points for what they wrote. Because “Expert Gymnast” and “Acrobat” are not powers! A person is a gymnast or an acrobat. The “power” associated with same would be “gymnastics” and “acrobatics”…no, even that wouldn’t be right, but it would at least be closer. To really be accurate, they’d have to say something like “flexibility” or “speed” or “acrobatic prowess” would probably be the closest. They shouldn’t have called it “Super Powers” if they couldn’t think of anything that was actually a power to write there. Sorry if that sounds pedantic, but I was once an English major (hard as that may be to believe, given my rambling and frequently incoherent text) and sometimes these things really get under my skin.
Yep, done with the packaging now! As you can see, she can sit pretty well in a chair-like setting. But her legs are longer than Barbie’s, so I think she wouldn’t fit very well in most 1/6 scale chairs. (Yes, I really should have tried that out before I posted this. I knew I was forgetting to do something during the photo shoot….I forgot to get comparative pictures, too. I’ll have to do that with the next doll I get in this line.) Anyway, Harley has one major drawback, in that her legs are actually made of red and black plastic, rather than her having skin-colored legs and wearing red and black tights. It’s easy to understand from a cost perspective, but it’s sort of annoying from a collector’s perspective. (No idea how kids would react.)
The package loudly proclaims that the dolls can stand on their own, and indeed they can. But in Harley’s case there are two complications. The first, obviously, is that her mallet makes it harder for her to balance if she’s actively holding it in the air. The second is perhaps unique to my particular doll: one of her legs is .5 cm longer than the other. (This will be more apparent when her shoes are off.)
That thing she’s standing on is actually the wooden box for a Mah Jongg set that I got at Barnes & Noble some time back. (On clearance, I should point out. And no, I have no idea how to actually play it. I mostly wanted to get it because I figured the tiles might make good photography props. This is the first time I’ve actually used one for that purpose…) When I was getting set up for this photo shoot, the lid got a bit messed up, and wouldn’t close again because a tile was in the way. When I saw that the tile in question was a Joker tile, I just had to use it as a prop. After all, Harley would want to have Mr. J.’s calling card with her!
(Truth be told, my favorite Harley moment is actually from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. It is the line “Sweetie, go get Mommy’s bazooka!” (Yes, this was an irrelevant aside.))
So, Harley’s grippy-hands do not allow her to make that annoying little heart symbol. (Which, annoying as I personally may find it, does seem like exactly the kind of thing a teenage Harley in today’s world would do. Especially if she was shooting a selfie to send to the teenage Joker. Oh, God, that’s a terrifying thought! He’s creepy enough as a grown man…eew, I may have nightmares now.) Anyway, the real reason I took this shot was to show off her surprisingly buff arms. I like the fact that the dolls are kind of buff. They’re superheroines (and supervillains); they should be buff! I’m glad Mattel gave them these unique and powerful-looking bodies, instead of something scrawny like the Monster High bodies, or the slightly-less-scrawny Ever After High bodies, or even Barbie bodies.
Oh, and about those hands? They’re removable, just like Monster High hands. So while she doesn’t come with extra hands in other poses, she can trade hands with dolls who have hands in other poses. (That might look pretty odd if the other doll in question was Bumblebee, however…) Though most of them seem to have at least one gripping hand, despite that most of them don’t seem to have anything to grip.
So, close-up of her shoes for several reasons. To start with, the molded plastic socks. One the one hand, I hate molded plastic socks where cloth socks would do just as well. On the other hand, I love the playing card suit motif on the socks. So I guess those balance out. But why in the world are her shoes blue?! Big miss there, Mattel. One of them should be red and the other black!
She has no hope of standing up unaided without her shoes on. This is partly due to the aforementioned longer-black-leg syndrome, and partly due to her inexplicable high heeled feet. Because she doesn’t come with a stand (since she can stand on her own) I had to make do with what I could find, and most of my doll stands are full of other dolls, hence this rather shabby arrangement with Romana’s stand.
She can sit on the ground pretty well, too. Those grippy hands, though…they really do look pretty bad without her mallet in them. (Or at least a Mah Jongg tile. Which fit absolutely perfectly, as if it had been made to go there.)
They went to the trouble of giving her right and left feet with nicely shaped toes, but didn’t really add toenails or anything. I’m not sure why they gave her toes at all, really. It’s not like they want you to take her shoes off. But I guess they just knew some of us would, so they didn’t want ugly, formless lumps in there. (Or maybe they plan on selling fashion packs with high-heeled sandals. Ack…that would be so wrong for this line. Other lines, cool. This one, no.)
For someone who’s supposed to be an “Expert Gymnast,” her front splits are only so-so…
…and her side splits are laughable. (Seriously, I think I can do better than this. And I’m 40 years old and badly overweight.)
So, yeah, some mobility issues, and the thing about one leg being longer than the other is a little alarming. However, I suspect that the latter might only affect Harley dolls, since her legs are made out of different colors of plastic. (Or maybe they made the molds wrong and it’ll affect the whole run. I have no way of knowing until I get a different doll from the line.)
But the bottom line is that these are really fun, cute dolls, and I’m quite looking forward to getting the rest of them. (Except Supergirl.) I’ll probably see if I can find them on sale, though; they don’t have much in the way of accessories (Harley’s mallet is the exception) so $20 feels a tiny bit steep. (Says the woman who pledged $500 on Kickstarter for two resin BJDs…)
Anyway, the gallery for this post is here, but the only shots in there that aren’t here are a few taken with a bit less light. (Just an FYI. But I’ll probably add more shots of Harley in there later. She seems like she’d be fun to take to the park or the zoo (omg, the zoo!) for additional photography.)
Okay, I suddenly have a new goal in life(?). I want to start taking dolls to the zoo or the botanical gardens to photograph them there. Especially the zoo, though. That would be so awesome.
Dang, I need some dolly friends to go with me, though. Someone else to help me carry the dolls. (Maybe someone who used to have kids and so has an old stroller we could use. That’d be hilarious, filling a stroller with dolls for photography.) When this semester is over, I totally have got to find some doll collecting forums and see if there’s anyone in this area who wants to do that.