To say that Margot Robbie has taken to Harley Quinn would be a wild understatement. When it comes to live-action, she basically owns the character to the point that they feel like one and the same. That means that in making a statue themed after her Birds of Prey look has a lot of work to do to feel authentic. Not just her face, but her outfit, her accessories, and her whole attitude are all part of the package. Diamond Select’s Birds of Prey Harley Quinn diorama statue gets a lot of that right but falls tragically flat in at least one crucial spot.
This statue is based off of Harley Quinn’s look in the latter sections of Birds of Prey. It stands at 9-inches including the base, and was designed by Shawn Knapp and sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. It retails for $49.99 on the Diamond Select website and a few dollars less on Entertainment Earth.
The Uncanny Valley
Where the 1989 Batman statue recognizably captured Keaton’s likeness, this statue doesn’t look a thing like Margot Robbie. I’d almost say it looks like someone cosplaying Harley Quinn. The statue doesn’t have any facial expression to speak of, and that’s a damn crime. Margot Robbie’s ability to capture Harley’s combination of unhinged but calculating glee with a simple look is what makes her. The sculptor captured a lot of little things, like her cheekbones, but the sum of the parts ends up looking, dare I say, more like Flo from Progressive than it does Margot Robbie.
There are other things that put me off of the statue, too. For some reason, the skates are both worn off at the front. I confirmed that this isn’t a manufacturing defect or anything like that. But then I checked as many screenshots of Birds of Prey as I could dig up, as well as more expensive (and thusly more screen-accurate) Harley toys like Hot Toys’ $250 Harley statue or the Kotobukiya ARTFX statue. Her skates, far as I can tell, are always intact. Another weird departure is that the toy totally forgoes her Daddy’s Lil’ Monster tattoo, which would normally sit just below her left collarbone. It’s just not there.
Moving away from Harley herself, I’d be remiss in not mentioning that the handle of Harley’s hammer is bent ever so slightly. I also am not as hot on the base as I was the aforementioned 1989 Batman statue. Where that one captured the iconic movie alongside its main character, the clear base doesn’t add much. It evokes Harley with the four-diamond shape and the lipstick icon, but the clear base looks a little yellowed right out of the box. It might’ve been intentional, but it looks like wear.
Okay, there’s good stuff too
Okay, I spent a lot of time bagging on this statue. But there’d good stuff here, too.
I think the pose is really good. It’s straightforward, but it feels alive. Little things like the way her right hand rests on the hammer to the casual positioning of her feet work really well. The modeling of the wrinkles in her overalls, including pockets and even the air gap between the overalls and her stomach are all great.
The paint is mostly on point, too. Harley’s hair has the appropriately washed-out dye job of her movie counterpart. The metallic finish on her overalls is present but not overstated like it is on some of the other toys. The color on her skin and pink tank top are good, too, though I’ll note that the bottom of the tank top bleeds onto her skin a bit.
One particularly bright spot is the detail on her hammer, which has the x-eyes smiley on both sides, and a textured diamond band around the center of the hammer.
What’s in a face?
Ultimately, this statue’s face makes it a hard one to recommend. Harley doesn’t have a mask to cover her face like many other heroes, and this take on Harley has a real-life counterpart to match. It’s a tougher thing to get right, but the sculptor missed the mark in this case. Even the Hallmark ornament of Harley does more interesting things with her face. If the face were closer to Margot Robbie, I think I’d give this figure a glowing recommendation even with the missing tattoo. As it is, though, it’s not quite there.
Disclaimer: Diamond Select provided us with one DC Movie Gallery Birds of Prey Harley Quinn PVC Diorama to photograph and examine before writing this review.
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