Friday 29 September 2023

Toybox REVIEW: MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.)

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 01

Release Date: March 2023
RRP: 9680 yen

When it comes to high-end comic inspired action figures, Medicom are truly leading the way at the moment with the MAFEX line. Not only have they produced an expansive range of both Marvel and DC Comics figures over the past few years, but they're also taking some surprisingly deep dives into specific stories as well. Among these has been 2002's Batman: Hush, which has now found its cast further expanded with the release of MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.). The story marks the debut of this version of Huntress' costume, and while it would continue to evolve over the years this is the one that future variants have repeatedly drawn inspiration from.

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) Box 01

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) Box 02MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) Box 03MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) Box 04MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) Box 05

The 170th release in the MAFEX line, Huntress comes in some fairly basic packaging which does in fairness line up with the other Batman: Hush figures. It uses the same blue/black gradient colour scheme, with "Batman: Hush" written across it in bold blue lettering. In fact the character name isn't all that prominent on the box at all, shunted to the bottom in white lettering alongside the MAFEX, Medicom and DC Comics logos. Images of the figure are placed on all sides of the packaging, with the back particularly showing it off in a variety of poses. Inside the figure is neatly stored on a moulded plastic tray, with the inside back of the box also showing off a rather neat half Batman/half Hush image that also features Huntress and Harley Quinn just below them.

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 02

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 03MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 04MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 05MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 06

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 07MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 08MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 09MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 10

Batman: Hush marked the debut of Helena Bertinelli's third version of the Huntress costume, which should arguably be considered the most iconic. While it's received criticism over the years for the impracticality of the stomach window, a lot of the most iconic elements still originate from this version – the lighter purple colouring, the extended bat ears, the cross motif. Look at any version of the Huntress suit that has followed and nearly all of them can be traced back to this. As always Medicom have done an absolutely brilliant job in delivering a high quality sculpt which really captures Jim Lee's artwork, with some amazing detail in the face sculpt (particularly the eyelashes). The colours of the suit all go together really well, most obviously the black and purple but also the white and gold highlights as well as the skin tone used for the exposed areas. The cape is soft goods with bendable wire running around the rim, allowing it to be shaped as you see fit. When stretched out it’s a pretty long cape so bunching parts up is almost a necessity, which can lead to it getting a little bit much at times. Getting poseable capes into the perfect position can be a lot harder than it looks, but nevertheless it offers a better look and far more variety than a plastic alternative. Plus with the way it is pinned down at her lapels, there shouldn't be as much worry of the wire suddenly coming exposed like the is with the capes on the various Batman figures.

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 11

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 12MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 13MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 14MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 15

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 16MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 17MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 18MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 19

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 20MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 21MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 22

As tends to be the case with MAFEX figures, Huntress features an excellent range of articulation consisting of; 
- Ball jointed head, neck, torso, waist and hips
- Swivel hinge shoulders, wrists and ankles 
- Butterfly joint shoulders 
- Double hinge elbows and knees 
- Single hinge toe sections 
- Bicep and thigh swivels 
Fragility can sometimes be a bit of a concern with the MAFEX line but like the rest of the Batman line Huntress is a reasonably chunky figure with strong joints, so there shouldn't be any worry of accidental breakage. Huntress shows off a good selection of joints with soft, fluid movement to allow for an excellent variety of posing. While the arms do have to do battle with just how unwieldy the cape can be at times, it's more a case of the two battling for visibility rather than one restricting the other. The excellent bend on the knee joints combined with the unhindered range of the hips also allow for some decent crouching poses too.

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 23

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 24MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 25MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 26MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 27

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 28MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 29MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 30MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 31

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 32MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 33MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 34

Huntress' accessories include an alternate head with angry expression and windswept hair, four additional pairs of hands (two sets of open hands and two sets of accessory-holding hands, nicely complimenting the default closed fists), a baton and a clear plastic articulated stand with a selection of attachment configurations. Huntress fans will immediately notice that she is missing her iconic crossbow weapon, which is likely due to Warner Bros/DC's current mandate that their figures can't come with guns for some inane reason. While a crossbow isn't exactly a gun, clearly it must extend to all projectile weapons. It's a shame that such a high-quality Huntress figure can't come with her signature weapon, but if that truly is the reason why then it was out of Medicom's hands. The accessories the figure does have are pretty good though, even if the baton does feel pretty bland in comparison. The alternate head sculpt looks great, with the combination of angry expression (something far more fitting for the character) and windswept hair immediately giving the figure a much different look when posing. While the baton is rather loose fitting in the pair of more open accessory-holding hands, she can still get a pretty good grip on it for a variety of stick-swinging poses.

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 35

MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 36MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 37MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) 38

As one of my all-time favourite DC Comics characters MAFEX Huntress (Batman: Hush Ver.) was one of my most highly anticipated figures for the year, and Medicom have not disappointed. This is Helena Bertinelli at her most iconic – the figure itself sporting a fantastic sculpt, gorgeous colouring and wonderful articulation. The cape is a little too unwieldy at times and the crossbow omission is a little disappointing, but it doesn't stop this from being an extremely satisfying figure. Huntress is one of the last characters I'd expect to show up in the MAFEX line, so I'm hoping Medicom are able to keep this energy up and bring us a few other surprises in the near future.


Oar said...

I was just thinking about the lack of crossbow while scrolling through those pictures! That no gun or gun-like mandate is rough. There's not a ton of characters I think that would be truly screwed by it (unless normal bows or arm cannons count too) but its still limiting. At least Huntress still looks really good!

I also wanted to ask whether there was some convenient website, whether official or otherwise, that shows every figure Medicom;s Mafex line has put out? I'm curious about the whole history of the line and what they have or haven't done, but most of what i could find were shopping sites that only show releases up to a few months back.

Alex said...

I am curious just how much it covers now since I'd have never thought crossbows would have been included! I know the Peacemaker figure Hot Toys just announced is only allowed to have a holstered gun which is crazy. Was hoping MAFEX might put out their own Peacemaker eventually but I assume if they did it would suffer the same fate.

As for a history of the line, Medicom's website is pretty comprehensive. It isn't as well organised as the Tamashii Nations one, but it does have all the stock images for everything they've released.