Yamato Kia Asamiya Batman Wave 2
Poison Ivy and Harlequin

One of the great things about a character like Batman is everyone gets to take their shot at what he's all about. Okay, not everyone would agree that's such a great thing, but it's certainly been a feature of the character for a long time.

Then it should come as no surprise that the same thing happens to him in plastic form, with every company that gets a piece of the license doing their own take on the Dark Knight.

Yamato picked up the license this last year, and has done a couple different versions. One series is the creation of Kia Asamiya, a popular manga artist in Japan. Check out the website Studio TRON to learn a little more about him. 

They recently released the second series of figures based on his art, including another Batman, an 'evil' Batman, Poison Ivy and Harlequin. I picked these up at Media Play when they were doing there 'buy one, get one free' promo on action figures, but you can find them at a variety of comic shops and online stores. Expect to pay around $20 each.

Packaging -  **1/2
The packaging is attractive, but lacks one of my favorite things - any uniqueness from character to character. They are all identical, although you can see the figure fairly clearly through the window. The window isn't huge though, and does block a fair amount of the figure.

These packages are huge too, taking up a ton of space. They are collector friendly, and you can certainly open them without any damage, but storing them in these boxes means using up a ton of space.

Sculpt - Ivy ***; Harley ** 
Asamiya is best known for his manga art.  Therefore, it should be no surprise that these two ladies look like they just stepped of the page of a manga comic.  The faces have that simple design, with large eye, round faces, and tiny noses and lips.

I don't mind that - this is just another version of the old standby, and it's good that they're different - but some folks will hate it.

My scores are lower not because of the style, but because the general design of the statues is less than exciting.

Harley is the worse of the two.  The base is very simple, and her pose is not particularly dynamic.  On top of that, it's an odd pose, and I'm not quite sure what's up with her left arm.  Is she reaching for an arrow, forgetting that she skipped wearing her quiver today?  Maybe she had a sudden itch, or perhaps she's patting herself on the back?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Ivy has a better pose in general, and the amount of detail in her hair and costume makes her the far more photogenic of the pair.  She's caressing her version of Audrey, and is clearly enjoying herself.  The plant seems pretty damn happy as well.

These figures have something in common with each other, and with the Catwoman released in the first wave.  Kia is clearly a man who knows what a woman's butt should look like.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are above average, although not quite at the level I'd expect from a $20 statue.

The lines are fairly clean, and the masking is good in most areas.  There's a nice choice of greens and browns on Ivy and her base, and the red hair and white skin contrast extremely well.  She does have a number of stray paint marks on her torso though, and there are rub marks and scrapes on both figures, indicating that the paint may not hold up well to handling over time.

Articulation - *
These are statues, not action figures.  However, I gave them a slight score, because they do have pseudo-joints where some of the body parts attach, like the arms.  You can do some minor rearranging, but it's not really articulation.

Accessories - Ivy **1/2; Harley **; 
Each figure comes with one accessory - a display base.

Harley's is very basic, designed like one of those giant cookies you can get made at the mall.  It's a heart, with frosting and a symbol of the love between HQ and the Joker.

Ivy's stand is much more interesting in terms of sculpt, paint and design.  It's much more visually appealing, and adds quite a bit to the figure.

Unfortunately, neither stand works particularly well.  I was surprised, since all the Yamato figures I've bought up to this point attached to the bases extremely well.  That was not the case with either of these lovely ladies.  Neither foot peg/hole combo worked well, and I tried a number of techniques to improve the situation, to no avail.  I got them to stay, but they didn't match up quite right, and didn't fit as cleanly as you'd expect.

Fun Factor - *
Again, they're statues.  You aren't going to have much 'fun' with them, since they are intended to simply look good on the shelf.

Value - **
These are running even higher these days than past waves, as much as $18 - $20 each. The imported nature is driving this of course, but it's still well above the average price of a specialty market figure.

Things to watch out for - 
If you have a choice, pick out the best paint application.  The other issues that these figures have will be consistent across them all, so picking one over the other won't do you much good.

Overall - Ivy **1/2; Harley **
I'm glad I picked these up at the two-fer sale, and not at full price.  Neither blew my socks off, and had I spent $20 - or God forbid, $25 - a piece for them, I would have been down right upset.  I skipped the Batmen simply because I have so many versions of him, but I may give them a second look just to see if they are better than their lady counterparts.

Packaging - **1/2
Sculpt - Ivy ***; Harley **
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - *
Accessories - Ivy **1/2; Harley **
Fun Factor - *
Value - **
Overall - Ivy **1/2; Harley **

Where to Buy -
You can find these at some specialty stores, like Media Play or your local comic shop - or try these online sponsors:

- Circle Red has this wave for just $65 for the full set of four, and the previous wave for just $60 for the full set of four.

- Time and Space Toys doesn't have this wave, but they have a great price on wave 1 at $60 for all four figures.

- CornerStoreComics has the full set for $70, or the individual figures for $18 each.

- Yikes Comics has the individuals for $19 each.

Related Links -
With a show like South Park, there's plenty of related links:

Here's some related links:

- Yamato has also done wave 1, wave 2  and wave 3 of their less manga-ized versions of Batman.

- The first series of Asamiya figures included Batman, Joker, Two-face and Catwoman.

- Asamiya's studio is called Studio TRON, named after the Disney film.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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