Last year the Dark Knight hit the theaters and I have to say I was floored! Dark and sinister, explosive and deeper than I imagined.
The shining star of course was Batman’s arch nemesis, the Joker. From the first few moments you knew this was not a kiddie superhero movie. This was gritty storytelling and actoring that was extremely satisfying.
Heath Ledger, in his final role before his tragic death was a marvel. Breathing so much life into his character, one could only stare at his image in wonderment.
During the opening sequence a group of masked villains rob a mob bank, each robber summarily shooting one another when their part of the job has been accomplished, leaving only the Joker to take all the spoils away in a stolen school bus.
Hot Toys had released a version of the Joker earlier in 2008, dressed in his purple outfit, but I was lucky enough to get the Bank Robber Joker. This figure did not disappoint!
The outer sleeve is adorned with clown white with a large image of the Joker bank robber mask and dollar bills with Washington’s eyes darkened and a large red Joker smile. The back shows a picture of MMS 079, the Joker Bank Robber version, and several pictures of product. The inner box is green and black and has a picture of a Joker with a line that reads: This Town Deserves a Better Class of Criminal! The back lists the names of the Hot Toys team, all of whom should take a bow. The flap opens to reveal a full color picture of the Joker figure with a small summary on the bottom of the flap. The window shows the product and all accessories.
The Joker is dressed in his un-pressed gray suit, black belt and what appear like bowling shoes. He has a tailored print shirt and two sets of gloved hands. There are two heads supplied: one long hair and the other a slicked back- look for use with the clown mask.
The sculpts on the face are eerie. The eyes seem to gaze up and the glossiness of the finish gives the impression of moist human eyes, not just paint. The patchiness of the clown white is a nice touch as is the red lip paint, not too thick, but looking like Ledger’s hasty makeup job. The rubber mask is a dead-ringer for the one worn in the movie and comes with an elastic band for ease of application and removal.
The figure body has a full range of motion and is remarkably well balanced. Standing, kneeling, sitting, there is no problem posing the Joker. The gloved hands clasp the weapons, money and cards with equal ease and are extremely well detailed. Using the alternate hands can be useful in gripping the grenades as well.
The bank robbery required the Joker disguised in his rubber mask to pull grenades out of his blue case which is supplied with the figure. By removing the packing material and replacing with the die cut rubber foam insert inside you can arrange the grenades inside the case.
Velcro and zippers all work and the end flaps also come with working zippers.
Three smoke bombs and four grenades are part of the Joker’s arsenal.
There are two guns, a folding stock assault rifle and an nickel plated automatic with extra large magazine.
One of the coolest things is that both guns have spring-loaded actions and removable magazines with a painted bullet at the top.
Just another detail that sets this figure ahead of the crowd.
Taped onto the back of the plastic backer unit was the wad of dollar bills, printed on a single side and a deck of Joker cards.
Each card has a different joker picture printed on it. Another nice detail. (Note: there are pockets in the breast of the Joker’s jacket that can be used to hide or hold the bills and cards.)
I have to say that this has to be one of the best figures that I’ve reviewed from Hot Toys. I love the character, and the level of detail is once again second to none! The sculpt of the face was impeccable, and the accessories were movie accurate (save for the assault rifle.) If you are a Bat-fan like myself, you have to add this figure to your collection.
If you look long enough into that mad gaze you might just hear the Joker say:
“Why so serious?”
This figure has be chosen as the Best 12" Male Action Figure for 2008 by the Editor and Columnists of Action Figure Times.
For more information visit Action Figure Times!