Tuesday, September 30, 2008

DC Superheroes - Joker

Welcome to my action figure review blog - Action Toy Review.

While I wait for the next wave (series 4) to arrive from the DC Universe Classics toy line by Mattel, I'll be reviewing some previously released figures from Mattel's DC Superheroes line and even some DC Direct Figures.

Today's review is Mattel's DC Superheroes - The Joker

This action figure was released as part as the last wave of the DCSH toy line (series 8) which was released in Q3 2007. The other figures in this wave included Catwoman, Clayface, Bruce Wayne, Nightwing and a black & grey variant of Batman. Catwoman & Clayface were the only two original sculpts. The others are re-paints or variants of previously released figures.

This version of The Joker is a repaint of the previously released Quickfire Joker action figure (above) that was released back in 2006 before the DCSH toy line began. The sculpt is exactly the same. Joker stands at exactly 6 inches tall which makes him a bit shorter and off scale compared to the Batman action figures in the DCSH series. The DC database lists joker as standing 6'5" tall and Batman at only 6'2". One thing to note is that Joker's stance has him, sort of, leaning on his right leg, with his left leg out to the side. Maybe if the figure had a better stance he would appear to be a little taller. His left leg is actually (purposely) a quarter of an inch longer than the right. The Jokers face is the best part of the sculpt. It has a lot of great detail and really shows off his grin. The rest of the figure is really nicely detailed.

I am sort of torn about the paint job on this figure. It is very well done however, I'm not to thrilled about the color choices. Particularly with the orange pants instead of purple as Quickfire Joker had.

The rest of the outfit is not bad. The purple jacket, pink shirt and green vest look fine. Other than a little bit of running around the tie, the paint job is pretty good. My other issue is the blue wash on the face. As with the Harley Quinn figure from DCUC series 2, I'm not a big fan of this choice of wash color on a white face. I wonder if a shade of gray would have been a better choice. The wash actually does show the detail in his face better. Quickfire Joker did not have a wash on the face at all. Other than that, the face is nicely painted. There are no runs at all. The eyes, eyebrows, mouth and teeth are all super clean. The hair is classic Joker green (matches his vest) with a black wash.

Besides the paint job, the other thing different about this figure is the accessories Mattel has given us. Joker comes with a giant green hammer which has a jester symbol on it. Also he comes with a huge laughing gas gun, which is attached to a back pack that consists of 4 gas tanks. The back pack is removable from Joker's back but is permanently attached to the gun. The third accessory is a gas mask which fits over Joker's face very securely. It is fairly well detailed for a small part right down to the little grills over the mouth portion. All accessories fit nicely into Joker's hands, however, the gun is very heavy for his bony arms.

The big weak spot for this figure is his articulation. Joker's head can only move left to right. He has ball joint shoulders and twist joints in the wrists. Nothing in the elbows or biceps. He has a waist joint and knee joints. The hip joints are not your standard DCSH hip joints. They are very old school and only allow for his legs to be swung forwards and backwards. Also, there are no ankle or thigh joints.

Overall, this wasn't my favorite figure by any means. I'm not a fan of the sculpt or the paint colors or lack of articulation, but the paint is generally well done and Joker does look very good in the limited amount of posing positions you can give him. Plus the amount of accessories Mattel gives us is generous. This Joker also looks very good when paired up with Harley Quinn from DCUC series 2. it is still a good figure for display. For those of you out there that like to customize action figures, I would suggest painting the orange pants or getting a Quickfire Joker and replace it's head with this Jokers head as it is better painted. For me, i hope that they come out with a new and improved Joker in the DC Universe Classics toy line in the near future. Hey, they already gave us a new Batman, Robin & Nightwing, why not a new Joker? But at this point, nothing has been announced.

Sculpt/Design - 6, Paint - 7.5, Accessories - 10, Articulation - 3.5, Fun - 6.5
Overall Score - 6.5/10
If you're new to collecting these DC Super Heroes action figure toy line, then eBay is your friend. This line is discontinued and Mattel is already up to Wave 4 of their new DC Universe classics series. There are reasonable deals to be found on eBay but watch out for shipping costs. Sometimes buying multiple figures from one seller can save on shipping and bring the overall cost of your collection down.

If you're interested in buying this figure your best bet is once again eBay. This figure is rare and people who have it, know it. So you're looking at least $20-$25 for it. There are very few online retailers that have it and those who do, are asking for much more. If you wanna save a few bucks, Quickfire Joker is cheaper and easier to find. The main issue i have with QF Joker is the paint job, specifically the face. Its not painted as nicely as this figure but the color choices are better. Its really a double edged sword. You can also find Quick Fire Joker in a two figure value pack with a "Battle Armor" Batman for $20 (plus shipping of course).
To find DC Superheroes (series 8) Joker on eBay, click here
To find Quick Fire Joker on eBay, click here

You can also try Amazon to find deals on these figures. Just check out my Action Toy Review Recommends page which will link you to all the DCSH & DCUC figures available on Amazon.

Good Luck. Thanks for reading Action Toy Review. Be sure to check back for more reviews.

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