#0796: The Joker




Yesterday, we looked at a figure from 1979’s Superman: The Movie. Today, we jump to pretty much the exact opposite side of the “super hero” movie spectrum, with 2008’s The Dark Knight. It’s lauded by many fans as one of the greatest comic book films of all time. You guys ready for some blasphemy? I think The Dark Knight is just an alright movie. Like, it’s not bad, or anything, and there are some moments of it that I really quite like, but as a whole, I just found it to be rather middling. Guess gritty realism just isn’t high on my list of things I want from my super hero movies. However, the movie did give us Heath Ledger’s extraordinarily memorable turn in the role of the Joker. Ledger’s Joker has received his fair share of toys, including NECA’s pretty sweet 18 inch figure. He’s gotten one more figure from NECA, in their more usual 7-inch scale, which I’ll be looking at today.


LedgerJoker2Joker is the last of the three figures offered in this year’s DVD-based partnership between NECA and Warner Brothers. He was available in Warner Brothers’ eBay store in a DVD bundle, as well as at select Toys R Us stores. The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. Like the other two figures in this set, Joker is a scaled down version of NECA’s 18-inch figure. The sculpt is really a great translation of Ledger’s appearance in the movie. His clothing is constructed through a number of add-on pieces atop an underlying body, which results in a really authentic layered look. Each level has a bunch of texturing and fine detailing work, which really sells the realism of the clothing. The chain of his pocket watch is an actual metal chain, which can be a slight pain while posing, but is a really nice touch. The head is made up of two parts, with the main head being one piece and the hair being separate. The face has a passable likeness to Ledger; it’s not 100% him, but it’s clear who he’s supposed to be. The hair is a rubber-like material, and it does a decent job of capturing Ledger’s hair. It’s a little bunchy and thick in a few areas, but that’s forgivable in this scale, and the overall look is good. Batman had some spectacular paint work, and Superman had passable paintwork, so how does Joker measure up? Well, I think he falls somewhere between the two. The overall look is really great, and the general application is pretty clean. The detail work on his shirt and tie is really great, and the washes and such used to highlight the sculpt are mostly pretty good. There’s a small degree of slop around the collars of the jackets, and the coverage of the darker wash on the legs is a little spotty, but that’s about it. The Joker includes a knife, a handgun, and a machine gun, which is a pretty decent assortment of extras.


I missed my local TRU’s shipment of Jokers. Given my only moderate fandom of the movie, I wasn’t super bummed about this or anything, since I wasn’t 100% sold on getting the figure to begin with. Ledger’s Joker was a good performance, but appearance-wise, I don’t quite put him on the same level as Reeve and West in their roles. However, when I found Superman, there was also a fresh stock of Joker figures, and I liked the figure enough in person to pick him up. He’s definitely a solid figure, and I like how he turned out. Glad I found him!


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