THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN AND ROBIN (KENNER)
My last Kenner Batman: The Animated Series review had me taking a look at one of the line’s patented wacky variants. Variants were kind of central to the line’s success, covering not just Batman and Robin, but also some of their antagonists. As I touched on in prior reviews, not all of the variants Kenner rolled out were “wacky”. Some of them were actually quite sensible, including today’s focus, a pretty solid variant of the Joker!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
This Joker figure, known in the collector’s community as “Machine Gun Joker” because of the big machine gun accessory he included, was released in Series 2 of Kenner’s Adventures of Batman and Robin line in 1997. He was Kenner’s fourth animated style Joker, following the basic, jetpack, and pogo stick variants. He’s a completely show accurate figure, since Joker sported the coat and hat from time to time. The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation…provided the head hasn’t snapped off at the neck joint like mine has, thereby removing a point of articulation. It’s okay, years of therapy have managed to get me through the loss. This version of Joker sported an all-new sculpt, not re-using the parts from the prior variants. It’s probably the best old school style Joker sculpt that Kenner did, for what its worth, being a fair bit more on model than the earlier versions, and just generally having cleaner detailing and a more solid overall construction. In terms of paintwork, he’s again a bit of a step-up, correcting the issues with the bluish skin, as well as just generally getting the colors closer to their on-screen counterpart. The application is basic, but pretty clean, and just some of Kenner’s best work, again. Joker was packed with the machine gun I mentioned earlier in the review, as well as a bundle of TNT, complete with Joker’s face on it. Both pieces are a touch oversized compared to the figure, but for the time, pretty straight forward, and unhampered by the gimmicks, which was pretty darn cool.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Machine Gun Joker has the distinction of being my first Joker action figure, picked up when he was brand new, on a trip to the store with my Dad. If I recall correctly, I specifically went in looking for a Joker, since I didn’t have one, and this one was the most straight-forward Joker available at the time. He stuck as my primary Joker figure for most of my childhood, and I’ve definitely got an attachment to it. Honestly, I was pretty happy to find he’s just such a good figure when going back for the review. He remains one of my favorite Joker figures.