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The Joker - Masterpiece HD
Enterbay

Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay


I already have several high end versions of the Ledger Joker. He is easily my favorite Batman on screen villain, and also goes down as a top 5 human villain of all time - at least for me. Even though I already own more than one Hot Toys Joker, I've got their new DX version (2.0!) on pre-order. Yes, I have an addiction.

So it should be no surprise that I bought the Enterbay Masterpiece HD version of the Ledger Joker. It's unique since it's quarter scale, not sixth scale.

The Masterpiece HD series is more than just quarter scale figures. They also sport top end sculpts, paint, accessories and outfits. Along with that, they have a top end price point. The Joker will cost you around $400, depending on the retailer. From what I've seen, you can get a far better deal on this guy online versus your local store, where they may think they can charge a serious premium.

Packaging - ***1/2
I love almost everything about this box. The outer small slip sleeve looks great, and behind it is a super cool laser cut Styrofoam box, with the disintegrating Bat symbol in the center. It's terrific work, and certainly a change from the norm.

Inside, the figure and accessories are safely packed in foam layers and plastic trays.  It's almost completely collector friendly, except for one minor issue - that damn sticky plastic sheet they use over the accessories. This one giant sheet holds them all in place, and once you remove it, it's done. I'm definitely not a fan, and I'm docking them a half star because of it.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay

Sculpting - ****
There are several things about this figure that I'm going to whine over, but the sculpt is definitely not one of them.

This rendition of the Joker is as good as any that's came before.  It's not too likely that it will be outdone any time soon, either.

Does that mean that fans won't find something wrong with it? If you think so, you haven't been paying too much attention. I'm sure that some people will take issue with some aspect of the likeness, but I think it's an excellent portrait of Ledger in the Joker make up.

Unlike the DX sixth scale figures from Hot Toys, there's no movable eyeballs here. He's looking upward at you, requiring you to tilt his head downward for a straight stare. Since that was such a key look for him, I'm fine with it, but some people may have preferred the eyes more centered.

The eyes are a glossy, translucent plastic, making them very spooky and lifelike. The pocked skin texture looks amazing, and the threading on the hair is thin and detailed. The scars along his cheeks look painful in their realism, and the shape of the head, chin and nose are dead on Ledger.

The hands are sculpted to work with various poses, and I do have some issues with them...but I'll save that for the Articulation and Accessories sections.

Remember, he's quarter scale, which translates to almost 19 inches tall.

Paint - ****
Hot Toys has some amazing production paint ops. But this isn't Hot Toys, you say? I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't tell that just by looking.

Enterbay seems to be dipping into that same pool of talent, and they are coming up with the same high quality work. The make up looks like make up - the eyes look like actual human eyes - even the hair has just the right mix of colors.

You can have the best sculpt in the world, but without this kind of paint work, it just can't shine through. Put a subtle, lifelike paint application over it, and an amazing sculpt turns into art. This is art.

Articulation - **
As I said with the recent Bruce Lee, this is the best articulated 18" body on the market.

The ball jointed neck is critical for the Joker, and it works great. You'll be able to use the double ball joint to tilt and lean the head, adding a ton of foreboding personality to every pose.

The shoulders, hips, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles all have the pin/disk style ball joint, but the usefulness is mediocre. The wrists are very tight inside the forearms, and I ended up cracking one just trying to adjust it. Most of these joints are clicky style - they click into spots on gears, rather than having a smooth movement. That also restricts what kind of poses you can do. For example, the hips were either straight, or very wide. I had a very hard time managing anything in between.

To top it all off, there's those hands. When I reviewed Bruce Lee, I mentioned that the hands swapped easily. Too easily in fact, and you could knock them off with a bump. Not so with the Joker. The hands are almost impossible to get off and on, and I found the process tremendously frustrating. You have to heat them up to get them on, but once you do, you'll be screwed. Trying to heat them up while he's dressed is tricky at best, but if you don't you can easily damage the figure removing them. Gah!

Accessories - ***
He has plenty, and they have some really nice features, especially the weapons. Too bad using them is so damn hard.

Let's start with the simple - his display base. Silver top, logo, nameplate - all the usual. It's in the same style as the earlier Masterpiece HD bases for consistency.

Then there's the assortment of hands. Three ungloved (a right and left fist, a right shooting hand), and eight gloved hands. Some are pretty standard (like the right and left fist) but others are very pose specific.

I've already mentioned how difficult it is to swap the hands, and a big part of that is because the material they are made from is so very, very hard. That hard plastic has a second consequence - it makes it nearly impossible to fit the accessories inside.

There's a gloved right hand for holding the grips of the guns, but sadly, actually getting the gun into that hand is a Herculean effort. It is possible - notice the photos where he's holding the machine gun - but once you manage it, you'll have no desire to remove the weapon.

The other hands are just as bad, particularly when it comes to holding the knife or the Glock. I ended up using the hand designed for the grenade rig to hold the Glock in my photos.

That makes all these cool weapons a whole lot less useful. Not being able to easily swap them is a huge problem, and really hurts the score here as well.

I mentioned that there's a Glock (removable magazine and moving slide of course) as well as a machine gun. The machine gun is largely metal as well, and has a folding stock to go along with the moving action and removable magazine. It's a beaut, but again, it was almost impossible for him to hold it.

The small knife is a switchblade of course, and the blade does extend and retract, although not with any spring mechanism.

I also mentioned the grenade rig. There are five grenades attached to each other with a blue string, and that string then can be held in his right hand, ready to pull all the pins at once. These grenades are made of metal as well, and there are different colors and designs. However, this is one of those times where the use of metal wasn't the best choice. It makes them very heavy, and far more difficult to keep in the cloth rig over time. I would have preferred a set done in plastic, and this is one of those rare times where the lighter weight material is a better choice.

The rigging itself is removable, and includes the pins he had attached to it in the film. I left mine in the coat - it doesn't create an annoying bulge. I put the grenades away pretty fast however, since I knew they'd be a problem long term.

This is the Joker, which means he has to have his playing cards. There's 11 done in scale, and with the appropriate jokers included.

Remember when the Joker blasts the lead police car with the RPG from inside the trailer of the semi? Yep, this version comes with an RPG launcher and missile, made largely of metal once again. The projectile slides down into the barrel, and the trigger even moves. It's a terrific weapon, perhaps my favorite of the bunch. Too bad the hands had just as much trouble with it as everything else.

There's also an exclusive version of this guy, and he had the extra rubber bank robber mask. That's not the one I picked up, but it's worth noting that it's out there.

Outfit - ****
The outfit is gorgeous - one of the advantages of a larger scale figure is finding material in scale. It's much easier to produce realistic costumes at this scale than even sixth scale, especially when multiple layers are required.

Here you have the shirt, vest, gray jacket and outer purple velvet coat. Every layer is top quality material, with excellent stitching and snaps. The outer jacket is particularly nice, with a beautiful red lining and a thin wire in the bottom edge to pose it.

He also has his purple pants and funky colored socks, and sculpted shoes. The shoes have real laces however, giving them that extra pop.

Let's not forget the tie, as well as the real metal watch fob. The overall presentation is exceptional, and this is a costume that can stand along side your best Premium Format statue and fit right in.

Fun Factor - **
Generally, I'd think these large figures would be a ton of fun. While the outfit and accessories are high end, they are also quite high quality, and won't damage with normal handling. Obviously, nobody is going to be 'playing' with this figure, but general posing and accessorizing could be tons of fun.

Except for those damn hands. Between being too hard to fit the accessories inside, and being impossible to swap, they created way more frustration than fun.

Value - **1/2
I'm going to assume you'll pay around $375 for this guy, although you'll see it on either side of that price tag. In fact, my local comic book shop is trying to get $500!

Eve at $375, you'll feel like you got your money's worth. The metal accessories are nice, and there's no doubt you're getting an outstanding sculpt, paint and outfit. For a full $100 less, you can get an outstanding 12" version, complete with two head sculpts (one of them with PERS), a ton of hands and other accessories, and even several diorama pieces. But there's no denying the coolness factor of figures in this scale.

Things to Watch Out For -
Those damn hands are almost impossible to get on and off - be careful, or you can crack the wrists.

Overall - ***
I had completely expected at least another half to full star in my Overall scoring of this figure, and I'm betting a lot of other folks did as well. Unlike Bruce Lee, who I beat up (figuratively of course) over his price, the Joker has the kind of complex costume and accessories to warrant the cost. Instead, it was the execution on the hands that really hurt him.

It might seem like a small thing - until you try working with them. The hard plastic means they are tough to swap, and that hurts the posability, the accessories, and the final overall feeling toward the figure. Too much frustration equals a less happy collector, and that was definitely the case here for me.

I am glad I picked him up, and I plan on displaying him (without the stand) alongside my Premium Format statues of other iconic movie characters. I just wish that I had more flexibility with which hands and accessories I can use, and how often I could change them around. As it stands now, he'll be holding that machine gun in his right gripping hand for a very long time.

The Joker was an early release for Enterbay, and the Bruce Lee (a more recent release) did not have this issue. In fact, they may have gone a little overboard in making them easy to swap, but that's better than not being able to use them at all.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - **
Accessories - ***
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - **
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***


 

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth is at $370.

- Alter Ego Comics has him listed at $375.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $375 as well.

- Urban Collector is at $450.

- Fanboy Collectibles is also at $375.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
There's been a fair share of Ledger Jokers so far, including the Cop version of the DX01 Joker from Hot Toys, as well as the regular DX01 look. Hot Toys also did a Bank Robber version, as well as an oriignal non-DX version. Mattel took a shot at it too, with less than stellar results. Making it smaller didn't help. Hot Toys did a nice mini-bust as well.

And if you like the Masterpiece HD style, check out their Bruce Lee, or Batman.

Discussion:
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Joker Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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