The Dark Knight Joker
Medicom Toys

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Ryan Kelly checks in tonight with a look at another version of the very popular Joker from the Dark Knight. This time it's Medicom's creation - tell us all about it, Ryan!

We’ve definitely gotten more than our fair share of Dark Knight Joker figures in sixth scale. One that has been pretty much overlooked through all the hype (and for good reason I suppose) is the Medicom version. I snagged this guy cheap on ebay (well…as cheap as a Medicom figure usually gets, anyway), so in case anyone out there is curious about how this guy stands in comparison to his many sixth scale rivals in a review, here it is…

Packaging - ***
Nothing astounding, but well-decorated, collector-friendly (VERY easy to remove and return figure without so much as bending or creasing anything), and not too big. However, there’s a lot of wasted space, especially on the inner panel, with hardly any text at all and no info on the movie or character. Outer flap is held closed by Velcro.  Overall, the box serves its purpose, but is far from being anything special.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpt here is actually pretty decent, though this figure ends up looking more like Jake Gyllenhaal  than Heath Ledger.  As is usual with Medicom figures, this guy is too short for a sixth scale figure and too thin, even thinner than the character is supposed to be. The hands, head, and hair are well-sculpted, and the face has some nice detail with the wrinkling, but what’s up with the eyes? With Ledger’s Joker, the eyes are a defining quality, and appearance of the eyes is a feature that can make or break a figure’s likeness to this character. Unfortunately, Medicom screwed up. This is more of a paint issue than a sculpting issue (which I’ll get to next), but both are contributing factors. Ledger’s eyes are narrow and kind of stretched out, and the sculpting here fails to capture that. Also, his lips are too big, particularly the bottom lip. These are really the only flaws I can see with the sculpting, but they’re noticeable, and the paint only enhances an already bad situation.

Paint - **
The paintwork is clean and neat, but staggeringly inaccurate. For example, they might have gotten away with not making the eyes narrow enough, but instead of appearing dark and sinister like they’re supposed to, the eyes are a big, bright, baby blue. This is not a scary-looking Joker, and a Joker like this would get no respect in Gotham City. Granted, I think Medicom did this Joker about the same time DC Direct and Hot Toys made their sixth-scale versions (the first one for Hot Toys), so they may have been limited on reference material. But c’mon, baby blue eyes? Did they not have a single picture to go on?

Next mistake: the hair. Nowhere in TDK does the Joker have bright neon green hair. Not even close. They did get a couple minor spots of brownish-green close to the hairline, but that doesn’t really help matters.

The already too-big lips are painted bright lipstick red, making the Joker look like he’s about to go on a hot date instead of going out to kill people. The black circles around the eyes are well-done; if the eyes weren’t so screwed up this would really enhance the overall look of the figure, but as it is it just makes the eyes more noticeable, and that’s not a good thing. The white face paint is neat and clean; too clean. They actually manage to show some skin color underneath it on the forehead a little bit, but it’s not enough. Overall, this is a very pretty Joker, and that’s the problem. You could almost mistake him for Harley Quinn.

Articulation - ***1/2
This is the RAH body, so there aren’t many problems. Joints are smooth and tight, and the ball-jointed head has a good range of movement, though I wish it were able to look up more. Also, the ankles were too loose on mine, making it difficult to pose him and keep him standing on his own. Those are just a couple minor issues, but they’re enough to hold him back from a full four.

Outfit – ***
They did a nice job on the outfit, but everything’s the wrong color. The coat and vest are too bright, both a lighter shade than they should be, and the tie and shirt look and feel fake. They did ok on the pants, though, and they did a better job on the shoes than DCD (though DCD at least used real laces). The coat is made of a soft, fuzzy material that feels good when touched but makes it look even more different from how the DK Joker’s coat should look. On the plus side, he has socks, like the ones from Hot Toys’ first and DX versions. The vest is opened and closed by snap-buttons, and the pants are held closed by Velcro. Overall, the outfit is very well-done; had they just gotten the color right on the coat and vest, the score would be three and a half.

Accessories - *1/2
Even though I got this figure cheap, I was still extraordinarily disappointed. He’s the Joker for crying out loud, and all he gets here is a miniature deck of cards. All the other high-end sixth scale Jokers (even DCD’s comic version) have these also, so that’s nothing special. Where’s his knife, at least? Extra hands? Nope. Just the cards and the display stand. And Medicom’s display stands are crap, by the way.

Value - **1/2
I don’t know what the original suggested retail price for this figure was, and I don’t think I wanna know. I got this guy for $50 on ebay, and even based on that, he’s no better than an average value for me.  He can easily be gotten in the $80-$90 range, but it’s an imported figure that was never distributed in the states (as far as I know), so be careful who you buy from, lest you end up paying an extra $30-$40 for shipping. I bought it from a seller here is the states, so shipping wasn’t that much. Believe me, you don’t wanna pay more than $50-$60 for this guy.  You can get the 13” DCD version easily for less than that at this point, and I hate to say it, but this Joker doesn’t hold a candle to that one, let alone Hot Toys.

Fun Factor - **
This could be a fun figure for kids to play with if you got it cheap enough, but that’s not likely to happen.  Even if that were the case, he has no gun or knife, so I imagine they’d get bored with him pretty quick.

Things to Watch Out For -

Overall - **1/2
Keep in mind, this is considering the fact that I only paid fifty bucks for this figure, probably a third of what it originally cost. If I was to hunt down the STRP and base my score on that, this figure wouldn’t scratch the surface of two stars. Bad paint, lack of accessories, wrong-colored outfit, there’s just not much here to work with in terms of justifying any sort of major price. At this cheap, it’s not really a bad figure as it does have its good points, but it falls atrociously short of what Medicom is capable of. Over recent years, their work has gotten sloppy and careless while their prices remained the same, even rose. But if you’re a Joker collector like me who wants to own almost every Joker figure in existence, you’ll probably wanna pick this guy up if you haven’t already, regardless of how bad he sucks. If you can find him cheap (as in less than $100) he’s definitely worth getting, but he’s far from being on par with his peers from DCD and Hot Toys.

This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Ryan Kelly.

This page copyright 2000 - 2010, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour