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Jack Nicholson as the Joker - DX08
Hot Toys

Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


Not that long ago, great superhero movies were far and few between. The first Donner Superman movie was a classic but it wasn't until Batman and Batman Returns that we saw another solid comic book outing(s) on the big screen.

The first film focused on the best known enemy of Batman, the Joker. Played by Jack Nicholson, he was over the top crazy, but he was also violent and dangerous.

Hot Toys has expanded their Batman license to include these earlier films, and tonight I'm looking at their version of the Clown Prince.

Not too long ago I checked out the new Hot Toys Michael Keaton Batman, one of my favorite figures so far this year. As a companion to tonight's review, Jeff Parker is also doing his own look at the Keaton Bats, while I look at his arch-nemesis - The Joker, as played by Jack Nicholson.

This Joker is currently shipping in the U.S., which means he's been shipping overseas for awhile now. He's not cheap by any means, running around $250 or more. That's a lot, even for a Hot Toys DX figure.

I've included a ton of photos of the accessories, so be sure you scroll all the way to the bottom of the review to see them all.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Packaging - ****
While the box isn't anything new, it's still a great package. The silver lid sports various Nicholson Joker graphics, and wraps around with magnetic closures. Inside are several layers, just like the Batman DX box. And also just like Batman, the Joker comes with a round disc with a clear plastic center. But while the Bat signal adorned the earlier disc, this one comes decorated with a classic comic book Joker face.

Everything is collector friendly too, just as you'd expect.

Sculpting - ****
Damn, but Hot Toys did it again. There were some early photos that had me wondering, but like usual, when it came time to crank out the final version, they smoked it.

This is Nicholson's Joker at his most psychotic, with wide grin and scarred face. There's all the usual uber-realistic skin texture, and the teeth and eyes have a glassy, slightly translucent appearance that makes them just as realistic in close up photos as in person.

I'll mention the PERS system in the Articulation section, but I wanted to say that the seam within the hair where the head separates is very well done. Unless you know it's there, you'll be oblivious to its presence.

All the hand sculpts are great, working with multiple poses and even some very screen specific looks. They're a bit better scaled than the usual Hot Toys hands as well.

He's the standard Hot Toys height, just a smidge over 12". He'll fit in fine with other characters from this movie and more.

Paint - ****
Hot Toys does everything well, but when it comes to paint, they do it like a God. With a character like the Joker, their extreme attention to detail and amazing production paint process really shine.

Check out those eyebrows and lips - they couldn't be much more perfect. The white skin tone looks like make up, not paint or actual skin color, just like it should. And the hair line is scary real, with a slight transition space between the face and hair. The teeth aren't bright white, but slightly yellowed and stained. The contrast works great, adding even more pop to the lips and face.

Articulation - ****
The underlying TrueType has all the usual excellent articulation, and the outfit only restricts the arms slightly. The ball jointed neck works great, with plenty of twist and tilt action, lending plenty of personality to every pose.

The body looks a bit heavy around the middle, and that's because of some added padding, not any changes to the actual base structure.

This figure is a DX, so that means PERS eyeballs. The back of the head pops off (held in place with two magnets) and reveals a small joystick. Move this stick around, and the eyes follow. This adds a ton of personalization to your display, and makes every pose more lifelike. It works great too, and allows Hot Toys to use realistic glassy eyes.

Accessories - ****
Like most DX figures, and actually most Hot Toys figures in general, the Joker comes with a plethora of goodies.

Along with the open hands he comes wearing, there are six morein various poses. Some are designed to work with various accessories, others with specific poses. All look great, and are much more in scale than some of the oven mitts we've gotten in the past.

Swapping them is pretty easy too, and there's some extra wrist pegs just in case. However, the interior sleeves go over the balls of the wrist joints, and if they pop off with the hand, it's very hard to get the ball back inside as designed.  Do what you can to pop the hand off without the ball peg if you can.

There are two weapons - one handgun with the excessively long barrel, and another with a removable 'bam' flag, Both are revolvers, complete with spinning cylinders and moving hammers.

There's a few Joker cards as well, and two very large bundles of money. While these work great with this figure, they can also work with other sixth scale characters, particularly the wads of cash.

Some very movie specific props are included as well, including his orange gas mask. This does fit over his nose and chin and stays in place, although I was a little nervous that the paint could be damaged.

There are two gadgets with antennae - the remote control and the walkie-talkie. Both of these orange devices fit nicely in the sculpted hands.

Another orange extra is the bull horn, sculpted in correct scale but a little short on detail.

He has his 'magic stick' too, better known to non-Joker fans as a cane. There's a specially designed hand to hold this as well, and it looks great in a number of poses.

He is a funny guy too, and there's his chattering teeth to remind you. They don't actually wind up, but there is a spring inside so you can squeeze them together and the pop back open.

The Joker used a squirting flower in the film, and he has one here that attaches to either the pocket of his inner jacket or to a special loop on the lapel of the longer coat. The metal hook on back attaches easily, and it looks great on either coat. It doesn't squirt of course, but you really weren't expecting that, were you?

Finally, there's the lighted display stand, similar to the one that came with Batman. The only difference here is the Joker name plate. You won't require it to keep him standing, but it's nice to have it for display consistency.

Outfit - ***1/2
This is a truly beautiful outfit, from the cool purple hat to the natty purple shoes. There's one minor issue that holds it back from a perfect score, but it was close.

The issue is one of those damn little plastic snaps. I've mentioned in past reviews how much I dislike these things - I can never get them to work properly. This time, there's one on the long outer coat, and the very first time I tried to snap it shut, the little post broke right off. No photos of the coat closed for me!

Otherwise, this long, purple coat is great, with excellent stitching and a nice lining. There's also that small thread loop on the left lapel to hold the flower.

There's also the shorter jacket with tails, also purple. It lacks the loop for the flower, but you can slip the metal clip inside the breast pocket instead. Again, fantastic stitching and tailoring, and there's even some fabric glue on the back side of the lapels to hold them properly in place.

The pleated plaid pants fit nicely over the padded belly, and are just the right length. The don't cover up the cool shoe sculpts, but aren't high water cut either. You will see the 'calf guards' in my photos - there are small paper covers for the back of the legs. I suspect it's to keep the pants from wrinkling up inside the foam tray during shipment, and I have no idea how I managed to miss them before taking the photos. Perhaps that's just how good the sculpt and paint are - you can't see anything else!

I mentioned the hat earlier, but it's well worth another mention. Most sixth scale hats - even those by Hot Toys - are simply oversized and silly looking. It's almost impossible for any company to get a thin enough material and a fit that works in this scale. This time, however, Hot Toys has pulled it off perfectly. The purple hat with black head band looks fantastic on his head, and I can't imagine myself displaying him with out it. I did have one edge that was slightly curled by the packaging, but I was able to straighten it out on my own with a little effort.

Under the jacket is a vest, all covering the orange shirt. Around his neck is a funky bow tie with long tails, properly scaled and fitted.

There's also some suspenders behind the vest, and there are special instructions included on how to remove them and put them back on. Personally, I'd just leave this guy dressed the way he comes.

Fun Factor - ***
If anyone gives this figure to a six year old to play with, an army of nerds will descend upon them and beat them senseless, as they should.

But that doesn't mean the figure isn't fun, especially for adult collectors who love both the old movie and the character as personified by Jack.

Value - *1/2
Wow. $250? And that's if you shop around! That's a lot of cash, even for a DX figure. The Jack Sparrow DX, released earlier this year, was $40 or more cheaper, and had a metric ton of extras. No matter how cool the Joker is, you're going to have to seriously consider the hit your wallet is going to take.

Things to Watch Out For -
I mentioned that the wrist pegs are tough to get back in proper place when they come out, so do what you can to remove the hands without removing them. And as always with the PERS eyes, don't go nuts with the joystick. A soft touch goes a long way to keep it working well.

Overall - ****
If you were to ask me who my favorite Joker was, it would be an easy pick - Ledger's Joker. But it isn't quite so cut and dry, even for me, when it comes to the Hot Toys DX versions. The HT DX Ledger Joker is a piece of art - but this new DX Nicholson Joker could be better. It's certainly just as good, although I have to say that this price point is going to be a big deterrent for many fans.

Other than the price, the only disappointment here was the break of the small snap on the coat. The sculpt, paint, accessories and outfit were all outstanding otherwise, and this is one of the most impressive Batman related figures I now own.  Bring on the Batmobile!

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow's price was $265.

- Fanboy Collectibles has a great deal at $240.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $250.

- Alter Ego Comics has hi at $252.

- Super Power Collectibles has him at $260.

- Urban Collector has him at $265.

- Hollywood Heroes has hiim at $270.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
You'll want to check out my review of the Keaton Batman that goes with this guy, and check out the other Hot Toys DX figures, including the Ledger Joker, Jack Sparrow, Michael Jackson, Dark Knight Batman, Indiana Jones, and Bruce Lee.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Joker Jack Nicholson sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


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

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