The Killing Joke Joker Statue

Killing Joke Joker statue by Kotobukiya

For all the years of Batman comics and Batman history, there are a few that stand out as watershed moments. For me, one of those is the graphic novel The Killing Joke. Published in 1988 and written by Alan Moore, it's probably best known for the injury to Barbara Gordon that eventually leads to her becoming the Oracle.

Kotobukiya is producing a terrific statue in their ArtFX series based on the cover art. Since the cover art only shows the Joker's face and hands, they had to improvise for the rest, and gave him a unique pose. Standing over a creepy henchman and a crate of dynamite, he immediately calls to mind the tone and style of the book.

This guy also has a light and sound feature, something that not too many do. He's just now shipping, and runs around $110, plus or minus a few bucks depending on the retailer.

Packaging - ****
Kotobukiya gives us a terrific looking box, with wonderful comic graphics and plenty of background text. There's also lots of windows to see the statue you're getting, always a plus. Add in the collector friendly nature - no damage necessary to get him out - plus good instructions for assembly, and you have an overall winner in this category.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Killing Joke Joker statue by Kotobukiya
Killing Joke Joker statue by Kotobukiya
Killing Joke Joker statue by Kotobukiya
Killing Joke Joker statue by Kotobukiya
Killing Joke Joker statue by Kotobukiya
Killing Joke Joker statue by Kotobukiya

Sculpting - ****
These statues are done in approximately 1/7th scale, which means the Joker is right around 11" tall without the base.

As I mentioned earlier, the sculpt from the neck up (along with the hands and camera) are ripped right from the cover of the graphic novel. They developed their own stance for the body, and the design looks great.

There's a ton of detail here, especially in the face and teeth. There's some nice work on the full costume too, from the buttons to the spatz.

The base is made up of several pieces that snap together. The dynamite crate contains the speaker, and therefore attaches to the base with a metal connector, along with several plastic pegs. The henchman, light and Joker all attach to the base as well, tightly but cleanly. There's a trick to getting the henchman and Joker on the base - pay attention to the instructions.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work is extremely clean, with little or no slop anywhere to be seen. There's also some very realistic - in a comic book way - colors, especially on the teeth and gums.

Some of the colors are a little different than what I remember from the book, but since they varied as well between the original book and the later re-print, I'll cut them some slack.

My only real complaint here is that for this scale, there's not quite enough paint detail on the costume. For example, the buttons on the coat and vest match the coat and vest themselves. I know I'm picking nits, but for this price point I'd like to see a few more small details filled in.

Articulation - Bupkis
This category is not for scoring purposes - it's a statue, after all. But in case you aren't familiar with Kotobukiya's style, I wanted to make sure you knew there are no articulation points of any kind.

Accessories - ***
Keep in mind that this is a statue - it's not supposed to have any accessories, so anything here is a big plus!

The main accessory is the small bundle of dynamite, which can be placed anywhere. The freak is also removable, and you can easily display the Joker without him, making him another accessory in my book.

The camera is also separate, but it's pretty tough to put him on the shelf without it in place, so I'm not counting it toward this category.

Sound Feature - ***
The sound (and light) feature are activated with a motion sensor, which is an interesting choice.

There is only one sound - a clicking sound appropriate to an old school film camera with a manual shutter. It's actually a little loud for a perfect effect, but I don't know that I should complain about it being too loud after complaining so many times about sound features being too quiet.

There are three included AAA batteries which are easily inserted into the bottom of the base. Then you flip the switch in back, and whenever someone trips the motion sensor, the sound clicks and the spotlight turns on. More on that in the next category.

Light Feature - ***
The spotlight is a bright LED, and it turns on in concert with the clicking sound. It doesn't stay on long, which certainly saves the battery life, but I'm betting it would get a tad annoying after awhile.

Since the spotlight has a long cord and is otherwise unattached, you can place it anywhere you'd like. You can even point it back at the Joker himself, and use it as a spot to show him off on the shelf!

Value - **1/2
You can spend $120 for this, or shop around and get it closer to $100. I'm assuming you'll pay around $110, and at that price point, you're getting a pretty average value on today's market. That's largely because of the light and sound feature. This price is also comparable to other recent Batman releases from them.

Things to Watch Out For -
Pay attention to the instructions when putting him together. There's a couple pieces that only fit one way - don't force them.

Overall - ***1/2
The sculpt and paint are gorgeous here, and he's a nice addition to the rest of the Kotobukiya Batman ArtFX statue. The price is in line as well, and the quality backs it up.

The light and sound feature are cute, but not quite as well executed as I'd like. It flips off and on so quickly that it ends up being more annoying than amusing after a short period.

You won't use it a lot because of that, but it will still be something you turn on to show off at key moments. The switch is in a nice, easy to reach spot, making that possible. And having the spotlight something you can point in any direction makes for some interesting display potential.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - Bupkis
Accessories - ***
Sound Feature - ***
Light Up Feature - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Things From Another World is at just $104.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $110.

- Urban Collector $113.

- Fanboy Collectibles has him at $110.

- Entertainment Earth comes in at $115.

- Alter Ego Comics has it for $117.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
Kotobukiya has done several other terrific Batman statues, including the Dark Knight Returns, the Bishoujo Harley,  and this black and gray Batman.

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

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Killing Joke Joker statue by Kotobukiya

This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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