The Joker Mini-bust
Heroes of the DC Universe - DC Direct
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
|Ryan Kelly swings by with a
look at a this cool Joker bust - take it away, Ryan!
There’s something about the Joker that makes him irresistible as a
villain. It’s pretty much impossible to think of Batman villains
without the Joker coming to mind first. I can’t really explain why he’s
been my all-time favorite villain since I was 4 or 5 years old, just as
most people can’t explain why he’s always been so enormously popular.
Maybe it’s his theatricality, his stark contrast in style and
personality to Batman, or the green hair and makeup, but it always
seems that we tend to root for the Joker. Not that we want him to
defeat Batman; we just want him to create as much trouble for Batman as
humanly possible without completely defeating him. And he certainly
The clown is out of the box with this “Heroes of the DC Universe” mini
bust from DC Direct. Designed by Gary Frank and sculpted by Jean St.
Jean, this bust is more interesting than most because, instead of just
being what looks like the upper half of a statue cut off at the waist,
the Joker is made to look like he’s popping out of a toy box. This bust
is a “limited” edition of 4,000. As Jerry Seinfeld once said, that
basically means that they’re “limited to how many e can sell.”
Here we have a fairly small box that serves its purpose but doesn’t do
much beyond that. It looks pretty cool, with nice colors—appropriately
colored purple—with some nice pictures of the bust and a picture of the
sketch that it’s based on. It tells the names of the sculpt and design
artists, and gives the bust’s dimensions (5.75” tall, 4.5” wide, 2.5”
deep), but that’s pretty much it. The back has pictures of other busts
in the same collection (of course, there’s one of Batman).
But overall, there’s lots of wasted space. A block of foam is on the
inside and comes together in two parts, encasing the statue in between.
The two pieces are held together with tape. One of the inside flaps
gives a little plug for the Joker statue from DCD’s “Batman Black and
White” collection, a smart idea. They also crossed out the word
“Heroes” in the title, replacing it with “Villains,” also a good idea,
since the Joker certainly aint no hero. Although looking cool and
serving its purpose, the packaging is pretty uninteresting overall.
I love this pose. Somehow the Joker managed to get hold of Batman’s
cowl and part of his cape, and he appears to be having fun with it. The
head, face, hair, body, and clothing are all sculpted wonderfully, as
is the Batman cape and cowl. The cape is sculpted with a softer
material, however, and could easily break off if you’re not careful.
This bust has been sculpted with great detail and intricacy, pretty
much what you should expect from something in this price range.
Unfortunately, the great sculpt is not enhanced by the paint job. The
paint on the face looks a little messy, and though that may have been
what they were going for since some versions of the Joker have a more
messy and gritty look (like the Ledger and Arkham Asylum video game
versions), it doesn’t look all that good. The paint around the mouth is
a little sloppy and inconsistent, and the gray they painted over the
facial wrinkles simply doesn’t look all that great. They painted the
eyes the same color green as the hair and eyebrows, which I think looks
a little boring, and I wish they had gone for a more realistic-looking
color. The orange paint on the bowtie is sloppy around the bottom
edges, and there’s a small glob of paint on the right thumb that
shouldn’t be there. On the upside, they did a fantastic job on the hair
with no slop anywhere on the hairline, not even around the ears where
there’s some overlap, and the jacket and toy box have no paint issues,
either. The good cannot outweigh the bad here, however, considering
that this bust is not cheap by any means. When you charge a lot of
money for something, a sloppy paint job like this shouldn’t be an issue.
No moving parts whatsoever. This will not affect the overall score
since this is a statue, after all, but I thought it was worth
I paid $35 for mine, which is about average in my opinion. If you spend
the $50-$60 that this thing typically retails for, you can knock off
half a star at least. $35 is the cheapest I’ve seen it go for, and it
can be acquired for that much with a little searching. But $50+?
Factor - ***
This is a one-pose collectible that certainly isn’t for kids, but with
that being said, this is about as fun as a mini bust gets. It’s a fun
and interesting pose, and with the Joker poking his fingers through
Batman’s mask and looking like he just popped out of a jack-in-the-box,
kids and adults alike would find it cool and interesting.
to Watch Out For -
The bottom shreds of the cape can be broken off, so be careful, but
otherwise it seems virtually indestructible.
As a Joker fan and collector, this piece was a must-have for me. I
wouldn’t have paid an arm and a leg for it, but if you can find it for
$40 or less, I’d say it’s definitely worth getting. If not for the
sub-par paint job, this bust would have scored another half star. I’d
like it more if it were bigger, but big busts cost big bucks, so I’ll
remain content with the smaller stuff for now.
This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer.
Photos and text by Ryan Kelly.