Mattel Movie Masters Dark Knight Batman and Joker


"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."

Tim Thomson checks in tonight with a review of the elusive first release of the Movie Masters - Batman and Joker. Take it away, Tim!

I’ll keep this short and sweet: Ever since the Movie Master line for “The Dark Knight” was announced as 6” scale and being sculpted by the Four Horsemen, I had to get Batman and Joker. The TDK suit has replaced the Begins in my book, so it ranks just below the Keaton costumes.

Anywho, I had the batman for a while and have been searching for Joker ever since. I got lucky with a freebie online, but I had to get two so one of them could be free.

Well, after finally finding one, a photoshoot was in order, as well as a review to fit with it :D 

Packaging: ***
They’re good for protecting the figure and good for display, but a pain in the neck to open. They’re sealed at the top and sides. A piece of tape holds them closed at the bottom.

Back shows a mug shot of the figure enclosed as well as the other figures in the respective wave. They each have the same text below the picture. They do tend to pop on the shelf, but after a few months, the coloring starts to blend in.

Sculpt: ****
the entire Movie Master line was sculpted by the Four Horsemen, famous for many McFarlane sculpts as well as Mattel’s previous “He-Man: Masters of the Universe” lineup from ‘02 onward.

The sculpting is excellent. On Batman, you can see a bit of Bale in the chin area. The armor is so intricate and detailed that it deserves the 4-star treatment. The wrist blades, the boots, everything is well done. The cape is what kills it… I don’t like my caped heroes with sculpted capes. They should be fabric with wire around the edges like the collector’s edition begins figure. With the price and the scale, It wouldn’t have been hard to so... And it would make up for the 3 inches of empty space at the top of the card.

With Joker, it’s not perfect Heath, but it’s the best I’ve seen except for the Hot Toys figure. 10x better than the basic “animated” joker. The face has the scars sculpted into it. The suit has the inner blazer sculpted as part of the outer trench coat. Very well done, despite the inaccurate color of the blazer (More in “paint“) The coat is made in relatively rigid rubber, flexible enough to allow the legs, but stiff enough to not warp. The watch chain is very flexible, allowing the hip articulation to operate smoothly. Overall, both are excellent and some of the Horsemen’s best work, in my book. 

Paint: ****
Batman is mostly cast in black, but with painted highlights such as the navy blue on his pectorals, upper abs, and biceps. There are parts of it that are done in a slight gloss black, such as parts of his gloves.

The gold of the belt is done nicely as well. The silver “tracks“ on it are straight and even, the black on the buckel is solid and even.

There’s some slop, but it‘s very minimal. Most of the problems lie with the eyes… he’s cross-eyed: Always looking up and to either side. Not a huge nit, but still petty sad... Mattel should’ve gotten someone with a steady hand for it. Make sure you look over the paint on the shelf before you run to the register.

Joker’s paintjob is nice. The white is clean with a few intentional streaks on the forehead to simulate weathering of the makeup. The coat is cast in the dark purple with the light purple blazer painted inside. It was navy blue in the film. The chain is painted in silver; the tie is done in black, green, and yellow. The vest is painted green. Overall, He has a very nice paintjob. There is also what appears to be a “dusting” of dark gray on the bottom area of the coat and on the sleeves. It looks like it’s been dirtied up quite a bit, which is a good thing. 

Articulation: Joker: ***; Batman: ****
Neither figure would qualify as super articulated, but they have enough articulation to be fun toys and be posable on the shelf.

Both have ball-joint necks, ball-joint shoulders (joker is slightly restricted due to the sculpt of the arms), cut elbows, twisting wrists, t-joint hips, almost to the level of ball-joint, cut knees, cut ankles.

Batman has a mid-chest bend, cut biceps, and cut thighs, so he can get more poses. Then again, Joker was never a tri-athlete.

Accessories: Batman ** Joker **1/2
Both figures come with 'crime scene evidence'. Batman has a mask (I’d guess scale) and the evidence bag. Why he comes with his own mask, I don’t know.. I have a theory that
It might be the mask to one of the “copycats” in TDK that bust up the scene Scarecrow is in. Maybe even Brian’s….
End spoiler
Joker has a card with a Joker (duh) on the front of it. It‘s the same one seen at the end of “Begins” and the evidence bag. 

Why does Joker get a better score? Not just because of the card being nicer and a better collectable prop than the mask, but he has a small knife. And I’m serious, it’s tiny. Keep it rubber-banded into his hand or else risk losing it between the floorboards. See the pic with the penny for a size comparison with the knife.

Fun factor- ****
Movie master is right. These are the best bat-toys since the first set of comic-based Batman figures Mattel put out a few years back.
If you can find, them get them. They’re great toys for collectors and kids alike.

Value: ***
They’re great, but for $12, we should get something more.... Maybe a fabric cape with the wire edging and an unmasked Batman, saving us from spending an extra $12 for the same freaking figure with a different head. A few more goodies with joker would be nice. An example of nice planning would be the mask and duffel bag from the robbery in the beginning. Yeah, that would make it better... Even cooler if he could wear the mask.

Things To Watch Out For -
Crappy paintjobs, tight joints, and that tiny knife that Joker has. I’m lucky that I left it in his hand this long.. If I gave this to a 6-year-old, the knife would’ve been gone a long time ago.

Overall: Joker ***1/2; Batman ***
While the scores really come out about the same, with them being in sculpt and in paint, Joker got better scores due to a few things:
1. I just loved Ledger portrayal, perfection, in my book.
2. The Joker was short packed for ages… apparently my local wal-mart had kept them in the back, so I got lucky enough to see like 2 dozen of them on the pegs. Took me darn near forever to find one.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - joker *** batman****
Accessories - batman ** joker **1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***
Overall - Joker ***1/2; Batman ***

Where to Buy -
I got these at Wal-mart. The batman came from Wave 1 just after they were released. The joker was the re-released wave 1, marked as wave 1 again, but with different tags on it over the original assortment numbers.


Figure from the collection of Tim Thomson.

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