|Jeff Parker is back tonight to
cover the second half of the Hot Toys Dark Knight busts - the Joker!
Tell us all about it, Jeff...
Respect as always to our host, a big thank you for once again letting
me share my views on the ever increasing number of spin off
collectables from this summers biggest blockbuster, The Dark Knight.
Which, interestingly enough, is getting a re-release in January,
arguably to give it a last minute high profile Oscars push, but it
might even help it break through the $600.8 million gross that has kept
Titanic at the top of the chart for far too many years now. It’s
unlikely, as it still needs to make up over 150 million, but never say
Now, super hero movies are all too often so wrapped up in explaining
the ‘creation’ of their ‘super’ villains, that they end up taking
centre stage, and pushing our ‘hero’ into the supporting cast. That’s
not something that Christopher Nolan can be accused of though, sure he
gave us the finely plaid out rise and tragic fall of Gotham’s finest
DA, Harvey Dent, but the main protagonist, the man who set about
creating this fall from grace arrived like a force of nature, laid
waste to everything he touched and managed to be one of the most
chilling cinematic villains ever created, and perhaps he was all the
more chilling for the fact we knew virtually nothing about his origins.
And whilst all this played out, Bruce Wayne was still very much the
focus at the heart of the movie, it was all about the choices and
decisions he made. Whilst at the core, Batman Begins was more of an
emotional journey for our hero, the new movie is based more around his
morals, that’s not to say Bruce isn’t put though another emotional
roller coaster as well though.
And so onto this review of the partner piece to the Batman bust I
reviewed a couple of weeks
ago and a very cool partner it makes.
This is in construction the same as the Batman box, so it’s a sturdy
corrugated card, silk laminated full-colour printed design with a cut
out window to show the facial sculpt. Inside is a formed Styrofoam tray
that holds him snugly. The front again has the Gotham skyline, but its
made to look like the Joker has added a little of his trademark
graffiti. The back and sides have some photos of the full bust from
various angles. So, a nicely designed, no frills box that’ll get your
bust to you in tip top condition.
The Batman bust was sculpted fantastically by Kim Jung Mi, but this
time Yulli is back in full force for the Joker!
Another absolutely outstanding bit of work that looks at it’s best with
the head tilted menacingly right forward. There’s some finely detailed
work on the skin texturing and the scars on the cheeks look far more
accurate than on the first 1/6 scale figure they gave us, reviewed here, in fact
this sculpt looks far more like Heath Ledger than that version, so why
not full marks?
Well, if I hadn’t seen Yulli’s
work on the up coming 1/6 ‘bank robber’ version of the Joker viewable here
it probably would have been full marks, but by letting us see the, not
one but two, absolutely amazing head sculpts that come included with
that figure, she has done herself out of that whole extra a star, and
it seems to me, that though Ledger certainly wasn’t fat, he carried a
little more meat on his cheeks and chin, not ‘jowly’ but just a tad
fuller in the face.
However, don’t let that put you
off, as this bust still captures the look of the character
At this scale, the work on the hair is much finer, and the front, where
it flops over the forehead to the left, is a separate piece meaning
there is a slight seam between it and the flesh, its very well
concealed and its visibility is very dependant on where your light
source is coming from. In ambient light it’s virtually invisible, but
with more extreme lighting, like that used in many of my photos, the
shadows make it seem more noticeable. There’s also some limited
articulation at the neck, this gives you the ability to inject a lot
more personality to your display. The sculpt carries on right down past
his lapels, the coat sweeps down almost to the bottom of the plinth and
the body is sculpted to the base hem of his waist coat, so you get the
effect of the layering of the coat, jacket, waist-coat and shirt
beneath all carried out fantastically, my only slight fault is that the
tie seems a little too perfect, and could do with roughing up a bit to
show a few wrinkles and creases.
This is a far more complex job
than the Batman figure that came before. For a start there’s the face
with the white greasepaint, ‘Robert Smith’ lipstick and panda eyes,
this is all carried out very subtly and though the eye make up looks
great in person, I’m finding it difficult to capture well with my
camera, especially from certain angles, but that’s probably down to the
photographer rather than the bust!
The colouration of the hair works well too, with plenty of dirty greys
and browns showing through so it doesn’t just look like a big green
slab. The work on the outfit is equally as outstanding, and the
division between each piece of clothing is super crisp with absolutely
no overspill at all. I think this is down to the very clever use of
layering the different garments as separate seams of pre-painted
plastic, these are brought together so tightly you’d be hard pressed to
notice this unless you look ‘very’ closely or remove the plinth he
stands on to peer up inside, giving each separate piece its own slight
difference in texture, colour and pattern, and talking of pattern, the
work on the fabric of the Jokers shirt has to be seen up close to be
fully appreciated, a top class job!
I guess in a way I should give
it top marks, as most ‘busts’ don’t have any articulation at all.
However, like the Rambo bust there’s
a very well concealed joint at the top of the neck where it meets his
chin, so it can be tilted from side to side or to look straight forward
or down, as I said, this gives him far more ‘attitude’.
This is an excellent companion to the Batman, but lets face it, busts
are pretty hard to play with, mine will be used as bookends on my comic
shelf, helping to keep my various Batman graphic novels in place, and
for that they will look fantastic.
This is going to depend totally on where and when you pick one of these
up. I think many people thought that the importing of these by DC
Direct (DCD) would lead to a cheaper product… well, DCD have this baby up for
$175 I kid you not! It also says on the web site
interestingly- “Hot Toys items are not available for sale in Hong Kong,
Japan, and the rest of Asia”, well this is news to me.
So I did an eBay search and a
few are out there for between $80 to $120, but they do seem pretty thin
on the ground.
However plenty of Michael’s
sponsors have it on pre-order for $ 63.99 making it less than two and a
half times cheaper than DCD and a better deal than eBay… leading me to
surmise that DCD might have made a boo boo!
If you have the Batman but are on the fence over this guy, I urge you
to make the plunge.
I’m very happy with this bust; I
actually received my HT Predator bust at the same time, which I’ll
review shortly. I like the Pred a lot, though he has a few issues, but
when lined up with all the busts so far, as much as I like the others,
this one just has a bit more of a WOW factor! However the ALIEN is due
out next, and you know how I feel about ALIENS.
Packaging - ****
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2
Where to Buy -
You can use the links on the homepage to check out some of Michael’s
sponsors below for a far better deal-
$63.99 - PRE ORDER
$63.99 - PRE ORDER
Or if you’re in the UK
£52.99 - PRE ORDER
Or you can use Michaels sponsor www.MyAuctionLinks.com
to find a good deal as well.
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