So why the drop in score?
Because for the first time in I don't
remember how long, this package isn't completely collector friendly.
The cape is in the very last layer of packaging, and it's held in place
by soft plastic straps taped in place. You're going to have to damage
them to some degree in getting it out, and if you're like me, you'll
take the short route and just cut them. I think they could have come up
with a better solution, had they wished to maintain the truly collector
friendly nature of the box, but they decided to forgo that nicety this
Sculpting - ****
There's several distinct sculpting areas on this figure - the cowled
heads, the Bale head, the suit, and the accessories.
The accessories are as amazing
as usual, and I'll go into greater detail in their section. Suffice to
say, they are all excellent sculpts with lots of great detail and
The Bale head is a big reason
for the four star score. It's one of the best Bale's we've seen, and
the extra large scale means they can make it even more scary real. This
is a slightly older Bale, representative of the third movie. The
excruciating detail that we've come to expect in the skin texture,
hair, lips, eyes, and wrinkles is all there. I might expect it, but it
still amazes me every time.
The cowled heads aren't quite as
good. The skin texture, lips and eyes are all still amazing, and the
little details, like the skin texture around the eyes covered in black,
makes the difference.
But there's something off about
the shape, and they seem a little too elongated to me. The magnetic
neck - more on that in the Articulation section - already tends to make
the figure look a bit too much like a giraffe. Add in a tall head, and
he looks a even odder.
The suit work is terrific, and
some of the issues we've seen with previous versions (like the belly
and chest that tends to buckle out) are much improved here. Small
details look great, and the armored pieces are tightly attached to the
underlying body suit.
This is a big figure, coming in
at a full 18 inches tall, not including his point ears. Unfortunately,
he's slightly smaller than the Enterbay Joker, so if you were hoping to
put them side by side, you'll have to adjust the display a bit to allow
for the height differential.
Paint - ****
There's not a ton of paint here, but there is a ton of black.
Thankfully, it's all clean and
consistent, and there's a nice variation in shade to give the figure
some visual interest. The skin tone is the usual spooky real, and I
mentioned how the sculpted skin texture around the eyes is done up in
black, which looks like makeup, just as it should.
Where there's teeth on the lower
face pieces, they are very well done, and he's definitely a fan of
whitening toothpaste. The gold belt looks metallic, not plastic, with a
very clean, consistent coverage.
Overall, it's another amazing
Hot Toys production paint job, with nothing to complain about.
Articulation - ****
This figure is surprisingly well articulated, with a much better design
than the Enterbay counterparts.
of the reasons for that statement is the hands. Swapping hands on the
EB 1/4 scale Joker was an absolute nightmare - here, it's easy peasy
lemon squeezy. Swapping the heads is easy as well, although you'll want
to pull upward on the neck with an even strength and pressure.
cowled head and neck are not connected in the usual way. Instead,
there's a very strong magnet in the neck post, and a metal ring on the
inside of the two cowled heads. This ring keeps the head in place on
the neck, but allows you to get just about any tilted pose. I'm not a
huge fan of this style joint - we've seen Hot Toys use it before with
Batman - but I have to admit that it works quite well this time, and
allows for more posability than you'd get from a normal joint system.
He still looks a bit like a giraffe, but it's a minor nit, and if you
tilt the chin forward, you can negate some of the effect.
new suit allows for greater mobility than previous versions, and you
can get reasonably deep stances and raise the arms at least parallel to
the chest. The lower joints are clicky, which allows them to maintain
poses even under the extra weight of the figure.
I really like
the ankles as well, which have enough side to side rocker movement to
allow him to keep his feet flat on the ground in most stances.
PERS system is available with one of the two cowl heads. They've gone
with the two post system where you operate each eye independent of the
means there's no complex mechanism to break, but you do have to be very
careful to get each eye just right and keep them there.
include a small tool to reach each eye stalk and adjust it, but I found
that more effort than it's worth. The inner ring that holds the head in
place on the neck is actually designed to be removed, and once it's out
of the way you can reach the stalks with a finger.
Accessories - ****
I was astounded by the number of accessories included with this figure
- it's crazy.
mentioned the two extra heads in the Sculpt and Paint sections, and
they go a long way to boosting this score too. As I mentioned, the two
cowled heads attach to the neck with a strong magnet, but the Bale head
is a full head and neck piece. Swapping is easy enough, and there's an
extra black rubber neck piece to cover the exposed skin. The Bale head
fits down a
bit lower on the body than the other two, making him a bit less
Both the Sonar head and the PERS
head come with
special lower face mouth poses. There are two additional mouth poses,
small pieces of just the lower face. These four all pop in and out of
head, giving you eight potential different expressions. Start moving
those PERS eyes around, and you have a practically unlimited number of
There's swappable hands too - 3
more sets to go along with
the fists he comes wearing. There's a pair of relaxed pose hands, and
two more pairs designed to work with various accessories.
belt is extremely well made, but it might take a minute or two to
figure out how to unclasp it in the back. There are posts on the top
clasp that snap into the bottom. Don't force it - once you figure it
out it's easy to open and close.
There are 7 different pieces
that fit on the belt. There's a small tube and a small pouch that are
just ornamental. There's an additional pouch that's actually an opening
radiation detector (the large square) and a folding ultrasonic cutter.
That's the one that looks like two tubes side by side. One tube folds
down, and the cutter tip slides out. How cool is that!
grappling gun has a clip-on holster as well, and it fits inside
nicely. The gun has spring action barrels, as well as two 'bullets'
that can be inserted in the end of each barrel.
One of his other
weapons is the sticky bomb gun. This comes in two pieces, each folded
up neatly into a square. In this folded configuration they can be hung
on the back of the belt.
Remove them, follow the
unfolding them, and they connect to make the very cool gun. In the
photos you'll see them on his back, then off but still folded,
unfolded, attached, and finally in his hands.
He has a couple
small extras that don't really fit on the belt, but are nice extras
nonetheless. There's one of the small round mines, as well as three
real metal batarangs.
If you don't want to go with the
he also has the flight pack, which snaps on tightly to his back and
shoulders. Unlike the cape, it's pretty easy to attach and remove.
weapon is the EMP gun, which lights up. The switch is on the bottom of
the barrel cover, with the battery compartment inside the first
light is nice and bright, and the included batteries are pretty much a
requirement at this price point.
Finally, the regular edition has
a very cool base diorama. The broken rubble base has a hunk of girder
sticking up, as well as an extra little chunk you can put anywhere.
There's a scarecrow mask, flattened out, as well as the Joker's mask
and Bane's mask. These make for a terrific addition to just about any
The special edition version also
includes a soft rubber
cowl that works great with the Bale head sculpt. He can hold it in one
of the posed hands, contemplating his chosen path.
little tool to adjust the eyes (you don't really need it, but it can be
useful), as well as a couple extra wrist pegs. I think that's it,
although with this stack of extras I could be forgetting something!
Outfit - ***1/2
This new outfit is more stretchy cloth, less hard plastic and rubber.
There's still plenty of armor, but this is a more dynamic and flexible
uniform that allows for greater posability. The sculpted pieces look
terrific, although there are a few issues here and there with
the specific fit.
For example, my knee pads aren't
quite lined up, and I haven't figured out how to adjust them.
I think that if I play with the legs for awhile I'll be able to get
them in the right spot, but it will take some effort.
The boots are flexible enough to
allow the ankles to do their thing, staying flat on the floor in
deepish stances. The shoulder armor lifts up to allow the arms to
raise, and there's even some movement in the torso.
While the overall costume is
great, I had to dock the figure for the cape. It's very light weight,
maybe too light. There's no inner lining, no hem on the edge, and no
wire for posing. Because it's light weight, it hangs nicely, but it's
pretty basic considering the price.
On top of that, the cape is
supposed to attach to the suit by inserting two plastic tabs into the
shoulders. They snap in place and hold the cape on tightly.
Only problem - it's extremely
difficult to get them in place. The instructions aren't very clear, so
it was with a lot of experimentation that I managed to get them
correctly inserted. Press the short end of the tab that's attached to
the cape in first, pushing the cape in with it. It has to go in far
enough to allow the back, which is bent in a clip, snaps tight into the
suit shoulder. It's not easy to do, and even once you get it right, the
cape tends to pooch up a bit at the shoulders.
There's several custom capes out
there than you can pick up to replace it, and it's certainly not a bad
Light Feature - ****
There's not one but TWO light up features here, and both work terrific.
already mentioned the light up EMP gun. There's a small switch on the
bottom of the moving barrel cover, and the batteries are contained
within the first cannister. The single bulb is bright, and lights up a
number of the protruding tips simply by proximity.
There is also
the sonar cowl, which he uses to give himself true bat vision. The
switch and batteries are buried up inside the neck, and again, if you
pull out the neck ring, it makes it a lot easier to get to them.
The batteries for both light up
features are included and in place, which is pretty much a must have at
this price point.
Fun Factor - ****
isn't a toy, although it's a lot more like a giant action figure than
most 1/4 scale figures. Great articulation makes it a ton of fun for
the adult collector, who will spend hours working with him to get just
the right look. With the multiple faces, PERS eyes, and a ton of
accessories, you could change his look every week and never get bored.
Value - ***
The original going rate for this figure was
about $465, but it's been rising at some retailers. I'm going at the
sub $500 price tag here, and while it might seem surprising that you
could get a good value at that price, you are. There's three heads, two
light features, PERS eyes, great articulation, and a ton of extras that
make this guy worth the price of admission.
I wish the special
edition was a little cheaper though, because the additional cowl is a
great extra to go with the Bale head, yet it really isn't worth the
higher price most are charging. It's definitely a conundrum.
Things to Watch Out For -
you're removing the neck rings, try to pull them out straight. There
are small plastic posts that hold them inside the head, and these can
get bent or broken if you pull at too much of an angle.
also find the cape more than a little frustrating. It is possible to
get it in place, but you might find the need to put a lot of pressure
on the clips. Be careful what other parts of the body and costume are
also getting squeezed when you're working on the cape.
Overall - ****
There are a few issues here, and two of them really bug me. The shape
of the cowls is off to my eye, and getting the cape attached is just so
I'll be going with the Bale head
in my display, something similar to the final photo down below. That
makes the cowl issues a bit less annoying, but doesn't mean they get a
But even with these issues, this
is one of the coolest figures I've seen this year. I was overwhelmed by
the number of excellent, useful accessories that they included, and all
the extreme attention to detail. There's no way you can argue that this
isn't an extremely expensive figure, and part of me is pretty surprised
that there's a market out there than can support a line like this. But
you are getting your money's worth, which makes the sticker sting a
little less painful.
If you have a Batman fan on your
Christmas list and he (or she) really, really, really deserves an
outstanding present, this is an ideal choice. If they don't already
love you, they will when they open this baby up.
I've included a ton of photos
this time around, a necessity because of the extreme number of
accessories. Be sure to scroll all the way down!
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***1/2
Light Up Feature - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ****
Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:
Ego Comics has him at $465.
- Big Bad Toy Store comes in at $530.
- or you can search
ebay for a bargain.
Other Hot Toys QS figures include the new Endoskeleton. Enterbay
is also doing quarter scale figures, like the Joker. Other Hot Toys
sixth scale Batman figures include the 1989
Mime Joker, the Nicholson
their DX12 Batman,
as well as the Keaton
Batman. If you're a fan of the Joker, you should also check out
their DX11, their most recent of their Ledger Jokers.
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review? Try out one of these terrific
forums where I'll be
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