- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 15, 2012

Japanese collectibles designer Hot Toys continues to team up with distributor Sideshow Collectibles to offer some of the best 1:6 scale super-hero, movie-themed dolls on the market. Its Movie Masterpiece series never disappoints, offering such classic recreations as Christopher Reeve as Superman, Chris Evans as Captain America, Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man and Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man.

Hot Toys‘ latest, the Joker (DX08), pays three-dimensional tribute to the famed villain from Tim Burton’s 1989 film “Batman,” bringing a legendary actor to life as the Clown Prince of Crime.

Figure profile: (paraphrased from the box) Calling himself “The Joker,” Jack Napier is not dead but horribly disfigured with bleached white skin, emerald-green hair and a permanent ruby-red grin. In addition to being a mad and mutable combatant, he is a brilliant and brutal criminal mastermind. He succeeds Grissom’s empire and commits a violent and chaotic crime spree in Gotham City. Batman is his only worthy opponent, and they are truly destined to fight forever.

Accessories: Thanks to help from a generous supply of stuff, owners will be able to create many of the memorable moments from the film such as Joker tossing cash out to the citizens of Gotham, the villain trying to off himself with a fake gun and downing the Batplane (not included) with a single shot.

First, let’s start with the outlandish costuming. The arch enemy wears a pair of stylish purple-and-turquoise-checkered pants with suspenders, orange shirt and turquoise-dotted tie and vest. An optional purple felt hat, purple overcoat with turquoise handkerchief and acid-squirting orchid completes the awesome ensemble.

Just some of my favorite accessories include a walking stick, Walkie-talkie, orange bull horn, long-barrel pistol, short-barrel pistol (with “bang” flag insert), remote radio and gas mask.

Now, how about a few “are you kidding me” extras? Two wads of tiny paper cash, ($100 bills to be precise) that can be pulled apart, a Joker calling card, the ole chattering teeth gag (with a tiny spring inside to open and close choppers) and a display base that has two LED spotlights run with 3 AAA batteries.

Additionally, eight interchangeable hands offers options to pose with a Bob Fosse style (open palm, fingers spread dazzle) or hold every accessory in the box.

And, with 30 points of articulation, our pasty-faced fiend will have no trouble dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight.

Hot Toys also adds a bit of unprecedented mechanical technology to the head. Owners can pop off the back of his hair and use a control stick to adjust the angle of his eyes.

Price: $264.99

Read all about it: It will take some eBay and comic book shop hunting to find a copy, but DC Comics’ offered a single issue (in both regular and prestige format), official sequential-art adaptation of the movie back in 1989 ($5 in near mint condition). Popular Batman historian Denny O’Neil offered the prose with artwork from the legendary Jerry Ordway.

What’s it worth: I have no complaints with Heath Ledger’s masterful performance of Joker, but this figure reminds me of how Jack Nicholson set the bar for twisted villainy through his demented portrayal more than two decades ago.

This museum-quality figure will have a non-pop culture connoisseur shaking her head (and maybe a fist) in disbelief (no wife names mentioned please) that anyone would spend $265 on a 12-inch tall doll.

Still Hot Toys‘ reverence to impeccable design, details and that fantastic head sculpt of Mr. Nicholson make it irresistible for the older Batman collector. Those willing to run up the credit card further should also consider the company’s version of Michael Keaton as Batman ($239.99) to offer a the perfect compliment for a encased diorama.



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