I’m not a huge fan of the “Nolan Batman” films as a whole, but The Dark Knight is one of my favorite movies in the broad sense. Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, both are kind of mediocre, The Dark Knight is so good though. A lot of this is because of the Joker as the villain. Loving Heath Ledger’s Joker isn’t an uncommon opinion at all for sure. Unfortunately, in the US, Mattel has the license for DC figures, and produces most of them. Mattel, honestly, isn’t the greatest toy company, mostly because they tend to have wonky articulation and really spotty assortments. The Dark Knight Rises 4″ line had cases of like 23 Batmans and 1 Bane or something ridiculous. There was a version of The Joker released in the US, but I really wanted something nicer.
Enter Medicom and Mafex, and their Dark Knight Joker. This isn’t Mafex’s first figure, though they don’t put out a ton of product. Actually, especially previous to this Joker, Mafex has had a really awful reputation for releasing really crappy figures. Not so much from a design standpoint but from a quality standpoint.
I’d heard that they had gotten better with this release, and I opted to go ahead and pick up the Joker here as my first figure from their releases. I have to say I was not disappointed. Though I also need to say, there are still some quality issues, particularly in the joints on these figures. As of writing this review, I’ve picked up three figures from the Mafex line, and all of them have had joint issues of some kind, most often in the neck. My Joker sometimes has problems with his arm falling off.
Aside from this issue, I’m really satisfied by this figure. The sculpt is great, the weapon assortment is great. The smiling head is a little too happy, which is kind of weird, but the normal glowering head is spot on great, and it’s really the onle that would be used most of the time anyway.
There’s a bit of hindrance to articulation by his coat, though the Joker, especially this iteration of the Joker, is pretty slow and shuffling in his movements anyway. He’s not exactly an athlete or a ninja on any level.
So the question is, is it recommended? It’s probably the best Heath Ledger Joker available in this scale. That said, the join issues could be a turn off. I’d recommend him, but not for a tremendous mark up, unless you’re a huge fan of this Joker. I add the last part because now that we’ve moved on to the DC Cinematic Universe and the Suicide Squad Joker, this Joker probably isn’t going to get any sort of future release in a better line (Figuarts).