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Joker

Batman Arkham Asylum
by yo go re

"Whee! Great night for a party!"

An insanely homicidal supervillain, The Joker's white skin, green hair, and blood-red lips belie the chaotic nature underlying his cartoonish appearance. The self-styled Clown Prince of Crime has no superpowers, beyond a capacity for incredible violence and a skill at creating deadly mayhem. He frequently concocts elaborate schemes to entrap his arch nemesis, Batman.

One of our readers requested some reviews of McFarlane's new DC Multiverse figures. And while we always try to give the people what they want, between the world shutting down for four months and the slowness of the Australian postal system, we haven't been able to do anything yet. Well, Walmart may be closing at, like, 7pm right now, but if you can get there during the day, you just might be able to lay your hands on an early shipment of Arkham Asylum Joker.

The first thing you'll notice about McToys' DC figures is the size: they're too bloody tall. Yet again proving incapable of playing well with others, Todd has eschewed the 6" scale of most comicbook toys for a larger 7" scale - good news for the fans who have been collecting DST's Marvel Select line and will finally have some decent DC figures to intermingle with it, bad news for those who have been focusing on Marvel Legends and Mattel. Luckily though, three companies have made Arkham figures - Mattel, DC Direct, and one shocker from NECA - and all of them have been in this same general scale. Joker has a collection he can fit into!

McFarlane still doesn't credit his sculptors, because this is the year 1998 apparently. Whoever is responsible for Joker has done a decent job of re-creating the game renders - the eyes should probably sit a little bit higher and the brows shouldn't be as heavy, but the face is long and narrow, with a squared-off chin and frizzy green hair. This is a more exaggerated version of the character seen in the game, with all the details pushed a little more toward "cartoony" than being 100% accurate.

The body is thin and gangly, just as it should be. While the other Arkham inmates had to use asylum uniforms to cobble together versions of their costumes, Joker is wearing his trademark purple suit, with the frilly yellow shirt beneath it. The pinstripes in the suit are sculpted in, and they even remembered to make the patch over his left knee smoother than the rest of the material. The wrinkles on the suit make it look slightly rumpled - remember, he was brought into Arkham immediately after getting beat up by Batman, so that makes total sense. His wallet chain is merely sculpted as part of his leg, rather than being a loose piece, but the way they sculpted the flower in his lapel wilting is pretty awesome.

The paint is fine, but not exceptional. We don't blame them for not attempting to paint the pinstripes a lighter shade (that has the potential to get sloppy way too easily), but looking at the game model, the suit appears to be slightly shiny, almost like it's made of satin or something, so the toy just being a flat dark purple doesn't quite work right. Additionally, the patch on the knee shoul be lighter, and the gloves should be more of a lavender, not the same color as the coat and pants. Finally, the shoes should be dark dark purple with mustard-colored soles, not black. For our money, though, the biggest flaw is his skin: it's just a solid white with no shading, which flattens out the few wrinkles and details that have been sculpted there.

These days, McFarlane Toys is known for giving their figures good articulation, and we couldn't be prouder of them for it. Joker can prance around like a deranged marionette thanks to hinged toes, swivel/hinge/swivel ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, some odd conglomeration of swivels and hinges hidden inside the torso that combine to duplicate the range of a balljoint (you can feel them ratcheting as they move, and it's definitel not an actual ball), swivel/hinge/swivel wrists, double-hinged knees, swivel biceps, swivel/hinged shoulders that meet the torso in a balljoint, and a balljointed head. Way to go, Todd!

Joker comes with three accessories: two sets of chattering teeth, and what the website refers to as a "blaster." It's a gun. A normal gun. A silver revolver with a black handle. If you've played the game, you'll remember the teeth being a minor ongoing annoyance throughout, laughing at you and trying to chip away at your health. Rather than two of the same mold, we get one set that's open and one set closed. It's a shame he couldn't come with another, since they tend to show up in sets of three. There's also a black disc base and a card with a pictue of the Joker, but those aren't as noteable.

Overall, we'd be a lot happier (and be buying a lot more) if McFarlane Toys' DC Multiverse figures were done in a 6" scale, but Joker at least has some existing figures he plays nicely with. The quality's there, it's just the interactivity we miss.

-- 06/24/20


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