Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Dark Knight Movie Masters: The Joker as Gotham City Thug

Admittedly, I've come a bit late to the Movie Masters scene. However, there are perks to being late to the game. For instance, I managed to snag some great deals on most of the Dark Knight and Batman Begins figures. When I saw pictures of the upcoming prototypes of MattyCollector exclusives, I knew it had to be mine. Like most of you, I thoroughly enjoyed "The Dark Knight," but the bank robbery scene was one of the most memorable. Thankfully, Mattel has finally come to its senses (sorta, but more on that later) and decided to release the "Joker as Gotham City Thug" figure (this was made available for sale via on October 15, 2009) for public consumption.

The Good:

  • Gotham City Thug Joker has 20 points of articulation: ball-jointed head, ball-jointed shoulders, swivel upper arms, hinged elbows, swivel hands, ab-crunch joint, swivel hips, swivel/hinged legs, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and quasi-ball-jointed ankles.

  • The details on Joker's shirt are AMAZING! The pattern of various shapes on Joker's shirt are done in a consistent manner. Even the buttons are sculpted as well! I also like how they enhanced the "grouchy" clown mask by adding "dirty" paint applications to it, as seen in the movie.

The Bad:

  • Let's talk accessories. Like previous Movie Masters figures, Gotham City Thug Joker comes with one (lousy) accessory: the "grouchy" clown mask that Joker wore while robbing a mafia-run bank. This mask is particularly useless because it isn't scaled to fit anything. To further add insult to injury, this mask accessory doesn't even come with a "evidence baggie"! Also the over-sized mask seems a bit wider than the previously released mask (found with the Gotham City Thug figure). More useful accessories that would've improved the overall figure include: a blue duffel bag, a weapon for Joker to use menacingly, or even an alternative "unmasked" Joker head!

  • This also pertains to "accessories," but why on Earth are Joker's hands sculpted to hold something? Is he supposed to hold two imaginary guns to scare everyday civilians into giving up their hard-earned cash? I just don't get it.

  • The $28 price tag is too much. Although the Four Horsemen sculpts are amazing, the $28 is a whole lot of cash for not a lot of thoughtful packaging and product. I was quite underwhelmed when I viewed photos posted on a toy forum. The packaging looked... empty. It was as if something was missing. I can tell you that my $28 is what's missing. That and Mattel's common sense.

  • (At least on my figure) Joker's right eye is kind of missing. Or maybe it was deliberate to make it look like Joker's right eye is glimmering. Yeah, like I'll believe that one.

  • There's some stray paint here and there. Joker's got some blue dots on his mask's lips. There's also some missing paint where Joker's green hair and his white clown mask meet. (I apologize if I sound like I'm nitpicking, but for $28, my figure better be near damn perfect).

The Ugly:

  • I mentioned the $28 price-tag in the "bad" section, but the more I think about it, the uglier it gets. There's no way of justifying the sale of an action figure of this quality for $28. There's just no way. Unfortunately, I'm a toy collector and toy reviewer, so there you have it. Yes, I got screwed.

Additional Notes:

  • Gotham City Thug Joker uses the same parts as the previously released Gotham City Thug: hands (Joker's gloved hands don't have his knuckles painted), body/coat, pants, and shoes (Joker's shoes have a different paint scheme).

I purchased this figure online via MattyCollector for approximately $28.00 (price includes S&H and tax; I recommend purchasing more than one figure if you find something else you like mainly because it justifies the S&H costs). I don't recommend searching through eBay for this because these price-gougers are (excuse my language) bat-shit crazy selling these figures with prices ranging from $35 to $65 a piece. Cut out the middle-man and buy it yourself, or if you're lucky enough have another trustworthy collector purchase one for you.


Overall, this is just an "okay" figure. We've already been bombarded with leftover Movie Masters figures at mass-market retailers as well as online stores. The $28 price tag by itself is a major turn-off (no surprise there). Also the constant lack of useful accessories continues to hurt this line. What can a collector do with a non-scale clown mask? Why are Joker's hands sculpted as if they're supposed to hold something? Mattel could've included a weapon, a blue duffel bag, even an alternative unmasked Joker head! But nah... Mattel continues to insist upon their ways. I was under the impression that "Movie Masters" was for [serious] collectors (adult collectors), but with these constant stupid accessories, I may have been mistaken.

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