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Joker 2.0 - DX11
Hot Toys

Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys


I love the Dark Knight, and it stands as my all time favorite Batman film. Much like Return of the Jedi, the Dark Knight Rises was a decent end to the trilogy, but simply couldn't compare to the brilliance of the middle film.

For me, a large part of that was the exceptional work by Heath Ledger as the Joker. He will forever remain one of my favorite on screen characters, in or out of a comic book franchise.

My love for the character shows too - I have a ton of merchandise. Even after spending ridiculous amounts of money on the previous Hot Toys Joker figures, I was still first in line when they announced the new 'Joker 2.0'. It was the inclusion of the interrogation room diorama that sold me - I simply couldn't resist, even with the $275 price tag.

Sideshow was selling the regular of course, but they also had an exclusive that included three pretty cool extras, all at the same price. That's the route I went, and that's the figure I'm reviewing tonight.

Packaging - ****
While the box is nice, it's not quite as exceptional as some of the other recent DX figures. It's all collector friendly of course, with nice foam trays for the figure and plastic ones for the larger accessories. The wrap around purple box looks great, although both text and graphics are a bit scarce.

I almost dropped a half star here, but they included the very cool Joker card, complete with safety pin, that was attached to the impersonator that the Joker killed. I love prop replicas, even simple one's like this. Getting one as an extra to an action figure is always a big plus. The only negative is that the safety pin, while sensible, is not how the Joker attached the card to the body.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys

Sculpting - ****
Guess what? The sculpt is amazing. Every time they've done the Ledger Joker, I didn't think they could do better, but here - at least with the PERS portrait - they've upped the ante again.

The finely stranded hair looks amazing, the subtle skin textures are excellent, and the wry expression highlights the gruesome scars.

The laughing portrait doesn't quite do it for me, but it;s still very recognizable. It's not that the portrait is off - I'm just not a big fan of the look, especially with how far the eyes are closed. Still, the teeth are creepy real, and the portrait is unique enough to give it value with those of us that have multiple figures.

There's a ton of extra hand sculpts, all designed to work either with specific accessories, or with specific poses. They look great, and are in scale.

Paint - ***1/2
Oh my God- a Hot Toys paint score that isn't four stars! Has Michael had a recent head injury?

It is a bit of a surprise, but Hot Toys has set the bar so high for themselves, that the occasional screw up is getting more likely.

If you look at the PERS portrait, you probably won't find anything to complain about. In fact, some of the work, like the hair line, is scary real, and they've done an excellent job giving us paint that looks like make up, and not a painted action figure. It's beautiful work, no doubt about it.

The second portrait has his eyes almost completely closed, so that you have the blackened lids. It also is very sweaty, more so than the PERS face, and for me it's just too much. I get what they were going for, but they went a little too far trying to get there.

The PERS head is a bit wet in appearance as well, but it's much more reserved with this one. Personally, I like the more matte finish, and the glossy look is my only negative here.

The hands have a bit more paint work this time around too. The ungloved versions are dirty, and they did it well without going overboard.

Articulation - ****
Hot Toys has improved in most categories since the DX01 Joker was released several years ago. Articulation is one of them - this underlying TrueType is tremendously fluid and smooth, able to take all kinds of realistic, life-like poses.  All the articulation you expect is here, and it all works great.

The only spot that's a little restricted compared to some releases is the neck. The single ball joint inside the chest works well, but due to the head and neck being all one sculpt, there isn't any movement around the jawline.

Let's not forget that as a DX, this figure sports the Parallel Eyeball Rolling System - PERS. This system allows you to pose the eyes in just about any direction. It's accomplished by removing the hair in back, and moving a small joystick inside the head. The engineering here has improved as well, with a tighter movement and shorter stick.

Accessories - ****
DX figures should always have a lot of extras, supporting the extreme price they demand. Thankfully, there's a butt load of goodies this time around.

There's the extra head I already mentioned in the Sculpt and Paint sections, and providing a second portrait is a huge bonus in my book. The heads swap easily too, critical with a costume like this.

He has a good assortment of weapons too. Some we've seen before, some are brand new.

Gun-wise, let's start with the Glock 17 that's been converted to full auto in its on screen version. The magazine is removable of course, and the slide works - no surprise there. I was surprised that it actually snaps back in place though, something I don't remember from previous releases.

On the larger side, there's the Smith and Wesson M76. It has the folding stock and spring action, and is perfectly scaled and sculpted.

The last gun is a new one, the sawed off Remington 870 that the bank manager used at the beginning of the film. The Joker took it from him, and it makes several more appearances in his hands through the film. The pump action works, but the chamber doesn't open.

The Joker likes knives better than guns, and he has several here. This isn't the first time we've gotten the black Extractor knife, but it's always a welcome inclusion. The blade retracts of course.

The second knife is a pretty standard butterfly knife, in silver. What makes it special is it works just like the real deal. Again, scale and sculpt are great, and the articulated working feature takes it over the top. Funny thing is, I don't remember him having one in the film...

The third knife-like weapon is a surprise - it's the potato peeler! This item only got a brief on screen shot, but it was there, so adding it in is very cool.

While there are only three knives, that's not the end of the bladed weapons. There are two metal (yes, real metal) knife blades which can be inserted between the toe and sole of either shoe. It's a little tricky getting them in place (you have to get the angle just right) but they look great once you do.

Those are it for the traditional weapons. But the Joker isn't traditional - there's also a nicely scaled pencil, which can be used with the included table to recreate the scene with the various mob bosses. It's a magic trick!

And yes, there's the table. Silver in color, its primary purpose is to work with the chair, lamp, and three cardboard walls to recreate the interrogation room. And it does this extremely well, right down to the small wire attachment between the lamp and table.

The lamp doesn't light, but it is articulated so you can pose it however you'd like. It also has a magnet on the bottom, so it will hold in place on the left side of the table.

Both the chair and table are very screen accurate, and in correct scale for the Joker figure. The paint is good as well, giving them a realistic metallic appearance.

The three cardboard walls include two faux one way mirrors, again just like on screen. They aren't actually see through, but that's not an issue for me. The door is also behind the Joker, which was true to the film, although it does seem to be a little  to close to center. Of course, that's partly due to the fact that this room is smaller than the room was in the film.

There are Velcro strips included that you can use at the corners of the walls to keep them in place. There's no floor piece, so the Velcro keeps the walls standing.

This version comes with a couple items we've seen before, but are always important, especially if this is your only Hot Toys Joker. He has both the playing cards and the wad of cash, printed up perfectly and properly in scale. Since one of the hands is specifically designed to hold the cards, they're a critical add.

Another area where the DX should shine is with extra hand sculpts, and this one is no exception. With a total of 14 hands - 8 gloved and 6 without gloves - you'll have plenty of options for posing and working with the accessories. All of the swap easily enough, and there's a couple extra wrist pegs just in case.

The standard version also comes with a light up base, which works well although I doubt many folks will be using it. It comes in the Joker's purple, but otherwise matches up with the ones provided with other Batman figures.

That's it for the standard figure, but that's pretty damn good. I'm checking out the Sideshow exclusive here, which sold for the same price as the regular but includes not one but THREE additional accessories.

There's the extra clown mask, called 'Grumpy'. This was the bank robber who was actually wise to the Joker's plan of having each robber kill another, but ended up dead by bus anyway. The mask looks great, and I love the spiky hair.

The exclusive also has the detonator that the Joker was going to use to blow up the boat. The detonator is complete with the fake brown book, in which you can hide it.

All three are cool adds, especially the detonator. Considering the price was the same for the regular and the exclusive, it's pretty clear which was the better deal.

Outfit - ****
And here I thought they'd done an amazing job with the previous Joker outfits. How silly do I feel know!

I talk about tailoring a lot - that's the key here. All the clothes - shirt, pants, socks, vent, jacket, coat, tie, shoes - fit perfectly on his slender frame. There's no weird bulging or odd wrinkling, and nothing about the costume seems out of scale.

I mentioned with the recent Bane that his lapels were held in place with two of those annoying mini-snaps. Not so here - instead they went with very, very tiny magnets, and the work surprisingly well. The location of the metal piece on the left lapel is a smidge off, but it's a minor nit to be sure.

The materials choice is exceptional as well, and by going with such high quality but thin material, they were able to get all these layers to still look in scale.

I love the soft, fuzzy coat as well, complete with bright lining. It can be quite tricky to get both the coat and jacket off and on, due to the tight fit, but it is possible and I actually did it twice. You should take the advice of the instructions though, and put the jacket inside the coat first, and then put both back on the body together.

Even the shoes are another step forward in realism. While the previous sculpts were great, these soft leather-like shoes have real stitching and a separate sole, further improving on the appearance.

I did have some issues keeping the tie lined up, and the shirt collar is just a whisker too big. But considering the overall wow factor of this costume, those are truly minor issues at best.

Fun Factor - ****
While swapping him in and out of the jacket and coat is a bit of a trick, the rest of the features are easy to use. You'll have a great time setting him up, and he's easy enough to work with that you'll be changing poses and expressions on a regular basis.

Value - **
I'm not going to tell you that $275 isn't a lot of money. If you already own one of the previous Hot Toys Jokers, particularly the first DX, you'll be hard pressed to convince yourself that you need another at this price tag.

I think a good comparison DX is last year's Jack Sparrow, who had lots of extras, a complex outfit, and even some diorama pieces. That was a figure that ran just north of $200, depending on the retailer, and got an average value score from me.

Hot Toys figures are more expensive this year. Even normal releases are often going for $200, a big jump up. You are getting a TON of extras here, including the second head sculpt and a very well designed interrogation room. If this guy were $210 - $220, he'd be getting an above average rating here.

But at $275, you're getting into new territory. He's not a terrible deal, but I did have to drop him a half star off average. The final straw is that he's not a new character, but a re-hash of one we've seen multiple times - as nice as he is, had he been unique I'd have been more likely to go that extra half star.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not much. You do want to be careful with the PERS, since it is possible to over do it and snap something, but with a little care it should last a long time.

Overall - ****
The number one question people will have on this figure is simple - is it worth picking up if I already have the DX01? And the answer is also simple - yes.

The best reason to pick this guy up along with the DX01 is because you'll need both figures for a display. At least. If not more. If you only have this Joker, you'll be torn - he looks amazing in the jacket and coat, but he didn't wear them in the interrogation room. With only the 2.0 version, you'd have to either give up the diorama, or give up the coat - and neither is a good choice.

I also have the DX01, and my plan is to keep the DX11 in the new outstanding costume, and remove the jacket and coat from the DX01. He'll look terrific in the diorama (and you can always do a head swap with the laughing portrait), and I'll still have the ultimate fully dressed version as well.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow had this exclusive, but you'll need to get on he wait list. They also have the regular edition for $275.

- Alter Ego Comics is at $253.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $275.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Hot Toys Jokers include the Cop version of the DX01 Joker, as well as the regular DX01 look. Hot Toys also did a Bank Robber version, as well as an original non-DX version. Mattel took a shot at it too, with less than stellar results. Making it smaller didn't help. Hot Toys did a nice mini-bust as well.

And if you're looking for something a little bigger, Enterbay did a terrific quarter scale version of this Joker.

What would the Joker be without the Bat? Hot Toys did a new DX version of him as well.

Discussion:
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Joker 2.0 DX11 Dark Knigh action figure by Hot Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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