Do you wanna know how I got this figure…? Well our friends at Tamashii Nations UK sent him over to review. Pretty simple explanation really and it didn’t hurt a bit! The late Heath Ledger’s on screen portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime in 2008’s The Dark Knight is possibly the most iconic and well received to date (aside from debatably Mark Hamil’s which I think we can all agree is superb) so when we got wind of SHFiguarts releasing their take on the character we couldn’t wait to get him infront of the camera and under the microscope for a review. Let’s do this! Oh and yes – we couldn’t believe The Dark Knight will be ten years old in a few months either – we’re all old.
- Joker Figure
- 3 interchangeable part heads (faces)
- 3 pairs of hands
- Rocket launcher
- Machine gun
- Joker playing card
Good, not great. I know you should never start with the head, but I’m going to here – all three of them. For starters that toothy grin lets this one down a little I’m afraid. I can’t quite put my finger on why, it just looks a little ‘off’ to me which in a SHF is a rare thing indeed. The other two head sculpts are OK, both being a pretty decent likeness for Ledger’s portrayal, but they don’t make up for the third. I think it might be the eyes, yeah its the eyes. They’re too wide. If he had more of a squint I think id give it more of a pass (think the interrogation scene – “I don’t want to kill you?! What would I be without you?!”) Instead he’s got a more manic expression which doesn’t bring to mind any scene from the movie.
Moving away from the faces, the hair looks great. Subtle and imperfect – something SHF do very well. The clothing too looks great, covered in soft creases and folds giving that awesome taste of realism we all know and love from SHF.
Im a man of simple tastes and the accessories too look great with high attention to detail. With a character like The Joker from TDK I guess including accessories was a little tokenistic as he’s not really one for carrying an arsenal of weapons and toys, but they’ve chosen well with the rocket launcher and submachine gun from the chase/truck flip scene and the razor blade knife from the party scene.
PAINT APPLICATION 10/10
A bad paint job can take a good sculpt and make it look like garbage. All sense of expression can easily be lost underneath a heavy handed application of paint. On the other hand a good paint job can bring a figure to life, it allows you to savour all the little emotions. SHF have done it again with another great digital paint job. The eyes look terrific as do the tones and detail on the shirt and tie. The hair too is very well done, with just the right balance of green and brown coming through for that haphazard finish from the movie. The white face paint too is applied in that perfectly imperfect way you know I love with the creases on Ledger’s face being highlighted in skin tones. Beautiful chaos.
If SHF had put this figure out without the coat we’d have been like ‘Yo Goober! Where the coat?!’ It would have still looked cool and could have been styled after the interrogation scenes with the Joker’s makeup flaking off and his hands covered in grubby marks, but his iconic look has become the purple coat he wheres for the rest of the movie. The only issue though is by including this it hampers his movement a little. Having said that though, not as much as with some figures. Some of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends and Black Series figures can suffer from this with the plastic coats, capes or robes being too solid. Here though the plastic used for the coat is suitably soft to allow for plenty of movement.
The only real issue is when posing a figure with this addition, its always going to be stuck in the same position. So if you’re hoping to shoot the hanging upside down scene from the ending of TDK you’re going to be left with a coat that defies gravity. No matter how hard you push it.
PRICE POINT 8/10
Although not my favourite figure of all time, you can’t argue with its price (at the time of writing) which for a SHF figure, comes in at pretty damn cheap. Currently priced at around £40 here in the UK, and $40 across the pond I could say the price reflects the quality, but in actual fact its a steal at that price. Speaking as a Brit, here in the UK you can pay around the same for a Black Series figure at retail (depending on the figure and line) so to get your hands on a SHF for the same price? You’d be crazy not to.
OVERALL DESIGN 8/10
I had very high expectations for this figure and so you might argue then that the problem is mine not the figure’s, but I can’t deny this figure was a little bit of a let down for me. I so wanted to give this full marks as was the case with the SHF Harley Quinn, but it just didn’t hit the spot for me. Having said that though, these issues make you appreciate all thats good with the figure even more. Where it fails it lets itself down a bit, where it works though it shines.