Thursday, July 2, 2015

Review: MAFEX The Joker

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Medicom Toy
Figure Number: 5
Origin Series: The Dark Knight
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 16cm tall
Original Price: 4,500 Yen


Upon first seeing The Joker's packaging, I already acknowledged one fact... "THIS BOX IS AMAZING!" and yes, people, it definitely IS one of (if not) the most unique and fun boxes I have ever seen in my entire 7 years of being in the hobby. Aside from being a ridiculously unique box, back when Joker was released, this also served as an easy preview of MAFEX Batman 2.0's box design as it IS the Batman 2.0 packaging, just a vandalized one. The greatest feats of the box is the fact that it is a vandalized Batman box which is very appropriate for Joker; the box is literally filled Ha Ha's and all of Batman's shots have been vandalized with a clown smile tagged with his famous movie line "WHY SO SERIOUS?", literally every trace of Batman (even one of the Bat symbols) has been vandalized in one way or another, Batman's name is also completely overwritten with a big cross mark and a scribbly "THE JOKER" label.

You really won't see a trace of Joker until you get to the back of the box where his product shots are accompanied by "ME!"'s which totally looks amusing. Additionally, on one side, Batman's vandalized product shot is slapped with a big Joker card which was from the end of the Batman Begins iirc. (correct me if I'm wrong though)


As usual, I'll start of with the head sculpt's discussion and boy, The Joker definitely looks neat, I guess you could say that's a little from Heath Ledger's Joker in the film but there's definitely a good degree of resemblance and you definitely know that this Joker is none other than Ledger's Joker. It's pretty good that Medicom bothered into putting some facial muscles and wrinkles and this really boosts the realistic factor of the figure in many ways. The makeup (paint) looks pretty well done as well as there aren't really anything about his face that personally bothers me.

If there's something about the head that bothers me, it's probably the paint apps on his hair; while the hair mold looks sick, the paint apps does look messy in some points but it is just a minor gripe for me since you will barely see it anyway unless you display him facing his back.

His outift is pretty plain but does carry out a traditional Joker look with the purple and green. I really love the amount of folds present in the mold as it does give a (visually) more realistic look. The main coat is made up of soft material and you can actually remove it though it will look awkward as Joker's arms are technically the sleeves of his coat. His Inner suit looks pretty dashing as well and I technically have no qualms with the figure in any way.

The chain Joker's belt is made of real chains as well and the texture of his pants looks perfect as it looks very realistic. (joint cuts excluded of course!)


Joker comes with the standard MAFEX stand, an alternate head, a pair of fists and several unique hands (each of which can hold a unique weapon/accessory), a rocket launcher, a set of cards, a sub machine gun, a handgun and a knife. 

Now, I just LOVE the alternate head, it's got Ledger's Joker's creepy aspect to a great degree with that evil grin and all; overall, I feel this is the better head as this really does give me that "it's TDK Joker!" reaction whenever I see it.

Hair mold is typically the same but I feel that there's a little less mess on the paint job of this alternate head.

The stack of cards are sadly just detailed in one side as the other side is just completely blank.

Joker's weapons aare fully painted and except from the Sub Machine Gun, his weapons have really decent paint finishes but the sub machine gun just looks plain and unattended.

Articulation Points:

MAFEX retains it's good articulation throughout Joker's frame; starting off with the head, Joker's upward movement is pretty much equally satisfying as that of his downward movement. It does rotate fully and can tilt sideways.

His arm articulation is quite amazing as you can raise it sideways to more than just 90 degrees and the arms fully rotate on the shoulders. The Joker also has a full bicep swivel and a ridiculously satisfying double jointed elbows that allow you to bend his arms to a very good degree. Wrist joints are your typical MAFEX/SHF/Figma 2.0 wrist joints so you already know what that does if you're a regular reader. (In case not, just look at the photos below for reference!)

The Joker does have an ab crunch which you can use to rotate, bend or even tilt his body; I have to say there's not much range when it comes to tilting and bending but the rotation is quite decent.

Much like his nemesis and that of older SHF Frames, you can pull down Joker's legs since the hips has a built-in hinge and thus doing so will allow Joker to kick forward to slightly better than your average 90 degree raise; his sideways split is just around 55 degrees approximately so he can't do a full split and backward movement is very minor that I decided not to show it anymore. The Joker has a minor thigh swivel as well as an equally satisfying knee joint that works mostly like that of his elbows. Lastly, the foot joint that comes in the ankle and toe hinge; the ankles do your usual bend/tip toe movements as well as sideways rotation and minor tilting while the toe hinge is just you typical japanese action figure toe joint which only bends upward allowing those tip toe poses.


TDK Joker's just right for a figure since well, he doesn't really do much action in the movie but his accessories are winners though and you can certainly do a lot of firearms poses with MAFEX Joker as those are simple enough to do with his neat little set of articulation points. The right combination of faces + hands and accessories certainly make this a very good representation of Ledger's Joker in the film.

And being Joker alone isn't quite fun as he needs the one that completes him, the Dark Knight himself. You can technically recreate the interrogation scene if you want to or do other classic Batman vs Joker scenes if you want to.

The Joker is literally one of those figures who can't be alone as he really does work better when with other figures as he's not a dynamic character in terms of movement. So just enjoy the remaining photos below.

And definitely last but not the least...


Final Thoughts:

There's definitely a lot of character in this figure and if you loved The Dark Knight's Joker then definitely, this figure is something you might want to check out for yourself. I don't feel that he lacks accessories unlike that of the 1st MAFEX Batman and everything really just fits with how The Joker was characterized in the film (and seriously, that grinning head is amazingly creepy!) Definitely a figure that I would highly suggest because I LOVE IT from box to figure and this definitely had minimal problems as opposed to Batman v1. And before I end the review, I got this figure via pre-order from CWToys! (I won't be linking anymore since they don't accept Pre-orders anymore as of his writing.)

I give Joker a 5 out of 5.

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