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Mattel: DC Multiverse Dark Knight Returns Joker

Frank Miller’s Batman universe remains a potent well of inspiration for candidates in Mattel’s 6-inch DC Multiverse line. The latest wave to see release features the ever-popular Joker as depicted in Miller’s eponymous Batman series The Dark Knight Returns. The appeal of Miller’s work has endured and expanded over the decades, with the recent Zack Snyder movies borrowing liberally from it, but the Joker stands out as such a unique take on the character. At once classy and psychotic, this Joker is the one I’ve wanted to see released as a highly articulated figure for some time, so I’m thrilled it’s finally here. Let’s take a closer look!

I know this isn’t the first time this version of the Joker has seen wide-release in figure form. Back in the late ’90s/early ’00s, DC Direct released a set of four figures based on that series, including the Joker, but where DCD was at the time meant the figures were little more than pre-posed statues, much like McFarlane figures, so I gave them a pass at the time, so I’m thankful to be getting another shot at these characters in Mattel’s Multiverse line.

Packaging is standard but awesome, with Miller’s artwork depicting the Joker from the comics. Looks good, displays the content well, but I don’t need to keep it. In the bin it goes.

The sculpt of the figure is a solid attempt at an oddly proportioned body in a suit. All the Dark Knight Returns males resemble Masters of the Universe characters in terms of build, and the Joker here is consistent with that with a suit draped over his build. It almost looks like an old-timey zoot suit the way it’s cut, and that has always made this Joker appear to be rather dapper in such an “’80s” way.

The Joker comes with two choices for head sculpts. The first is his looking almost as though he’s sweet-talking someone (Selina?), and the other is reflective of (spoiler alert!) his demise at the hands of Batman toward the end of the series. There’s even a removable Batarang-blade-thing that can be inserted into his right eye, recreating that pivotal scene from the series. It’s a great, grizzley detail.

Accessories include a pistol and a knife/shiv. Both adequately do their job of giving him something to hold, but he can only hold either with one of his hands, and I always find that annoying. I would have been fine with one or the other, but I also guess it’s good to have options.

His articulation is … okay. It’s consistent with other recent Mattel offerings, so it’s not great, but I guess it could be worse. The articulation cuts do a decent job of not disrupting the sculpt of his suit too drastically, but it still looks a little bit weird. I’m curious to see if Mezco will ever get around to this Joker because I do think soft goods will do better justice to this suit than sculpted and cut plastic. His jacket is a softer plastic overlay that doesn’t hinder his articulation too badly, but it does prevent thorough hip movement. His ankles rock back and forth, but not side to side, which is limiting. Otherwise, it’s swivel/hinge elbows, knees, hips, and shoulders; swivel wrists; ball-jointed head; and I’m pretty sure there’s an ab crunch, but the suit overlay makes it difficult to engage.

I love that we’re getting more and more characters from Miller’s comic. Joker looks great when displayed with Carrie and Batman, and I can’t wait till I’m all moved and unpacked so I can finally have all the figures based on that series all displayed together.

Joker also comes with a piece of the King Shark Collect & Connect figure. The large torso piece helps to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

I found Joker at Target, but he seems to be popping up all over. I saw him in stock and sold by Amazon, so you may want to keep an eye there if you’re after him.

12 thoughts on “Mattel: DC Multiverse Dark Knight Returns Joker

  1. I loved the storyline in TDKR. But I have always despised the way the bodies were drawn. Honestly, why was Batman shaped like a fire hydrant?

  2. I’m looking forward to getting this, and especially King Shark. But why does his face look all goopy, like a bad custom paint job?

  3. Yeah, NECA and Diamond do them. and when they do them, they frequently have significantly sub-optimal ranges of motion. Monster High and Ever After High’s dolls have very lanky proportions, so it’s not hard to get them to go at least 90°.
    Hasbro’s about the only one I’ve seen do it with figures with non-super lanky proportions that can do them to mostly consistently have at least 90° of elbow bend. Even then, I prefer bicep/thigh swivels with double-joints, or even a well-done single-joint with more than 90°.

  4. Neca, Diamond Select, Hasbro have them… Also I noted Monster High and Even After High… So they can engineer it properly the range of motion will not be hindered…
    So please… sarcasm doesn’t become you….

  5. So you want even less range of elbow and knee bend than those figures already have?

  6. I was going to pass on the Jim Gordon Batman figure but when I decided to take the straight faced Joker face and put it on the Batman body, I thought it really looked like some alternate universe Joker Batman. Actually looks like a Bruce Wayne Joker, pensive. The marbled face works in that regard. And aside from a pretty good wave of figures, who doesn’t want to build King Shark?!

  7. I kind of want this figure simply to use as a body for my Legends Hammerhead figure, with a little repainting of course.

  8. I wish Mattel would had switched to these types of joints on the knees and elbows on their MOTU line…. Always hated those to giant holes on each side of the knees… I mean they use them on their Monster High and Ever After High figures… Looks way better

  9. While I’m not a huge fan of TDKR, I have enjoyed the figures Mattel has cranked out because they look so nice with my MOTUC figures. I can’t wait to add the Clown Prince of Crime to those ranks. (Oh, and it’s “grisly,” unless you’re thinking of a bear.) 😉

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