Did you watch the leaked version online or did you catch it before the IMAX release of I Am Legend? Maybe you were one of the lucky few who registered quickly enough on WhySoSerious.com to go see a free screening a week ahead of everyone else or perhaps you didn’t see it until the summer of 2008. No matter what, I’m confident anyone who stumbled upon this article remembers the first time they saw the bank robbery prologue from The Dark Knight, a scene which is celebrated gloriously in this all-new release from Hot Toys!

Unboxing

  • The Joker figure (with over 30 points of articulation)
    • Pale light blue patterned shirt
    • Grey blazer
    • Pair of grey pants
    • Pair of brown shoes with socks
  • Interchangeable Bozo mask head sculpt
  • (8) Interchangeable gloved hands (These hands were softer and easier to add accessories to than the Batman ’66 or Robin ’66 figure)
    • One pair of gripping hands for holding a gun
    • One left palm with pinched fingers for holding Joker cards
    • Right palm for holding the knife
    • (2) right and (1) left posing palms
    • One relaxed palm
  • Pistol
  • Shotgun
  • Switchblade
  • (4) Smoke grenades
  • (6) Grenades
  • (6) Round grenades
  • Special smoke grenade with purple string
  • Light blue duffel bag (functional zippers and Velcro)
  • Stack of Joker cards (each card is distinct)
  • Stack of defaced dollar bills
  • Diamond-shaped figure stand styled after the bank floor
  • Bank heist school bus backdrop
  • (2) Flesh-colored replacement wrist pegs

Update from Version 1.0 to Version 2.0

OldvsNew

What you see here is actually a new take on an old-favorite Hot Toy dating way back to 2009 when the idea of a two-hundred dollar action figure was more likely to conjure up images of antiques rather than hand-painted 1/6 scale replicas that mirrored their real-life counterparts so much you’d swear they were alive. As jaw-dropping as the original Bank Robber Joker figure was (and still is), the update you see here is indeed a noticeable improvement. Is it enough to make owners of the original shed a tear? Nah. You guys can probably refrain from updating your shelf or showcase and save that cash for the upcoming ’66 Batmobile or whatever else strikes your fancy. However, if you don’t already own a Bank Robber Joker and want one, Version 2.0 is absolutely the one you want. Here are the differences between the two:

  • “Newly painted head sculpt with authentic and detailed likeness of Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight” — The head is different and it looks better.
  • “Interchangeable newly sculpted Bozo mask head sculpt with scuff marks” — This is likely the most obvious change. The original had a spare head with slicked-back hair that could fit under a removable mask, but 2.0 doesn’t come with a removable mask. Instead, the Bozo mask is permanent, which is a shame because now you can’t recapture the Joker’s very first second on screen, but you’re sacrificing versatility for detail. The original Bozo mask was way too clean whereas this looks like it was ripped right from the set of the film.
  • The clothes fit better. They seem to be better tailored this time around and aren’t worn quite so baggy.
  • Say goodbye to Hot Toy’s ordinary stand with its adjustable wires and the small platform with plastic nameplate. This figure comes with an enormous wedge that looks just like the floor of the Gotham Bank, shimmering metal plaque, and instead of two wires with round pegs at the end there is a long plastic pole with a single hooked platform that must be tightened and loosened with a tiny screwdriver (not included). Yes, you’ll need to get some tools out for this one. I also recommend a pair of tweezers for carefully grasping the collar of Joker’s shirt while you apply/remove heads.
  • Version 2.0 comes with a gigantic backdrop that folds around your wedged-stand. The extra-large image features the school bus that just recently crashed through the bank’s entrance.
  • Rather than include a machine gun, this figure comes with the Bank Manager (William Fichtner)’s shotgun, a wristwatch, the fake-out smoke grenade (with purple yarn), and a knife. Both hand weapons feature movable parts that allow you to retract the blade and cock the shotgun.
  • The more grenades, the merrier. Version 1.0 merely had a piece of foam with holes for storing the seven included grenades, but the new and improved version has a rack (like the one seen in the movie) that you’ll personally stock with a grand total of 16 grenades.
  • 2.0 = twice as many hands (8 in total).
  • The box art on this one is new and you’ll want to put it on display just as much as the figure.

Commentary

If you’re like me you probably looked at the box with its mask-like design complete with cut-out eyes and thought, “Oh cool!” and then went on to what was inside, but go back and look again. The box for this thing is spectacular. Look closely at the surface (both on top and the sides), it’s textured with HAs over and over again, much like the kind of graffiti we would see defacing The Gotham Times or the GCN webpage during TDK viral campaign. Now look closer at the paint of the mask, what do you see? Multiple images of Heath Ledger’s Joker faintly integrated into the red and blue! Very cool. Removing the “mask” reveals a close-up of the first publicity photo of Ledger as The Joker (not the million-pixel-reveal one that looked like The Misfits album, but the jail cell one that Empire released), whose eyes have been peeking out at us this whole time. Written over this image are the names of the artists involved in crafting this piece. Fantastic presentation all around.

As for the figure within, as I said earlier it’s definitely a worthy upgrade with enhancements made not only to the toy, but to the display and the batch of accessories. You’ll almost be overwhelmed by how many painstakingly detailed trinkets it includes. I was quite taken with how functional the duffel bag is with its zippers and Velcro, and that the shotgun could be cocked and the blade of the knife could be retracted. There is even an extra smoke grenade with purple yarn that can be attached to a hidden hook at the back of Joker’s coat. Every playing card has its own unique design and the dollar bills all possessed the same defaced George Washington, an image made famous at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con (where the viral campaign for the film began). Going through the parts of The Joker (Bank Robber Version 2.0) figure was an exercise in “I wonder if this–IT DOES!” A really enjoyable unboxing experience from start to finish.

With over 30 points of articulation there’s no shortage of poses you can achieve, all of which look great on that tiled floor and in front of the bus-crash diorama (and that thick and incredibly sturdy base guarantees the pose will hold little Ledger in place). Best of all, the material on his now better-tailored clothing isn’t delicate. You won’t have to worry about a cuticle snagging or a fingerprint staining the fabric like you would with the Adam West Batman. This is a fairly rugged figure that you can have fun with, which is good since there are so many accessories and, therefore, additional possibilities for fun and unique displays. I would suggest a pair of tweezers for holding the collar though, which can get in the way when swapping the Joker head for the brand-new Bozo head. The head sculpts are as lifelike as I’ve come to expect from Hot Toys. However, the Joker’s expression and paint job, while beautiful, capture the recognizable look from the interrogation scene moreso than the villain’s prologue visage, which is really what the artists should’ve been shooting for here. Still, a #1 complaint of “He looks too much like he did in that other awesome scene!” ain’t so bad.

Specifications & Credits

Points of Articulation – Over 30

Product Size – 12″ H

Dimensional Weight – 5 lbs

Int’l Dim. Weight – 6 lbs

Head sculpted by Yulli

Head paint and art direction by JC. Hong

Price

$269.99 at Sideshowtoy.com

Sideshow Collectibles is the official distributor and they’re the ones who provided Batman News with the figure seen in this review. They’ve also collaborated with us for quite a few other reviews and give-away contests (there’s one going on right now) so I trust their site wholeheartedly. I even used their service to buy a nifty display case with LED lights built-in, but I digress. If you get the figure from Sideshow Collectibles right now you’ll also get $13.50 in reward points that can be used on your next order.

Iconic Shot

Negatives

  • I wish it had a removable mask accessory in addition to the masked head. It would be cool to recreate the iconic shot of Ledger holding the mask at his side while he waits at the curb for the getaway car to come pick him up. The loose mask accessory was included in the 1.0 version of the figure so it’s a shame to not see it here.

Prologue Face

  • As breathtaking as the sculpt and paint job are, it still looks more reminiscent of the interrogation scene than anything from the bank robbery prologue in which the makeup was so much more neat and fresh. This looks like the Joker of the interrogation scene where it appeared as if Joker had applied the makeup days ago and it showed signs of smearing with wear and flaking with age.
  • Price. It’s kinda steep, but it really is a premium quality figure and if you don’t already own Version 1.0 or have just been on the lookout for a new Hot Toy Joker then I don’t think there’s a chance you’ll regret picking this one up

Positives

  • I view every other detail positively. Overwhelmingly positively. There was no instance of “meh.” to be found when playing around with Bank Robber Joker 2.0’s many features. There are a staggering number of possibilities for a figure with this level of durability and detail!

Overall

That mug looks more like it’s from the M.C.U. interrogation scene than the bank heist, but besides that nitpick I think folks who have been looking for a bank robber Joker have every reason to celebrate the release of this brand-new Hot Toy. If you already own Version 1.0 you likely don’t need to drop a couple hundred bucks on an upgrade, but everyone else should definitely do whatever they can to add this piece to their collection. Joker (Bank Robber Version 2.0) is available now at Sideshow Collectibles.