It’s Bat-toy review time, and we’re talking about the all-new Arkham Asylum version of Suicide Squad‘s Joker. This special edition Hot Toys figure is available only at SideshowToy.com and is designed, sculpted, and painted by JC Hong and Jong-hyeok, Park to look as lifelike as possible. For a quick example of how impressive the quality is on this thing: when I posted a sneak peek of the toy on twitter, one of the first responses I received asked if it was a wax sculpture on display somewhere!
The figure comes in a stylized box featuring original artwork. Unlike previous Hot Toys that included a backdrop separately inside the packaging, this box’s exterior sports a cover with built-in magnets that– when pulled from the base– allow the cover to fall away and reveal a highly detailed Arkham Asylum setup. How ingenious is that?! Behind the removable backdrop/box cover is an over-sized card with more original art complete with credit to the art team responsible for the collectible.
The Joker (Arkham Asylum Version) Sixth Scale Figure:
- Newly sculpted head sculpt with authentic likeness of Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad
- Movie-accurate facial expression with detailed tattoos, make-up and skin texture
- Body with over 30 points of articulation
- Approximately 29.5 cm tall
- Single pair of relaxed hands
- Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted
- Finely tailored straitjacket with weathering effects
Single pair of navy-colored Arkham Asylum pants
- 2 Joker cards
- Diamond-shaped stand with nameplate, movie logo
- Arkham Asylum backdrop
I have a confession to make: I am not among the dozens who loved Jared Leto’s performance and I hate the look the filmmakers gave this character, too. In fact, my first idea while taking photos of the latest Hot Toys release was to show him getting beaten by the likes of Ledger, Keaton, Oldman, West, etc. etc. But as I was posing Leto in the midst of getting roundhouse-kicked by Burt Ward I realized something: the sculpt on this piece looks better than each and every one of my other Hot Toys figures. The clothes are really great as well. And that box art! I started to put my prejudice aside and appreciate the craftsmanship involved.
The Leto Joker figure is a remarkable example of just how skilled the Hot Toys artisans have become. When I held my Bank Robber Joker (Ledger) up to the bound Leto, ready to flay him, it immediately struck me that Leto looks like Leto whereas Ledger looks almost like Ledger. The sculpt and paintjob on this thing has absolutely raised the bar and is now the gold standard for future reviews. To make sure it wasn’t simply the novelty of a new collectible affecting my opinion, I took a few more photos and sent them out to friends. Long ago, these same individuals responded with “That’s cool” or “How much is that?” when I showed them the Detective Blake or Adam West Batman figures. They appreciated them, sure, but knew these were toys. But here was their response when they saw Suicide Squad Joker:
“Why are you sending me a screenshot from that crappy movie?”
They thought it was an actual image from the film or a behind-the-scenes photograph!
Although the head sculpt is almost entirely convincing (Hot Toys still hasn’t yet made hair 100% believable), the garments are premium quality (the jacket is as dingy and intricate as what you saw in the film), and the level of articulation (30 points) is good enough to achieve almost any pose– the figure does indeed have flaws. Flaws which could greatly affect your decision as to whether or not you should buy.
Notice anything missing? When you unfasten the functional straps on the back of the jacket and lift it away you’ll find a navy blue t-shirt. But under the navy blue t-shirt you find bare skin– skin that is utterly ink-less. Sure, there are the cards on his neck that you see in some of my photos, but everything from the collarbone down is absent. You can still show off Leto’s pasty, but well-defined physique, but the HAs, back dragon, smiley faces, etc. are all gone. It’s like this is some alternate version of Leto’s Joker who made better life choices! You’ll have to buy the Purple Coat Version of the character if you want screen-accurate body tattoos.
Notice anything missing?
As you can see we’re not only missing body tats, but hand tattoos as well. While I thought most of Joker’s tattoos were awful, I actually quite liked the one on the back of his hand and how he employed it. We also don’t get a hand that’s wearing the purple latex glove. The hands provided (which must be removed while Leto wears the jacket) are boring and lack any of the detail you expect from a Hot Toys collectible.
I would also say that I wish Hot Toys had included an alternate face. One that’s smiling. The Joker cards are nice and all, and the chair was a nice touch– but was the chair really a game-changer for anyone? If I said “There’s no chair!” would that be the thing that makes you refuse to purchase this? At the very least, I would have preferred Hot Toys skip the cards and the chair, and give us a Joker with full body tattoos and hands that are movie accurate. It’s the Arkham Asylum version and yet we cannot recreate the more memorable Arkham Asylum scene because not enough attention was given to what’s beneath the straitjacket.
This figure looks phenomenal, but without body tattoos it lacks versatility. If you’re a die hard fan of Jared Leto’s Joker and are comfortable with displaying him in the straitjacket only then this is a must-buy. If you want more display options, you might want to look to the tuxedo or purple suit version of the figure instead.