I’m repeating myself and at least half of Batman fandom when I say this, but Batman: The Animated Series was amazing, not least because of Mark Hamill’s definitive performance as the Joker, and the introduction of cultural phenomenon Harley Quinn. Kotobukiya—a company known more for its statues based on comic and film interpretations of these characters, just released two new ARTFX+ statues paying tribute to the Clown Prince and Princess of Crime. Let’s have a look.
You’ll notice that this Joker isn’t quite as wide as his television counterpart. His shoulders are narrower, and from that slimmer starting point, the rest of his torso follows suit. Nevertheless, he’s still a very evocative of Bruce Timm’s design. The extra heads—those that come with Joker and those that come as extras with Harley—all feature great expressions straight from the show, and while I can’t necessarily map the pose to an episode in my memory, it still seems very much in step with who Joker was in the series.
I love the paint job. Koto’s only previous Animated Series statue was their take on the Dark Knight himself a few years back. I love that statue, and it featured interchangeable faces and arms, just like these newer pieces; but the paint on the suit wasn’t the greatest. They attempted a speckled, more-detailed color, instead of going for the flat gray of the show. Joker doesn’t have that problem—we have plain purple, yellow, white, whatever—it’s simple, and looks much more in harmony with what we see on screen.
If you don’t pick up Harley, you only have one right-arm option for Joker: it’s extended, with the hand open to hold the tip of his Tommy gun (also included). It’s a little tricky getting the gun to stand up, but once it’s up, it’s up. If your apartment or house is prone to shaking—like from the stomping of children, say—then be prepared for it to shake and fall. If you do buy Harley, you’ll probably want to use the alternate arm and one of the two (very sweet) hand options.
All in all, this Joker is no joke, even all by himself. With Harley, he’s even better.
So, Joker is thinner than he is on the show, and Harley is more…mature? She always wore a body suit on the show, of course, but the artists didn’t go too nuts on establishing the shape of her more feminine features. Koto, on the other hand, gives her a much more pronounced chest and bottom. I kind of wish they hadn’t: I miss a Harley who wasn’t so visually “grown up”, and this is less in harmony with The Animated Series than a thinner Joker.
That said, the exaggerations aren’t as pronounced in person as they appear in Koto’s official product photography, so when Harley’s up on the shelf, she looks more like I remember her. Her pose—peering back over her left shoulder, one hand on her hip, the other holding up her gun—looks perfectly Harley-esque, and the extra face options are just a delight. Just like with her puddin’, some of these faces come in her package, and some of them come with her companion. The paint job is simple, just like Joker, and overall, this is a great take on the original Harley.
Each a great piece in its own right, Koto’s Joker and Harley Animated Series ARTFX+ statues are even better together. The Joker’s best display options come with Harley, and if you’re going to get Harley, why wouldn’t you want all of the great expressions available? At $59.99 each, the set will set you back a bit, but if you can afford the pair, it’s worth it. Find them both now, wherever Kotobukiya’s products are sold.