Dark Knight: “Punch Packing” Joker and “Coin Blast” Two-Face Figures by Mattel

Ok, so picking up from where I left off yesterday… once a line of figures goes clearance, its usually pretty tough to find all the ones you want. Sure, you can find the figures that flooded the pegs, but finding all the main characters at the bargain bin can be a tough act. So having sifted through a couple dozen different permutations of Mattel’s 5″ scale Dark Knight Batman figures, I was really surprised to see that a single Joker and Two Face figure made it to the $3 clearance point. Getting Batman as a stand alone figure was nice enough, but getting the two baddies from the line to go with him was really, really cool.

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“Punch Packing” Joker is a much simpler sculpt than Batman and the main thing you should know about this figure is it doesn’t even attempt to look like Heath Ledger’s Joker from the film. I’m not sure what happened here. Its possible Mattel thought that the film Joker was too creepy for kids, or maybe there was a problem securing Ledger’s likeness after his untimely demise, either way, this is more a standard animated style Joker design and it looks a very cartoony when compared to the hyper-realism of the Batman figures in the same line.

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Now, that’s not to say I don’t like him. His face sculpt is indeed creepy and features wild green hair, dark shaded eyes and a huge red-lipped grin, minus the disfiguring scars that might make some kids cry and piss themselves. It sort of looks more like a mask rather than makeup. He’s got a purple suit with a green shirt and shoes, which fits the classic Joker motif, and is definitely the better paint scheme out of the other Joker repaints in this line. His coat extends down past his waist in soft rubbery plastic down to about his knees. There are a few sculpted wrinkles to his clothes, but for the most part, this figure doesn’t have a lot of detail, thus the more animated look to its design. I think the simpler sculpt would have worked much better with more paint apps on the figure. Its definitely the Joker, just not the one we were probably hoping to get.

Articulation on the Joker is identical to Batman and Two Face. He has rotating shoulders, hinged elbows, legs that rotate at the groin, hinged knees and he swivels at the waist. His head turns, although his head is a bit hunched over so when you turn it side to side it sort of sort of tilts, which I actually like a lot because it gives him an even more demented look. Its basic articulation, to be sure, but somehow it seems more acceptable on this figure then it did on the more hyper-realistic sculpt of Batman.

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Joker comes with one weapon and its a doozey. Its basically a giant green bazooka with what looks like a huge rocket at the end. When you fire it, the rocket splits open and it actually shoots out a missile with a huge boxing glove fist on the end. Now, this weapon I actually like. Its huge and ridiculous and just the sort of thing any Joker figure shouldn’t be without. It is a little tough getting him to hold it as the handle is pretty big for his little hand. I wouldn’t snap it into his hand too many times as it may eventually snap his fingers off.

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Next up is “Coin Blast” Two Face and this figure is awesome. The sculpt may not be as detailed as Batman, but that’s because, like the Joker, its just a guy in a suit, but Mattel put a lot more effort into him than the Joker. This figure also shoots down my theory that Mattel toned down the Joker’s design for kids, because Two Face here is really creepy. The suit is excellent as half is horribly burned and the other half is pristine. There’s a bit more sculpting to the pristine half of the suit than the Joker’s suit and the added paint apps on his tie and belt make him stand out more than Joker. The burned half of the suit is completely textured over to simulate the charred fabric. The head sculpt is fantastic with the undamaged half bearing a very good resemblance to actor Aaron Eckhart, but the burned half is the real draw here. There’s all kinds of detail work in the exposed muscles and even some strands of flesh covering his exposed teeth. Marvelous!

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Two Face comes with the lamest weapon of all. Its a coin the size of a manhole cover with retractable blades around the edges. Its lame because a) he can’t hold it at all, and b) the whole point of his coin was that it was double headed and this one has heads and tails. Fortunately, as with Batman, this doesn’t detract from the figure at all, I only wish they had given him a handgun. Two Face does come with a Harvey Dent campaign trading card, which is a nice bonus. I guess Mattel started bundling all the figures with collector cards, but my Batman and Joker must have been from before they started this. The campaign card is really nicely done, with a picture of the character straight from the film and it even has the tiny disclaimer on the bottom that reads “paid for by friends of Harvey Dent.”

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I really like both of these figures, although Two Face certainly has the better sculpt and he looks more natural standing next to Batman then the more cartoony Joker. They really manage to achieve a fine balance between toys and collectibles on this line, so much so that had I been a big collector of the Dark Knight toys, I think this Batman and Two Face would have satisfied me over the slightly more expensive Movie Masters versions. Either way, I was really thrilled to find them at such a great price.

 

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