Monday, February 20, 2017

Toy Review – Miracle Action Figure EX No. 32 Suicide Squad Joker from Medicom


By Phantom Troublemaker

I’ve already talked about enjoying Suicide Squad, so let me go ahead and get right to the point – American Suicide Squad toys looked like hot garbage.


Beyond just enjoying the film, I particularly liked some of the character designs. Since I am a toy collector (and reviewer), I wanted toys. Mattel’s junk was not up to snuff. Their Squad Harley is one of the ugliest “Adult Collector” figures I’ve ever seen, so much so that I didn’t even pick one up for review purposes. Not for twenty bucks, junior.

I did, however, order the Amazon Exclusive Harley just because I liked that different look on her and figured nobody else would bother making a figure of it (Medicom is).

My original intention had been to order the Figuarts Harley, the MAFEX Harley, the One:12, and the one coming from DC Collectibles and compare them across reviews. The companies are not being overly helpful by spacing the releases out over a year or potentially more. It probably won’t help the sales of the later entries, either.

I was going to stick to Harley given the significant prices on these figures, but once I saw this Joker I decided I needed him to go with the MAFEX release. I think the only reason I chose this one over any others was the it was scheduled to come out first. While a loud purple coat is certainly something that gets my attention, I’m not as much a fan of the pajama pants and bare feet. It would almost be worth buying the tuxedo version just to put this coat on that body, something I would like to see. And given the modular nature of this figure, I think it’s quite possible that would work.

FIRST GLANCE

“This doesn’t look as nice as the Figuarts Harley” was the first thought that came into my head.

I’ve read plenty of reviews and comments online about Medicom’s 6” figures and they tend to range from what I said above to something along the lines of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. In short, nobody calls these perfect. But you never know until you have one in your hands, and sometimes I have very specific differences of opinion with the toy community at large. It’s why you guys love me so much.

This Joker is not by any stretch of the imagination a bad or bad-looking action figure. Having so recently reviewed that excellent Harley Quinn, though, this one just wasn’t as exciting. But it is packed with detail, tons of paint apps, and accessories, so I was still eager to open it up and see what the deal was.

Note: It matters on some toys more than others, but my camera is not always up to the task of capturing detail and colors properly. Regardless of my judgments, these pictures do not do this figure justice. See one in person if you can.

PACKAGING

The box certainly isn’t as exciting as the Bandai release. This one looks much more like a standard comic shop collectible-type toy. I still don’t get the practice of putting a picture of the toy on the box. There’s a window right there. We know what the toy looks like. Give me some shots of the character for reference.


I dig the bright green interior and love how it accentuates Joker’s colors. There are two clear plastic trays holding everything in place - no tape. There's also a piece of film keeping the coat separate from the figure, which is nice.

The back is simply the Suicide Squad theme with some more pictures of the figure.

In the end, the box doesn’t matter, which is a good thing because this one is Dullsville.

LOOKS

I left Joker’s crazy laughing head on for the pics even though it’s the alternate head. It photographed better and also becomes very creepy the more time you spend with it. By the end of this review you will be uncomfortable from looking at that face.

The default head is almost a perfect representation of what I think a real-life version of the Dark Knight Returns Joker would look like:


Maybe not old enough, but can’t you see it?


Something about the sculpt just seems a little soft. It absolutely looks right and like Jared Leto, but there’s something lacking in the definition. Just a tiny bit. The paint, though, makes it top-notch. The application is fantastic. The hair looks great with the bright green on top of the darker hue. The makeup is placed perfectly and the eyes are glossy and centered. Joker’s tattoos are just faded enough to look right. The intensity of those eyes is unbelievable.


Joker’s coat is a beautiful metallic purple. The sculpted alligator hide (how does that make you feel Waylon) is one of the best textures I’ve seen on a toy at this scale. The coat is a soft plastic piece and the arms are sculpted and pop into sockets on the torso. The holes around the shoulders are snug enough that no white peeks through. The lining is painted flat black.


Under the coat (come on in gorgeous), Joker’s torso has a lean, athletic sculpt and a great painted skin tone. The only issue is that for some reason the neck doesn’t quite match the head and torso. This is extra weird considering the effort the designers put into making the tattoo that runs from his shoulder up onto his neck match up. The ink lines up perfectly when the figure is in a neutral position, but even when you pose the neck it still looks good.
The tattoos on Joker’s torso look just as good as the facial tattoos (what kind of freak has tattoos on his face). They aren’t actually as dark as they look in these pictures.


Joker is wearing Arkham Asylum (no place like home) prison pants. The sculpt is excellent, as the designers managed to make the plastic look light like pajama pants. There’s a wash on them that makes them look even more lifelike. The only issue is that the colors on the crotch, legs, and knee joints don’t totally match up. The knees are much darker than the surrounding pant leg (I’ll make you pant) and the crotch piece already looks very diaper-like due to the cut of the pants and the area given to the hip joints. Its slightly lighter color only enhances that look in certain poses. But all of that is mostly in the pictures. In person these things aren’t nearly as noticeable.


Both of Joker’s hands are tattooed. The right features the four card suits across his knuckles, the left sports a trademark Joker grin (go with a smile). They look great, with the smile in particular having a nice paint job.


Of course, with it being featured so prominently in the marketing, it needed to be good.
Joker’s feet are bare and have an excellent sculpt that is only marred by the steel pins holding his toes on (toed you so). At first I was slightly appalled that such a high-end figure would be sporting the most absurd joints of the Toy Biz (they made Jokers once, too) Marvel Legends era, but these work well. More on that in “Fun”. The pins aren’t super noticeable, but they are there.

ACCESSORIES

Joker comes with a pile of accessories (those wonderful toys) – four pairs of extra hands, an alternate head, a cane, a pistol, and a stand.


The alternate head is the one you’ve been looking at for most of the review. The gaping mouth (I like bananas) and wide eyes are pure insanity (you say the sweetest things). I still like my idea that Joker’s silver teeth are the result of Batman knocking them out. The painted interior of the mouth is remarkable. The back teeth are all tooth-colored, the gums are pink, and the tongue is darker. It’s an awful lot of detail to have been put into this relatively tiny space. The heads switch out easily – almost too easily. They’re mounted on a ball peg in the neck, but they don’t snap into place as securely as some other figures’ heads do. Neither will just fall off, but chances are as soon as you touch it, it’s going to come (premature decapitation) off.


Each of the alternate hands looks just as good as the default pair. The skin tone matches the rest of the figure perfectly. These swap out even more easily than the heads, as there’s just a straight peg holding them on. They stay put better than I expected, though (keeping my hands to myself). Four of the hands are different neutral poses, two are for the pistol, and two are for the cane. The right cane hand is specifically posed to hold the top while the left seems to be for holding the shaft (too easy).


The cane is hard plastic, but not brittle. It has a glossy purple color with metallic gold on the handle, metallic silver near the end, and a black cap on the bottom. I have never seen more paint apps on a cane. It’s wonderful.


The pistol is the most detailed toy handgun I have ever seen. More than anything else, this is a indication of this version of the Joker’s status. Leto’s Joker is as insane as any other, but has a modern flair (woooooo). The base of the pistol is metallic purple. There’s silver detailing all over, including filigree on the barrel. The handle is white – likely meant to be pearl – and there’s a silver joker head on that. I’m massively impressed with Joker’s piece (oh, stop).


The stand is something that sets this release apart from the Figuarts Harley, which did not have one. The concept is so similar to Mezco’s One:12 stands that I’m assuming they lifted the design from Medicom. It’s a good stand that doesn’t take up as much shelf space as it could, but still has a large profile. I won’t be using it because this figure doesn’t need it. I’ll save this thing for a future release that might have more trouble standing.


This is a perfectly acceptable – plentiful, even – assortment of accessories, but I can’t help but feel like the figure should have come with a set of bare arms. That’s all it would have taken to have a figure that was much more poseable and fun.

FUN

Before I get to the specifics of the articulation, I do want to mention a couple of things about the quality of the materials and construction (uh oh).

Joker feels kind of cheap. The plastic isn’t brittle, but it is sort of reminiscent of what’s used in lower-end toys. Not all of it feels this way. Some of the parts are what you expect from action figures these days; but that difference makes it seem even weirder.

The figure also has a tendency to come apart more easily than I’d like. The head and shoulder joints are particularly loose and come off with a touch. The hips are a bit more secure (and don’t lie), but can also pop out a bit too easily.


However, this figure has better-than-average articulation. The neck is jointed at either end and has a pretty good range. The shoulders have two joints and can move up and down and all around, for lack of a better description. The elbows are double-jointed, but oddly there’s no swivel, so Joker’s hands can’t quite interact with each other across his body as much as I’d like them to.

The wrists pivot, but the two pieces separate easily, so don’t go losing the piece with the peg that you mount the hand on.


The torso has two joints that are basically ball joints and move around quite a bit. The top one is just under the chest and the bottom one is at the waist and is designed to interact the same way a torso would with a waistband. I mentioned Harley Quinn’s articulated butt cheeks in that review (and it had better be the last time, pally), so in the interest of fairness I’ll explain that if you bend the figure deeply enough you’ll see the ass sculpted onto the bottom of its torso (cheeky peeker).

The hips have just as wide a range as you need and the knees are double-jointed, though there are no swivels and the bend isn’t super deep. I was a little surprised by the limitations here.

The ankles are great and move in any direction. It is very easy to get this figure standing in any position and the toe joint actually helps. It feels like it’s loose, but it somehow holds a position quite nicely. Basically all you have to do is pose the figure how you want and then press the feet as flat as you can manage. There’s still some balancing involved, but these feet don’t fight you the way that some figures’ do (of course they’re great – how do you think I get away).

For the most part this figure poses very nicely, but there are a couple of spots that are strangely limited. And obviously the overcoat is a huge hindrance. I really do wish some bare arms had been included. With gloved hands, even.


But the bottom line is that I had a lot of fun posing this figure and the plentiful accessories present a lot of options for displaying this figure. In all likelihood this Joker is going to stay on my desk for a while, and that’s a sign of a good toy.

OVERALL

This is a very good action figure; far superior to most of what we get in America, but also far pricier. I don’t love it as much as I did the Figuarts Harley(how DARE you) and I think there’s a good chance I’ll sell it when I get one of the Figuarts Jokers. Part of that is the look, too. 
Like I said – now that there are other options coming, this isn’t actually my favorite.

At the same time, I kind of want to keep this and get the MAFEX tuxedo Joker just to combine parts. And that is an important thing to note about Medicom’s releases – they do feature modular parts and future releases come with parts for older figures. One fo the upcoming Suicide Squad figures has a straightjacket and I think an alternate head for this Joker. That’s a compelling reason not just to keep them, but to collect ‘em all.

If you love this look (and who wouldn’t?), this is the best figure available right now. It’s very, very good and has a perfect paint job – something you don’t see every day.

4 out of 5

hello, kiddies – if you need your very own Joker figure you should go to the amazon to buy it. If you don’t, I might deliver something else to your home…


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