Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mattel '66 Joker 2013




Believe it or not, there was a time when the Joker was almost gone for good. After being turned into a cackling moron in the 50's, Julius Schwarz became the new editor and decided that Joker wasn't such a good fit for the comic anymore. In 1966 with the premier of the Batman television show, Joker hadn't been seen in years in the comic, so deciding to rely on him as one of the big villains was pretty shocking. Even more shocking was the casting of Ceser Romero as the white-faced clown prince of crime.


At the time, Cesar Romero was best known as a romantic leading man and "latin lover" of Hollywood movies and television shows. One of his most distinctive features was his full, thick mustache. When he was cast for the part of the Joker, he was told that he'd have to shave off the mustache, and Cesar Romero promptly and happily refused. Rather than fire him, the studio just smeared grease paint all over the mustache, half-heartedly hiding it. It was the worst kept secret in Hollywood, without a doubt.
Sadly, there's just not a lot to say about this figure. If there is one area where you can knock it out of the park with an action figure, it's the Joker. He has such a manic personality and dynamic costume that it's hard to not make him fun and exciting. Mattel, unfortunately, managed to fail utterly. The sculpt is absolutely new and unique to this figure, but it's also incredibly bland. The suit is a soft piece over the torso, the arms and legs are the same style as most of Mattel's suit-wearing figures, and Joker's bouffant hair is sculpted very accurately. 
So if all of that is good, what's wrong with the figure? Well, it's just plain boring. There are no accessories included at all. I understand that all of these figures are unique sculpts which costs more money, and there are bound to be licensing costs, but these bad boys were put on the shelf for $20 each. There just isn't much value for the buck. Not including accessories is odd enough, but that's not really the worst of it.
I'm just going to say it. It's that damned finger. His right hand is sculpted with his finger pointing out. One finger. Pointing. Why? Well, hard to say, other than perhaps the sculptor has a weird finger fetish. I can only imagine the blackmail involved between the sculptor and Mattel to get to finally live out his fetish finger fantasy.
Really, all it's truly good for is "pull my finger" jokes, which Joker might appreciate, but I don't. Fortunately, I got this picture during the Amazon.com sale when it was being offered for $5. The lack of focus or dynamics in the pictures probably show my absolute and total lethargy with this figure. The paint is applied well, the mustache is hinted at with a touch of gray paint, and the sculpting is essentially accurate, and still I just get bored to tears with this figure. If you can get your hands on this guy for $5, it might be worth it just to be able to finish out the small line, and the absolute and utter lack of any accessories (I really don't count a figure stand as an accessory, nor do I count a random piece of cardboard with some art on it) makes sure that he's safe for kids, but unless you're wanting to pull off a lot of finger pulling jokes, this is probably going to be rated as an absolute waste of your time.



2 comments:

Eric Stettmeier on January 22, 2014 at 8:10 PM said...

I'd definitely rate the figure a bit higher than you did, but agree that $20+ is just nuts for these accessory-less figures!

Wes Grogan on January 22, 2014 at 8:44 PM said...

I think I had really high hopes for him, and just wanted something more fun and wacky. It seems like they played it WAY too safe for a line that includes Batman on a surfboard.

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