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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Play Arts Kai The Joker Review - Arkham Origins

Guest Review: Oh, look who's back for another round? I think Francis here's packing a lot of rants for this particular figure so i dare not place some *** to indicate my personal comments. But then...oh well, take it away man...

What the PAK is up? I is Francis, and once again, I’mma be doing a guest review of the Play Arts Kai - Arkham Origins Joker.

hey hey hey, it’s mista J!
Overall it is a nice looking figure, pretty game accurate as far as I can tell, though I haven’t had a chance to properly immerse myself in the Arkham Origins game. He does have a slight anime look to him, as with most Play Arts Kai figures. Anyway, no further character background needed here, I’m sure y’all know Mista J. (In any case, you can’t trust anything he says about his past)

"Mugshot" ***Mugshot?! Hell no, he looks like a freaking Wendigo...
The Joker I got has a slightly squished nose (it looks like they packed this guy in before the paint dried too, since the paint rubbed off onto the packaging plastic)
Articulation-wise, the Joker has all the standard Play Arts Kai joints. I did notice that the shoulder joint is no longer the old butterfly joint. PAK must be changing it up since from their previous lines, the butterfly joint was easily the most fragile joint in the entire figure. It’s always good to see that they are trying out new things.
no more fragile shoulder butterfly joints
One other new thing worth mentioning is the ab crunch. Mista J’s vest is made of rubbery material, and it hides his ab crunch. Less joints exposed = better figure.
My Joker’s leg fell off. thankfully I can reattach it, and the joint is still ratcheting, it just falls off if I move it too far. A minor issue, but still a bit annoying at times.

we have yet another leg man...
The Joker’s coat is interesting in that it comes with 4 ratcheting joints. PAK explored coat joints with TDKT Joker too, but this one has even more joints. It does allow for more dynamic poses and is quite a nice touch.
yeah it loks weird when you look under the coat.
Mista J is quite a handyman (he has 6 hands in total = 2 fist, 2 open, 2 for holding weapons),  along with a knife and Joker’s signature revolver. Now my Joker has 2 right hands that are exactly identical, the pistol hand. I don’t know what that’s about, maybe Play Arts Kai screwed up again (maybe someone out there has a Joker with 2 open right hands)  But anyway… his revolver fits into a right hand, his knife goes in a left hand. So it’s good that he can wield both weapons at once.

two very similar right hands. is this intentional or a screw up? ***somewhere out there, a collector will grab a PAK Joker AO missing a pistol right hand and , well, we know who to blame...
He also comes with an alternate, serious head (he’s the only one in the series to do so). See, the Joker can be serious too. And there’s also the flimsy display base that comes with every new PAK these days.
come here, I’ll tickle you.
I highly doubt there will be a series 3 in the Arkham Origins line, because usually Square Enix put their figures out on display in toy conventions and such months before they release them to build up hype. Some of the PAK lines have only 4 figures, from what I observed - The Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel, Halo 4. So far, for the AO line, only 4 figures have been revealed, so this may be it for the line. Play Arts Kai is definitely not for completionists.
The figure is very nice, without a doubt it’s a bigger and better improvement from the previous two incarnations of the Joker from the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City lines.

Did I say it’s bigger and better? I take that back…

Now I apologize because this section will be a bit of a rant, but there is one issue I cannot overlook. What’s wrong, you ask? *** oh boy! here we go...
The Joker is taller than Batman. Yes, you read that right. No amount of repositioning, of stretching, of squinting can make you believe that ‘oh, they’re round about the same height’, or ‘oh, there’s barely any difference’. No. It’s not a minor scale issue that’s hardly noticeable.  The Joker is taller than Batman, even counting Batman’s pointy ears. That should give you an idea of how bad it is.

say Batsy, you look different. did you lose some weight?
These two characters have so much history together, that you can’t mention Batman without the Joker, and vice versa. They are Yin and Yang. And as Heath Ledger’s Joker once said, “you complete me.” But in no universe is he meant to be taller than the Dark Knight. But you can’t put these characters side by side without seeing the royal eyesore that Play Arts Kai created here.
Now personally, I’ve stuck with Play Arts Kai through broken shoulder joints, immovable joints, ugly knee joints, shitty overdone face paint apps, bad proportions, and price hikes. I’ve been very patient with them, and incompatible figure scale is just one of the things Play Arts Kai messes up. But this may be the last straw for me. It’s just unforgivable how they can screw the scale up this badly. One would think that at least someone over at Square Enix would have noticed, but no...

So if anyone from Play Arts Kai or Square Enix gets to read this, please take note:
The potential buyers of your figures will be discouraged to collect the series since we can’t display the figures together because YOU FUCKED UP THE SCALE. AGAIN. Honestly, do you people even own a RULER? *** That's all Francis SQEX, not me, not me at all, i swear!!!
(oh and did I mention Robin? because he is about as tall as the Joker, so basically the sidekick is taller than the hero. yep. how embarrassing is that, Batman? And by the way, since Deathstroke is the same height as Batman, Robin and Joker dwarf them both. To sum it up, series 2 figures are taller than the series 1 figures)
it’s so hard to put them side by side without swearing so much.
maybe this rant is overkill, but I would be remiss in my duties as a reviewer unless I tell you about these things, now would I? An action figure shouldn’t give us this much grief, but since we are paying top dollar for a luxury item, it’s reasonable to expect more from PAK, right?  Trust me, I really wanted to like these figures. I was really looking forward to owning them, too, since Batman and Joker are mortal enemies, and Robin and Deathstroke have been at each other’s throats from time to time. It’s  such a shame that a beautiful figure is not compatible with the rest of its line.
*rant over*
So should you get this figure? Do I recommend it? Well… I really can’t say yes or no.
If you really like the character, then go for it. It is a nice figure, but if you do get him, I would suggest you display him by himself. I suppose he will look okay-ish beside Batman if you play with perspective, or make him crouch or if the scale issue does not bother you. He’ll set you back around US$100, so consider carefully if you want to pick him up.
But if scale is important for you, then stay away from Arkham figures. Hell, stay away from Play Arts Kai, because apparently they can’t even sort out the scale of figures in the same line.
Maybe, just MAYBE, there’s still hope for the upcoming Arkham Knight PAK line. Maybe by then somebody over at Square Enix will have figured out how to use a ruler. How I wish for a Arkham Batman that’s in scale with Joker and Robin here.But it may be a fool’s hope. I know for sure I won’t buy another PAK in the future without seeing some reviews first. Good thing you read this review before you bought anything, ‘ey?


  1. i know even if robin is taller , his head is way too big, its like it was made for a 12 doll , shame too cause i really liked the designs but im not going to buy these cause i would want a batman and robin, ill just buy dc collectibles . really wish they would reissue a taller batman (i like this design not the knight armor) with a smaller robin head. or just reissue the robin and joker to being smaller. and i hope for people who buy these that arkham knights arent out of scale either but by looking at the metal gear line each new wave they keep getting bigger annd bigger and out of scale with each other, i really dont know how this line survives. everyone should just stop bying their figures til they listen to the fans.

  2. Haha this is an old review, but Joker is actually taller than Batman. He is listed as 6'5" while Batman is 6'2". Comparing the top of their heads excluding the hair and cowl ears, its pretty accurate. Dick Grayson however, is 5'10" so...WTF Square hahaha