Every Hot Toys Sixth Scale Joker Figure, RankedJose Lopez
The Joker is the quintessential Batman villain that has truly been elevated over the decades to an infinitely fascinating character in his own right. As a result of that strength of personality, the Joker has been brought to life by several amazing actors in various media. Those actors’ takes have in turn been brought to life in Sixth Scale by Hot Toys, the Hong Kong toy manufacturer. There have been a healthy number of Jokers over the years produced by Hot Toys, so we thought we’d take a quick look at them all and rank them as best as we could. Keep in mind, this is my personal ranking, and I’d be happy to hear your own opinions in the comments.
Let’s dig in.
HOT TOYS MMS 384 SUICIDE SQUAD – THE JOKER (BATMAN IMPOSTER)
I’m no fan of either the Suicide Squad film or Jared Leto’s Joker, but a good figure is a good figure, so I’ll do my best to not be biased. This figure is well made, but it seems like little more than a DCEU Batman variant and gets ranked dead last as a result. Besides being a palette-swapped Dark Knight, the graffiti sprayed across the outfit and the now-prominent grilled teeth (thanks to the cowl covering most of the face) only serve to spotlight everything I hated about Leto’s gaudy Joker. If I had to skip one of the figures on this list, it would be this one.
HOT TOYS MMS 68 THE DARK KNIGHT – THE JOKER
Hot Toys’ first stab at the Joker as a character and specifically Heath Ledger’s take on him, suffers from, well, being the first. Obviously the company’s sculptors and painters have all improved in their crafts substantially since the long ago time of 2008. That said, this Joker still comes off well if viewed in a vacuum. Ledger’s likeness is there somewhere, if not quite as immediately recognizable as later renditions of him would be. The tailoring of his outfit is solid and the paintwork is serviceable. Basically, this figure looked amazing in 2008, but we’ve gotten better since.
HOT TOYS MMS 79 TDK – THE JOKER (BANK ROBBER VERSION)
This Batman: The Dark Knight entry gets an improved version that we’ll cover further down the list. I would argue, however, that if this stood as the only Bank Robber figure that we ever received, I’d be perfectly happy with it. Ledger’s likeness has improved from the MMS 68; particularly on the alternate slicked-back head sculpt. The removable clown mask and the grenade duffel bag are tons of fun. All in all, a solid release that is only later improved upon by better paint and sculpting.
HOT TOYS MMS 395 SUICIDE SQUAD – THE JOKER (TUXEDO VERSION)
Ah, the first Leto Joker on our list that I would consider an actual Joker figure. I’m not entirely sure why, but I always enjoy seeing the character of the Joker in a non-traditional color scheme. The black-and-white tuxedo juxtaposed against the green hair and red lips catches the eye on the shelf. Honestly, this figure would rank higher if it weren’t for the similarly monochrome Mime Version that we’ll get to shortly.
HOT TOYS MMS 382 SUICIDE SQUAD – THE JOKER (PURPLE COAT VERSION)
Leto follows Leto as we get the standard Joker as reimagined for the DC Extended Universe. This iteration is probably my least favorite of any Joker in any media ever. Everything about this take lacks nuance. Even the added accessories in the Special Edition are over the top with the Joker branding. That said, a good figure is a good figure and Hot Toys really outdid themselves here with the work on the tailoring and the likeness. The sculpting and paintwork bring Leto to life here so successfully that it could easily be mistaken for a still from the Suicide Squad film.
HOT TOYS MMS 249 THE DARK KNIGHT – THE JOKER (BANK ROBBER VERSION 2.0)
Some minor improvements from the 1.0 version can be found here, like the grenade duffel bag being more screen-accurate and the addition of a fully sculpted head and neck portrait for the “Clown Mask”. While you lose certain accessories such as the Slicked-back-hair-Joker portrait, you do gain others like the shotgun and a School Bus backdrop that looks great on display. As I mentioned before, this re-do is definitely an improvement but I would have been fine with the first go at it.
HOT TOYS MMS 373 SUICIDE SQUAD – JOKER (ARKHAM ASYLUM)
I’m a sucker for Joker in a straightjacket, so this definitely scratches an itch for me. The inclusion of a chair for him to sit on also excites me, so I clearly have low standards here. Hot Toys did a great job on the outfit, giving it a great fit and adding some very nice weathering to the jacket. Leto’s sculpt looks suitably dangerous and you even get a pretty cool backdrop for display. All around, a great concept Joker to own.
HOT TOYS DX 01 THE DARK KNIGHT – THE JOKER
I am a huge fan of this entry. The DX 01 gives me everything I want in a movie Joker figure as well as an action figure in general. We have expert tailoring on the outfits, plenty of accessories, and a beautifully painted portrait that looks identical to the actor. As if that were not enough, we get an additional portrait and set of clothes that allows us to make a second figure! The only complaint I could make here is that you would have to purchase a second body for the Police Officer look in addition to this set, but that’s easy enough to handle. All in all, this is a must-have in any Joker collection.
HOT TOYS DX 14 BATMAN 89 – JOKER MIME VERSION
I’ve already mentioned that I am an easy mark for the Joker in non-traditional colors. This Mime version from the Tim Burton 1989 film pushes that enjoyment even further by throwing in the Mime gimmick. This look for Nicholson’s Joker cannot help but be unique in a Joker collection, which becomes fairly important once you have a certain number. A sea of purple and orange can get a bit boring after a while. The stairs diorama base adds a bit of class and presentation to what is already a great piece.
HOT TOYS VGM 27 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM – JOKER
The Batman Arkham video games are loads of fun. Getting Mark Hamill, the fan-favorite voice of the Joker from the Animated Series, to reprise his take for the games was a stroke of genius. While Hot Toys has proven that they can produce masterpieces in regards to reproducing an actor’s likeness, its always a treat to see them cut loose a bit on something more stylized like this figure. The video game design of the character is brought to life wonderfully here, adding a physical quality that possibly surpasses the source media. Throw in plenty of fun accessories straight from the game and you have a real winner.
HOT TOYS DX 08 BATMAN 89 – JOKER
A masterpiece, pure and simple. Jack Nicholson as the Joker in the 1989 film is iconic and Hot Toys have actually managed to produce a suitably iconic figure here. Every last piece, from the accessories to the outfit to the portrait, is pitch perfect in replicating what you see on screen. The Nicholson likeness is one of the best sculpts ever made, pushed into another level by the “Parallel Eyeball Rolling System” that allows collectors to change the direction of his gaze. This piece gets ranked second on this list, but it’s totally arbitrary. In my mind, this and our final entry are tied for top honors.
HOT TOYS DX 11 THE DARK KNIGHT – THE JOKER 2.0
Hot Toys’ third go at Ledger’s Joker in his traditional outfit grabs the top spot, though I personally feel it shares that spot with the DX 08 above. In terms of accessories, the DX 11 wins, giving you not only a beautiful second portrait but also an entire desk and chair set that allows you to recreate the interrogation scene from The Dark Knight film. The two interchangeable head sculpts are Heath Ledger to a tee, though I admittedly favor the laughing option. Every time I see that sculpt, I can hear the actor’s Joker laugh perfectly. When a figure comes to life with a quick glance at it, it is the sign of a true work of art. This final entry does that in spades, making it (and the DX 08) my favorite Joker on the list.