Friday, May 30, 2008

The Dark Knight Joker Figure

The way people react to internet rumors can be entertaining at times, but it can also be frustrating to watch. A recent one that I find baffling is the idea that Mattel has "dropped" the Joker figure from its new Movie Master line. The idea seems to have started on a web site which claims to provide "news" from the world of "media and technology" with this poorly researched "article" (to use the word liberally). While the entire site strikes me as little more than an amateurish collection of gossip and regurgitated headlines from other sources, this piece in particular is rife with error. The "author" (I'm being even more liberal here, considering his poor command of the language) does begin with a bit of humor, though:

I'm not going to reveal how I know this...

Well, of course he's not going to reveal how he knows it, because what follows is a load of bullshit. Ryan Brookhart, who fancies himself an industry insider (and of multiple industries, no less), claims that shoppers will not be able to find the pictured Joker figure (the Movie Master version) at retail, because Mattel decided it was "too scary for children". He goes on to say that it will be replaced by a, "hybrid animated style Joker roughly an inch smaller and in standard blister-style packaging." The "replacement" he's describing is the figure from the 5" movie line, geared toward kids who will want to play with their toys, and it's the same one that was shown at the NY Toy Fair back in February (although the retail release has a much less impressive paint application). The 6" Movie Master line, however, was created with adult collectors in mind, and is (once again) the same product shown at Toy Fair. Two different figures, in two totally different scales, and from two completely separate lines, were always planned. This isn't a deliberate attempt to deceive people, but rather a very confused individual whose inaccuracies were unfortunately repeated by various bloggers and small media outlets. The version pictured on the page that sparked all this nonsense was never going to be part of the 5" line, despite what some know-nothing wannabe says on the internerd.

With the theatrical release of The Dark Knight still seven weeks away, why would anyone believe Mattel won't be shipping more Movie Master Joker figures to retailers? Of course they will. In fact, they're going to be two-per-case in a future assortment, the same ratio as Batman was packed in the first shipment. But the uninformed still scramble to pay thrice the MSRP for something many of them wouldn't have even wanted if Heath Ledger was still alive. While the macabre attraction to the likeness of a recently deceased celebrity comes as no surprise, the figure itself leaves much to be desired. When the Movie Master line first hit retail, I came across at least fifteen of them. The paint application doesn't do the sculpt justice, so I didn't bother getting one for the $11-and-change price. Even if the figure had been perfect, though, you might as well throw your money in the garbage if you pay $35 (or more) to acquire one. They will be available in Big Box stores again very soon.

The Dark Knight Joker Figure

Thursday, May 22, 2008

29 Days And Counting

HeroesCon 2008
The guest list is phenomenal. Highlights include Ed Brubaker, Cliff Chiang, Darwyn Cooke, Dan Didio, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Tommy Lee Edwards, Adam Hughes, Peter Laird, Steve Niles, Greg Rucka, Herb Trimpe, Ethan Van Sciver, Matt Wagner, Mark Waid, and Sarah Wilkinson. Unfortunately, Jamal Igle cancelled.