By the time Hasbro released this 9" Joker action figure in 2001 the character had undergone so many reincarnations, both in appearance and chronicle, that it seemed every possible angle had been explored. Perhaps that's why they went back to the old tried and true styling for the Harlequin of Hate- he's the classic Joker in purple and green. I've seen asking prices as high as $65.00 for this toy, but I got him for $24.95 (price included shipping) and you probably shouldn't pay more- just sayin'...
My favorite Joker stories include Death In the Family (Starlin/Apparo) & The Killing Joke (Moore/Bolland), 1988, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, 1986, and Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth,1989. And Jack Nicholson's role in the 1989 Batman motion picture was of course a dream come true for teenage comic dorks the world over, myself included. As a child I'd watched the heavily syndicated Batman television show that featured an expertly cast Cesar Romero, but the late eighties were the most intense years of my Bat-Mania, so the Joker depicted in these stories were branded on my coming of age.
There aren't any surprises here, save the "surprise" package he comes with, one of three accessories included in this fun little package. Pressing Joker's cane on a button at the gift box's base opens the package to reveal a tiny crouched jester holding a bomb in one hand and bundle of dynamite in the other- double jeopardy! I've found this device to be somewhat cranky, though an interesting, if only half-successful gimmick. Joker's cane has a great jester's head at the top, but the soft plastic cane shaft is warped (FAIL!). Another minor annoyance is the gag pistol- it's handle doesn't fit in Joker's hand well at all, and in spite of Hasbro's nifty hinge-grip feature, the weapon is too heavy for him to hold securely.
Accessory snafus aside, Hasbro did a good job on this dolly... errr, I mean action figure. His suit is relatively well tailored, with neat little buttons on his yellow vest, bow tie, and pink carnation on his left jacket lapel. He's brawnier than my old Mego Joker, but quite reminiscent in appearance. And the head sculpt is magnificent on this toy! Bravo!
-Mego's 8" Joker at MegoMuseum.Com, 1974!
-1:6 scale Hot Toys Joker (Heath Ledger) at ToyHaven!
-Joker's Wikipedia page