When dealing with a character as iconic as DC Comics' The Joker, creators need to be pretty careful about taking creative liberties. Fans are very attached to the vision of the character that they grew up with, so any major changes can be very upsetting to the fanboys and fangirls out there. That said, when a creator as unique as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts designer Tetsuya Nomura comes along, they usually get a little more creative license.
Nomura has been working with Square Enix on a line of toys called DC Universe Variant Play Arts Kai and this is the third Batman character he has tackled. Previously, Nomura helped design amazing figures for both the Caped Crusader himself and Catwoman. This time the designer carried over the aesthetic he put in place with the first two with this new high-tech exoskeleton wielding version of the creepiest clown in the DCU.
The Joker figure is versatile to say the least and comes with at least seven interchangeable headpieces that allow the owner to switch from traditional Crown Prince of Crime to the mysterious Red Hood or a handful of other personas. The Doc Oct-esque exoskeleton is probably the most unique aspect of the character design.
Here's a closer look at the figure...
At this point, The Joker is scheduled to release in Japan in September, but no North American release date or price have been revealed. That said, the Play Arts Kai versions of both Batman and Catwoman eventually saw North American releases and were priced around $250 for Batman and $150 for Catwoman. That's a pretty pricey entry fee for a figure, but fans of both Nomura and the Batman universe may have a hard time turning away. Hopefully this toy line will continue and we'll get to see the iconic designer's take on many more DC Comics characters.
What do you think of this version of The Joker? Would you be willing to shell out the cash to pick one up? Let us know in the comments.
Square Enix’s Play Arts Kai The Joker by Tetsuya Nomura releases in Japan this September.