Attack in the Box Joker

This is the 'Attack in the Box Joker' from the current Mattel in-house Batman action figure line.

When I saw this guy at Target recently I knew I had to have him. His design is pretty far off from your typical Joker, with elements of a prisoner Joker, a para-military Joker, and even Joker from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker thrown in for good measure.

He could also pass as a good Joker Goon from Batman: Arkham City.

The cartoon on the packaging suggests a prison-type striped shirt, but the toy doesn't have the black striped elements painted. Regardless, like Swamp Raider Killer Croc before him, this Joker appears to be an escaped inmate with the orange pants/shirt and I like the consistency of design between the two.

I assume the purple vest is supposed to be a bullet-proof vest, and of course there's no denying the bullet belt across his shoulder.

I have to admit, a huge component of the appeal of this figure for me and why I had to have him is that he is either A) a reflection of our times or B) a poorly timed design variation that ironically reflects our times. Is art imitating life or vice versa here? Either way, a machine-gun toting urban terrorist Joker is what we got.

The machine-gun in question is pretty cool for a simple accessory. The plastic is bendable but not too soft so you can attach it to Joker's arm easily.

The gun barrel rotates out so the Jack in the Box can stand on it's own or reveal it's hidden gun barrel. Here's where the only real disappointment comes in...

The end of the barrel looks like it's missing a piece. Based on the packaging's cartoon, there should be multiple barrels at the end. Did Mattel try to white-wash the design and make it less realistic-gun-like or did they cut costs and remove a single component? We may never know, but my guess is they cut costs.

As for Joker himself, in addition to the overall design aesthetic, there are a couple of fun little design elements that really make him pop.

For instance, Joker's vest includes a dead/frowny face on the back.

And his guano-kickers have smile-tipped toes!

And last but not least, I really like the buzz cut. I can imagine Joker being pretty pissed about having to get a prison issue haircut, and letting that raw testosterone driven anger come out in his personality for a little while until it grows out. He gets all Rambo/GI Joker until his beloved locks grow back. Not sure what that ninja star logo is supposed to represent, maybe a mean, sharp, bad-ass flower? A MANLY flower! That's it!

See, that's the thing about this Joker, as much as he is non-canon, he's pretty canon if you think about how the Joker might approach a certain situation. I can imagine him doing some bad Stallone, Schwarzenneger and Van Damme impressions during whatever military strike he's making which necessitated this silly garb in the first place.

Also, this figure would make the perfect base to customize the 'Return of the Joker' version of our favorite Clown Prince of Crime.

I like the design of the Rockabilly Joker that is also a part of this line, but prefer this version since he lacks the action feature of that other Joker. Although a head swap, giving this Joker the Elvis-do, might look pretty neat!


  1. Awesome version of Joker. Never seen this one before.

  2. Have not been able to purchase much of the newer Joker things....
    We still have a large collection of this great Villain...