Medicom Jack Sparrow

Tonight's guest review is from sunohc, a regular at the Freaks boards and other sixth scale hang outs.  He's bringing us a look at the very cool Medicom Jack Sparrow, a figure that's gotten a bit more reasonable on ebay these days. Take it away, sunohc!

Here’s a quick go-around about this figure that was released last summer. It’s my 2nd RAH figure to date, the first being that pitiful Bruce Lee figure that was released a couple years back. 

It’s been “a while” since the release of the Medicom's Jack Sparrow, and the quantities must’ve been surplus in US, because the prices have gone done at least $40, (you could buy a whole Sideshow figure with those “savings” )

I got this piece on eBay for $100 flat and shipped, which is a hell of a good price in the market right now. With most online stores being sold out of these, eBay is a good place to turn , and the prices aren't bad at all.

This figure is quite a contrast to that ol’ Zizzle version I have that sits—oh, somewhere behind my shelf, or is under my bed? For some reason, Zizzle’s Jack never looked half as bad as it does now with the Medicom Jack smugly standing in comparison.

Zizzle’s Jack Sparrow fits the description of a cheap GI-Joe toy, and the quality of the piece barely surpasses the price tag.  You’ll even notice a stark comparison when a bystander or family member looks at either of the figures. Before, when I had the Zizzle figure, it was “ one glance and indifferent comment”. Yet, with Medicom’s Jack, I was welcomed with a “fascinated gawk and some comments like, ‘ that’s a pretty high quality toy you got there.”

Packaging - ***
It’s not as elaborate as Sideshow, but only by a small margin. It has an opening flap, but not with magnets like Sideshow’s. The box art is excellent and perfect for displaying behind the figure.

The one thing I like most about the Medicom RAH figure box, is the incredibly and swift and easy removal of the figure and the accessories. No twist-ties, tape, wires, zip-. I actually had FUN taking this figure out of the box. 

The only flaw I found in mine, was how horribly they placed the figure into the plastic insert. The back of the jacket was creased and bent all over the place. When I took it out of the box, I thought there must’ve been some mistake with the sewing because there was no way a jacket could look like 17 bats. The jacket still isn’t straightened, but I can hide the mess pretty well.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Better than what I had expected. Sure, the prototype pics were hyped, but the figure in hand beats those production pics they had all over the internet. In my hand, this figure looks alot more "Depp" than what these digital photos can justify.

The hair, headband, and beads are masterfully sculpted. The hair swirls are crisp and clean, and the hand band has incredibly fine wrinkles. 

The face sculpt; couldn't complain at all. This sculpt with a repaint is dead-on, and it's been done before. This is a genuine Johnny Depp likeness, and if it hadn't captured the Depp, at least it nailed the Jack Sparrow. 

However, the details on this guy appear to be fine because it's smaller scale than the other 1:6 heads. His head will look like an acorn next to the Sideshow figures, and like most Medicom figures, this guy has tiny hands.Not too mention the fact that they look a bit girly, rounded, and fake. The sculpting on the hands could've containted a bit more "bone structure" in them and maybe a couple veins here and there. 

Another thing wrong with the hands is the overall detail; its a slap to the face when compared to the magnificent head sculpt.

Paint - ***1/2
It's pretty easy to go wrong on painting with a Jack Sparrow sculpt. Most companies out there are just throwing down some black mascara and a block of blackness for his moostashio/goatie.

Medicom's painting for most of their human line is generally the same. 

Very basic skin toning, but then fantastic smooth hair airbrushing/wet brushing, so that the hairlines are flawless. (check out their Wolverine from X-Men III) Also, the lips on Jack weren't too dark, and the jewels and beads couldn't have been done better. The painting on the headband seemed to have been done by a stamp, but nonetheless flawless. 

Now, for the eye shadow/mascara; It's definitely different than the prototype. A bit darker and not so much blended in, but I've always thought that the prototype pics didn't emphasize the black eye shadow enough, so I was content.

The sheath for the sword was weathered sloppily, but it's better than nothing. The painting on the hands were more disappointing. Too vague and too unrealistic. However, the sword itself was a plus. It had slightly silver dry-brushing applied onto it, to stimulate rusted steel; and looks very nice in this scale. In fact, the sword even seems to make a "ka-link" sound if you drop it into the sheath. **try it out 

The gun, has very tiny little details on it, and it looks like a focused photograph when compared to Zizzle's version. Seriously, the pictures of the Zizzle's flintlock gun (on the left) are actually more flattering to itself than it actually is in real life. 

Articulation - ***1/2
The Real Action Heroes (RAH) is one of the better bodies out there in the market. If it weren't for the awkwardly small scale, these would probably be a perfect score every time. This bodies are expensive though, around $50 loose, so whenever you get yourself a Medicom RAH piece, know that 1/3 of the price tag was for its body.

The articulation is unquestionable. These babies can do more than you can do yourself. In fact, they could even put some freaks to shame. 

The joints, however, are sometimes 'iffy'. I know from experience that, in the past, all of my Bruce Lee RAH figures had the worst joints ever. They'd break if you meddle with them and they're get unbearably loose if you complained. 

However, the recent RAH body on this Jack Sparrow is tighter, and the hand peg looks a lot better. Still kind of wiggly but not a hassle to switch around and the body can hold firm poses without croaking back to those loose joints. 

Another thing to take into consideration when it comes to articulation, is that the head doesn't/can't move around a whole lot. It's not because of the neck joint, but the long dread locks on Mr. Sparrow. I tried to get the signature head tilt that Jack Sparrow does all the time, but it was more than difficult and the results proved very unnoticeable. The head can tilt downwards flawlessly, but other than that, he's technically a paralyzed victim. One trick is to twist at the torso joint to get the head looking up. 

Outfit - ****
This is one of Medicom's greatest strengths when it comes down to reviews. Take off the jacket, and you'll be surprised how well they sewed that masterpiece together. I've seen worse life size overcoats! If the head sculpt and the accessories look 1:6 scale, than you better sure as hell believe the outfit will. I personally think it's this crisp outfit that distinguishes the Medicom version from the Zizzle's version. (I use crisp alot to describe this figure because that's what comes to mind the most when looking at it)

The detail on the outfit also serves to make this figure look loaded with pieces. It's actually only two belts, a tunic, compass, sheath, and two shirts. 

Nevertheless, there's always a loophole, shoulder-sagger, sigh, or just plain disappointment, when it comes to the weathering. The prototype pics of this guy showed a expertly weathered, torn, and thin tunic (the red and white thing he's wearing around his waist). Yet, the actually thing was something lesser of quality, and falser in scale. Absolutely no weathering , and very difficult to pose to make it actually looks like cloth is draping down. I finally got it somewhat pleasing to the eye, but believe me, the actually tunic is alot lighter and stiffer than it looks and this is makes it so hard to pose.

Accessories - **2/3
Not a lot, but personally having a bag of accessories somewhere in my already small room isn't ideal either. 

Basically, Medicom gives so small an amount of accessories, you can fit them all on one side of a box, that's why they don't have the dual-platform boxes like Sideshow and Dragon.

The set came with Jack Sparrow's gun, sword, outfit, hat, another pair of hands, and the various little dood-dads that match up with the outfit.

I guess you could say that the compass (which can open , shut, and lock) is a big plus when it comes to hyper-detailed kudos points, and Medicom even includes their nice clear stand. 

I prefer Medicom's stands over the bulky Sideshow/Hot Toys/Enterbay ones: There's nothing worse than having a thick silver ring with a bob on the end, attached to the waist of your "supposed-to-be lifelike" 1:6 figure. It looks tacky and conforms to a more doll-like appearance. 

The hat on Medicom's Sparrow looks a buttload better than Zizzle's one--- since it's got some weathering, it's the correct color, and has an actual front and back.

Fun Factor - **1/2
This is the kind of collectible I'd keep cased up and away from the hands of anxious little manglers (aka Me). Sure, it's posable... but handling this guy around will reposition the clothing, sometimes pop the hands off, and and make accessories jiggle around. 

However, as a collector, you could spend your whole Saturday putting this feller into countless poses and taking quality shots and photoshopping. Re-posing him will be a weekly chore I'll gladly participate in , hopefully this activity will keep the dust off of him.

If you wanna have him fight your 12" rotocast Spiderman, than you should substitute it with his look-a-like, Mr. Zizzle Jack Sparrow. That guy can take a beating and still look better than he was before.

Value - ***
As of now, I couldn't complain too much about the price. Most Medicom figures run at least $30-$50 more than this feller, and currently, he's around $120 shipped on eBay. The ones distributed by Sideshow are barely under, and I actually got this dude for $100 flat. 

Still, Medicom's RAH line are always a dynamite to the wallet, because they're imported products. You'd think they'd be alot cheaper in Japan, but the markets pretty globalized now, so we're not being hussled.

Things to Watch Out For:
The sword, is a sword. It's pretty fine and sharp, but not firm , so you won't be able to cut your apple or even a twinkie with it. But, if the tip touched an eye or a sensitive part (nostril, lips), it would hurt pretty bad. I wince just imagining it.

The gun has a very thin part attached onto it, but it's made of very flexible plastic so it poses no huge threat in being snapped. (see pic to left) BUT, I noticed that the two little braids that are attached to the chin, are actually glued on, and I could see them coming right off if handled incorrectly.

Overall - ****
It actually went above my expectations, and the price at $100 is unbeatable for that kind of quality. Some could lean on the Zizzle one because it's about 1/6 (no pun intended) of the price that this Medicom version is going for. However, I won't be displaying a "cha-cha-cha-chia" next to a respectable piece. I was content with the Zizzle until I had this in hand, so if you don't have a heavy wallet ready for Medicom's Jack Sparrow, than I'd suggest you to just narrow your vision so you can only see Zizzle by itself ;)
At the price its going for, I'm still going to recommend it. It looks good despite the smaller scale, because the hat adds on a centimeter or two and everything else looks perfect in scale by itself. This is the kind of piece you can put on your office desk and not have co-workers wonder why you play with Ken barbie dolls (not that that's bad or anything..he heh).

Thanks for reading this lengthy review and I hope you enjoy your collecting days!
It's a good time to be collecting toys! 

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - **2/3
Outfit - ****
Value - ***
Fun Factor - **1/2
Overall - ****

Where to Buy: - Keep up a good eye out for the best deal, or just quickly snag one for around $120 shipped.

Related Links:
Other Medicom Star Wars reviews include:
- guest reviews of the VCD Yoda and Boba Fett.
- guest reviews of the ROTS Vader, Jedi Luke, and the Stormtrooper.
- and Michael's review of their first release Darth Vader and the Stormtrooper.

Figure from the collection of Sunohc.

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