Pirates of the Caribbean Series 2

Pirates are hot, there's no doubt about it. They represent the bad boy all the men wish they were, and all the ladies wish they knew. Kids are eating them up right now, whether they are from Megabloks, Playmobil, or the Dollar Store. And with the second Pirates of the Caribbean film releasing this summer, their popularity could soar.

NECA still has the license for the first film and has also included the second film. They have just released the second series of figures based on the first film, with a third coming soon. They will also be producing a first series this summer based on the new film, and another company called Zizzle is producing a mass market line based on the new film as well. With all that product hitting, it's likely to get a tad confusing.

The second series includes a new Jack Sparrow and Turner, along with the bumbling pirates Ragetti and Pintel. These are showing up at Hot Topics and Spencers right now, but if you're like me and don't have those options handy, then there's plenty of online stores, including the sponsors I have listed below. Expect to pay around $12 - $14 each.

I picked up Pintel and Ragetti, but things are so dry right now, I decided to split up this duhnamic duo. I'll review Ragetti here tonight, and my review of Pintel is up over at da Poop right now.

Packaging -  ***
Clamshells have become the industry standard, particularly for specialty market toys. I like them, but be forewarned that you'll need a knife to free the scurvy dogs.

The card art is attractive, but nothing earth shattering or ground breaking.  And yes, that's Pintel's package at the left, but I only shot one of the packages, since I originally planned on reviewing these together.

Sculpting - ***
Ragetti has an excellent sculpt, especially the head, but the paint may make it tough to see at first. More on that in the next category.

Ragetti's head sculpt is very close to the film representation, with plenty of piratey grossness thrown in. The work on the hair is particularly good, and they've managed to snag the facial proportions quite well. The sculpt even highlights the wooden eye, making it wider and less realistic than the right. 

This character is played by Mackenzie Crook, who is best known to most folks as Gareth Keenan, the original British version of Dwight from The Office. I suspect Mackenzie is pretty stoked about having his own action figure. Or maybe not.

The body sculpt looks good, although it doesn't work particularly well with the limited articulation. The straight arms means that the only pose that really works is straight down at his sides - fortunately, they've sculpted with that in mind.

I didn't notice any issues with softer plastic in the legs, like there is with Pintel, but my issues with scale are much bigger here. Actually, Ragetti is the one that's much bigger, certainly bigger than he was in the film. Again assuming that 7" is the scale for the line, Ragetti checks in at about 7 1/4" tall, making him almost 6'3" tall. In reality, Crook is listed at 5'9", making this figure almost a half foot off scale. More importantly, it makes him MUCH bigger than Pintel, not just in height but in general proportions. Crook is a skinny guy, but here he looks huge next to the other pirate.

I don't have my small scale Jack handy, but Depp is listed at 5'10" tall (although I suspect that's being a little generous) and this Ragetti figure will stand over him on the shelf. That's not going to look quite right, and will no doubt bug the anal retentive hidden inside. Again, this isn't just a matter of height but of proportion, and Ragetti seems not just taller but beefier than the other figures in the assortment.

Paint - ***
The sculpting is hurt somewhat by the paint - but in other ways, the paint really comes through.

Just as I mentioned with Pintel, Ragetti has too much wash, and even more dry brushing. The dry brushing on the head particularly bothers me, since it effects both the color of the hair and face, making them appear unnatural. He suffers from the 'powdered donut' syndrome, which detracts from an otherwise great sculpt.

However, there is one very bright and shining paint operation detail here that saves this score from dropping another half star or more - the eyes. Ragetti has a wooden right eye in the film, and they've managed to capture this appearance amazingly well in this scale. The paint is primarily the reason, although the sculpt is subtlety but critically different as well.

The blue left eye has a gloss to it that implies living, wet tissue, while the flat brown used for the right eye gives it a very unnatural and fake appearance. The white of the eye is a little more brown, more wood-like in appearance, and it's really an impressive piece of work.

Articulation - **1/2
Ragetti sports a couple more points than his partner, but still nothing particularly spectacular.

He does have a nice range of movement in his ball jointed neck, and that's the single most important joint on any action figure. You can add a ton of personality to any pose with a little tilt here or there.

He has ball jointed shoulders as well, but suffers from the skinny, flat interior on his arms, common to the type of shoulders NECA uses.

There are cut joints at the wrists and forearms, along with a cut waist and cut ankles (at the bottom of the pants). This is just enough for a basic pose or two, and that's it. Trying to put the arms in any position other than straight down results in a pretty dorky looking figure.

Accessories - ***1/2
All of the figures in the second series come with a detailed base, designed to fit together loosely and form a diorama from the climactic end of the film. Ragetti's base fits up next to Pintel's nicely, saving some display room as well. The base is nicely sculpted, with plenty of treasure, but some of the paint application is sloppy, particularly around the silver.

Ragetti also has his sword, which is made of a solid, stiff plastic all around, including the guard on the hilt. It fits in either his hand or the shoulder belt.

Every pirate needs a little booty, and Ragetti has a candelabra and a silver serving tray. The tray is made from very soft rubber, and does not hold it's form under any sort of pressure. I'm not sure why that is, since it would be pretty tough to put an eye out with a serving tray. At least it looks good with the pitchers that come with Pintel.

Ragetti also has a flintlock, which is a great sculpt and fits well in his right hand. It's a bit of reuse of course, but forgivable. Overall, this is a nice assortment of accessories, and go well individually or together.

Value - **1/2
Most specialty market figures run in the $12 - $15 range right now, and these fit right in. There's a good assortment of accessories which almost pushed him up to a three star ranking, but the limited articulation brought him back down to averageville.

Fun Factor - ***
Pirates are fun, just ask my five year old son. He's definitely hooked, and I can give him this figure, minus the sword. The joints are sturdy enough to stand up to play, and while the material is unknown to him, Ragetti is a solid generic pirate.

Things to watch out for - 
Always look for the best paint ops that you can find, of course. Also, the sword could be dangerous for kids, and shouldn't be given to those prone to jabbing others in the eye.

Overall -  ***
This was almost a ***1/2 star figure, but a couple issues hold it back. The lack of articulation, particularly in the arms, along with the heavy dry brushing and weird scale issues end up bringing this figure down another half star.

The sculpt (ignoring scale) is quite good though, and the paint work on the eyes is amazing. It says something that you need not know anything about this character or the film, and yet you would realize just by looking at him that he has a wooden eye. Considering the small scale, that's pretty incredible.

Still, I wish his scale matched the rest of the line a little better, and the guy doing the dry brushing really has to let up a bit. I like the diorama idea, and that idea alone may force me out to buy the rehashed versions of Sparrow and Turner. But even if I don't, these two are fairly important additions to the first series display.

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

Where to Buy -
I know that both Hot Topic and Spencers are carrying these, but prices are high and they aren't available at all locations. Online options include:

- Amazing Toyz has the singles for $12, and the full set for $44, but they are going quick at that price.

- CornerStoreComics has the individuals for $12, and the set for $44. They also have some of the earlier figures available, including the cool 18" Jack Sparrow! 

- Killer Toys has the set for $50, or the singles for $14.

- Alter Ego Comics has them available by the case, if you and your friends are looking to go in together.

- Dark Shadow has some of series 1 still in stock, on sale for $7 each, if you missed out.

Related Links:
I've reviewed a number of the earlier POTC figures:

- my review of Pintel, his pirate life partner, is up over at Movie Poop Shoot.

- NECA did a full first series, including Barossa, Turner, Sparrow and a dead Pirate.

- they also did a terrific 18" version of Sparrow.

- Disney just released some figures based on the actual park attraction, and not the film.

- Mezco recently released some very cool Pirate Mez-itz, not based on any license, but cool nonetheless.

- and if you like your pirates a little more 'real', there's always Blackbeard from Sideshow.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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