Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides
Barbossa, Gibbs, Angelica and Gunner

Barbossa Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks

The sheer number of big movies coming out this summer astounds me. Starting off the cavalcade is Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, opening May 20th. I'm really looking forward to this one, and have high hopes that the newest installment will get the franchise back on the right track.

And while this film is one of the biggies this summer season, it's only the beginning - for the next 6 straight weekends there's a movie I want to catch at the theater. After POTC4 on May 20th, we have Kung Fu Panda 2, X-men First Class, Super 8, Green Lantern, Cars 2 and Transformers 3. Throw in Thor in early May and Harry Potter, Cowboys and Aliens and Captain America later in July, and you have one packed summer movie schedule!

I looked at a couple of the POTC4 6" scaled figures from Jakks just last week - Blackbeard and Captain Jack Sparrow. This week I'm following up with the rest of the series, including Barbossa, Gibbs, Angelica, and the included Build A Figure of Gunner. While we all know who the other three are (if you don't, you're not paying enough attention to the previews), I'm unclear as to who or what Gunner actually is. He's some sort of pirate, but until we see the film it's hard to tell just how big of a role he'll play.

These are running around $15 - $16, depending on the retailer. They should start showing up at most major retailers any time now if they haven't already, along with the smaller 4" scale figures and playsets.
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks

Packaging - ***1/2
As with the first two, the package here is well designed. It's attractive, eye catching, and very sturdy. The bubble is sealed to the cardback tightly, with little chance of accidental separation.

Also on the plus side is the complete lack of twisty ties. Yea! There are a couple rubber bands on the heavier figures, like Gibbs, but these are easy to remove.

Sculpting - Gunner ***; Gibbs, Barbossa, Angelica **1/2;
These actually run 6 - 7" tall, depending on the character, but are generally referred to as a 'six inch scale'.

Gibbs and Barbossa remind me of really, really good cos players - squint at them just right and you'll think they are who they are supposed to be. It's not an exact match though, and there's some other issues that detract slightly from the average portrait.

For Gibbs, it's the forced pose. He's sculpted with no real articulation, leaving him in one stance. He's firing a gun, which is okay...and certainly less awkward and goofy than the previous Sparrow pose...but it's still leaving me a tad cold. He's also very bulky, almost so much that he seems a bit out of scale to the other male figures in the series.

Barbossa is the only hatted figure that has a glued on hat. Too bad too, since he has one of the goofier lids. It stands up quite high, and he has a long head to begin with. The tall hat sitting high on his head just accentuates the overall horse look.

His outfit is very detailed though, right down to the wooden leg. The tip is a tad small, and I'd think that it would be difficult for a person to maneuver on such a small end, but perhaps it's possible.

The outfit on Angelica has some great sculpting details as well, but I hate the itty bitty feet. The portrait is somewhat generic, and no matter how hard I squinted, I couldn't find Penelope Cruz in there. The arms are also a bit wonky - maybe it's because of the double pin elbows, but the arms are too long and thin for the rest of the figure.

That leaves Gunner, who is one of the better sculpts. Of course, we have no idea yet just what he's supposed to look like, unlike the other figures, so he gets a pas there. He does have some great details though, especially around the belt where he has various doo-dads, including a hook. There's also sculpted ornate tribal scarring, which is a great touch.

All the figures stand fine on their own (as long as Barbossa uses his crutch) and they can hold the accessories properly in their sculpted hands.

Paint - Gunner, Barbossa ***; Angelica, Gibbs **1/2
While none of the paint work here is truly atrocious, none of it really rises above average when compared to similar work on the pegs right now.

There's some sloppy edges to be sure, and certain designs and patterns are inconsistent and careless. Cut lines aren't as sharp as they could be, and many of the eyes have a blank, cold look without any real life.

Certain issues plague some figures more than others. For example, the skin tone on Gibbs tends to be splotchy and clumpy, while the eyes on Angelica are very much like a cheap mannequin.

While I really liked the sculpted designs on Gunner's skin, I have to say that the sloppy paint work on same said detracts a bit from the overall appeal of the figure. He and Barbossa sport the most detail, and their paint work does seem slightly better than the work on Gibbs and Angelica, but in general this is average work across the board.

Articulation - Barbossa, Angelica **1/2; Gunner **; Gibbs *1/2
This line isn't advertised as highly articulated, but there's sufficient joints on most of the figures to get a decent pose or two, and allow kids to get some fun out of them.

Angelica has a ball jointed neck, I think. I say I think because it's pretty much restricted to a cut joint by the hair sculpt.

She has the old school NECA style post/disc ball shoulders, which work pretty well, along with cut biceps, cut wrists, cut waist, cut boot tops, double pin elbows, and T hips. Most of the posing comes from the arms, although the leg articulation does allow you to find her perfect center of gravity.

Barbossa is similar, but he has single pin elbows, no lower leg articulation on his wooden stump, and a bit more tilt action in his neck due to the shorter hair.

Gunner should have the best head movement, being bald, but his jawline/skull sculpt still restricts the neck. He also lacks, cut biceps, and has a V joint at the hips rather than the T.

Then there's Gibbs. He has five points of articulation - cut wrists, cut calves, and a cut right elbow. Yep, that's it, and without any sort of elbow or shoulder articulation on his right side, and no way to move the head, getting the gun in place can be very tricky. It's certainly a tight fit, but once you have it in place he looks fine in his standard pose. Let's hope that's the only pose you'll want.

Accessories - Gunner ***1/2; Angelica, Barbossa ***; Gibbs **1/2;
Angelica, Barbossa and Gibbs all come with a piece to build the BAF Gunner. I'm giving them **1/2 stars just for that inclusion, similar to my scale for other figure series that include some sort of build a figure part.

Gibbs does come with one additional goodie - his flintlock rifle. It fits in his hands in a firing position, and he'd be pretty screwed without it considering the sculpted pose. I'd normally up his score for the extra accessory, but I HATE the inclusion of the sculpted musket fire/smoke at the end of the gun. It could have been a separate removable piece, but it's not - you're stuck with it whether you like it or not.

The same is true with Barbossa's flintlock pistol, which hurts that accessory as well. Fortunately for him, he also comes with his wooden crutch, which fits perfectly under his arm and in his hand, and actually is necessary to keep him upright. Without it, he'll topple for sure, but with it you can pose him in a number of stances.

It's important to note that his hat is NOT removable, and he's the only figure in this first wave that's wearing a non-removable chapeau. Angelica's hat comes right off, and like Blackbeard's looks great on her head. In fact, again just like Blackbeard, she looks better in it rather than out, something that's quite rare in this scale. Like father like daughter, I suppose.

She also has her sword that fits nicely in her left hand, and her removable belt/scabbard. The sword can not go into the scabbard - it's a solid piece, and is only for decoration. Unlike those on Sparrow and Blackbeard, her's looks a bit wonky in place, sticking out oddly in back and across her chest. You'll notice I dumped it pretty quickly.

Which brings us to Gunner, the guy who's an accessory himself. It's rare that BAF's or CnC figures get their own accessories, but it does happen occasionally. What's even more rare is that Gunner gets TWO - a deadly looking ax/hammer combo, and a broadsword. The sword comes packed with Barbossa, while the hammer comes with Angelica.

The left hand is designed to hold the weapons, but it works best with the hammer. To add to the craziness, Gunner can also wear both accessories on his belt in provided loops, something that none of the regular figures can manage!

In case you were wondering, the knife on his chest is not removable.

Fun Factor - **1/2
There's not a ton of articulation here, and the sculpted poses aren't quite as fun as what we saw with Blackbeard. Still, kids that love the movie should get some reasonable play out of them, and they get two pluses - they all stand well on their own, and they all hold their own accessories easily.

Value - Gibbs *1/2; the rest **
At $15 each, these are now priced at the current norm. Unfortunately, they aren't really worth that price tag. At least with the inclusion of the Gunner pieces and a couple accessories each, they're a better deal than some figures currently at this price point, but poor Gibbs takes a bigger hit. He's really just a hunk of plastic, and fifteen bucks for a PVC statue is getting out of hand.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing - they were all sturdy and solid, with tight joints and good pins. There's little chance of breakage under normal play.

Overall - Gunner ***; Barbossa, Angelica **1/2; Gibbs **
Gunner is the real surprise here, having pretty decent paintwork and a reasonable sculpt, as well as his own accessories. As BAF's go, he's a nice entry.

The other three are fairly average. Barbossa is one of my favorite characters in the Pirates license, second only to Jack, and I was really hoping to see a better face sculpt here. I can tell who it's supposed to be, but beyond that it's lacking.

Gibbs suffers from his forced pose and goofy gun, neither of which do much to elevate the poor pirate's status.

And Angelica? She won't be getting a shot at the Best Female Figure of the Year, unfortunately. The sculpt is off, and I hate the tiny feet. The double pin elbows created a weird proportion problem for the arms, and combined with the largely static leg pose, she ends up looking awkward.

As I suspected when I reviewed the first two figures in this wave, it's Blackbeard who is the clear winner so far. I'm hoping that we get a more poseable Jack Sparrow in wave two to pair up with him.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Gunner ***; Gibbs, Barbossa, Angelica **1/2;
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - Angelica, Barbossa **1/2; Gunnner **; Gibbs *
Accessories - Gunner ***1/2; Angelica, Barbossa ***; Gibbs **1/2;
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - Gibbs *1/2; the rest **
Overall - Gunner ***; Barbossa, Angelica **1/2; Gibbs **

Where to Buy -
You're going to find these at the major retailers, like Toys R Us and Target. There's also the 4" series, as well as some playsets and dress up items. I paid $15 each for these at Wal-mart.

Related Links -
Other reviews include:

- I covered the first two figures in this series, Blackbeard and Jack Sparrow, last week in this review.

- my current favorite Jack Sparrow is the Sideshow Premium Format statue.

- Hot Toys has produced some amazing 12" figures, including Cannibal Jack and Davy Jones, regular Jack and Sao Feng, as well as Will Turner.

- NECA did a fair share of smaller figures, including Sao Feng, a full series 2 figures, Clanker, the new cursed boxed set of Jack and Barbossa, second cursed Pirate, Pintel,  Regatti, the full first series, and a terrific 18" version of Sparrow.

- then there's the 12" Sao Feng and Jack Sparrow from Zizzle, and had a guest review of the Will Turner.

- Zizzle's line of 3 3/4" has gotten a review of some of the figures, along with a guest review of the Isla Cruces set, and the Pirate Fleet vehicles.

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

- Disney also has their own set of POTC figures out now at their stores, including Jack and Davy of course.

- 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 the 12" Blackbeard from Sideshow, or their large scale Premium Format of Blackbeard.

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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks

This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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