Pirates of the Caribbean
King Randor fills in where I left off on the NECA POTC line by adding in
Elizabeth Swann - take it away, King!
After the abysmal box office failure of Disney’s “Country Bears”( which I loved, btw), based on the theme park attraction, most audiences were rolling their eyes when they’d heard word of a movie based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. “However- it stars Johnny Depp and Orland Bloom, so it can’t be THAT bad, now can it?”, was the ideology WAAAY back in early 2003. Fast forward to Summer of ‘03- POTC: Curse of the Black Pearl is the hit of the weekend! The movie gained a HUGE cult following, the ride became popular again- but wait…NO MERCHANDISE WAS TO BE FOUND! That was soon to change, thankfully, and NECA decided it was best that they grab the license for the action figures- a decision I thank them for each and every day I’m alive.
Well, Series 1 came out and- there was no Elizabeth Swann. No, in her place was a Cursed Pirate. NECA assured us we’d see her sooner than later, and after getting Pintel & Ragetti in Series 2, she’s FINALLY arrived in Series 3. I found mine at the Hot Topic in Willowbrook- there was only one left, so I figured it’d be best to grab it. The more I looked at that figure, the more I thought to myself “I gotta tell people about this”, so here we go!
Packaging - ***1/2
Truth be told, this picture does not do it justice. I’ve been trying the “no-flash” technique that Mike( almighty lord and webmaster of this site) recommended…and at the same time I’ve been trying to get better angles with the subjects I’m using. The shot came out decent, but not phenomenal either.
Regardless, the packaging is the clamshell packaging, being used quite regularly these days on the specialty market. The insert is basically the same one used for the other 2 series of figures- where it DIFFERS, however, is that the back of the insert shows Series 2 and Series 3 in column-like shots, at the bottom of the column it shows Cursed Jack & Barbossa, and at the very bottom of the insert shows all of the Series 2 and Series 3 figures & bases assembled to form the scene from the first movie. NOW, open the insert, and they have, laid out for you, a “map key” of how to assemble all the pieces to form the diorama. Nice touch- and it’ll fit in nicely with the other 2 series, for those who choose to simply hang them up on their walls. .
In addition, it displays the figure and accessories nicely.
Remember, however- all that good stuff is on the back of the insert, and inside of it. As I’ve previously mentioned, the front of the insert is nothing special. At the very least, you’ll definitely notice it on store shelves, and I assure you, you’ll have no problem immediately yankin’ it off the peg to bring up to the register.
For me, this is one of those lines that was based on a movie that I enjoyed very much, but am not madly in love with, so whilst I AM gonna be collecting all the figures in the line( except, naturally, the 50,000 Jack, Barbossa, and Will Turner re-hashes), I have no plans to buy two of each figure, so it really didn’t mean as much to me, personally- for the enthusiasts who want ‘em all, it’ll be a totally different story.
Sculpting - ****
Folks, ya wanted Keira Knightley immortalized forever in plastic? I think you’ll be happy to note you’ve officially gotten what you wanted! I have no idea how easy or hard her likeness was to capture- I know that for some, especially the ladies, likenesses tend to be VERY difficult to capture- but NECA got hers DOWN PAT. The area I think that was “must get” on her was the influx look of her cheekbones- and they did it perfectly. She has a serious, yet “accepting” look on her face, and that fits in well with the character. The dress looks absolutely perfect as well. Now, to add an extra nice touch, to KEEP her standing up( since her legs were not sculpted the same length- either that, or the area they were attached to was not perfectly level), rather than make the bottom of the dress a flapped bending plastic( sort of like Galadriel, from ToyBiz’s Lord of the Rings line), they went with the dress being a hard plastic, and sculpted a small “barrier” around her legs. Nicely done- it’s not perfect, but with some minor work, you can get her standing fine.
One thing worth noting- Elizabeth Swann is supposed to be a tad shorter, I believe, than Will Turner. I have the Series 1 Will Turner- she’s the same height, pretty much. I heard the more recent figures are a tad on the slightly larger scale, so if this is the case, I’ll accept that. But for those, like me, who aren’t planning on buying any more re-hashes in the line, and are major enthusiasts, it’s something you might want to take note of.
Paint - ***
At least from, what I could tell, flawless. No paint bleed, everything’s within the “lines”. The dress, as far as I could tell, looks accurate to the way it looked in the movie, and naturally that’s extremely important. There appears to be a weird white/yellow line down the middle of the dress, but as I figured out, it’s supposed to be part of the inner seam of the dress sticking out, where both sides of it come together- VERY nice touch. No bleed on the face- other than some slightly missed opportunity with the eyebrows, as they’re depicted a tad more “full” on the packaging, and they’re painted a bit “flat & angry” on the actual figure.
But inasmuch as I loved how well it was painted, something’s buggin’ me about it to no end, and here’s what it is: the paint WASH. You may see her on the pegs and say “OH, C’MON! What are you talking about?! It’s just perfect!” -Even from the minute I bought her, I knew it was off a tad, and here’s how: take a look at the
prototype photo, on the front of the packaging- notice how her face has a very pale look to it. Well, her face had almost that pale of a look in the poster for the movie as well. The figure has a look that phases in and out from pale to a more fleshy color to it- and whatever wash they used was also used a bit overdone on the eyes, giving them less of a realistic, and more of an “I’m an action figure” look. Ironically, in different lightings, the face color coordination can look pale, or fleshy colored. In most light though, it starts to appear more pale, and as you go down with the look of the figure, it gets more fleshy in the neck/cleavage area( c’mon, you KNOW you wanted to look there, guys), and then the proportion goes haywire yet again where the arms meet the wrists. I assure you it looked far more accurate on the prototype shot. Had this paint wash color coordination issue not existed, I would’ve thrown an extra ½ a star on there- but those were the things that threw them off. But hey- it’s still three stars, and that’s a damn fine score! So otherwise, you know NECA did something right. J
Articulation - ***
Ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, semi-ball jointed wrists, and ankles.
While it’s not a ton, it’s good enough for me- AND she can stand on her own( thanks to the way her dress was sculpted, as I’ve already mentioned), so that’s always a plus in my book. However, it appears they decided to cut out some articulation to cut on costs- I thought the situation might’ve been the same with the other POTC figures, but when I just checked my Series 1 Will Turner- he also had both arms articulated at the mid-sections…AND waist articulation. Those two extras would’ve added so much more to this figure.
In fact, take a look at the way her arms are posed. The accessories she comes with( which I’ll be discussing next) are designed to “re-create” a particular scene from the movie- the scene where her hand is cut open for the dropping of Cortez‘s final gold coin into the treasure chest. Now granted, with a little work, it can be done, but it really doesn’t look as convincing- it almost looks like one of the ‘60s or ‘70s GI Joes would..no…actually I think they might’ve been able to pull off that pose.
Eh, I’m not gonna put too much sweat into it. Again, you can still get some nice poses out of it, but here’s the kicker….
Accessories - ***
She comes with the knife, the final medallion of Cortez’ gold, and a base( that interconnects with the bases of the other Series 3 and Series 2 figures, to form the scene from the movie). The knife is sculpted perfectly, and painted a nice somewhat shiny/somewhat dull silver- which works nicely.
The base is a site to behold- part of the rock from the Isla de Muerta, with a running stream at the bottom, and tons of gold coins, a goblet, a necklace- various pieces of treasure. As I mentioned before, she stands on this fine overall, though she really doesn’t need it to stand up.
At first I thought the gold medallion was just this cheap necklace-looking thing that was thrown in. Then for a while I thought it was a major effort they put in, in terms of sculpting and whatnot…that was until I discovered it was a rehash of an accessory given to Series 1 Will Turner. I still think it’s a nice addition for Elizabeth Swann, though.
Now, I mentioned previously in the articulation section about a “kicker” regarding the knife, and here it is- I honestly don’t think the figure needed it. Since the articulation was compromised, most likely due to cost reasons, the scene isn’t that easy( or great-looking) to re-create, rendering the knife accessory overall pointless- to me at least.
Truthfully, it appears more as though you could pose her as though she’s the killer from a horror movie, with that accessory, and the articulation she was given, but movie fans may disagree. Enthusiasts of this movie might totally disagree, and be thrilled with the accessory. Personally, Cortez’ gold around her neck was good enough for me.
Value - ***
I paid $13.99 for this. Am I being too generous with this? Considering what I got in this, I’d normally say so, but this IS the going rate of figures on the specialty market these days, so I’d say I got yer average value. This is sort of the point with the price of figures where, either you’re in or you’re out. I’m staying in- long haul. So, I’m willing to fork over the dinero for it. A dollar or two cheaper would’ve been nice, but my local Spencer’s only has Series 2 thus far, and the nearby Suncoasts didn’t even have them in. Also, considering this one was the last one on the pegs, I think I got lucky, there.
Overall - ***
Is this the greatest flippin’ value in the world? No, but it’s still a really nice figure- I believe the very first of Keira Knightley, and one I’m more than glad to have in my figure collection- especially since I’m hoping to collect ‘em all. I need her in there, so I think it was definitely worth it. I don’t think this is a figure that the kiddies will go ga-ga over though- it’s a chick with a knife. The girls MIGHT want it, but I think even THEY’D prefer Will Turner and Jack Sparrow. Guys- ya like the lady figures in your collection? Here’s another one for ya. Fans of the movie you KNOW will want this one. Pretty much, as simple as that.
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ***
Where to Buy -
Brick and mortar choices include Hot Topic and Spencers. Online
- CornerStoreComics has
her available only as part of the set of four figures for $43.99.
Figure from the collection of