Zizzle Pirates of the Caribbean
12" Jack Sparrow

I swore I wasn't going to review any more Pirates of the Caribbean stuff for awhile. God knows, I've reviewed plenty, between the figures from NECA, and the figures, playsets, and ships from Zizzle. If you don't believe me, just check out the Related Links section below.

But the 12" figures from Zizzle hit, and there has been lots of talk. Some good, some bad, and I wanted to weigh on on the Jack Sparrow at least. The Will Turner wasn't good enough for me to pick up - that gives you some indication if you're thinking about that figure - and I have yet to see the Davy Jones.

I snagged this guy at Toys R Us, which seems to be the only place with him in at this point. They run only $20 each, and there's three in the set so far - Jack, Davy and Will.

Packaging -  ***
The packaging shows of the figure well, and is actually pretty collector friendly. You'll have a few twisties to fight through, but you could put them back if you really felt compelled, and while it might appear at first glance that the hat is sealed to the inside tray, that impression would be wrong. The plastic cover over the hat is taped in, and can be removed without damaging the tray.

The back of the box lacks photos of the rest of the 12" figures though, a big negative for me since I was looking to see how Davy turned out.

Sculpting - ***
While this isn't the best looking Jack Sparrow we've ever seen - the 18" NECA version still holds that title - it is pretty damn good considering the price point.

You can make Johnny Depp out in there someplace, and while it's a slightly genericized version of him, the accurate beard and hair help cement the likeness. The expression is very neutral, without much personality, but at least by going in this direction they avoid overdoing it.

The hand sculpts are oversized, but include his rings. The left hand works well with the sword, and can hold the pistol if you try hard enough. The left hand is sculpted in an open pose, which works pretty well with a variety of body positions.

He stands a hair over 12" tall, just about the same as the average Sideshow figure. He's a bit big for Jack, but most people will be able to overlook that scale issue.

This sculpt score would have been a half star higher if not for the God awful boots. I'm including them here rather than in the Outfit section, because they are sculpted as part of his lower legs.

The boot sculpt is bad news, and in the end is the single biggest problem with this figure. The ankles are skinny and odd looking, with huge oversized tops folded down. Tearing your eyes away from these dorky boots will be your biggest issue if you want to enjoy the rest of the figure.

Paint - **1/2
The paint job is pretty much average for a mass market toy release. There's some small detail, including the beads in his hair and the rings on his fingers, but it's not the kind of detail you'd see in a specialty market release.

The paint is fairly clean and consistent if basic, but the biggest issue is the high gloss face. You won't see too much of it in my photos, since I used umbrellas to kill the glare. Had I not, it would have blinded you. Jack is very glossy, and this paint problem is the biggest issue standing in front of using this head sculpt on another body.

Articulation - ***
I'm not quite sure where this body came from, but it came from someplace, since it includes a battery compartment and holes in the chest for a sound option. And no, Jack does not talk.

The articulation is better than I expected, although it's not up to the standard modern sixth scale body.

The neck is a cut joint at the base. The head can actually be removed from the body at two points, pretty easily. One is at the torso, where the whole softer neck will pop off a neck peg. However, if you don't want the softer neck with the head, you can take the head itself off where the two meet. That gives you more options if you're looking to swap this head to another body.

The shoulders and hips are ball jointed, but the elbows and knees are only single pin. There is an additional cut joint just above the elbow though, giving it more flexibility. The wrists are standard pegs, but they have an additional pin to allow forward and backward movement along with turning.

The waist is a cut joint, and there is a cut joint at the top of the boots. Finally, the ankles have a pin joint.

All the joints are nice and tight, and hold poses extremely well. They are also all very sturdy, and up to the task of normal play.  While he doesn't have all the joints you expect in higher end 12" figures, he gets extra points for having useful and tight articulation.

Accessories - *1/2
There are two accessories - a sword and a flintlock pistol. The sword is fairly short, and made from very soft rubber. There's definitely no threat of eye damage here. The pistol is a little sturdier, but sports a very toy-like sculpt and paint job. Davy won't be able to hold the pistol in any convincing manner, either, so stuffing it in his belt is your best bet.

There's also the compass on his belt, and it is removable, but I'm counting it in the Outfit section, rather than the Accessories.

Outfit - ***
The outfit is fairly complex, especially for a figure in this price range. He has his removable hat, outer jacket, vest, puffy pirate shirt, cloth sash, two pleather belts, a pleather shoulder belt/scabbard, pants, and fuzzy wrist band.

All the material is higher quality than I expected. If you're looking to do your own custom Jack, the shirt, vest, jacket and hat are all high enough quality to use. The belts are decent, and even the sash would work fine. I'd skip the pants though, since you'll want something full length that you can tuck into real boots.

The clothing is well tailored, although that means it's tough to remove. Fortunately, the head pops off pretty easily, so getting the puffy shirt off is possible. Most of the clasps are snaps rather than velcro, another surprise at this price point.

The buckles on the belts are soft plastic, but they do work well. The stitching is good quality all around, and with the exception of the wrist band, fraying and tearing should not be an issue.

The wrist band is a piece of black material with a small velcro closure, designed to fit around his left wrists. I'm assuming this is to simulate the rope band he had on his wrist in the first film, although there might be something new in the Dead Man's Chest. It is likely to come apart though, and will be the one piece of clothing that does not hold up to even basic play.

The other big negative here is the boots and pants. I already complained about the ridiculous boots as part of the sculpt section, but let's mention the silly pants. These come only to the knee of course, to accommodate the sculpted boots, and have elastic at the waist and knee. These won't work for any sort of custom switch, and finding boots will be your biggest issue.

As I mentioned earlier, there's also a compass on the belt, and it is removable - but it does not open.

Fun Factor - ***
Kids will enjoy playing with this Jack, but if they try undressing him you could get some frustration. The joints were nice and tight, and allowed for plenty of posing and yet maintained a solid stance. With the soft sword, even small children will be safe from harm.

Value - ***1/2
For twenty bucks, you're actually getting a pretty decent sixth scale figure. Will didn't do much for me, but Jack turned out much better than expected. The old Hasbro 12" figures were rarely this nice (although there were exceptions to the rule), and it looks like Zizzle has a good start.

Things to watch out for - 
Not much. These might be mass market quality, but they have a nice, even, mass market consistency as well. They might not be perfect, but they're consistent in their imperfections.

Overall -  ***
Once I had this guy out of the package, I liked him a lot more than I thought I would. The quality of the outfit from the waist up is great, and if you can look past the dopey legs and boots (which was mighty hard to do, I admit), then you can see the finer qualities. With the head and outfit being fairly good for a custom switch to another body, he really is a pretty good value at $20. Now the only question is - where will I find some decent boots?

So, is Zizzle the company that's been producing the cool Disney toys for their stores the last couple years? They did do some of the Narnia stuff that showed up at Toys R Us (like the White Witch's wand), and with the quality we've seen so far with the POTC line, I'm betting it's quite possible.

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

Where to Buy -
Toys R Us seems to be the place for these right now, where you can find them for twenty bucks a pop.

Related Links:
Ah, there be lots of piratey goodness here:

- I just recently reviewed the new cursed boxed set of Jack and Barbossa.

- there's a guest review of Elizabeth Swann and my review of the second cursed Pirate, as well as my review of Pintel at Movie Poop Shoot, and Regatti here.

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

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

- 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 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.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour