Hot Toys Pirates of the Caribbean
Davy Jones and Cannibal Jack Sparrow

Hot Toys Cannibal Jack Sparrow action figure

A few weeks back, Jeff Parker did his usual bang up job looking at both the Hot Toys Davy Jones and Cannibal Jack Sparrow, but I wanted to weigh in with my thoughts as well tonight.

I've become a bigger and bigger fan of Hot Toys over the last couple years, as they've greatly improved their head sculpts and managed to maintain top quality work on the outfits, accessories and articulation. Their Pirates of the Caribbean line is one of my personal favorites in my 1/6th collection, not because I'm that much of a fan of the movies, but because they've done such a tremendous job and given us a nice variety of characters.

These two just started shipping stateside over the last few weeks, and run about $125 - $150 each. No, not cheap, but Hot Toys generally gives you your money's worth.
Hot Toys Davy Jones action figure

Hot Toys Davy Jones action figure
Hot Toys Cannibal Jack Sparrow action figure
Hot Toys Davy Jones action figure
Hot Toys Cannibal Jack Sparrow action figure
Hot Toys Davy Jones action figure
Hot Toys Davy Jones action figure accessoriesHot Toys Cannibal Jack Sparrow accessories action figure
Hot Toys Cannibal Jack Sparrow action figureHot Toys Davy Jones action figureHot Toys Cannibal Jack Sparrow action figure
Hot Toys Davy Jones action figure
Hot Toys Cannibal Jack Sparrow action figure
Hot Toys Cannibal Jack Sparrow action figure
Hot Toys Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow action figures

Packaging - ***1/2
The usual excellent Hot Toys packaging work is evident here again. There's beautiful artwork on the outside slip cover, with additional photos of the actual toy on the interior fifth panel box. There's not quite as much background text as I'd like, and they could use some instructions with some of their figures on the use and assembly of different outfit pieces and accessories, but these are minor quibbles.

Both of these figures sport twisty ties though, which I'm not particularly interested in. I do understand some of the need with Davy, as he's quite a heavy figure and could shift in shipping, but they really aren't necessary for Jack. C'mon, he's held in with not one but TWO plastic tray covers, so he's not going any place.

These both have a sheet of paper included which gives the run down on who worked on the figure.  It has the appearance of a COA, but these aren't numbered, and it doesn't say that any where on it.

Sculpting - Jack Sparrow ****; Davy ***1/2
Jack comes with not one but two heads, and both of them are new sculpts. He wears the regular Jack head in the box, with the Cannibal head as sort of an accessory, but let's be honest - you're buying this for the Cannibal look.

But that's not to say the regular head isn't great. I personally think the original head sculpt captures Depp as Jack a bit better from a purely realistic appearance, largely because this version seems a bit fatter in the face. But this version also has the smirk, that trademark look that made Jack truly Jack, so I suspect many folks will like it as well or better than the original version.

It was nice of Hot Toys to give us a new version, and even better to throw it in with this figure. But most folks will be focused on the Cannibal head, and with very good reason - the sculpt is fantastic. Hot Toys has attempted something here that usually (and I'm talking 99% usually) fails miserably - they went for a very unique, very specific, very extreme expression...and they pulled it off beautifully.

They went for his aghast look, eyes wide open, looking slightly downward, mouth turned down and pulled back, as if he's a bit perplexed or worried about the current state of affairs. This was another standard look for the character, but he used it in the cannibal scene to great effect. I've never seen anyone pull off such a specific and exaggerated expression this well, with this much realism and lifelike skill. I believe Yulli did the work here, and she's to be commended.

The sculpting on his hands is top notch as well, with the attached pair working for most gesturing poses, and a third included for gripping accessories. The fingers seem a smidge long, but they aren't quite at alien proportions. Not only is all the jewelry included on the hands, but the left is bandaged and bloody, using real cloth, just like in the film.

Davy's sculpt is also extremely nice, although when I get to the Paint section I'm going to be a bit rough on him. But there's not much you can fault when it comes to the quality of the technical sculpt. The detailing on the face and body is really amazing, with every little sucker and every little barnacle created with loving care.

The tentacles aren't bendy, but they gave them enough different poses and personality to make that a moot point. There's also a nice dynamic feel to their positioning, matching nicely with the movie where they were almost always in motion around his face.

His internal proportions are good, although his head is a bit small without the hat on. Unfortunately, that's often a problem with figures that sport removable hats - either the head looks too big when they're wearing the hat, or it looks too small when they aren't Since Davy normally wears the hat, I'm glad they opted to go with a slightly smaller head and make him look the best while wearing the hat.

Davy is all sculpted rubber and plastic clothes over the standard Hot Toys articulated body. These sculpted pieces are well designed however, and allow the articulation to work far better than I expected.

The sculpted claw looks terrific, and the fleshy right hand can hold most of the accessories, especially the sword and cane. His mouth is even sculpted to accommodate the included pipe, if you're so inclined!

My only quibble with Davy that pulls this particular score down from Jack is his height. He's a bit shorter than other pirates like Will or Jack, largely due to their sculpted boot feet. Of course, with Jack's hat on it looks even worse, but Davy does need another half inch of height to make him look perfect next to the other characters on the shelf.

Paint - Jack ****; Davy **1/2
Ah, here's the sticking point for me, at least with Davy. Let's start with all the good news first.

Jack is a work of art. A fantastic sculpt like this deserved nothing but the best when it came to the paint work, and it received royal treatment. Everything is clean and neat, but more than that, it's all very lifelike. Note to Sideshow: this is how you do facial hair. The skin tone is excellent, the eyes are even and clean with just a touch of gloss, and the native eye decorations on his face are just about perfect. Oh, if I wanted to pick nits, I could certainly find them, but the overall quality is just so high, especially for a production paint job, that it would be unfair to do so.

On the flip side, there's Davy. Now, it's not that the quality of the paint job is poor. In fact, it's also very clean and neat, with generally crisp cut lines, a decent use of washes and highlighting, and a nice broad color palette that makes him visually interesting.

But there's simply way, way too much gloss. In the film, there was generally a wet look to Davy and the other boys on his ship. Both wet clothes don't look shiny - they absorb the water, looking darker and heavier, but not glossy.

I agree with making Davy's face, hand and claws shiny. I'd even go so far as to say the hat could be shiny. That would give him a nice wet look, getting across that aspect of the character. If they really wanted to get a great look, they could have gone with gloss on small details like the larger barnacles, and a matte finish on the areas that are more cloth-like. But by making all his clothing shiny, they've made him look far too much like a big hunk of plastic. NECA already gave us a great 12' plastic Davy, and while this one has all the obvious advantages of a true sixth scale figure, the glossy appearance on the shelf takes so much away.

I suspect that over time, the glossy look will grow on me and I'll be less critical of it. But right out of the box it gave me the impression of a much cheaper figure, something much more toy-like than I expect when I drop $130.

Articulation - Jack ****; Davy ***
Jack uses the now standard Hot Toys TrueType body, and for my money, it's the best currently on the market. From scale to proportion to posing, this is a very tough body to beat. You'll be able to get truly realistic poses out of it, with lifelike lines and flow to every stance.

As I mentioned earlier, Davy is all sculpted rubber and plastic clothes over the standard Hot Toys articulated body, so he has far more articulation than you might realize at first glance. The neck has the ball joint at the top and bottom, giving the head quite a bit of movement even with the long tentacles in the way. There's the ball jointed hips and shoulders, which work fairly well even within the restrictive outfit. And I found that it was no trouble getting him to stand, even with the crab-like right foot.

His crab hand is jointed as well, and the costume even allows the double jointed elbows to work pretty well. His right hand has the long, long finger that is bendy, and this works particularly well since the wire runs almost all the way to the tip.

You're not going to get any Kung Fu poses out of the guy, but then again, that's not really his thing. You will get some very nice dangerous, foreboding poses though, that will make him impressive on the shelf.

Accessories - Jack ****; Davy ***1/2
Jack has both volume and quality going for him in his accessory tray, while Davy does much better than the average pirate.

Davy comes with his cane, sword, scabbard, chest, heart, key and pipe. That's quite a bit, even at this price point, especially since the quality is so high on all of them.

The chest is particularly nice, with a very finely detailed sculpt. It opens and closes of course, and the hinges have small metal pins, making it less likely they'll break. Unfortunately, one of my pins fell out in the box, and I had to replace it, but it was nothing a pair of needle nose pliers couldn't fix.

The heart is appropriately gruesome, and the key is nicely scaled. You can hang it in his 'beard', or lose it five minutes after you open the box, whichever option works best for you.

His sword and scabbard are my favorites of the series so far, because they are so character specific. The barnacle encrusted hilt looks terrific, and the double edged style of blade - thankfully clean of any sea damage - adds some variety to the cutting weapons. The sword fits nicely in the scabbard, which has a truly unique method of attaching to his belt.

The belt has a small sculpted hole on the right side, and on the back of the scabbard is a sculpted seashell. This shell fits perfectly in the hole, holding the scabbard to the body. Yet, when the scabbard isn't attached, the shell blends in as just another sea creature - brilliant!

I already mentioned that he can hold the pipe in his mouth, or he can simply hold it in his hand. It also has a flat base to the bowl, so it can sit on a table without tipping. Mine is just going to end up in the chest, but it's still a nice extra.

His final goodie is his gnarled cane. It's a great sculpt and paint job, but I did wish it was a little longer. If he could lean on it a bit better, it would add to the type of stances he could maintain on his crab leg.

Now let's talk about Jack. There's quite a bit of re-use with some of these accessories, but the volume helps make up for that.

We get five items we've gotten before that can be attached to his outfit and belt - the keys, the compass, the paw, the tooth, and the pelts. The quality on all of these is great, but the keys and compass are particularly well done.

Of course, Jack wouldn't be Jack without some weapons, so we get a flintlock, sword and scabbard. The scabbard fits in his leather shoulder strap nicely, and he can hold the sword in the extra gripping hand.

Speaking of the gripping hand, it works well, holding the gun or sword in deadly fashion. It's a bit tricky to pop them on and off, since the sculpted wrist bands run fairly far down the forearms, but you'll get the hang of it. If the wrist joint pops out with the hand, just grab those needle nose pliers again.

What's amazing is that all of that isn't even the main course. I've talked about the included Cannibal head, and how truly fantastic both the sculpt and paint are. But to go with it are three more accessories, all of which sport exceptional detail and amazing paint.

Cannibal Jack wouldn't be Cannibal Jack without the head gear, and the work here is almost indescribable. There's all the creepy cannibal artifacts, like a human skull on top, snakes wrapped around, and various other bits and bobs. The two large feathers are well attached, and amazingly enough (at least to me), that's real dried prarie (or jungle) grass on the side! It fits on his head perfectly, and is one of the nicest accessories I've ever seen.

But that's not all for Cannibal Jack, oh no. He has a necklace of human fingers, which fits perfectly around his neck. You might want to put it on when you have the head popped off though, as it takes more effort to get it on over and under the hair otherwise.

Finally, he has the ju-ju wand, sculpted from solid heavy plastic with extreme detail. It's actually a bit too heavy for him to hold well in one hand, since both the gesturing hand and the gripping hand are too far open to hold it tightly. But using both hands you can get some good poses.

Of course, both figures come with the usual Hot Toys display bases. They're nice to have if you live in an earthquake zone, but these figures stand well enough on their own that they shouldn't be required for most folks.

Outfit - Jack ***1/2; Davy **1/2
That plastic outfit continues to haunt Davy. While it's largely an issue of the bright shiny plastic, it's going to effect his score in this category as well.

I will include Davy's hat in this category, although it is obviously removable. It's a nice sculpt, fits well, and his head is scaled properly when it's on.

Unlike Jack, the rest of his costume is pretty much fixed in place. My favorite aspect is the jacket, or more specifically, the way the left sleeve of the jacket is sculpted hanging down the back, with the shoulder draped over the arm. This is a look that would have been pretty much impossible to maintain in just cloth, but the sculpted jacket will always look good.

But for all the attractiveness of the sculpt, there's that shiny gloss. One reason this is such a big issue, at least for me, is because it's so apparent. A bad eyebrow, a slightly wonky eye, even a mediocre skin tone...these are things that you have to look for to see. But the super glossy nature of the paint job is everywhere, and ends up being a eye commanding feature.

Jack's outfit is much nicer. The puffy shirt looks terrific, and the tailoring is top notch all around. The belts fit tightly and look great doing it, the boot sculpt is wonderful, and there's a ton of nice little touches, like the aforementioned wrapped left hand, that add that lifelike quality to the entire figure.

Fun Factor - **
These aren't really designed for kids to play with, but I'm not going to count that against them. In fact, you best be careful jiust posing them yourself, particularly Jack, since there's plenty of things you can break or tear.

I still grade them in the category though even if it carries no weight in my Overall, because there may be folks reading this looking for a toy for their kids. These aren't it, and you'd be better off looking at the all plastic 12" figures from NECA, or the 12" clothed figures from Zizzle.

Value - Jack ***; Davy **
A full rubber and plastic suit is always going to cost more to produce than one made from cloth, so it's no surprise to me that Davy will dost you at least $20 more than Jack. Still, considering the sheer number of uber-cool accessories that you get with Jack, it's still clear that he's the much better value.

In fact, Jack is one of those rare times where even when you spend $125, you don't feel cheated. With two heads, all the various doo-dads for his outfit, and the exceptional Cannibal Jack extras, you're actually getting a good deal.

You're getting some nice extras with Davy (especially the chest), but it's harder to justify the higher price when you're holding him in your hand. It's that damn paint.

Things to Watch Out For - 
There are lock holes in the chest, and I thought I might be able to fit the key can give it a try, but be VERY careful. The key is pretty easy to break (and no, I didn't break mine), but it might be a nice display option if you can get it part way in the lock.

There's also plenty here to lose, including said key. In fact, the key is placed in the outside plastic cover, not the inside one with Davy, so it's easy to miss.

Overall - Jack ****; Davy ***
Jack is in the running with only a couple other sixth scale figures at this point for best of the year. In fact, he'd be in the running for best overall male figure period, regardless of scale, if I had such a category. He really does capture the character almost perfectly, and is one of those rare times when a) a variant is every bit as good or better than a standard figure and b) a specific expression was actually captured properly.

Davy doesn't fair as well with me, almost exclusively because of the paint. I wasn't expecting him to be too articulated, and in fact he surpasses my expectations in that category. Likewise, the accessory assortment is very good, with some terrific work on the chest. My only complaint with the sculpt is the slightly shorter size, but even that I could live with. This figure loses a full half star because of the glossy paint, and in fact, I almost pulled a full star, dropping him to **1/2.

In the end though, the quality of the sculpt, articulation and accessories kept me from going that low. Still, he's my least favorite of the Hot Toys POTC figures so far. It was an interesting experiment on their part, but one that didn't quite end up with the result I was hoping for.

Now, where's Barbossa!  Can you imagine what a fantastic job they'd do with him?

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Jack Sparrow ****; Davy ***1/2
Paint - Jack ****; Davy **1/2
Articulation - Jack ****; Davy ***
Accessories - Jack ****; Davy ***1/2
Outfit - Jack ***1/2; Davy **1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - Jack ***; Davy **
Overall - Jack ****; Davy ***

Where to Buy -
There are still a few options to pick these up:

- Sideshow is on a waitlist for both Cannibal Jack ($130) and Davy Jones ($150).

- Alter Ego Comics has Cannibal Jack for $117, and Davy for $125 (damaged box) to $135.

- If you're in the UK, check out Forbidden Planet where Davy is 99 GBP.

- or you can search ebay with MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
Either I or Jeff have covered the Hot Toys POTC figures:

- I covered Jack and Sao Feng, as well as Will Turner.

- Jeff covered this Davy, Jack and Sao Feng, Elizabeth Swann and the second Sao, and Cannibal Jack and Will Turner.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!


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Hot Toys Davy Jones action figure

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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