Disney Stores Pirates of the Caribbean
Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones

With the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie just days away, I didn't think I'd be reviewing any more pirate product for quite awhile.  How wrong I was.

In the last week or so, the much anticipated Dead Man's Chest figures available only through the Disney stores starting hitting across the country.  With greater articulation than NECA, and a bigger scale than Zizzle, folks were buzzing about these new scallywags in the crowded sea of POTC merchandise.

While in Minnesota last week, I picked up a Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow to check them out.  There's also an Elizabeth Swan in pirate gear, Bootstrap Bill, and Will Turner.  These run $12.50 right now, the usual price for a Disney action figure, but I'm betting it won't be too long til they start seeing the 2 for $20 sale.

By the way, one of Davy's accessories is a bit of a spoiler (I think), so read at your own risk.

Packaging - ***1/2
Generally, the Disney store goes for unique looking packaging with their figures.  And generally, it annoys me to no end.  Not because they aren't cute, but because they tend to waste a tremendous amount of space and plastic in the pursuit of cute.

Ah, but we all have our price.  This time, they shaped the clamsell like a skull, and even I can't resist the allure. It also helps that the backer card is colorful, with a nice shot of the rest of the figures on the back, but it's really the shape of the bubble that won me over.  Yes, it wastes space and plastic, but I'm weak.  At least this time.

Sculpting - ***
This line begs for extreme detail.  From the barnacles on Davy to the many layers of Jack's outfit, it's a line that is ripe for all kinds of exceptional sculpting.  And while we get good here, we don't get great.

If you chop off both heads, you'll find this score a tad better.  I like the work on Davy's costume, although it still isn't quite as detailed as NECA's.  There is a fair share of crusty growth all around, with terrific work on the lobster claw left hand.

Unfortunately, Davy's head isn't quite as good.  In fact, it's pretty much devoid of real detail, which is partially due to the paint, but still largely the sculpt's responsibility.  Don't even try to compare it to NECA's work on this same character - it's simply not fair.  Even Zizzle's 3 3/4" version had a better representation of the tentacles complete with suction cups that make up Davy's beard.  Here, there's no fine detail at all, no texturing, no realism.

Jack's body sports a very good sculpt at this price, although there's less in the way of layers than in some other versions.  All the belts and doo dads are part of the rubbery shirt sculpt, and even the compass is sculpted as part of the long 'towel' on Jack's belt.  The scabbard for his sword is a separate piece (and can be removed if you're so inclined), but is an odd bird in itself.  Rather than an opening in the normal place to insert the sword, there's a small hole in the side.  I suspect that's to attach the sword at the guard, where there's a sculpted edge about the right size.

Jack does have a slot sculpted in for his gun, just like every other Jack from every other company, and his hand sculpts will hold the accessories nicely.

His head isn't quite as bad as Davy's.  In fact, it's awfully close to looking like Jack, or at least a Jack impersonator.  It's kind of like seeing someone at a party and thinking "Man, he makes a great Jack Sparrow!".

The nose is much too large for Jack, and the eyes are off slightly.  Hold this face next to the excellent sculpt by NECA, and you'll see the difference, but without the immediate confirmation, you might not realize just how far off it is.

Still, it's much better work than I had anticipated.  Both figures stand great on their own, even with Davy's funky right leg.

Paint - Jack ***; Davy **1/2
Neither of these figures has the kind of paint application we've seen in specialty market action figures costing the same, and they aren't even quite as good as what we saw with the Narnia line.  But if you take your time picking them out on the shelf, you ought to be able to find a reasonable example.

Jack's biggest issues are on his face.  The beard work tends to be sloppy, as do the eyes.  The paint on his hands is gloppy, going so far as to give him a few 'club' fingers  The paint work on the body, much like the sculpt, is better than what we have on the head, and rivals NECA.

Davy's color palette isn't quite as interesting, especially since his jacket isn't nearly as blue, but once again the body work does rival NECA to a point. But the number of paint operations is far smaller, and that is really obvious on the legs.  Where NECA's Davy has blue, gold, silver and other colors, the Disney Davy has really only two colors.

The paint work on the face only adds to the issues with the sculpt, looking gloppy and heavy.  The color is very monotone, and what little detail there is ends up lost in the paint.

Articulation - ***
Both of these figures has Marvel Legends-like articulation, but not quite at that level.  The reason it's 'like' ML articulation is because the style of joints in several places matches almost exactly.

I can't see what kind of joint Davy has at the neck, but I'm betting it's much like Jack's.  The joint is a pin joint, so that the head can turn from side to side AND move backward and forward.  It's not quite the same having a full range ball joint, but it's not bad (and is quite similar to many ML figures).  Of course, Davy's beard makes any neck joint pretty much moot.

They also have ball jointed shoulders, with joints at both sides of the ball.  That means the arms turn as well as moving fully at the torso.  The elbows and knees on both are single pin joints (yes, even both of Davy's legs has this 'knee' joint), and Jack has pin ankle joints on both ankles, while Davy has one only on his left foot.

Davy also has a pin joint in his claw, so that it opens and closes, and a cut right wrist.  Just like with NECA, I would have liked a cut joint on the clawed left hand.

Jack also has a waist joint, and cut joints at the top of both boots.  And then there's the hip joints...

These are ball jointed, and look like ML ball joints.  That's okay, since the layers of clothes cover them up.  The leg can turn at the outside of the ball, but the joint does not have full mobility at the hip socket.  It can only move forward, backward and out in a very limited range of movement, making these joints much less useful than I had anticipated.  There's no deep stances for Jack.

All this articulation is a big improvement over the NECA figures.

Accessories - ***
There's a nice group of accessories here for both figures, although I think I see why the heart and locker were left out of NECA's release of Davy.

Jack comes with a nice sword (which would be much nicer without the very large and obvious Disney imprint down the blade on one side), a decent flintlock pistol, his removable hat which fits great, and what appears to be the possessed monkey.  I'm not sure if he shows up in this possessed state again in this flick, but maybe...he's made from a very soft rubber, and is not articulated.

It's interesting to note that the Disney version of Jack has no liquor bottle.  Hmm.

Davy has his walking stick, which is designed to fit nicely in his left hand, his removable hat (again, it fits terrific), his pipe, a key to his locker, his locker, and a heart.

If you open the locker, there is a indentation designed to hold the heart.  Clearly, if you didn't want to know what Davy had in his locker before seeing the movie, you don't want to buy this toy.  Or read this review.  Damn.  Hey, I warned you back at the start.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
These figures are designed to be more fun - more articulation, fun accessories - than the other specialty market figures in this same approximate scale.  Kids can have a good time with them, particularly Jack, and still have reasonably good looking figures for the shelf.

Value - **1/2
You'll pay about the same for these as for the NECA figures.  If you consider the added articulation a trade off for the weaker paint and sculpt, you'll see that they end up being about the same value.

Of course, you can buy three Marvel Legends for the cost of two of these. 

Things to Watch Out For - 
Pick out the best paint ops you can find, especially when going for Jack, Will or Elizabeth.  The work on the eyes and faces varied quite a bit from figure to figure.

Overall - Jack ***; Davy **1/2
Now I realize a lot of people have been gushing about these figures.  And if you're looking for something with more articulation than NECA gives you, but with decent sculpt and paint, than these will be right up your alley.

On the other hand, if you're looking for something with superior sculpts and paint, and the articulation isn't as critical to you, then you'll want to look at the NECA stuff.

In other words - play + articulation = Disney, sit on a shelf and look good = NECA.

Jack is pretty darn good, and certainly a lot of fun for any kids that love the movie.  Had the head sculpt and paint just been a little better, he would have scored another half star. 

I really wanted to like Davy as well, but the inferior sculpt and paint was just too much for me, especially at this price point.  It's tough to explain in photos (although I'd hope the one of the two Davy's would go a long way), but when you have both these and the NECA figures in your hands, there really is no comparison.

Both Elizabeth and Will seemed on par with Jack, but Bootstrap Bill just might be the stand out of the set.  I was the most impressed by his head sculpt of the series so far, so you might want to give him a second look.

Score Recap
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ***
Paint - Jack ***; Davy **1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - Jack ***; Davy **1/2

Where to Buy - 
These are Disney Store figures, so hit your local Disney store or one of the parks.

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

- not too long ago, I reviewed the 12" Jack Sparrow from Zizzle.

- I 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 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 Warren.

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