Disney Pirates of the Caribbean

"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

News2Me is back tonight with a review of some of the Disney figures produced specifically for the stores - take it away!

Aye! You come here seeking adventure do ya? Har Har… Well you be in the right place…so listen close for you may not survive to pass this way again!

That is one of my favorite parts of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Growing up near Anaheim, I spent every free moment I had at Disneyland, with a good portion of my time spent on the classic Pirates ride. It embodied everything that made Disneyland fun. It was pure escapism, and you were filled with excitement and adventure.

SO when I heard they were making a movie based on one of my favorite rides, I was excited and skeptical all at the same time. I loved the idea of a Pirates movie, but wondered how they were going to be able to put the spirit of the ride into a 2 hour movie. Well needless to say I was very happy when “Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl” was released. It was EXACTLY what I wanted that movie to be.

Being a toy fanatic, I thought that there MUST be some cool toys coming along with the movie. Not so much. Sure we got some very nice “inaction” figures with great sculpts and decent accessories. But this is the age of Marvel Legends and highly articulated figures. I didn’t want a statue of my favorite pirates I wanted an action figure. 

A new startup company called Zizzle grabbed the license for my favorite swashbuckling heroes, I was willing to give them a chance. But what did we get? Toys that an undead monkey wouldn’t even buy.

Enter the Disney Store. Now, ironically enough no longer owned by Disney (Disney Consumer products sold off the chain to The Children’s Place about 2 years ago), The Disney Store started making some figures based on the Pirates movies. Beginning with “Dead Man’s Chest” and now with “At World’s End.”

So, did a specialty store manage to make a more detailed, more articulated, more accessorized action figure? In short….AYE! AYE!

Packaging - **1/2
Ahhh clamshells! Always nice for the MOCers. And they look nice on the peg, or in this case on their own table. The graphics are sharp and it really is a nice looking design. The graphics are nice and bright and the background insert is a really nice backdrop for pictures (take a look to the left). But there is no real personalization. Outside of the name placard that’s it. No background info nada.

But while the packages look nice they are not perfect. There is a lot of wasted space. Especially above the figures. The figures are 7 inches but the packages are about 10 inches. That’s a lot of wasted space. From a left to right standpoint the packages are fine. And even from a collectors standpoint there has been some effort made to not totally destroy the package. On the bottom right hand corner of the back of the package there is a little finger hole and the entire back of the pkg is perforated so you can open it up like a book, pull out the figure tray and put it back in. its nice to see a little care go into the packaging.

There are a few twisty ties, but the plastic tray does a good job at keeping the figure and the accessories in place.

Sculpting - Jack *** Barbosa *** Davy Jones****
I have to say, for a Disney Store Exclusive, I didn’t expect much. The figures looked good in the package but to see it in a store is one thing, to get it home and take it out of the package is another. 

The sculpting on all the accessories across the board is great. I will get into those accessories a little later on…

Let’s start with our favorite Pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. The figure is incredibly detailed. Buttons, stitches, texture, hats, swords, belts, guns and yes, even undead monkeys and all the other details are there. It really is a great sculpt the proportions are dead on and all of the articulation is actually incorporated into the sculpt…but more on that later. The boots are really nice with sculpting even on the bottom showing the nails that are holding the sole to the boot. The hands are nice sculpted with all Jack’s rings and even the ends of his shirt. This is sculpting on the level of McFarlane.

So how bout the face? Is it a dead on Johnny Depp? Eh… that’s where this figure falls a little short. I stared and stared at this figure and tried to place what was off with the face sculpt. While it does resemble Depp it isn’t a dead on likeness. He happens to have a hard face to capture. So lets talk about what’s right and not so right. The hair, bandana, and even the facial hair is great. The face appears to be a little bit too long and that throws the sculpt off a bit. But really you have to appreciate all the work that went into sculpting this figure. And even though it isn’t a dead on Depp likeness I am willing to overlook it for the rest of a really nice figure. I am giving him a 3 star score simply because of all the detail that has gone into the figure.

For Hector Barbosa, he too has some phenomenal sculpting. And this time, the head sculpt is a GREAT likeness of Geoffery Rush. While Barbosa doesn’t have as many trinkets or baubles hanging from his belt, his belts and pants, boots, hat and coat are all superbly done. There is some fantastic texturing to his jacket and the arm sculpts…again incorporate the elbow articulation into the sculpt. Hands and boots are very well done and his head is about just the right size. OH YEA…the hands for both Jack and Barbosa are sculpted with individual fingers and both figures can hold any of their accessories or another’s perfectly with no problem. Barbosa again nets a 3 star score, while there is less on the figure, what's there is done very well.

Now to Davy Jones. WOW. What a cool sculpt from head to toe…or in this case squid to claw. I honestly do not know where to being on this figure. From a Sculpting standpoint the would need h is own review he is just super detailed to the point of I am STILL finding new things on him. He is just amazing. Including his sculpted sword scabbard and sword (which is removable). Jones is able to hold all his accessories either in his claw or tentacle hand. Jones gets 4 stars. His sculpt is worth the price alone. Unfortunately his paint job leaves a little to be desired.

Paint - Jack *** Barbosa **½ Davy Jones **½
First of all let me start by saying the paint was all over the place on every figure I looked at. I am not sure if these were hand painted or not, but there were HUGE differences between figures. 

Lets start with Davy Jones this time. While his sculpt really hits one out of the park. His paint.. Well its tough to call. There is some really good paint apps and some really bad ones here. While Jones’ hat, coat and body are very well done with great attention to detail, his squid like face is a little so so. My biggest issue is that there is not enough variation between the tentacles and the face itself. They have applied a very heavy wash over the face and it works for the most part, but ends up covering up a really top notch head sculpt. Otherwise he is a great figure and you really need to get one to fully appreciate the work.

Barbosa has some decent paint as well. The face… again from figure to figure varied. Some had a heavier wash than others. Overall Barbosa is very well done with just minor slop here and there. The skin tones from the chest to face to hands are all consistent and the facial hair and hair is also well done with a light wash that makes him look a little more dirty.

Jack has A TON of paint. Belts, buckles, you name it. There is some minor slop on some of the paint on the belt but the coat really covers most of it. My only real nitpic on Jack is that his compass is molded to his scarf and they neglected to paint the compass sides. Again Jack has nice clean lines on the face and facial hair and the eyes looks neat and clean.

Articulation - Jack **** Barbosa *** Davy Jones ***
This is where these figures really shine. First of all we are talking McFarlane size…with close to Marvel Legends articulation. Jack has, to my count 21 points of articulation. Barbosa has 17 and Davy Jones has 16. The best part is that ALL the articulation is incorporated with the sculpt so no matter how you have the figure posed, the joints never detract from the look of the figure. 

Jack has a cut neck, but also a joint that allows his head to tilt way forward or way back. This is effect is like a ball joint and works very well with the sculpted hair. Jack also has ball jointed shoulders, cut upper arms, pin elbows, cut wrists, waist cut, ball jointed hips, upper thigh cuts, pin knees, cuts at the top of the boots and pin ankles.

Jack is able to hold a lot of poses without any help from just standing, to walking poses and some nice action stances.

Barbosa has the same head joint, ball shoulders, upper arm cuts, pin elbows, cut wrists, waist cut, ball hips, upper thigh cuts, pin knees and pin ankles. Due to the placement of Barbosas pants and boots the cut at the boot tops has been eliminated. Still Barbosa, just like Jack can hold some nice poses.

Davy Jones has a simple cut neck. But with the sculpt of the tentacles it isn’t very effective. Still he can manage a simple right or left turn. Jones also has ball jointed shoulders, pin elbows, a cut wrist on his right hand, pin claw on his left hand, cut waist, ball jointed hips, upper thigh cuts, pin knees, a cut above his left boot and a pin ankle on his left foot.

Davy is a little bit limited in how he can be posed due to his size and sculpt. But all the joints he has are tight and strong and he can hold a few nice action poses.

Accessories - Jack *** Barbosa** Davy Jones ****
So far we have good sculpts.. Decent paint and stellar articulation. Now for the accessories. I am absolutely amazed at the number of accessories that come with these figures. It really is nice to see and ALSO nice to have places to put those accessories. For example…all three have swords. Jones has a scabbard that holds the sword perfectly. Barbosa and Jack do to. Jack has a spot for his gun to be slid into his belt. So does Barbosa. it’s a really nice departure from other figures having to keep all the accessories separate. 

Jack comes with his hat (which is removable by the way all the hats are.) His gun and his cutlass. He also has my favorite accessory of any of the figures. A soft plastic Undead Monkey clutching a cursed Aztek Gold Coin. The sculpt on the little monkey is great with a nice paint wash and no slop whatsoever.

Barbosa comes with his gun, cutlass and a Granny Smith Apple. Barbosa can hold the apple in either hand and really tops off his look.

Davy Jones goes above and beyond the rest of the bunch. Jones comes with his walking stick, sword, pipe, cup for the dice game and his heart complete with Dead Man’s Chest. All I can say is WOW. How cool is it to have a completely in scale Chest and heart. Oh and by the way.. The chest opens and has a nice sculpted interior for the heart to rest in.

The accessories alone are enough to warrant a look-see at the se figures. Disney Store really hit one out of the park.

Fun Factor - Jack **** Barbosa **** Davy Jones ****
These figures are just half of the At Worlds End set. There is also Tia Dalma, Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner. I am adult and I had a blast setting these up for the pictures. They are sturdy, well thought out.. And just plain fun. And after all isn’t that what toys are supposed to be? I highly recommend picking these up for you or for a little one.. Either way they are well worth the value.

Value - ****
These figures are Disney Store exclusives and run $12.50 each. That’s less than a Marvel Legends figure, but well worth the price when it comes to accessories and play-ability.

Overall - Jack ***½ Barbosa *** Davy Jones ***
These figures are phenomenal when you consider what else is on the market by way of POTC merch. They have decent sculpts, decent paint and top notch articulation, with fantastic, character specific accessories. These figures should serve as a wake up call to companies like Hasbro. The Disney Store has hit a home run with these figures, and I hope they continue the line. I highly recommend picking these up ASAP.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Paint really is the big thing to be aware of. As I said earlier the paint varied from one figure to the next. The good news is I was able to choose from 3 or 4 really well done paint jobs and then pick the one I liked the best. Davy Jones is a little bit more of a crap shoot. His paint across the board was inconsistent. I took the lesser of 5 evils.

Score Recap -
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - Jack *** Barbosa *** Davy Jones****
Paint - Jack *** Barbosa **½ Davy Jones **½
Articulation - Jack **** Barbosa *** Davy Jones ***
Accessories - Jack *** Barbosa** Davy Jones ****
Fun Factor - Jack **** Barbosa **** Davy Jones ****
Value - ****
Overall - Jack ***½ Barbosa *** Davy Jones ***

Where to Buy -
These are only Available at the brick and mortar Disney Stores in the mall.

Figure from the collection of News2Me.

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