Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies
Hot Toys

Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys

My kids love the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and although I can clearly see the flaws in both the second and third films, they're still pretty damn fun.

But as my kids and I watched the latest installment, On Stranger Tides, I couldn't help but be bored. There were moments of pleasure, but they were brief and infrequent. After the first half hour, I started checking my watch regularly. Thankfully, my kids still enjoyed it, but for those of us in the over 12 set, it seems that the series has lost much of its lustre.

But that doesn't mean the collectibles suffer from the same problem. Hot Toys continues with their exceptional line up of figures and Cosbaby toys, much to collector's pleasure.

This series of Cosbabies consists of 6 figures, three Jacks - Jack in 'casual' wear (no jacket), Jack in Captain clothes (with jacket), and Jack in cannibal gear. There's also Barbossa, Angelica, and Blackbeard to round out the set.

These are now hitting stores, and should be available in the ten dollar range, depending on the retailer.
Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys
Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys
Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys
Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys
Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys
Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys
Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys
Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys
Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys
Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys

Packaging - ****
Now THIS is how you do bubble/cardback packaging! Each cardback is attractive, with a personalized shot of the specific character. They slide right out of the back of the bubble, no heat sealing of any kind. 

Once you slide the back out, you can remove the figure and accessories from the bubble with no damage whatsoever. Want to pop things back in? No problem!

It's rare when we get collector friendly bubble packaging like this, so when we do it's well worth noting, and noting loudly.

Sculpting - Angelica, Barbossa **1/2; the rest ***1/2
If you're familiar with the Cosbaby series, then you know the general appearance of all the figures. Anime style heads with big eyes, square bodies, spindly legs and arms, round hands and big feet.  All that makes up a very cute generic style for just about any property.

All 6 of these are definitely cute, but my two favorites are easily Blackbeard, with his funky beard and cool hat, and Cannibal Jack, with his wild headdress.

One problem that might be an issue for some folks is that these are so cute, they don't look a whole lot like who they are supposed to be. That's not a huge problem with the various Jacks - he's such a personality with the hair, beard and clothes, that even cosbabied-up, he's recognizable. But characters like Angelica, Barbossa or Blackbeard tend to look a bit more generic.

I scored Angelica and Barbossa lower in this category for the same problem, although the reasons for the problem are a bit different. Neither stands particularly well on their own, and you know how much that bugs me.

The problem for Angelica is the heavy head AND heavy hat. Skip the hat, and you won't have quite as much trouble, but without the hat she seems incomplete. With it, she has trouble staying up, or the hat has trouble staying on, or the feather keeps falling off...yes, it was frustrating.

Barbossa was even worse. With the tiny peg leg, which is shorter than his regular leg, he really needs the crutch to stay upright. Sadly, using the crutch doesn't work particularly well either, leaving the poor guy on his back most of the time. In fact, I struggled to get him standing once for the single photo, and once that was done, he went back in the package.

These stand about 3" tall, and they are quite chunky for the scale.

Paint - ***1/2
This is Hot Toys and we're talking paint - can't be too much to complain about!

As usual, the quality is very high, with clean lines in most areas. There's some difference in the expressions, even on the Jacks, making them all unique in their own way.

Some of the details on the costumes, guns and jewelry are a little gloppy, especially with the silver and gold colors. It's fairly minor, and is unlikely to be much of a deterrent to collectors and fans.

Articulation - Barbossa *1/2; Angelica ***; the rest ***1/2
Another category where both Barbossa and Angelica take a bit of a hit is Articulation.

All the figures have a nice range of ball joints - neck, shoulders, hips, and ankles. There's also cuts at the wrists, and all these joints work well. The shoulders even pop out a little, giving you some extra clearance.

The neck tilts and turns great, adding a ton of personality to every pose. The ball hips allow the body to lean as well, and the level of articulation on these - in general - is well above other figures in a similar style from other companies.

Angelica takes a hit though because she had much looser joints than I've seen with other Cosbaby figures. The shoulders in particular were very loose, and she was barely able to keep her blade aloft.

Barbossa takes an even bigger hit because of a broken left wrist peg right out of the package. This didn't mean the hand wouldn't stay on, but it did mean that trying to get the crutch to work was all the more difficult a task.

Accessories - ***
Everyone comes with two accessories - something to hold, and a hat to wear.

The best hats belong to Barbossa, Blackbeard and Cannibal Jack. All three fit well, and Cannibal Jack's is so big, it comes in two pieces!

The hat on Angelica doesn't stay in place, and the feather does not stay attached. It was frustration defined.

The other Jack hats look good, and fit fine, but lack the pizazz of the best.

Each figure also comes with a weapon. Angelica has an itty-bitty sword. It fits in her hand (although you best be careful getting it to fit), but does not go in the scabbard.

Blackbeard and both Captain Jacks come with a pistol. It's the same gun, but it fits in their hands nicely.

The Cannibal Jack has the weird kingly scepter given to him by the tribe. It's well sculpted, and fits easily in either hand.

Barbossa has his crutch, but it doesn't quite work as you'd expect. Even with the extendable shoulders, you can't get the crutch under the pit and on the ground to support the figure. You can get it to work though, if you don't have the busted pin in the wrist that I had.

Fun Factor - ***
These are actually fun toys, particularly for girls that are into the movies. They have that cutesy thing going for them, and with the good articulation, nice sculpts and usual paint quality, kids with taste will appreciate them for what they are.

Value - ***
You should be able to snag these for around $10 each or even less - considering the current market, that's a solid value. With a couple accessories each, generally good articulation, and some serious heft (those are some heavy heads!), these are well worth the sub-ten buck price tag.

Things to Watch Out For -
I had the one broken wrist, so watch out for that issue.

Overall - Barbossa **; Angelica ***; the rest ***1/2
Out of the set, my favorite is easily Cannibal Jack. I suppose there's some irony there, since that's a character that's not even in this movie.

The work on his costume is great though, with the full hat and funky scepter. The paint work on the face compliments the character as well, completing the package.

My next choice would be Blackbeard. He isn't a perfect match for the on screen look, but you have to cut them some slack since they were going for the cute-factor.

I would have liked Barbossa a whole lot more if a) he could stand on his own for more than two seconds and b) he didn't have the broken wrist. The second problem contributed to the first, and the combination was a killer.

Angelica is actually my least favorite, although she didn't end up scoring as badly as Barbossa. She's just an uninteresting figure - a lot like the character in the film.

The rest are all solid work, particularly for fans of the Cosbaby series in general. They're cute, which is job number one for these guys!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - Angelica, Barbossa **1/2; the rest ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - Barbossa *1/2; Angelica ***; the rest ***1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - Barbossa **; Angelica ***; the rest ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Super Power Collectibles has them for $57 for the full set.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've had several previous reviews - 

- Jeff Parker has helped out with guest reviews of the Toy Story versions, Disney versions, Iron Man 2, Up, Mars Attacks, Iron Man, Edward Scissorhands

- and as the Batman fan, I checked out their Batman set!

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

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Pirates of the Caribbean Stranger Tides Cosbabies by Hot Toys

This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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