Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End Series 2
Teague, Jack, Elizabeth and Tia Dalma

It's astounding to me just how much POTC merchandise there still is on the market, and there's still new items coming out. That's a good thing though for us that are collecting the key characters from NECA's 7" line, because it means we get a few more important figures for the display. Unfortunately, it means we also get a few that don't really matter.

The second series of figures based on At World's End is now out, and it includes four figures (all reviewed tonight): another Jack Sparrow, another Elizabeth Swan (this time in her little robe from the scene with Sao Feng), the new Tia Dalma, and the new Captain Teague (Jack's dad).

These are running around $12 - $15 at most online stores right now. Hot Topic, FYE and Suncoast usually carry them as well, but there's been no sign at my local Hot Topic or FYE yet. Online is probably your best option at this point for most specialty market toys, and I have some sponsor suggestions at the end of the review.


Packaging - ***
The clamshells look good, and if you like consistency from one series to the next, you'll be pleased. I'm not jumping up and down over the graphics, but they're suitable. I do miss the map though that shows where to place the various base pieces.

Sculpting - Teague ***1/2; Tia, Jack ***; Elizabeth **
I just reviewed the 18" Teague last week, and I slammed him pretty hard in this category. Hey, let's be honest - he's sculpted like a cigar store Indian. And in that massive scale, his massive, deep, hard sculpt looked bad.

Ah, but as I mentioned then, this was a sculpt designed to look good not at 18", but at 7" and just reused at the larger scale. And at 7", it looks much, much better. The wrinkles and lines are just the right detail here, and the face looks very much like the character played by the wrinkled Keith Richards.

I still have issues with the awkward body pose, but even it works a little better in this scale. I still wish they had done something a bit different with the right arm, but I can give them a bit of a break. The details on the clothing and body that were moderately good in the much larger scale look much, much better here.

I like Tia quite a bit as well, at least in terms of the detail work on the body and clothing. The fine texturing on the corset looks amazing, and the lower skirts are equally well done. The head sculpt looks decent, with some nice work on the hair. But she's also sculpted for one pose only, but at least this pose is reasonably decent looking. It is a very restrictive pose though, so if what you see in the package doesn't do it for you, you won't be able to adjust it when you get her free from her plastic prison. I can live with that, but I'm a bit torn on the expression. Her eyes are half lidded, in a dazed or trance like look. Yea, it fits the character, but I'm not sure I'm feeling it.

She can hold the jar of eyeballs in her right hand if you prefer, but I liked it better on the floor.

Jack is solid, but how good his head sculpt is depends heavily on the angle and lighting. I don't think he looks much like Sparrow in the close up above, but that's due to the lighting (but I like the photo :). At other angles, he looks much better, especially with a lot of light straight at the face. If you bought the Jack that came with series 1 (I didn't) then you really already have this figure. The sculpt and pose are identical, except that this time he doesn't have the long coat. The action pose is again very restricted, but it's also quite unique, so that it stands out well amongst the other Jacks.

My biggest problem with Jack is that I couldn't get the head to tip back as far as shown in the photos of the prototype. The neck is sculpted foreward, and the ball joint couldn't make up for the extreme angle.

Elizabeth is the only real disappointment. The hair's not bad...but that's about it. The open mouth expression is not attractive in any way, and it's not a particularly good Swan likeness anyway. The pose is alright at first glance, but then you'll notice why she looks so appears that she's pregnant! Or maybe she just had a really big breakfast. From the side it's not too bad, and it's not as obvious in person as it is in photos, but that tummy is definitely there. This is entirely the fault of the robe sculpt. The belly is sculpted with no wrinkles, and there are wrinkles in the rest of the robe running directly toward the belly. The reality is that she doesn't have any tummy that's sticking out at all, and if the wrinkles in the clothing had been better designed, the bulge wouldn't be there. I'm also not a big fan of how the wrinkles are sticking out in back either, and the overall robe sculpt is weak.

She also has a panty problem, although it's not a big reason for the low sculpt score. She's wearing grandma panties, big white things with lace edges actually sculpted on there. What the Hell? Thanks for ruining that scene of the movie for me from now on.

One more complaint for poor Elizabeth - her ankles. Mine came out of the package at awkward angles that made it impossible for her to stand correctly on the base. I had to use hot water/cold water to reform them, and even then they wanted to return to the original position, indicating it wasn't just a deformation caused by the package, but came out of the mold that way.

Paint - Jack, Teague ***1/2; Tia, Elizabeth ***;
The overall quality of the paint work is well above average here, and it's nice to see that the paint issues that NECA had in the first half of 2007 seem to be corrected with the switch to a new factory. I'm not seeing any unpainted plastic here, and there's very good cuts between colors and a nice clean application.

Tia's lidded eyes are a little wonky, and some of the figures have a bit too much wash. But the issues that are here are fairly minor, and I'm hopeful that if you saw a larger sampling, the improved quality would be consistent.

Articulation - Teague **1/2; Jack **; Elizabeth *1/2; Tia *
These aren't highly articulated figures. They aren't even really articulated. The majority of the joints they have are designed just to hit the sweet spot for that one pose to remain in place.

All four have ball jointed necks, and you know how much I love ball jointed necks. These work well for the most part (with the exception of my earlier complaint with Jack), and is the only redeeming feature for this category.

Tia's only other articulation is at the top of each leg. That means her legs can turn slightly, and that's it. Nothing for the arms at all.

Elizabeth has those top of the leg cuts as well, and adds cut wrists. The hands can't turn too far though, because of the sculpt of the sleeves.

Jack and Teague add some arm and leg articulation. They have ball jointed shoulders (although the sculpt of the shirt around Jack's right shoulder doesn't allow for a full range of movement), along with cut wrists, a cut waist, and cuts at the top of the boots. Teague gets two more joints with cuts at the elbows.

Again, these joints are largely there just to get and keep the one intended pose. There's not much 'personalization' you'll be able to add.

Accessories - Teague ***1/2; Jack, Tia, Elizabeth ***;
These figures once again include bases that can attach to each other or to past bases.

Elizabeth's base includes a small hunk of wall that has various sea life growing on it. Her base will line up nicely with Sao Feng's base from the first series, which makes complete sense considering the outfit. She also has two swords, different in sculpt, that fit nicely in her hands.

The bases that come with Tia, Jack and Teague all go together as well. Teague's base is flat with nothing extra, but he does have a hunk of rope that goes with the bases, and he also has two flintlock pistols (different sculpts and paint), a sword, and his unique hat. You could remove the belt and scabbard as well, if you pop off his head, so they could technically be accessories.

Tia's base has a hunk of railing that attaches, plus she has her trademark jar of eyeballs. These look terrific, and are the single coolest accessory of the series. Her necklace is also a separate piece, and could be removed if you popped her head off, but I don't really recommend it. What I do recommend though is making sure that it's completely free of the hair and neck in back. The soft rubber, which was probably still wet with paint when it was put on, is going to come stuck to her, I guarantee it. It takes some work to make sure it's free, but once you get it unstuck, you can get it to sit properly on her chest.

Finally, there's Jack. His base is fairly plain, but does line up with the other two nicely. He also has his hat, which I recommend skipping, his sword, and a pistol. Again, his belt for the sword is removable if you work at it.

Both Jack and Teague have some goodies that aren't removable, and so aren't technically accessories, but are worth mentioning. They both have shrunken heads hanging off their belts, along with some other items like Jack's compass or Teague's bottle.

Fun Factor - **1/2
These aren't intended for much 'fun' in the traditional sense. If you're looking for pirate toys for the kids, check out the Disney store line.

Value - **1/2
These are selling at a pretty average price for this type of specialty market figure. You won't feel like you're getting something extra for your money, but you won't feel ripped either.

Things to Watch Out For - 
As I mentioned earlier, be sure to free up Tia's necklace. It might seem like it is, but if it's not sitting properly around her neck, it's still stuck on either the neck or the hair.

Otherwise, there's nothing to really watch for out of the ordinary.

Overall - Teague ***1/2; Jack, Tia ***; Elizabeth **
Teague is a much better figure in this scale, and will look amazing with the rest of the figures from NECA. He's also a very unique character, so he adds quite a bit to the display. If I could only buy one, it would be him.

Jack is okay, but if you already have the series 1 Jack, you really don't need this one. I didn't pick up that one, and I prefer the jacketless look, but it's up to you wich one is better...or if you even really need another Jack at all.

Tia is my second choice to pick up if possible. The detail work is great, and the pose is good if limited.

The big disappointment is Elizabeth, who's got very little going for her. My overall is probably a bit more harsh than it should be, but between the funky ankles, unattractive expression, and awful robe sculpt, she just ain't cutting it.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt -  Teague ***1/2; Tia, Jack ***; Elizabeth **
Paint - Jack, Teague ***1/2; Tia, Elizabeth ***;
Articulation - Teague **1/2; Jack **; Elizabeth *1/2; Tia *
Accessories - Teague ***1/2; Jack, Tia, Elizabeth ***;
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value -  **1/2
Overall - Teague ***1/2; Jack, Tia ***; Elizabeth **

Where to Buy -
Online options include these terrific sponsors:

- CornerStoreComics has the singles for $11 - $15 (depending on the character) or the set for $46.  You can also just get Jack and his dad for $23.

- Amazing Toyz has a similar deal.

- Toys and Cool Stuff has the 12" version of this jacketless Jack for $28 Canadian.

Related Links -
I've covered plenty of POTC items:

- NECA has had plenty of goodies in the 7" line, including the 7" Sao Fen, the series 2 figures, Clanker, the cursed boxed set of Jack and Barbossa, and the full first series, including Barossa, Turner, Sparrow and a dead Pirate.

- there's also 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.

- I liked the terrific 18" version of Sparrow, and there's also the 18" Captain Teague.

- Hot Toys is doing a fantastic job with their sixth scale series, including Jack and Sao.  Jeff Parker also did a guest review.

- 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.

- Disney also has their own set of POTC figures out now at their stores, including Jack and Davy of course, and a second series with Jack, Barbosa and Davy.

- 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.

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