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Angelica - Pirates of the Caribbean
Hot Toys

Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys


I've never walked out of a movie - ever. I assume every movie has some sort of redeeming value, or perhaps I'm just smart enough not to spend good money on something that looks like crap to begin with. Don't get me wrong - there are movies that I end up loathing, but I watch them all the way through, hoping they'll come up with a scene, some dialog, a moment...something.

I might not have walked out, but when I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth film in the hugely successful franchise, I did almost fall asleep. I can't say that's a whole lot better. The first three films were far from perfect, and every one (even the excellent Curse of the Black Pearl) was a bit of a roller coaster ride of quality. But the last installment committed the worst sin - it was boring.

It didn't help that the wasted the great Ian McShane as Blackbeard, but much of the story seemed rehashed, and certainly wasn't helped by dark, murky 3D.

Hot Toys has done a terrific job with the POTC license, however, and they have released an Angelica figure as a 'toy conventions exclusive' for 2012. You can also pick her up through some retailers, and I have suggestions at the end of the review.

As much as I dislike the movie, I will admit that I really hope Hot Toys gives us a Blackbeard. The full series really wouldn't seem complete without him.

As an exclusive of sorts, Angelica is on the higher side of the Hot Toys price scale, coming in around $224, depending on the retailer.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys
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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys

Packaging - ***1/2
This is the exclusive style Hot Toys box, with the thick outer bookshelf style slip cover, and the nifty pull out center. There's some nifty touches here, like the small skeleton at the box pull, and the die cut hearts on the bottom of the interior sleeve. It's also all quite collector friendly, and you should have no trouble removing her from her plastic prison without damaging any of the trays or box.

If you're new to Hot Toys, don't expect any sort of Certificate of Authenticity or edition numbering. There is a small instruction sheet, although this time around it's mostly there to remind you not to turn the head while the chin is lowered onto the neck.

Sculpting - ***
Angelica was played by the beautiful Penelope Cruz. The portrait here is good, but I'm not convinced it's at the usual Hot Toys level.

Most of their sculpts are instantly recognizable by the average person. Pop the head off of their Jim Gordon or their Red Skull, even the most casual movie fan will recognize Gary Oldman and Hugo Weaving. That's the standard which Hot Toys has set, and which most collectors hold them to.

There are aspects of this portrait that are very much spot on, especially in the lips and nose. The slightly pouty expression works well enough, and the skin and hair texture, especially on the eyebrows, goes a long way to making this an extremely realistic sculpt. But sans the costume, I don't think many people would guess this was Ms. Cruz.

A problem that Hot Toys faces with every female sculpt is how to handle the hair. Short hair is no problem - just sculpt it. But when it's long, as it is here, there becomes a conundrum. Sculpt it, and it is very heavy and restrictive. Use rooted hair, and it can be very frizzy, wild, and unfortunately, remind too many collectors of Barbie. Nothing scares off the shockingly timid male sixth scale figure collector like  the thought that they own a Barbie doll. It seems that with sculpted hair on their collectible, they can still puff out their chest and grunt like a gorilla, but make the switch to rooted hair and you might as well have sucked all the testosterone out of their body.

I personally prefer the look of sculpted hair, but not when it's going to be this long. The only real choice is to go rooted, but no one - not even Hot Toys - has yet figured out how to make rooted hair look as realistic as their sculpts.

I also wanted to note in this section that her torso has the rubbery skin covering it, making the neck appear as one solid piece, although the ball joints are all still there.

The hand sculpts are very good, properly scaled and designed to work with the accessories. I had no issues swapping them, and never felt as though breakage was a possibility.

Angelica is a little shorter than most of the males, coming in at about 11 1/2" tall.

Paint - ****
While the sculpt might not be quite up to the usual standard, the paint certainly is. The slightly olive skin tone looks great, and carries over from the face and hands to the rubbery skin coating on the torso.

The usual suspects all look terrific - the realistic human eyes, the perfect lips, the intricate makeup, the manicured eyebrows, all spot on.

They've added in several tattoos as well, including the cross on each left hand, and the intricate design on her chest. I thought it was a smudge at first with the nekkid eye (the area peeking out above the blouse is very small) but once I got up close and personal, I realized it was the tattoo from the film, complete with wear and age. Nice work!

Articulation - ***1/2
Underneath the cool costume is the standard Hot Toys female TrueType body. The double ball jointed neck works great (there's a ball joint at the torso and one just under the head), and the rest of the body works as you'd expect. It's important to note that the TrueType is still my favorite body on the market, no matter what style.

I did find that either the rubber skin or the costume was restricting the shoulders a bit. I didn't strip her down to see if the skin covers the ball jointed shoulders, but something is making them a bit tough to lift more than 70 degrees or so.

I also had a slightly wonky left ankle, and I'm still not sure i have it turned around quite right. It did eventually start working well enough, but I was a bit concerned I'd break it at first.

These two issues pull her down a half star from the usual perfect TrueType score, but they were both pretty minor quibbles for this character.

Accessories - ****
The price point is a bit over the top, but at least they added in quite a few extras to make it sting a bit less.

There are three weapons - two swords and a small dagger. Both swords have metal blades (I believe), but the dagger is all plastic. Sculpts and paints are great, and they fit nicely in the intended hands.

There's also a scabbard for her personal sword, the smaller lighter one. The sword belt goes over and under her shoulder, and the scabbard fits tightly inside the series of loops. The belt works well, but once you have the post inserted into the hole, closing the loop, I'd keep it that way. The belt can go on or off without unhooking it, and that's what I'd recommend.

There's also the compass that we've gotten several times with Jack, and it opens up to show off the detailed interior sculpt. I hooked it to her belt, mirroring Jack's look.

She has a metal cross and chain which fit around her neck. There's no clasp though, so you'll need to pop her head off to put it in place. It looks great once on, and the use of metal is a nice touch. The cross and chain also match the gold metal loop earrings she's wearing.

She doesn't have a ton of extra hands, but along with the relaxed pose set she comes wearing there is a set for holding the swords, and one extra posed left hand. These all swap cleanly enough (there's a couple extra wrist pegs just in case), and they have the cross tattoo and rings included.

There's a couple very character/movie specific items as well, including not one but two chalices. The sculpt and paint work on them are excellent, and they have me jonesing for an actual prop replica now.

There's also a nicely sculpted Jack voodoo doll, right from the film. I tried to find a spot to stick the dagger into mini-Jack, but didn't see any. Hey, it wouldn't be film accurate but it would be amusing.

She has the standard black display stand, complete with franchise logo and name.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is quite complex, starting with her hat, complete with long feathers. Sixth scale hats are always difficult, especially when they have to fit over rooted hair. They took their best shot at it, but this one is still a bit too oversized. From the right angle it looks good - from the wrong angle it doesn't.

The patterned outer jacket looks amazing, as does the vest, girdle and puffy shirt. The tailoring is excellent, and I love the gold lace down the front. The sculpted belt fits the hips perfectly, as do the tight pants.

The boots are made from a very soft leather, almost too thin. In person, they feel a little cheaper because of it, but the thin material allows the ankles and feet to have a good range of movement, and in photos they look great.

Fun Factor - **1/2
While no kids are going to be playing with any $200 Hot Toys figure, these do generally have the DNA of their sixth scale ancestors coursing through their veins. Unfortunately, the rooted hair pulls this down a bit on this release, because it can end up messy even with basic posing. Trying to get it to look just right can be a bit frustrating, hurting the score here.

Value - **
I'm seriously concerned that what was once a price point for only DX figures - around $200 - is now quickly becoming the norm for non-DX releases. While this figure still has the allure of exclusivity to justify some of the additional cost, even regular releases are in the $180 range now. Perhaps all of this is part of the Hot Toys plan - make their figures so expensive that addicts, er, collectors can't afford to buy anything from anyone else. It may end up in a backlash though, as completists start to go bankrupt.

Things to Watch Out For -
I'd handle the hair as little as possible. While some people have a talent for styling rooted hair, most of us just end up with a frizzy mess.

Overall - ***1/2
The sculpt didn't blow me away, and rooted hair continues to have the same issues it always has. The price point isn't anything to crow about either, but the excellent outfit, amazing paint and great assortment of accessories help make up for the short comings.

But let's face it - unless you're a POTC fan, this isn't a figure you'll rush out to buy. Selecting her for an exclusive was a smart move on Hot Toys part, since demand was never going to be as high as it would be for one of the A list characters.

My only fear is that we won't see a Blackbeard make it out, and that would be a shame. Right now, he's the only character left that we really must have before the license ends - don't leave us hanging!

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Things From Another World has her at $216.

- Sideshow has her in stock at $225.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $250.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Hot Toys POTC figures include:

- their DX06 deluxe version of Jack Sparrow.

- one of my favorites is Cannibal Jack, who you can see here with Davy Jones.

- the very first Jack they did was still pretty sweet, reviewed here with Sao Feng.

- Will Turner is another to receive the HT treatement.

- Jeff checked out the second release of Feng as well as Elizabeth.

- and if you prefer your toys cuter, check out the Cosbaby sets based on the franchise.

- and if you want a much cheaper version of Angelica, there's always the 7" action figure from Jakks.

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

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Angelica Pirates of the Caribbean action figure by Hot Toys


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

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