Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides Wave 2
Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa, Spanish Officer

Barbossa Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks

The fourth (but not last) installment in the highly successful Pirates of the Caribbean series hits your local stores today, so it seemed only fitting that I cover the second wave of action figures based on the film. On Stranger Tides has sailed out of theaters, but the figures remain on most pegs.

This second wave of 7" scale figures includes another Jack, another Barbossa, another Blackbeard, a Spanish Officer, and Philip. Oh, and let's not forget the Zombie Pirate, since he's certainly the only reason to buy another Blackbeard. 

You'll notice that in some quarters I'm referring to this review as 'part 1', and that's because I will be covering the other two figures along with the Build a Figure Zombie Pirate. Yes, I bought the entire second wave, but I was using a prescription medication at the time, the figures were on sale, and I couldn't resist the allure of the BAF. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

I picked these up at Target, where they were on sale (as I mentioned). That's the only place locally that I've seen the second wave, but you may end up seeing them at Toys R Us or even a discount store like T.J. Maxx or Marshall's very soon.
Spanish Officer Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Spanish Officer Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Captain Barbossa Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Spanish Officer Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Captain Barbossa Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks
Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks

Packaging - ***1/2
While I have plenty of issues with the figures - this time even more than last - the packages are well done. The figures are heavy, but the bubble is very tightly sealed to the backer, and the colors and designs are eye catching. There's enough explanation for each character on the package to figure out what to do with the accessories, even though it's multi-lingual.

Sculpting - Barbossa **1/2; Officer, Jack **
It's not so much an issue of likeness as it is a failure to mesh the sculpt and articulation into something approximating an action figure.

Barbossa is probably the best looking figure of the bunch, and if you didn't like his dandy outfit from the first wave, you'll be much happier with this more traditional pirate garb. The likeness is reasonable, but he's been sculpted looking downward. With no way to til the head back or to the side, this head sculpt simply doesn't work with the relatively pre-posed action stance of the body.

He also has one more weird anomaly - he has the tiniest left foot I have ever seen on a figure like this. In photos it looks small - in person it looks ridiculous.

Jack Sparrow looks less like Johnny Depp than a decent cosplay fan, but at least his feet are the right size. Unfortunately, the silly stance isn't helped by the articulation in any way, so he's pretty much stuck that way.

The Spaniard has less issue with likeness simply because he's pretty generic to begin with, but I have no idea what you're supposed to do with this figure. The arms, legs, torso and coat all are in a dynamic pose - and yet, none of them seem to be in the same pose. Some of his limbs and clothing work best if he's fighting to the left, while others make more sense if he's going to his right, leaving the overall look pretty much a mess.

Paint - **
The overall quality of the paint is mediocre, with haphazard application of details like the gold buckles and buttons, with sloppy cut lines and stray marks the norm rather than the exception. This is one of those cases where they went for a messy look, and succeeded all too well.

Articulation - *1/2
Super articulated these are not. There is more articulation here than you might expect, but very little of it serves much purpose.

The Spanish officer has a cut neck joint, with NECA-style shoulders, pin elbows, cut wrists, cut waist and cut boot tops. The boot tops are very obvious, with large gaps at the joints.

The legs and waist allow you to get him standing, but really in only one pose. The arms can be slightly adjusted, but the neck really kills it. Had they gone with a better ball joint so the head could tilt, even the basic pose would have looked much, much better.

The same situation applies to Barbossa. His cut neck, combined with the downward looking eyes, makes it pretty much impossible to get a reasonable pose - he's always staring at the ground. He also has pin knees, although I'm not quite sure why - they barely move forward and back. The cut wrists, cut shoulders and pin elbows allow a few arm poses, but not as much as you'd hope.

Jack has the same crappy neck joint, with cut shoulders, wrists, and boot tops. That leaves him pretty much one pose, which you see in the photos.

I thought the overly dramatic pose they selected for the wave 1 Jack was bad, but this static stance is certainly no better. It's not that it's static, but rather that the design is lacking all around.

Accessories - Barbossa ***; Jack **1/2; Spanish Officer **
All the figures come with a piece for the Zombie Pirate, adding to their score here.

Barbossa has a nice assortment of extras on top of that, although there is some re-use from his previous figure.

They added back in the flintlock with silly sculpted muzzle blast, as well as his wooden crutch. The crutch isn't as critical this time (he couldn't stand before without it), but it does add a nice look to the action pose.

Other than those two re-used pieces, he also has his silver sword, with the cool wrap around hilt. He is able to hold it well, and it actually fits within his scabbard, something not always true with this series.

Speaking of his scabbard, it is removable, as is his hat, so you can count both as accessories as well.

Jack also has a removable hat, as well as two different swords. They can fit in both hands, although getting them in there can be a bit of a trick. I found the silver in the right and the black in the left worked best.

Neither sword can go in the scabbard (it's a solid piece), but one can be slipped inside his belt.

The Spanish Officer has the usual removable hat, as well as the scabbard. Surprise, surprise, you can actually fit the sword inside his scabbard, and it's removable to boot.

He only has the single sword though, making him the lightest in this category in the set. The sword has an excellent sculpt on the hilt with lots of detail, but it doesn't fit in his left hand particularly well. In fact, to hold it I had to have it backwards, with the finger guard over the thumb.

Fun Factor - *1/2
I had an extremely tough time keeping these three standing, always a frustration for kids. Add in the forced poses and bad articulation, and they will end up relegated to the toy box pretty quickly, not to pop out again til next garage sale.

Value - **
I'm sticking with the $15 each for these, which is about $5 too much considering the overall quality.

Things to Watch Out For -
Nothing, really. While these are fairly weak figures overall, you pretty much get what you see.

Overall - Barbossa **1/2; Jack, Spanish Officer **
After the first wave, it's probably not a surprise that the second set isn't much better. With a more standard Jack pose though, I wasn't expecting that they'd be even worse. I'm holding out hope that the Zombie Pirate BAF will be cool...and we'll find out soon!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Barbossa **1/2; Jack, Officer **
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - *1/2
Accessories - Barbossa ***; Jack **1/2; Spanish Officer **
Fun Factor - *1/2
Value - **
Overall - Barbossa **1/2; Jack, Spanish Officer **

Where to Buy -
You're going to find these at the major retailers, like Toys R Us and Target. I've only seen this second wave at Target around me where they are on sale this week, but you might get lucky (if you want to call it that) at another retailer.

Related Links -
Other reviews include:

- I covered the first two figures in wave 1, Blackbeard and Jack Sparrow, and then covered the rest of wave 1 here.

- my current favorite Jack Sparrow is the Sideshow Premium Format statue.

- Hot Toys has produced some amazing 12" figures, including Cannibal Jack and Davy Jones, regular Jack and Sao Feng, as well as Will Turner.

- NECA did a fair share of smaller figures, including Sao Feng, a full series 2 figures, Clanker, the new cursed boxed set of Jack and Barbossa, second cursed Pirate, Pintel,  Regatti, the full first series, and a terrific 18" version of Sparrow.

- then there's the 12" Sao Feng and Jack Sparrow from Zizzle, and had a guest review of the Will Turner.

- 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.

- 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 the 12" Blackbeard from Sideshow, or their large scale Premium Format of Blackbeard.

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Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figure by Jakks

This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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