Captain Jack Sparrow - DX06
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
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
|Jeff brings us something very special tonight - an early look at
the new DX figure from Hot Toys, Captain Jack Sparrow! Tell us all the
A big thank you as always to Mike, for letting me share my thoughts
on the latest 1/6th releases, and this time I REALLY mean the latest!
generally like to take my time with reviews… to live with the figure
for a while and get to know its true strengths and weaknesses, but on
this occasion speed was very much of the essence. I received a ‘cloak
and dagger’ email last week asking if I would be interested in getting
an early preview of the Jack Sparrow DX 06 figure and getting a quick
review ready for a specific date. Knowing time was tight, I was told a
pictorial review would suffice at this stage… but what’s a true review
without some thoughts and critique… EXACTLY!
And so it is that
after a couple of virtually sleepless nights (I do have a busy day job
you know) that I managed to pull this together!
And what have we
got, well it’s probably just about the best DX so far, and yes I do
have them all, so yes I know what I’m talking about and I am also fully
aware that that is no mean feat!
I loved the first release of
the DX Joker, as a mass produced figure it was and is virtually
perfect, and the heavy ‘panda’ make-up helped the Parallel Eyeball
Rolling System (PERS) feature look pretty darned convincing. It’s a
feature that has worked to varying degrees of success on the subsequent
releases, and it works exceptionally well again here.
Cap’n Jack has a tendency to like heavy kohl around his eyes; this of
course works for him on many different levels as a character. Primarily
it makes him look exotic and ‘other’ from the rest of his scurvy crew
of reprobates, but it also gives him a slightly fey edge and a very
rock ‘n’ roll air. These attributes translate across Jack’s whole
being, his sensibilities are narcissistic to say the least, and even
though it is set during the golden age of Caribbean piracy (circa 1650 to 1680) it makes him just about the most perfect ‘contemporary’ anti-hero for our troubled times.
only real problem being that as memorable as the character is, the
movies he appears in aren’t quite so strong! Like most, I was caught
off guard by the original movie, after all if it’s so hard to make a
decent film about a computer game, what chance did they stand with a
whole franchise based on a theme park ride! Well, as it happens, it
turned out they had a better chance than anyone expected, and The Curse
of the Black Pearl (2003) was an instant summer blockbuster. Its huge
money making popularity lead to two rather messy, but overall
entertaining, sequels that were shot back to back and released a year
apart in 2006 and 2007 respectively. But when you have a cash cow this
big, you just gotta go back and milk it some more.
Tides was released earlier this year (2011) to very mixed reviews,
however, it still made over $900 million worldwide and stands as
Disney’s third biggest earner (if you include Pixar’s Toy Story), and
the eighth highest grossing movie of all time. With that kind of
popularity it was of course decided to continue with the franchise. I
have to admit the selection of Rob Marshall as director struck me as
just about the oddest of choices. He did a fair job with the material
he was given, it did however lack flair, and quite frankly was just
plain dull for long stretches. But looking at his back catalogue, what
could we expect?
The rumour mill is that Disney have already
lined up another two outings for the Cap’n planned, with prospective
directors including everyone from Tim Burton (interesting knowing his
relationship to Depp, Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men was one of my all
time favourites), Shawn Levy (Date Night… say no more), Chris Weitz
(Destroyed The Golden Compass) and even Sam Raimi (who might be a
surprisingly safe pair of hands). These subsequent movies are planned
to again be shot back to back, but as stand-alone stories. This is one
Pirate who refuses to die, “The immortal Captain Jack Sparrow. It has
such a lovely ring to it!”
Of course it’s not the first time
we’ve had Hot Toys cast their eye over this guy, first we had the
classic Jack from ‘At World’s End’ which I covered here that was soon followed by the even better cannibal king version which I also reviewed here.
All three of the included portraits were the work of the ever-reliable
Yulli Choi, but this time around we get one of Hot Toys other master
sculptors Ko Jun throwing his leather tri-cornered hat into the ring,
with not one but two unique facial expressions. However, for those that
don’t know he is also no stranger to this particular salty sea-dog, as
he also released his very own version of the corsair a few years back
as an extremely limited ‘pop-art’ piece, viewable here
. But as the years roll by, not only do the creatives behind these
releases get better and better at what they do, but the quality of
manufacturing just keeps on making bigger and bolder leaps. So if you
already have what you consider to be a great representation of Mr
Sparrow on your shelf, is there really any need to own this one?
you buy a DX figure you just know you are getting a great piece of
graphic design on the box, and top quality materials will be used to
make sure the whole experience of un-boxing will be as memorable as
The overall colour is a dark metallic charcoal with
the POTC skull and crossbones on the front over the movie logotype, and
because this is the special edition version we have a silver foil
sticker in the top right hand corner that has quite a 70’s Star Wars
vibe. Then as per usual we get a magnetic side clasp that unwinds to
the left, this inner packaging is a patterned gold colour with a brief
character bio on the left and a scaled 1/6th Sparrow flag ‘Jolly Roger’
with a tattered edge. Each DX has come with a groovy gimmick on the
first layer, and it’s nice to see it continued here. The next layer
shows the fully dressed figure and the alternate smiling face through
die-cut windows in the card overlay. Lift the card out and you are
welcomed to his embarrassment of riches all nestled in cut foam. The
next layer below holds the ships wheel, ornate nameplate and the
regular stand. Then delve another level deeper and you’ll find the base
to stand the wheel on with a small instruction booklet and a post to
put the Sparrow flag on.
Once again Dixon Chan and Monster Jr have come up with the goods, a great piece of packaging for a truly amazing figure!
Sculpting - ****
first sculpt that Ko Jun worked on as a limited ‘independent’ project
has become a thing of 1/6th legend, changing hands for big sums of
moolah. However, I’m sure that even the sculptor himself would admit
that these new versions are a huge leap forward in showcasing his
talents. Though it is worthy of note that his first attempt had real
hair, the longevity of sculpted dreadlocks on this new one does make me
feel a little more reassured for its long term future.
work on sculpted hair has always been super detailed, and here he gets
a chance to really show off. There are numerous individually sculpted
braids with various trinkets and beads woven into them, with the
infamous reindeer shin bone now taking a more prominent position to the
right of his sculpted bandana (no doubt to bring him more powerful
juju). So yeah, the hair is exceptionally well done, but what we really
wanna know is… how good is the face?
We all knew what one face
was going to look like, as it was unveiled early on with the official
proto-type spec and pics. There was however a second smiling expression
to be included and early on some pics did circulate of this portrait.
They were however quickly suppressed… it would seem someone from Mr
Depp’s camp or maybe the Disney stable wasn’t quite happy with it. And
so after some tweaking here at last is the second face reveal!
not so much a full smile, but more of a mischievous smirk. Both the
portraits are however absolutely note perfect. Normally when we get a
release with two facial sculpts there is invariably one that is pure
awesome and ‘the other one’. Here however we get two that have set
another impressive benchmark. Ko Jun’s work on the skin texturing is
sublime, as is the gentle detailing on the facial hair (and yes he has
remembered the small burnt/scarred patch in the left hand side of the
chin) and he’s also tricked in the X shaped scar on the left cheek and
the tiny scars in the left eyebrow.
Both heads have the PERS
feature, and though firm, I found both worked very well with gentle
manipulation. To access the PERS the whole of the hair section lifts
off (its held by a magnet). You can then swap over heads by popping the
ball joint in or out of the neck post. It’s pretty easy to swap over
and no seams or division lines are visible at all.
loved the first version Yulli did for Hot Toys, for the time it came
out it was pretty amazing. But now, standing next to the DX version, it
just looks like a rather good ‘look-alike’ Cosplayer. I can’t praise
these two new sculpts up enough, just phenomenal work from master Ko
As you would expect all the extra hands are sculpted to the
highest of standards, with all the fine detail on his jewellery,
leather and other adornments represented to perfection. And of course,
all importantly they can interact and hold his various accessories well.
is also some superfine work carried out on the sculpting and tooling
for the accessories, but I shall cover that later in the relevant
OK, I’m short
on time, so what actually needs to be said? Well of course this is
again the work of Mr JC Hong, applying his magic touch to two amazing
sculpts by the master sculptor Ko Jun for Hot Toys premiere showcase
figure DX series… so what do you expect?
Yeah… it is 100% faultless.
dirty flesh tones and fine mottling help to make him look very real,
then the beard, moustache and soul-patch are all delicately flicked in
with soft realistic feathering at the edges. His top and bottom eyelids
are painted in to mimic the smudged kohl he uses to give extra
definition to his eyes, and then the eyes themselves are (as is always
the case with PERS figures) small glass replicas. This means the
eyeballs themselves have a spooky lifelike translucent quality. And the
difference in opaqueness between the iris and the white is amazingly
convincing at this scale, meaning they catch the light with an uncanny
The various hands with their rings and leather
bindings also get a detailed application so as to highlight all the
great detail in the sculpts, as do the various accessories.
True-Type has under gone a lot of tweaks and modifications over the
years, sometimes slight and often big. But one thing you can guarantee
is that each character that Hot Toys decides to do will get the
attention it deserves to replicate it as closely as possible. And if
that means a new body, then it will bloody well get a new body.
However, because Jack is wearing a multi-layered outfit he is able to
use a classic slim TT, and it suits the character well. It has a
moulded neck, so there is no articulation at the base, but the ball
joint at the top gives a good range of tilt and turn. The one thing I
will say though is that I never plan to fully disrobe this figure or
see Jack naked.
Well because the outfit is so
beautifully put onto the figure, that all it took was a little light
futzing to get him just how I wanted, and I plan on keeping it this
And even though I’m never one to underplay articulation,
it is after all one of the most important categories to me (never been
a big statue enthusiast), there are really just a few key poses I was
interested in for this release, and he is more than capable of striking
all of them… in fact he’s pretty nimble all round, and those soft boots
make the ankles much more poseable this time around too.
scale is also more in keeping with true 1/6th now as well, if you check
out the comp shot with the old Jack. Depp is 5’9” where as the old one
looked like he would be 6’ 4”… but I’ll let you do the maths if it’s a
biggie for you.
was four years ago that I was knocked out by the first Captain Jack,
not only because the tailoring and cut of his garments was so strong,
but also because even though his outfit was multi layered it still
managed to look convincing and hung with a realistic weight.
The full outfit consists of-
- Leather-effect removable tri-cornered hat
- Off-white long-sleeved shirt with billowing pleated sleeves
- Blue and brown-coloured brocade waistcoat
- Long brown tail-coat
- Brown trousers
- 2 brown belts with ornate buckles
- Woven waist sash
- 1 brown ‘leather tooled’ ornate bandolier with sabre sheath
- Soft suede-effect brown boots
we all know that four years is a long time in the fast moving world of
1/6th tailoring, so once again we have another set of amazing
improvements. The original Jack Sparrow outfit was tailored by the
Harue Creative team, of which Hai Lim was a member, and he’s back again
in control of this outfit, this time its his baby alone (well,
according to the credits in the instruction book). There are small
details I shall try and pick up on all over the outfit, but it has to
be said that every single piece of clothing from the original has been
vastly improved upon here and for me the biggest and coolest
improvement is in the boots. Gone are the rigid plastic moulded boots
(with zero articulation), replaced here with soft, moveable and all
importantly poseable suede-effect ones that are welted to a rigid sole.
The trousers are very similar but the small adjustable buckles at the
bottom hem are more accurate as are the details on the two leather
belts and buckles. The waistcoat now has the ‘printed’ brocade
detailing on the front sections and the pinstripe lines down the back,
plus the tiny buttons are accurate as well now, instead of generic
Another small cool detail is that you need to
lift the sash over the bandolier when removing the coat. At first I
thought I had pulled open a stitch that held them together, but then
realise they had put a small magnetic clasp here to make this job
easier. It’s only a miniscule detail, but so well though through. It
makes life so much easier when swapping over his two looks.
linen shirt is a baggy fit with a cord tie at the collar and huge
billowing pleated sleeves. The coat is a similar colour to before, but
the new version has a coarser weave making it look more linen like. It
also utilises tiny ornate buttons similar to those used on the
waistcoat and is fully lined. It has pleats down the back, working
pockets and a fine wire running through the hem to aid in posing.
we get the new hat. Where as the old one was moulded plastic, this is
made from a stiff die-cut leather-like material that appears to have
been heat formed over a mould, then folded, glued and stitched into
shape. This means it has much more natural ‘give’ in it and can be
pushed down firmly onto the head in different positions. I discovered
this was even easier to position after I had taken the photos… but
speed was everything here, and Jack does tend to wear it quite high anyway.
is then given a weathering treatment and dirtied up to give it that
classic Jack Sparrow ‘lived in look’ and its applied very convincingly…
you can almost smell it!
other guarantee from a DX is usually a fantastic array of accessories
(OK Michael Jackson broke the rule) often including a great diorama
base like with the Bruce Lee figure and indeed the Indiana Jones that Mike and Guy covered just last week.
And as impressed as I was by the temple environment Indy had, the ships
wheel from Jacks infamous vessel The Black Pearl makes for an even more
useful display item… well, in my humble opinion anyway!
The full list is-
- Alternate smirking face sculpt with PERS
- Eleven alternate hands consisting of…
- One right hand for holding sabre
- Two relaxed hands
- Two hands for holding flintlock pistols
- Two hands for holding ships wheel or telescope
- Two hands in gesturing poses
- Two flintlock pistols
- One sabre (real metal)
- Left lace wristband
- Right embroidered wristband
- Feather hanging from waist
- One compass
- Small telescope
- Head sculpt of his mother (Gawd bless’er soul!)
- Duck’s foot/monkey paw talisman
- Black Pearl ships wheel
- Hard board base plate + magnetic POTC sculpted logo
- Classic figure stand with nameplates
- Long telescope (exclusive edition only)
a nice set of extras in any language, and all the various little
trinkets and talismans that he likes to adorn his person with, do add
up to making Jack look ultra detailed, and some of the fine
observations on his brace of pistols is stunning to behold. However,
the real biggie here is that fantastic ships wheel; you can practically
smell the sea air and barnacles when you look at it. It’s a big piece
of kit with the main wheel coming up to the base of Jacks neck and the
grab posts to his eye level. The texturing on the details and
subsequent paint finish really do bring it to life, looking like it’s
been on fire, put out and then been rescued from Davy Jones’ locker… as
indeed it has! The wheel can turn and the rope that is bound around the
hub has two ends that fit through the base plate (supposedly to operate
the rudder mechanism) and an ornate POTC logo that attaches to the
front of the base with magnets.
My other favourite piece is
the exclusive funky, wonky long telescope that Jack used; I certainly
won’t be posing my figure looking through it, after all, who’d wanna
cover that face? But it makes a cute and eccentric prop to just hold
nonchalantly while standing by the wheel, it doesn’t collapse in on
itself (which I secretly hoped it would) but the detailing is solid and
it has a large glossy lens at the business end. I also noticed there
was a black pole packaged with the base, I think this is to use with
the Sparrow flag should you choose to display it.
sword (which HT describes as a sabre, but I’d call a cutlass) has also
had a complete makeover. The new one is a good bit longer and also made
of solid metal. Another small detail, but one that makes the world of
difference when collecting high-end stuff, and certainly adds to the
His brace of pistols don’t have any moving parts, but the
detail is well observed and though not a true matching pair they do
share the same grotesque gargoyle faces at the base of the pommels. His
infamous compass traded to him by Tia Dalma does seem to be a straight
re-use, but as the previous one was so well made and detailed it’s of
little consequence. The same can be said of his rum bottle, but ‘The
Black Pearl in a bottle’ is all new. It has some nicely carried out
details on the stopper and the tiny replica of the ship inside is
another cool addition to his collection of curios.
the left hand side of his coat you’ll also find the small fur animal
pelt attached to his belts. On the previous figure this was sculpted
but has now been made from a small patch of actual fun-fur which again
adds to the figures realism.
So, a great selection, and that extra head and the uber detailed ships wheel make this category a total home run.
Factor - ****
cannibal king version was on show in my forever changing display for
over two years before he got moved on to make way for new blood. He was
a great display piece that often drew comment and enthusiasm, even from
… in fact pretty much exclusively from non-collectors (I actually know
very few onesixers in the ‘real’ world). So for me this is his rightful
At the various big conventions and shows this year it was eluded to that a second version of cannibal Jack might be in the works. As there is a new 1/6th throne in the works, you can see the actual object displayed here and the mini-teaser poster from Hot Toys here so maybe it’ll be a another DX.
ever a figure was made for the PERS feature it is Captain Jack Sparrow.
You can inject so much more character into your poses with a simple eye
movement, and the fact this feature is now easier and sturdier to use
is even more of a bonus. Of course it should not to be considered a
child’s plaything… but as a display piece for any movie fan or 1/6th
aficionado it is just the coolest. And the fact that the sculpt is the
best version on the market at any scale makes the price tag seem a
whole lot more reasonable. I mean, why pay over two grand for a ¼ scale
figure that looks likes Depp’s dead chubby second cousin twice removed when you could have this for a fraction of the price. Get it while you can!
for money - ***1/4
The RRP is $239… ouch… that’s just gotta sting.
was lucky enough to score this as a preview figure so I’m just
imagining the pain, and yeah it does leave a dull ache and the
possibility of a lengthy explanation to a loved one when the credit
card bill arrives.
However, it is a thing of extremely rare
beauty, and I think pretty much all of those that have made the
decision to jump on this will have had plenty of time to come to terms
with their purchase and indeed save up for it, meaning buyers remorse
will hopefully be banished from you feverish mind.
consider a mere three stars in this category, but those stunning
sculpts, the amazing outfit (just lurving those boots to pieces) and
the very cool ships wheel accessory end up making this look like a
reasonably solid investment.
So, its obviously not cheap, but
the best things in life seldom are, and this is almost certainly gonna
be your favourite figure once you open it up… and that speaks volumes
when the competition is as tough as it is these days!
Because of all
the cloak and dagger intrigue surrounding the ‘early release’ of this
figure for me to review, I got the feeling it was something that Hot
Toys were very proud of. Something indeed that they felt needed a
slightly bigger fan-fare to mark its release. And having it in my hands
now, I can totally see why. This is pretty much the pinnacle of what
can be delivered at this scale, as of early November 2011… of course,
that doesn’t mean that by November 2012 things wont have taken another
quantum leap… but right now this is IT!
The high price does just
keep this short of the full score, but only just. And as this is a full
$10 less than Indy… perhaps I should have considered a full score… but
then I remembered… $239.99 and I just couldn’t!
Well, I hope
that is enough to give you a flavour of this figure, and I hope it is
in your hands before too long. I would have liked another day or two to
really get to grips with him, but I can still say that without a doubt
this is one of those rare figures that is just so iconic it deserves a
place in the collection of every true 1/6th enthusiast, savvy! And I
also have to say I never thought I’d actually own a Ko Jun sculpted
Jack Sparrow… did you?
Where to buy
Both versions (including the exclusive with the long telescope and the regular without) are still available from the Sideshow website here on pre-order for the full RRP of $239.99.
if you are looking to save a few pieces of eight, you could swing by a
couple of Mike’s sponsors where some of the prices are a little keener,
so it might be worth shopping around-
Alter Ego - pre-order $215.99
Fan Boy - pre-order $215.99
BBTS - pre-order $219.99
Super Power - pre-order $238.04
Urban Collector - pre-order $239.99
Alternatively you might prefer to gamble with some real Pirates over on eBay
where pre-order prices are between $220 and $270, but keep an eye on
those shipping prices me’hearties, or it’ll be rum deal ya git, arrrrrr!
Did you enjoy
the review? Plus 1 it!
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.