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Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides Wave 2 Part 2
Blackbeard, Phillip and the Zombie

Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks


I love Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Through the inventiveness of Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp, a classic theme park ride was turned into a blockbuster hit, complete with the unique and unforgettable character of Captain Jack Sparrow.

Then came Dead Man's Chest. A bit more of a mess, story-wise, at least it did introduce us to another cool character, Davey Jones. As a villain he had just enough danger and pathos to keep me entertained.

Next up was At World's End. With an even bigger mess of a script and no engaging villain to suck you in (Cutler Beckett wasn't cutting it), most people assumed At World's End was really Pirate Movie's End.

Disney refused to believe however, and it probably didn't help that their attempts to create other viable long term franchises were utter failures (think Prince of Persia). And so they gave us On Stranger Tides, a film with no Elizabeth or Will, a miscast Penelope Cruz, an interesting villain (Blackbeard) with far too little screen time, and another unnecessarily convoluted script, and what do you get? A movie that grosses about twice what it cost to make, even considering marketing costs. Is it any wonder that a fifth and sixth installment are already underway, with Johnny Depp looking to sign on the dotted line any day?

The films have spawned plenty of collectibles, including the recently released Hot Toys DX06 Jack Sparrow. Jakks is doing several different series for mass market, and the 7" scale set has actually seen a second wave released. It's a bit difficult to find, being a 'tail ender' and all, but I covered the first 3 figures a couple weeks ago - the Spaniard, another Jack, and another Barbossa. Tonight I'm looking at another Blackbeard, a new Philip, and the Build A Figure, the Zombie Pirate.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides action figures by Jakks
Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks
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Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks
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Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks
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Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks
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Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks
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Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks
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Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks
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Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks
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Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks
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Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks

Packaging - ***1/2
I'm not particularly keen on the prize inside, but the package itself is attractive, with plenty of informative text, even though it's multi-lingual. They show the figures on the back in this wave, and while the figure and accessories are quite heavy (especially in Philip's case), the bubble is sealed tightly enough to the backer that there shouldn't be a problem keeping it whole long term.

Sculpting - Blackbeard ***; Zombie **1/2; Philip **
There are some minor changes to Blackbeard, but it's mostly articulation. The hands might have been slightly adjusted as well, but that's about it - if you are expecting an updated sculpt, you'll be disappointed.

And while this basic sculpt isn't particularly accurate, it does the job well enough I suppose. There's some decent detail work in the costume, and I love the beard and hair.

The zombie isn't much of a zombie, really, and I don't remember this guy from the movie. Then again, most of the movie was pretty forgettable. I like the work on the tattered shirt, but there's some obvious proportion problems, like the weird, chunky calves, that throw off the overall appearance. He's also smaller than some of the other figures, both in height and in bulk.

Philip is the exact opposite - he's huge. In fact, he's so out of scale that he looks like he belongs in a completely different series of figures. His sheer bulk dwarfs the zombie, and even towers over Blackbeard. If he were standing up straight, the guy would be 8 feet tall. Add to this disproportionate size his silly, forced, sculpted pose and lack of articulation, and you have a fail for a figure.

I haven't even mentioned the likeness, either. I suppose it's as accurate as some of the others in this series, but the generic look doesn't work here at all.

These are supposed to be a 7" scale, but as you can see, that varies pretty widely. At least all three can stand on their own, and both the zombie and Blackbeard can hold the weapons with the hand sculpts.

Paint - **1/2
The paint work here isn't atrocious, but it is pretty basic and simple.

Some of the detail work on the costumes is decent, but most of the rest is done in that 'throw as much at the figure as possible and let's see what sticks' style that works better with monsters than it does with people characters.

There's some slop here and there, like at Blackbeard's hair line, or the edges of Philip's shirt, and while the paint ops are pretty much in line with the quality of the rest of the features, they do nothing to really elevate or improve on the basic toy.

Articulation - Zombie, Blackbeard **1/2; Philip *
It strikes me as ironic that the Zombie in this series has the most articulation. With a relatively decent ball jointed neck, cut shoulders, wrists, and waist, T hips, and pin elbows and knees, he can actually take more than one pose. Not a bunch, but at least more than one.

You might think that this Blackbeard is identical to the Blackbeard from the first wave. The majority of the sculpt certainly is. But along with the restricted neck, NECA style shoulders, cut wrists, cut waist, T hips, and cut calves that the first version had, this one adds in pin elbows. Surprise!

The bigger surprise is that I had a harder time posing this one than the first one. I don't know why, but the neck is far more restricted this time around, and I could barely get any movement out of it at all. The pin elbows are alright, but don't do much to improve the arm poses, and so the score ended up pretty much the same.

Philip is a big hunk - of plastic. He has articulation, but it's only there to make sure he can remain standing in the one pose forced by the sculpt. There's a cut neck that barely moves, cut shoulders that do very little, cut wrists that only do slightly more, and a pin right elbow. The pose you see is the pose you're going to get.

Accessories - Blackbeard, Zombie ***, Philip **
While most of it is re-used, Blackbeard comes with a reasonable share of extras.

There's his piece of the zombie of course - an arm - but he also has a sword belt for the Build A Figure included in his package. Blackbeard comes with two pistols and his own sword as well. All of these look reasonable, although none of them are a standout. His hat and his own sheath belt are removable as well, adding in to the score.

As I said, Blackbeard has a sword belt for the Zombie, and it's pretty surprising whenever you actually get accessories for a BAF. You can use one of the two swords that came with the wave 2 Jack Sparrow for the undead pirate as well.

Philip does have the piece of the BAF (the largest piece in fact, in the full torso, pelvis and head) but comes with nothing else. That short blade in his right hand? Sculpted in place. So if you were buying Philip for Philip's sake, and not to get the BAF piece (yes, I know this would be a pretty rare situation, but the actor must have a mother), then this score would be a big Bupkis for you.

Fun Factor - *1/2
None of these are particularly good toys. The limited articulation doesn't help, but what's worse is that one of them is actually two of the coolest things he could be - a pirate AND a zombie - and kids still won't be all that amused.

Value - *1/2
At $15 a pop, you're getting the short end of the sword on these. While Blackbeard isn't a straight re-use, he's damn close, and the Phillip figure is pretty much a hunk of plastic. While the Zombie has his pluses, he's also going to cost you at least $60 to put together - clearly not worth it.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing, beyond spending money on this wave in the first place.

Overall - Blackbeard, Zombie **1/2; Philip *1/2
Blackbeard is still a reasonable figure, if not anything that stands out. But if you purchased him the first time around, there's nothing here compelling enough to convince you to buy him again. To build the zombie? I suppose, although he could just go without one arm...zombies do that, you know.

The zombie is also reasonable, but slightly small and certainly costly. It's probably not that surprising that the best figure in the entire wave is the BAF, but that doesn't make it any less annoying. And being best in this wave is not exactly a resounding recommendation.

And then there is Philip. Unarticulated, oversized, generic Philip, forever checking his right arm pit for odor. The only reason I can see for buying this figure (outside of an unhealthy obsession with Sam Claflin) is to get the main piece for the Zombie. And considering the price tag, even that's a pretty big stretch.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Blackbeard ***; Zombie **1/2; Philip **
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - Zombie, Blackbeard **1/2; Philip *
Accessories - Blackbeard, Zombie ***, Philip **
Fun Factor - *1/2
Value - *1/2
Overall - Blackbeard, Zombie **1/2; Philip *1/2

Where to Buy -
Your best bet is to watch your local Target, where these seem to be popping up most often. As tail enders, they may also make an appearance at one of the local bargain stores, like Marshall's or T.J. Maxx.

Related Links -
Other Piratey reviews include:

- the first half of this wave, that included the Spanish Office, another Barbossa, and another Jack.

- 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, but when I receive my Hot Toys On Stranger Tides DX06 version, that very well may change.

- Hot Toys has produced some other amazing 12" figures as well, 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.

Discussion:
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Pirates of the Caribbean action figures by Jakks


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

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