This is the set that everybody will want.
The Mariner is an evolved human being with webbed extremities and gills behind his ears and... okay, "Waterworld" jokes are way out of date. This figure is based on one of the more popular paintings that adorn the portrait gallery in Disney World's version of the ride.
While I'm personally not entirely thrilled by the inclusion of a painting character over an animatronic character (like the organ player, any number of graveyard ghosts or Madame Leota [and yes I know she's not animatronic]) the notion of a sea captain, Captain Gore, was major story element (he was the sinister antagonist to the Bride's protagonist) dating back to, at least, Ken Andersen's 1957 ride treatment before getting nixed, so I can accept this character choice.
The sculpt for the figure is decent enough in terms of the goofy style of the line, though he does have the most sinister appearance of all the figures. His shirt and boots are covered in seaweed, with a couple starfish here and there, and with the exception of his hair, detail is really a prevailing force here.
The figure has a dingy, glow-in-the-dark paint wash, with a tan wash under it on the clothes and gray wash under it on the skin. A cool little paint touch is the Mariner's gray bottom eyelids and red irises. The figure has 12 points of articulation - neck, balljointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, balljointed hips and knees. The only real articulation problem here is that the knees don't really close all the way forward, which can make standing difficult for this salty old sea dog. Yarr!
Accessories... First is a simple hat for the Mariner to sport and next, his trusty harpoon and then, of course, a rubbery fishing net. None of these are either particularly shocking or cool, but there's more to come. Also included in this set is a buoy cast in clear plastic with a plastic bell inside of it that can jiggle around and kind of make a noise. This thing is actually pretty cool once you get it into your hands, and I'd bet it even floats, though I haven't tried it yet.
The Mariner also comes with a fish skeleton. No, seriously, he does - and it's cool! The head is angular and malevolent, but most surprising, it's got 4 points of articulation - jaw, fins, and tail. Talk about play value! This is one of those accessories that you leave out by your keyboard, and then find your self constantly picking up and fidgeting with. It's really cool.
Finally, we come to the base. All I can say is "wow." It's definitely the largest base in the series (8 3/4" long, 8" wide, and about 6" tall), clearly the most sculpturally detailed, plus it's got the crow's nest, flag-pole, two net poles and two planks that can be added to fill out the display (the ship's bow is permanently attached). I'm really just going to let the pictures speak for themselves because this thing is just too cool; it's worth the $14 price tag alone.
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