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Zizzle Series 2

Pirates of the Caribbean
by Rustin Parr

Sequels generally have a negative connotation to them and countless moviegoers feel that "they are never as good as the first one." Unfortunately, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest only helps to bolster that opinion with its laborious pacing, unenergetic action, humorless jokes, and general trashing of everything that conspired to make the first film (Curse of the Black Pearl) one of the better films of the last five years and one the greatest action/adventure films of all time. That said, Zizzle's sequel to its first series of action figures from the film does not disappoint!

Taking a page from Hasbro and their handling of the similarly scaled ain't no party like a freakshow party 3¾" Star Wars toy line, Zizzle utilizes a rotational case pack for its subsequent series. What that means is the first series will have eight characters in the assortment, then each following assortment has four, allowing the case pack to offer a mixed ratio of some new with some old. This allows not only new product to come out, but also popular older product to be refreshed on the shelves facilitating a rotational distribution pattern designed to make optimal use of shelf space. Trust me, this is a good thing.

In this second outing, Zizzle delivers four new figures so, if I may tempt you, raise the mast ye brazen cockroaches and set sail for Cannibal Jack, Cannibal, Maccus and Norrington!

Jack Sparrow: Cannibal King - This series' perennial Jack Sparrow features the popular captain in his "cannibal gear" from the similarly themed sequence from the film. why didn't NECA's have this hat? Despite the figures visual similarity to "Jack Sparrow: Prison Escape" (a.k.a. Coatless Jack) from Series One, this is an entirely new sculpt. Despite the time and effort put into the deliciously detailed new sculpt, though, the figure still features the same standard eight points of articulation as 7/8s of Series One. They are: swivel neck, swivel shoulders, hinged elbows, swivel waist, and T-crotched hips. In addition, there are only two accessories, a boring old pistol and Jack's big, neat "Cannibal Crown." In all honesty, there really isn't much about this figure to brag about. Its got the same great sculptural and painted detailing the line is known for, buts its still, for my tastes, a boring old Jack. That said, though, it is Jack's only substantial costume change in the first two movies and is a pretty accurate depiction thereof (come on, it's a kid's toy with a necklace of bloody, severed toes!) so if you a big fan, its worth getting - if you're not, you could safely do without it. It would also be nice to have a throne for this Jack, so hopefully Zizzle will offer such a set in future wave of deluxe figures.

Cannibal Chief - I'll rule the world! Playing foil to the wascally wabbit that is Cannibal Jack is this grimy, soiled heathen what is simply teeming to quench his ruddy thirst with the savory taste of man-flesh. This is most likely the simplest figure the series will ever see, which is probably for the best. Zizzle isn't into texturing its sculpts, especially skin, so this is just a whole of smooth surfacing, which means kinda visually boring. Paint helps makes up for it, but only a little. One cool little detail, though, is the Chief's jawbone necklace, and even his "I'll rule the world!" left hand is pretty bad-ass. The figure comes with the standard eight points of articulation as well as a fairly cool skull and bamboo staff and a neat little femur-handled knife, which can be safely tucked in a belt-loop for late-night filet-o-fisherman. The best thing about this figure is that it can easily be repainted or refreshed (meaning having one or more pieces replaced by newly sculpted pieces, something Zizzle is doing a lot of with their Deluxe and Two-Pack lines) in order to create a different cannibal. It would be very awesome of Zizzle if they were to eventually do this, or otherwise facilitate the release of more Cannibals. Cannibal Jack would be a much cooler figure if he were surrounded by an army of devoted connoisseurs of the great hairless pig.

Maccus - Probably the most famous (at least pre-premiere) crewmember of Davy Jones' ship, not bad the Flying Dutchman, was featured in a close up shot for the film's promotional material - that's why Maccus is best known as "the Hammerhead guy." Being a crewmember of the Flying Dutchman automatically effects one with ROA (better known as Rapid Oceanic Anthropomorphology) causing to warp into a sort of human-fish hybrid the likes of which only Lovecraft, Hodgson or Industrial Light & Magic could imagine. This guy thusly wound up with the typical barnacley sea-crusted body with a head not unlike that of a hammerhead shark and a left hand shelled like a crab. Maccus is also, to my understanding, Davy Jones' second-in-command, though he does little to prove it during the film. The figure comes with Maccus' trusty axe and the line's standard eight points of articulation, though he does had a balljointed head that allows for a pretty good range of motion.

Commodore Norrington - In one of the films particularly weaker twists, Norrington is revealed stand fast! to now be a pirate-y shambles of a disgraced and dismissed Commodore. Zizzle graces us with a figure of the man that would be Mr. Swann in such a state of affairs. The disgruntled seafarer comes with his hat, pistol, and sword, which fits in a loop on his over-the-shoulder scabbard (which is glued to his jacket and un-removable). The figure does a nice job of capturing, in both sculpt and paint, the shambles that Norrington has become. Don't be surprised to come across the same eight points of articulation as the rest of the line, but do note Norrington's right arm is "action posed" to fire his pistol or sword fight (contingent on your fancy) which is cool, though it would be nice to have a "generic" pose for him, as with the rest of the line.

Again, Zizzle produces a series of solid figures that a pretty good follow up to Series One. They continue to prove that a 3¾" line is not only possible for properties outside of Star Wars but that they can be viable and successful when done well. Again, as with Series 1, I am left yearning for balljointed shoulders and confused by hands that are separate pieces which are glued in rather than articulated. These two gripes aside I continue to recommend this line to toy and film fans alike!


First Spider-Man 2, now PotC2? Are there any good movies that Rustin does like? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.

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