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Zizzle Series 3

Pirates of the Caribbean
by Rustin Parr

Zizzle keeps the hits a-comin' with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Series Three. In just over six months Zizzle managed to get out three waves of action figures (16 individual figures) in addition to an array of other product (deluxe 3" figure sets, 7" action-feature figures, pirates touching swords playsets, roleplay pieces and more) which might not seem to amazing to us jaded collectors, but outside of Hasbro or ToyBiz, who has ever gotten that much product out in that amount of time, let alone the fact that this is Zizzle's first foray into action figures and mass-marketed licensed merchandise. It's really just impressive, however this line-up... not quite as remarkable. For all intents and purposes it is a Curse of the Black Pearl (a.k.a. "the first movie") line-up and features to action-posed sculpts of characters already released. There's nothing especially unique to Dead Man's Chest (outside of one figure's accessories) or particularly eye-catching to this series (for instance, a Flying Dutchman crewmember). At any rate though, this series does deliver to more-or-less valid new sculpts and two necessary and popular characters, so ultimately it's a solid entry into the world of Pirates collectibles.

[Note, there are some Dead Man's Chest plot spoilers in the final figure review - even seeing the picture will give something away. You've been warned. Extensively. --ed.]

Jack Sparrow: Final Battle - Let's start off with the obligatory Jack Sparrow figure, though note that it, much as with the previous Jack figures from Series One and Series Two, Final Battle Jack is an all-new sculpt (unlike a certain other company who handles the same license for a different market). This is the fourth Jack Sparrow in the "regular" action figure line and while there is very little special or unique to the costume, Jack comes in a dynamic new action pose which helps validate an additional figure to collectors with such discriminating tastes. The pose is pretty sound, though there's really not a lot of variety that can be derived from it. Also, the left arm sticks straight out, so basically it can either be in "fencing" pose or "goofy looking" pose. The detail and paint is pretty much on par with the rest of the line, except for Jack's shirt, which is oddly a very bright white, as opposed to the cream-ish color from the previous figures. A "dirt" wash would have been nice on the arms as well, but without it looks pretty much like "freshly washed" Jack as opposed to "final battle" Jack. The figure comes with the standard eight points of articulation in the line (swivel neck, swivel shoulders, hinge elbows, swivel waist and T-crotched hips) and a sword as an accessory.

Final Battle Will Will Turner: Final Battle - Will pretty much follows in line with my comments on Jack. Peculiarly white shirt, average Zizzle quality, regular articulation (though no awkward posing here), a single sword accessory, and so on. This is the second Will Turner in the regular action figure line and the first time for him sans coat here too. Both of these "Final Battle" figures feature tattered or ripped clothes (of whose filmic accuracy I am uncertain) and are meant to recreate, along with (I believe) Series Two's Norrington, the semi-climatic Isla Cruces three-way fight, which I'm sure they are welcome to do.

Ragetti - Ragetti is the tall and skinny half of the time-tested Ragetti "fat guy/skinny guy" comedic teaming of Pintel and Ragetti. Pintel was released back in Series One so it is simply lovely to finally have his partner in crime and lowbrow humor to join him for comically malevolent misadventures. Ragetti features the same eight points of articulation as the rest of the line as well as decent sculpting and paint. A particularly nice touch is that this guy's left eye has a blue iris while the right has a brown one - referring to his trademark wooden eye. For accessories, this guy comes with the titular Dead Man's Chest as well as the key to open it (both recycled accessories from Series One's Davy Jones figure). Pintel and Ragetti are certainly one of several parties desirous of the Chest and involved in the much drawn-out Isla Cruces set, so its nice for him to have the chest, but why the key? My recollection is that not only does the duo not open the chest, they don't even have the key. Moreover, poor Ragetti has no weapon and what's a Pirate without a sword, I ask you? Despite this blatant oversight, its still a solid and much wanted figure for any fans' collection.

Barbossa - Aha! The proverbial money shot of Dead Man's Chest is now yours to own in plastic form in 3" scale! While I openly loathe this sequel to one of my favorite films [you're insane. --ed.] Barbossa I will admit to cheering, screaming, hooting and hollering with the rest of the audience upon this buggar's return in the final moments of the film. Not only is that one of the best film endings since Back to the Future, Part II ("But I'm back, Doc. I'm back from the future!") this is one of the greater screen villains of recent years, so it is not only a pleasure to see him in action once more, it's (hypothetically) orgasmic to own a figure of him. Barbossa, or "Hector" as has been his first name since the first movie, features all the same sculptural and paint detail we've come to expect from the line as well as the standard eight points of articulation as previously listed. The figure's coat is particularly nicely done with its heavy texturing and dark paint wash. Barbossa comes with a double-barreled pistol, a sword (both all new sculpts) and his hat. The sword can also fit in the figure's over-the-shoulder scabbard, which is glued into the coat via a peg on the back near the right shoulder (the same is true for both Jack and Will in this Series, too, except Will's scabbard won't hold the sword and Jack lacks a scabbard having only the belt). My only real complaint on this figure is that he has no green apple to chomp into as per the character's trademark favorite food, though I'm sure an apple accessory at this scale would be near impossible to pass safety inspections and no nobody would be happy if it were permanently sculpted in his hand.

Like Series Two, Dead Man's Chest Series Three offers four figures, which allows Zizzle a flexible case pack ratio that will keep more popular older figures on shelves while introducing new product at the same time. It's a smart business move for a good toy line and that's comedy gold! exactly what this is and utilizing that business model will ensure we will all be rolling in Pirates of the Caribbean product for years to come.

Series Three offers four solid figures, two passable if you're of the mind, two necessary and wanted by any fan, which is not a terribly bad line-up in the scheme of things, really. Just as with Series One and Series Two, my only real complaint is the continued lack of balljointed shoulders, which would add an incredibly amount of poseability for collectors and playability for kids (not to mention alleviate the problem with "Final Battle" Jack's left arm), and hands made separately from the forearms being glued in place rather than articulated. That said, Series Three continues to deliver the goods and paves the way for more Pirates figures in the future!

How can Rustin claim to enjoy Back to the Future II when he is contractually obligated to hate all sequels? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.


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