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by yo go re

Yar har, yo ho ho ho/
Wind at your back lads, wherever you go

You can't just have a bunch of pirates running wild all over your islands - that's why the first stretch goal for the Plunderlings Kickstarter (unlocked at $75,000) was the new theme of Captains. Somebody's gotta be the boss! Bosses; there are two of them. Does that mean there are two competing crews? Or does one ship have two captains?

Despite what we think today, the captain was not the be-all and end-all on a pirate ship; not only was being captain an elected position, able to be voted out at any time, he was really only in charge when it came to battle: how to attack their targets, how to evade authorities, and how to defend against attacks. Everything else was the responsibility of the quartermaster (also an elected position), who took care of the crew and was in charge of dividing the treasure. Being captain didn't even get you more food or special living quarters, you were just there for battle strategy.

This is the third Plunderling we've reviewed, and the third different kind of leg coverings: Tuff was naked and Goyle wore cut-offs, but Captain Ash has full pants, with rolled-up cuffs and a brown leather belt with a tiny white skull buckle. The cuffs are just separate pieces around the existing legs, but the belt feels attached, so the pelvis would be a new mold for that. The rest of the body is the same cute sculpt they all have, with the rounded shapes and the oversized hands and feet. The figures were sculpted by Sebastian Dominguez, aka "Seba Dom," who really created something stylish and appealing here!

Each Plunderling comes with three heads: they're not the same sculpt across the entire line, because Ash has earrings and Goyle (for example) didn't, but they do have the same choice of expressions. The head he's got on in the package has a little smile that has two tiny tusks peeking out from the lower lip; then there's one with the mouth open far enough to expose his sharp fangs, and another where the teeth are parted. All three manage to look happy and playful, speaking to the Plunderlings' personality. Plus, the white teeth really stand out against his dark blue-grey skin.

Ash stands just under 4" tall, like all the Plunderlings (so far). That's sort of in a 6" scale, like Marvel Legends, but looks even nicer with that "6¾-inch" scale that Four Horsemen things fall into - MotU Classics, Thundercats, all the Super7 stuff that's now spun off of those lines, Mythic Legions, etc. He has a balljointed head, hinged neck, balljointed chest, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. The heads pop off really easily, and you can even swap out the wide open hands for ones to hold his accessories.

What accessories? Well, the hands can hold the very big sword or the spyglass. The sword is taller than he is, which makes it kind of awkward to fit it into the optional clip on his back. If Plunderlings was a mmore established toyline, they probably could have made the telescope collapsible, but even as a single piece, it's got a cool sculpt. In addition to the pant-cuffs, Ash also has a separate vest (which is what the weapon clip plugs into) and a broad-brimmed top hat. The hat is brown with a black band a golden medallion (button? coin?) in the center, and sits on all the heads thanks to the magnets embedded inside.

Plunderlings are the creation of Lone Coconut, making them perhaps the first mass-produced toys to have originated in the Dominican Republic. They're also LC's first toy project, because the company's main work is visual effects and animation, so this is a great way to start. Mixing fantasy creatures with a setting other than "pretend medieval-Europe" has given us a cute little line of freebooting monsters. And they make me want to haul out the old Black Pearl playset so they can sail around on little Pirates of Dark Water adventures of their own.

-- 01/30/21

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