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by yo go re

Plunderlings ▶
Plunderlongs ▶

It's evolution, baby!

Captain BlacJak is one Plunderstrong you don't want to mess with. He quickly rose through the ranks with a ruthlessness which inspires fear even within his accomplished crew. Impatient and bad-tempered, he is not one for words, rather letting his cannonballs do the talking. With his handheld cannon, he is capable of blasting entire ships apart. He learned his cruelty from back when he used to be first mate to Captain Ojoe, but that was before the accident.

Plunderstrongs are absolutely massive, even compared to the height-advantaged Plunderlongs. Even ignoring any accessories they might be wearing, the base figure is more than 6¾" tall and nearly 5" wide - a true brute! Like the Kickstarter said, "these beefy brawlers are an essential part of any plundering crew. Using their epic wingspan they can generate explosive power at terrifying speeds. These juggernauts don't know of a problem they can't solve with their fists." The sculpt is smooth and cartoony, and BlacJak preserves his modesty with tattered pants held up by a belt with a very pointy buckle.

As per uzhe, the figure includes three heads. The 'longs and 'strongs may be different shapes, but their heads are compatible when it comes to their headgear - Series 1 Plunderlings, meanwhile, are just too different. All the neck holes are uniform, though, so you can trade heads around however you want. The choices here are one calm, with a single small tuck or fang poking up on the left side of his mouth, one growling, with all his teeth clenched together, and one with the mouth open far enough that we can see his tongue, too. His eyes are solid black, and there are multiple golden rings in his pointy ears.

The articulation is interesting. The Kickstarter described it thusly: "Neck hinge and revolutionary ab crunch to look down on all the tiny Plunderfolk long enough to notice a no-good pickpocket! Double jointed knees, and forward facing ankle rockers to crouch to his level and give him a good scare. Past 90° single jointed elbows and a waist swivel to wind up for a devastating blow. Just when the stinking thief thinks he is going to get away, the Plunderstrong has a surprising butterfly joint and wrist hinge that gives him the extra range needed to catch that dastardly Plunderlong just in time." The "revolutionary ab crunch" they mention is definitely something you've never seen before, because it's not actually an abdominal joint: instead, the pecs, neck, and trapezius are molded separately from the rest of the torso, and it's that piece that's mounted on a hinge, able to tolt forward and back. That would never work on a "realistically" detailed figure, with individual muscles defined in the sculpt, but on a stylized body like this? It's really neat, and gives the usual range of motion while keeping the center of balance over the feet and therefore more stable. That's design work to be proud of, Lone Coconut!

BlacJak is a Captain, like Ash, and the fact he's the same dark blue-grey color is purely coincidence: there are other Captains who are other colors, I just picked this one because I liked his accessories. What's he got? Well, Captain BlacJak wears a captain's hat and a black jacket. The hat is magnetic, of course, with gold trim and a white pair of crossed bones on the front. The jacket is designed to hang over his shoulders, presumably because BlacJak is a fan of One Piece, and has a really neat design, with gold trim to match his hat, sculpted toggle buttons, fringey shoulder boards with iguana emblems sculpted on them, and buckles on the sleeves that match his belt.

Like the littler figures, there are holes in the back of the coat where you can insert the included C-clips to hold weapons, but there's no way his weapon would work with that. He's a big boy, so he needs a big gun - or in this case, a full-size cannon. It's got a nicely dinged-up sculpt, suggesting years of use, and a pair of handles welded on so BlacJak can wield it. The alternate hands shaped to hold those handles have the hinge running side-to-side, to help you get the pose just right. The left hand's was stuck pretty tight on mine, and boy was it a struggle to get it free!

The Plunderlongs and the Plunderstrongs come in the same sort of crate packaging as Series 1, including the matching colors and the add-on ears. And the size of the Plunderstong box is truly daunting, more than twice the size of the others! Would I have preferred a different color for my Plunderstong figure? Sure, but on the plus side, it does mean I can still use the Hatchling body I got in Series 1 to display his alternate pieces. (Other Plunderstrongs shown during the campaign were bright green, pinkish-orange, light grey-blue [same as Goyle], salmon red, and teal.) It was the combo of the cool jacket and the gigantic cannon that made me want him, and those were able to overcome my desire to mix up the hues of my collection a bit more.

-- 01/07/24

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