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Captain Teague

Pirates of the Caribbean
by yo go re

NECA's Pirates of the Caribbean toys could be called many things, but "punctual" wasn't one of them. For instance, Series 2 of the At World's End figures were supposed to be out in August of 2007, but by December Captain Teague they still hadn't appeared. That's how it ended up that the first Series 2 figure available wasn't even technically part of the line.

As you know, Johnny Depp's portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow was half Keith Richards and half Pepe LePew. Since the latter isn't a real person, and was therefore unavailable for a cameo, the honor fell to Richards, who got to play Captain Teague.

Teague seemed to live at Shipwreck Cove, and served as the pirate lords' secretary during the Brethren Court. Okay, that might be simplifying things a bit: he was the keeper of the Pirata Codex (the Pirate Code), and only seemed to bother with the Court when they needed to consult the code directly - judging by that, he may be the final arbiter of law, a one-man Supreme Court, or the pirate equivalent of King Solomon and Hammurabi rolled into one. That's much more impressive, isn't it? Otherwise he's just the guy who fetches them coffee.

When PotC 3 was released on DVD on December 4, The British are coming! The British are coming! Best Buy had an exclusive set of the two-disc Collector's Edition and a variant Captain Teague. Like the previous Hellboy and Megatron exclusives, it was an otherwise-unavailable figure. And also like those exclusives, Teague sold fast. If Best Buy is going to keep doing these kinds of things, they really need to up their orders, lest collectors go nuts trying to get the things.

The difference between the standard Teague and this release is all in the arms: while the mass-market version is wearing his long crimson frock coat, Best Buy's has taken that off to show his insanely detailed waistcoat and amazingly frilly shirt. The waistcoat fit under the long jacket, of course, but those puffy arms are all-new, and not available anywhere else.

NECA did a grand job with the sculpt. Are you talkin' to me, mate? This isn't like their Will Turner figures, which never ever looked like Orlando Bloom - this is quite obviously Keith Richards. Some people have said he looks like Robert De Niro, mainly due to the way he's smirking, but that's just their imagination at work. His dreadlocks look like matted hair, and there are any number of tchotchkes woven into the strands. His hands don't quite look "old" enough (remember, Richards is just one bottle of moisturizer removed from the Crypt Keeper), but they do have all the rings Teague wore.

one of these is desiccated and leathery, the other is a shrunken head Best Buy's exclusive doesn't have quite as many accessories as the mass market version, but he's doing okay. His big hat is removable, and is detailed with the pheasant feathers of the real thing. He has his unique cutless, which fits in the scabbard hung over his shoulder. He has a sash tied around his waist, and a few loose items hang from his belt: a corked wineskin, a pouch, and the shrunken head of Jack's mother. How romantic! The real version comes with two pistols, while this version has exactly zero. But then, it's not like he could aim one if he had it.

yes, his face realy looks like that Captain Teague is articulated just like all the other Pirates figures: which is to say, just a little bit below "enough." He moves at the boots, waist, wrists, shoulders and neck. The head and shoulders are balljoints, which is nice, and the poof-tacular sleeves probably preclude elbow joints, but Teague really shows the perils of a NECA figure without a base of some sort: he wants to fall over all the time. Hey, just like the real Keith Richards! If you get the coat-wearing Teague, he has a small section of deck to help keep him upright.

what? Paint is good, with no major trouble spots (unlike NECA's previous store exclusive). His boots look weathered, the apps on his waistcoat and sash are great, and even the pattern on his bandana is handled well. The back of his waistcoat, by the way? Not only is it flat red, it's also lacking the texture seen on the front half. Is that what the garment was really like, or was it just a shorcut on the part of NECA, who weren't expecting it to be seen without the frock coat? Either way, it still looks okay. Overall, the only change that might need to be made? Give him more eyeshadow: he caked that stuff on! We need some dark circles around those eyes, me hearties!

Teague is another good eyeshadow! Pirates of the Caribbean figure from NECA - not spectacular, but then, none of them are. If you already have the regular release of the 7"-scale Teague, then you probably won't need to worry about tracking down this rarity. However, if you're one of those people who bought every version of Jack Sparrow with or without his coat, smiling or serious, then yes, this version is different enough to warrant a spot in your collection. In either case, this Best Buy exclusive offering is more than a straight retread, and deserves credit for that, at least.


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