There's one thing that's sorely missing from NECA's Pirates of the Caribbean line - namely, pirates. Sure, we've got plenty of Jack Sparrows and terrible-looking Will Turners, but in three series we've only had two cursed pirates. Good guys need cannon-fodder soldiers to overcome!
The legends of a cursed Aztec treasure sounded like a ghost story - that any mortal who removes but a single piece from that stone chest shall be punished for all eternity. That's what the crew of the Black Pearl thought when they were first told the tale. Buried on an island that cannot be found except for those who know where to find it? Find it they did. There was the chest. Inside was the gold. And they took it. They spent it. And traded it and frittered it away on drink and food and pleasurable company. The more they gave it away, the more they came to realize that the drink would not satisfy; food would turn to ash in their mouths; nothing would slake their lust. They were cursed men, compelled by greed until they were consumed by it.
This particular cursed pirate looks most like Twigg, the pirate who palled around with the dreadlocked guy - the pair that found Jack Sparrow in his cell and left him to face the hangman. His hat should be yellow, but everything else matches. That's pretty impressive, since this figure shares about 90% of his sculpt with the first Cursed Pirate - the only differences are the head and shirt.
That's not to say that the sculpt is disappointing. Quite the contray, in fact. A skeleton's a skeleton, so why shouldn't the figures look the same? "Twigg" is wearing thick brown boots, a tattered pair of pants with a sash and a big belt, the remnants of a yellow shirt and a big bandolier around his chest. He's even got a floppy cap on his skull to keep his head warm. He doesn't have a beard or anything, but you have to wonder if he's missing those teeth when the moonlight's not on him.
The shirt and pants are soft plastic pieces floating above the figure's body, so you can strip him down, if you want. He'll still have the boots on his feet and the hat on his head, plus a little bit of sculpted rags on his ribcage, but in terms of pure nude skeleton action, there's not much that would beat this guy.
One thing that will almost assuredly beat this guy is gravity. The figure will stand on its own, or on the included base,
but it won't do so for long. The plastic NECA used is so incredibly soft that if you leave put the figure on his base and leave him alone for a little while, you're likely to find him lying flat on his face when you come back, with his feet still firmly on the pegs. Yes, the pirate is so flexible that he can lay down and stand up at the same time. Yeesh. Bonus points for taking this kind of abuse without breaking, but really, I'd be happier if he stayed vertical.
Despite his incredibly spindly little arms,
the Cursed Pirate has balljointed shoulders, hinged elbows and peg wrists. He's got a balljoint at the top of his spine, though the soft plastic might make it hard to move, at first. There's a "waist" joint, so to speak, right around the L4 region, plus pegged hips and pin knees. There are no ankles - the extremely soft plastic of his shins might make you think that the boots are turning, but that's a solid connection.
Pseudo-Twigg has two accessories - a sword and a hatchet - that can be held in either hand. Nice little spot of detail on the sword is that the hand guard is a distorted skeletal face. How cute! It's like those guys who get a belt buckle with their name on it. You know - morons.
All the figures in Pirates of the Caribbean series 2 and 3 come with a detailed display base - collect them all and you can assemble a massive diorama depicting the treasure-filled fgrotto from the film.
The Cursed Pirate has a relatively flat portion of the cave, but it's still detailed well. There are coins and gold nuggets cast about the rough ground, which is textured and pebbly. A golden chalice is lying on its side, and a silver cross rests on a small ledge. There's a bit of water (cast from translucent plastic) with more gold coins beneath the surface. Overall this is a great base, even before you put it with the others. The pirate's base has more of a blue wash than the other bases do, and why's that? Because he's a skeleton - he's standing in moonlight! They paid enough attention to the paint apps to throw a detail like that in there. Awesome!
To help keep him standing, the Pirate comes with a clear L-shaped stand that plugs into his back, right below the ribcage. It's nice that they thought to include it, but the figure's twisted pose and soft, soft plastic keeps it from really doing its job to its fullest potential. It'll help hold him up for a little while, but so far it doesn't offer a permanent solution. And if you want your pirate to use the stand sans base, forget it - it's too long to let his feet reach the ground, so it's obviously designed to work in conjunction with the stony floor.
This would be a really nice figure, if not for the soft, soft plastic. It looks nice, it plays well... it just won't stand up. The second rule of action figures is that a good one shouldn't need its base to stand up. In that case, what do you make of one that won't stand with or without its base? Maybe you can make this Cursed Pirate some splints out of toothpicks.
Why won't this amazing emeffer stand? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.