Most action figure lines ignore the girls. Movies, tv, comics... whatever the basis, the folks with the internal reproductive organs get overlooked. Why didn't Mezco make a movie-based Liz Sherman? Where's Scarlett in Sigma 6? Why is it so blasted hard to find Batgirl or Sue Storm? Hell, if they could have found a way, I'm sure NECA would have given us a Kill Bill line without the Bride.
Just look at Pirates of the Caribbean - the whole plot revolves around Elizabeth Swann, but it took until Series 3 for her to show up in the toy line? It's a crime! Someone should be keelhauled for this.
Daughter of Port Royal governor Weatherby Swann, Elizabeth finds herself the target of abduction when the pirate crew of the legendary ship, the Black Pearl, sails into harbor. But all is not as it seems - what secret has drawn the pirates to Elizabeth, and what will happen when they learn the truth?
This is still Elizabeth Swann from the first movie, so the figure is all corsets and bustles, not swashes and buckles. Still, we got her, and that's what counts. Well, part of what counts. The figure still has to be good. Is she?
We'll start with articulation, which is almost non-existant. Elizabeth has balljoints at the neck and shoulders, pegs where her legs emerge from her clothes, and a peg and a hinge for each wrist. No elbows, no waist and, of course, no kind of hips or knees. But that's standard for this line.
Though that total seems light, the balljointed wrists were a really big surprise and really add a lot to the poseability. Have her posed with her hand on her hip, feining a fainting spell or threatening the younglings. For a figure with no real movement below the bustline, you can really get some variety. Good work!
Speaking of bustlines, the sculpt is good, up to a point. That point is the neck. Below that, everything's great. She's wearing the dress Barbossa provided for their dinner together, and the multiple layers of her outfit are distinct and intricate: white undergarment with poofy lace sleeves, a dark grey crinkly thing above that and finally a burgundy dress/bodice combo on top of it all. The dress is pulled up to the sides to create a bit of a train, and it's that garment's sleeves that meant Elizabeth would have no elbows. The dress has a detailed pattern along the hem and if you peek underneath, you'll see her stylin' pointy shoes.
So that's all good, but the facial sculpt doesn't live up to it.
The likeness is close, particularly from the right angles, but the figure inside the package doesn't compare to the prototype photo outside it. Yeesh. This doesn't look like Keira Knightley, it looks like Keira Knightley's slightly older, slightly more butch cousin. Props to NECA for making the figure, but the jawline in the final product is just too square. Of course, that's just one flaw on on otherwise very good sculpt, so if you like the character (as opposed to the actress playing her), then don't let that stand in your way.
Elizabeth doesn't get a lot of accessories, to be sure, but the (very) few she does get work for her. She's got a silver knife that she can hold in either hand (perfect for stabbing pirate captains in the chest) and one of the 882 cursed Aztec coins on a cord around her neck. It's not exactly the impressive arsenal that the other figures seem to receive, but then she never used any of that in the film. If nothing else, the coin tends to get lodged in the figure's cleavage, drawing attention there.
Like all the figures in Series 2 and 3, Elizabeth comes with a detailed display base. Buy them all, and you can assemble a diorama of the pirates' treasure trove. The base is textured like real stone, and painted to match. There are gold coins strewn about carelessly - what good is money when you can't spend it, after all - a strand of pearls and even one bright red ruby lying on the ground. Elizabeth's base also has a bit of rippling water, cast from clear plastic, lapping at the stone. Since it's a separate piece glued into place, there are even a few coins sunken below the surface. Very cool.
The likeness isn't hot, but everything else about this figure is. It's a major character with surprisingly pleasing articulation, great paint and a cool base. Compared to all that, what's a face worth? It may put off some, but if you look beyond it, you'll find that Elizabeth Swann really does have a winning personality.
Is the facial sculpt enough to keep you away from this one? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.