As most of the dear readers of this blog already know, May 2011 sees the release of the fourth film in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean saga. While this news may have been met with a collective "ho-hum" from those who felt let down by the over-wrought third film, At World’s End, my reaction was one of excitement!
I love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies to death. Yeah, the last one was the weakest of the original three movies, I still love the characters and the world in which they move about. It’s historical narrative mixed with fantastical elements. The characters, especially Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow and Bill Nighy’s Davy Jones, are worth the price of admission alone.
I hear the new movie will be scaled down and more similar in tone to the first film than the last. That’s welcome news. I think Rob Marshall, the new director, can breathe some new life into the franchise.
Of course, where there are such movies there are often toys! Thus far we’ve seen movie toys produced by NECA, Zizzle, Medicom, and some exclusive Disney Store figures (that were fantastic – basically Marvel Legends-eque POTC figures. Great stuff!) and now for the fourth installment Jakks Pacific is tossing their hat in to the ring with quite a slate of figures coming in a variety of scales sure to make everyone happy.
Jakks has 4", 6" and 12" planned according to pre-orders that have gone up at a variety of online retailers. With the film due in May, it’s looking like March for the release of the first wave of toys. I can’t wait to see what Jakks has up their sleeves for this property.
Like many collectors, I have a touch of the obsessive/compulsive in me and that means (much to my wife’s chagrin) I am obsessing on all things piratey right now.
I recently finished the 1988 novel On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers which is service as the loose basis for the new movie. I’ve been trolling Half Price Books and picking up the young readers Jack Sparrow series and the Legends of the Brethren Court series which each deal with the history of witty Jack.
I am currently reading Pirate Freedom by fantastic and science fiction author extraordinaire, Gene Wolfe. Following that I’ve got Michael Crichton’s last novel (and reportedly an upcoming movie by Steven Spielberg) Pirate Latitudes. Beyond that I’m looking at the classic novel Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini.
I’ll probably toss in a non-fiction book or two along the way.
Target has recently been carrying left-over (and, thus, cheap) stock of Wizkid’s Pirates constructible strategy game. Each pack (looks like a pack of trading cards) comes with punch out plasticard that you assemble into a variety of ships, vessels, and sea monsters and battle it out on the table top. There was even a licensed Pirates of the Caribbean expansion released for the game. Why I didn’t pick these up originally…I don’t know. But, I’m enjoying getting them on the cheap at my local Target.
I’ve even been dinking around on the Pirates of the Caribbean Online game. Yeah, I got it bad and there’s still over six months until the film premieres.
But, I hear there’ll be a trailer running in front of Tron next month…so that’ll float my boat for awhile. Then there’s Toy Fair where Jakks will likely unveil their line of toys.
..and Disney Press has a graphic novel anthology coming called Six Sea Shanties (along the lines of the Prince of Persia graphic novel anthology released earlier this year).
..and, soon as we can afford to do so…I’m taking the family to Disneyland to ride the ride! I can’t wait to share that experience with my daughter!
Yo ho, me hearties!