Yo-ho! Yo-ho! A Piratey Obsession for me…
November 13, 2010

 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!



Jeff Cope
Jeff Cope has been collecting toys and action figures since he was a wee lad growing up in the 70s, and is still waiting to grow out of it. He's been involved in the online collecting community since he first started writing for Raving Toy Maniac in the mid-90s, and is proud to call AFi his online home.
Read other articles by Jeff Cope.





  • Jeremy SpyMagician says:

    I still want a Mr. Cotton and Parrot!!!

    Hopefully the Jakks line will be compatible w/ Zizzle OR be so much better that I happily re-buy characters!

    And if you head out to D-Land in So Cal and not D-World down Florida, make sure to let me know bro! I’ve got a Annual Pass so I’d love to hang out at Disneyland with you and the family (assuming they don’t mind scurvey dogs like me!)


  • Shellhead says:

    Meh. Always been more of a Ninja guy. Did enjoy the first two movies a lot, though. Don’t own either one, however.

  • d. verburg says:

    the third one was the only potc movie i really liked 🙁

  • Russ says:

    I actually thought movies 2 & 3 were the best ones.

    1 was good, but didn’t make me want to buy the secondary characters as much as 2 & 3 did.

  • Sallah says:

    Jeff- have you been on the Pirates ride since they added Jack Sparrow? We went last year and I thought it was handled REALLY well… That was the only ride at Disney that we did more than one time…

    • Jeff Cope Jeff Cope says:

      Sadly, I’ve not be to Disneyland since around ’97 or so. We want to take our daughter as soon as we can afford to do so, ‘though!

  • Frogdog says:

    If it’s not just the Disney franchise you like but all things piratical, do be sure to try and scour up as many of the old Chap Mei “Pirates Expeditions” playsets and action figures that you can find. Highly influenced by the POTC series, these are terrific and well made pirate adventure toys, colorful and flamboyant with lots of accessories. I’m a big fan of the Chap Mei offerings and it’s sad that their toys are largely unavailable now in the U.S. (Toys R Us still carries some of their stuff in the Animal Planet line, but it’s so PC most of the adventure is squeezed out and, of course, no pirates on Animal Planet). If you’ve never seen the Chap Mei line, it’s worth checking out.

    And if you don’t mind non-poseable PVC figures, both Papo and Safari Ltd. offer lines of historical and fantasy based pirates.

    Finally, if you haven’t read it, you really should add Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island to your reading list. A lot of people snub it nowadays, but it really is quite a good yarn.

    Avast, Matey!!

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