Last month, we went to New York Toy fair to bring you the first images of 71042 Silent Mary when LEGO unveiled their latest Pirates of the Caribbean tie-in set, 71042 Silent Mary, and now we’re pleased to bring you this exclusive early review of the set. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and is due for release on 26 May, 2017. Although the official trailer for the movie features the Silent Mary, Armando Salazar’s ghost ship, there may be some very minor spoilers below.
LEGO 71042 Silent Mary has 2,294 parts and is due for release to LEGO VIP members on 17 March, 2017 priced at $199.99/£179.99/199,99 € and is listed for ages 14+. The Silent Mary isn’t quite the largest ship LEGO has made, though she does impressively measure over 18” (48cm) high with the main mast in vertical position, and 26” (68cm) long and 8” (22cm) wide. She’s just over 14” (36cm) wide with the main mast collapsed. To give you a comparison, a largest LEGO ship is 10210 Imperial Flagship, which measures 29.5” (75 cm) long and 23.6” (60 cm) tall. 4184 The Black Pearl is a bit smaller, coming in at 21” (53cm) long, 20” (50cm) tall and 5” (12cm) wide.
Box & Instructions
Silent Mary comes in a suitably dark and intimidating box, with no bright colours visible on this packaging aside from the LEGO logo. The front box image shows the Silent Mary’s bow opening with poor Captain Jack Sparrow and crew looking rather anxious in their little row boat, surrounded by ghost sharks. It is worth noting the comedy annotation Ship does not float on the bottom right of the box.
The rear image show the Silent Mary and her crew, and highlights the hinged opening of the bottom of the ship, the collapsing main mast, and some of the minifigures in action.
Surprisingly, there are no stickers in this set. Admittedly, there are not many printed parts either, but I am very happy about the lack of stickers, which are always tedious to apply. In the box are 16 bags of parts numbered 1-13 (clearly some have the same number) including a bag containing the fabric sails, which are packed with a cardboard backing to keep them in pristine condition. The instructions are contained within a single thick 263-page booklet.
The 263-page instruction booklet contains a short bio for each of the minifigures and an image of their respective characters from the movie.
There are a few small images at the back which demonstrate the play features in this ship; the hull splits open and the bow of the ship raises up. The main mast can also be rotated and placed into a collapsed position, while the two ghost sharks can be deployed from the underside of the opened hull.
The only other non-instructional page in the booklet is an image of what appears to be the concept art for the Silent Mary, and I imagine this is what the LEGO designers used when creating this model.
The Silent Mary contains eight minifigures: Captain Jack Sparrow, Henry, Carina, Lieutenant Lesaro, Captain Salazar, Officer Magda, Officer Santos and the Silent Mary Masthead.
The ghost pirates are without a doubt some of the coolest minifigures I have seen for a while. Both Captain Salazar and Officer Santos have transparent heads that have suitably scary printed faces and ghost-like features. Captain Salazar has an awesome printed outfit and wears black epaulettes to complete the look. I do have to own up to accidently putting his hair on the wrong way in the image above. However, I have made up for my mistake by correcting his hairdo for the rest of the images!
Officers Santos and Magda have the similar light grey torsos, which are similar in style to the dark tan one worn by Lieutenant Lesaro and Salazar’s dark grey one. In addition Officer Santos has a printed transparent right leg. Officer Magda uses the same ghostlike base as the spectre from the Collectible Minifigures Series 14. Lieutenant Lesaro has a printed hat whilst Captain Salazar has the best windblown hair LEGO has made to date. I love this hairpiece.
Captain Jack Sparrow, Carina, and Henry are our ghost pirate fighting trio. Captain Jack Sparrow is supplied with a transparent bottle with a black image of The Black Pearl printed on one side, which also appeared in a few sets from the previous Pirates of the Caribbean sets. While his torso is similar to the one that came with most of the 2011 POTC sets, the lower buckle is more decorative. In addition, his dark red bandana has a different pattern, although the beaded dreadlock remains the same. Oddly, the flesh colour of Jack Sparrow’s bare chest looks particular pale, especially when compared to Carina’s flesh chest. It remains to be seen if this is a common design/printing issue or a one-off mistake that we’ve have been unlucky enough to find in our review copy.
Carina has a light aqua dress with a corset printed on the front and back of the torso, as well as printed pleats at the front of her dress. Her arms are plain light aqua, which will excite those monochrome minifigure collectors, since I believe this is the first time light aqua arms have been featured in a minifigure. Carina also carries a book with front printing and some mathematical angles and sums printed inside—I believe she is a clever lass with an interest in astronomy, mathematics, and time. Finally we have young Henry with his Olive Green legs and a waistcoat with open-necked shirt. All three have double-sided head printing.
Finally, we have the Silent Mary Masthead, whom I imagine is Mary herself. She is a dark bluish grey minifigure with a hood, and she holds a sword and round shield. She also has double-sided head printing showing a snarl on one side and a frozen, emotionless look on the other. Her torso is also printed on both sides depicting tattered clothing.
The fabric sails are supplied in 2 sizes and are the same softer, slightly stretchy fabric as Batman’s cape in The LEGO Batman Movie sets. Silent Mary is a ghost ship so it makes sense that her sails are in suitably ragged order, and in truth they actually do look and feel fantastic. The three larger sails are 22 studs wide and the five smaller sails 13 studs wide.
Two ghost sharks are included in the set, and they are obviously a new mould based on the 2008 large shark design. The sharks have removable upper jaws that are a hinged joint when attached, allowing some scary shark moments. Their teeth are dark tan, and they have a printed eye and some ‘degenerative scarring’ on each side of their heads. The sharks have a 2×3 attachment area on the bottom and 2 studs on the top of the head. They attach to the underside of the hull in an upside down position, via the third of the three Technic pin holes, and can rotate in and out of the hull.
The First Boat
The first thing to be built in the instruction manual is the little row boat that provides a meagre transportation vessel for Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew consisting of Henry and Carina. A simple seat and lantern are added along with a couple of oars and voila—ships away.
The Main Build
The build starts with the main deck of the ship rather than the hull…well…because in this particular ghost ship, there is not really a hull in the truest sense. As with most large ships (including the starship variety), the main frame of the ship and its hinged hull are built from Technic beams. The hinges used are 4 sets of the very strong Flex Joint 6M, Ø24, which can be seen on the front of this initial layout.
As a few additional steps are added, you can begin to see the construction of the main play feature—the hinged bow that can be raised along with the opening hull sides—and how this will allow the bow to be raised. Already, the dark tan wedges and olive green tiles are being placed, and this theme continues for the whole deck area. Worn wood, seaweed, and water damage are definitely going to be running themes.
The building of Silent Mary’s bell helps to orientate the whole build early on and is a nice little side step after the main Technic stage of the central deck is complete. At first I was concerned that I was building a Technic digger rather than a ship, so placing the bell helps to focus the mind once more.
All that glitters…
The decorative aspect of this build starts early on with the bow of the ship, so I will go ahead and mention the gold at this stage of the review. There are 243 pearl gold parts in this set (not including spares) and 124 of these are 1×1 Round Plates. The 243 parts are spread across the 16 different elements shown in the image below. There are also 3 metallic gold parts – two 1×1 slopes and one 2×2 dish. All of these parts are used as decorative features and they really look fantastic when mixed with the darker, sea-worn structures as the build progresses.
As I mentioned, the pearl-gold-fest really starts in earnest at the bow, when the two hoses form the forepeak to define the shape of the bow. The circular decorative features with the 2×2 round dome atop are very nicely designed, especially the inverted lower portion, which includes the pearl gold triple slopes. If you notice the pearl gold ‘telescope’ pieces you will see that one in missing and has a 1×1 round plate in its stead. A key aspect of this model is decaying elements, so throughout the build there are numerous asymmetrical elements.
The central deck is next, where the main feature is the canons. I love that these are brick-built and that each can be raised and lowered to aim. The inset in the image below shows the simple structure of each cannon.
The Silent Mary is a Ghost Ship that has clearly suffered a hard time after crashing into some rocks and sinking (according to the trailer I linked to in the introduction). Building a damaged ship is an interesting experience, since as I mentioned there are so many differences in the left and right sides of the structures, and even gaps with parts apparently missing. For example, in the small structure that forms part of the outer wall of the quarterdeck, you can see that there are gaps, seemingly randomly placed plates, and even what appears to be a missing Pearl Gold 1×1 round plate on the top. I had to keep checking that I haven’t missed a step, while reminding myself that this is a decaying and damaged ghost ship, not a pirate ship.
Where is the Hull?
As any observer could note, the Silent Mary is not exactly watertight. The rather tenuous hull means that she requires a little help to keep her in a standing position. The main stand sits at the rear with another centered in the middle and a removable one under the bow. The bow stand is easily removed since in the raised position, a stand becomes redundant. The 10×10 transparent dishes of the two main stands easily bear the main weight of the ship to hold it steady (however, moving it is a different matter).
The rear stand is then built into the rest of the ship where the rudder is connected to the hull. The little flashes of Sand Green look great as some seaweed or algae attached to the ship. The rudder can freely move to each side.
There are six hull sections to build, and each follows a variation on the portion shown below. They all attach to the main frame of the ship via a Modified 1×2 Plate with bar (or two), which allows it to swing open. In addition, each black arch is also hinged and can swing open individually, like claws grabbing an incoming vessel. More canons poke through the gunports across the entire length of the ship through the damaged hull. The portions are incomplete if considered to be a hull in the usual sense but this is a decaying and damaged ghost ship, not a pirate ship.
The quarterdeck and the Captain’s cabin are impressive, with plenty of decoration and decay. The Captain’s cabin has a door, but it’s not really a play feature since literally the door opening is the only part that can be accessed and the interior is a decorative, structural frame.
Putting all of the sections together is very satisfying. The Silent Mary is a great-looking damaged, decaying ship. Once the hinged hull is in position and the quarterdeck placed on the the main frame, it is clear that this ship is a looker, and just needs sails. The first sail to be placed is the bonaventure sail upon the bonaventure-mast with its little top-castle in position.
At this stage, it’s easy to raise the bow and demonstrate the action of opening the hull at the front of the ship. The flex joints can be raised two clicks to about a 35 degree angle as shown. There are quite a few parts that have the potential to be flicked off if the wrong part of a hinged portion is grabbed for leverage. The horizontal reddish brown plate is the sturdiest part to use, but it’s easy to catch one of the black arched ‘claws’ by accident.
The mizzen mast and main masts are then built and placed, with the mizzen mast having a ball and socket attachment, turning it into an unruly affair. LEGO call this mast the main mast, but my research leads me to believe that it’s actually a mizzen mast, since it sits closer to the stern. Regardless of its name, it really isn’t keen to stay in an upright position, so usually it’s best to let the Silent Mary to have her way and allow the mizzen mast to rotate into a collapsed position—very messy, but remember this is a damaged and decaying ghost ship, not a pirate ship.
The completed ship has the two large masts, a collapsed foremast and the bonaventure mast all in position. They all have a bit of a ‘mind-of-their-own’, and as you can see from the images, the top sails rotate in their horizontal position quite easily, while the ball & socket joint really wants to collapse in position. It was easier to just let the mast collapse that try to find the sweet spot where it would balance in an upright position. It may seem like it’s falling apart, but this is a decaying and damaged ghost ship, not a pirate ship.
I have included a few close-ups of the open and closed hull and the ghost sharks in position below, plus a view of the underside, as this is not a view you’ll see in official images. The main word that comes to mind when activating the play feature is messy. When the hull is closed, the ship looks so much better, but I understand that this is the main play feature, and indeed the whole concept behind the Silent Mary.
I understand there will be fans of ships and fans of pirates who will be very disappointed that this is a ghost ship and seems to be missing a hull. Have I mentioned that I think that it is really important to remember that this is a decaying and damaged ghost ship, not a pirate ship? The Silent Mary is also a tie-in set for a movie that has not actually been released yet. As with a lot of tie-in sets, an extra level of interest and enjoyment comes from actually relating the set to the movie, which we obviously can’t do yet. Admittedly, I have a good idea of the concept from the trailer, and this model seems to meet the main aspect of the Silent Mary in terms of being a ghost ship and having a hull with special abilities to open and ‘swallow’ other vessels.
The build itself was fun and satisfying mainly because there are lots of lovely decorative details and a definite lack of repetition. In fact, I was caught out a couple of times free-styling when I thought I was repeating a pattern of stud or telescope placements, only to realise that each side was unique.
The final model is certainly eye-catching and beautiful in a macabre way, but I do wonder about its ability to stand up to play. Moving it from one location to another meant careful hand placement due to the lack of suitable safe grab points. With the hull closed and the stand in place, this is certainly worthy of a position on display, but I imagine the average playful youngster could spend a lot of time putting parts back on after they ping off the hull.
But those ghost pirate minifigures! They are the best minifigures I have seen in quite a while and by far my favourite part of the set. And the raggedy sails will surely find a place in post apocalyptic fan builds in no time.
The Silent Mary will be available from the LEGO Shop Online beginning March 17 for $199.99/£179.99/199,99 €
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
[Update: the original version of the article incorrectly stated the set would release on March 16 to VIP members. Instead, it will be available March 17. We apologize for the error.]