The idea of space pirates is nothing new. After all, even in space you’re not safe from marauding villains. But what if we delve into LEGO’s take on pirates, and add some space to that? Step forward, Gregory Coquelz! One of the more unique sub-themes of LEGO pirates was the Islanders from the mid-1990s, which is where Gregory’s spacey inspiration comes from. And although you might expect one of the ships to be turned into a spaceship, it’s in fact King Kahuka’s mask which gets the starship treatment! It’s a really fun and well-executed idea. The red cockpit bubbles for the eye-holes are especially neat.
Seeing this LEGO creation by EMazingbrix reminded me of the adage that you can’t take it with you. I mean, life can certainly hand you some very delicious lemons but it all has to go somewhere after you’ve crossed the rainbow bridge. Take this pirate captain, for example; he was so darned close to his treasure! I’m no medical expert but I also get the hunch he’s very much expired, thus leaving that luscious booty out in front of God and everybody for someone else to pillage and plunder. Plus, EMazing (can I call you Emazing?) has used twelve frogs in accordance with a build challenge over at Iron Forge, which makes it extra hoppin’. If you’ll excuse me, I need to fetch a youngster in TBB’s IT department to help me set up a TikTok account so I can see all this hoppin’ booty I’ve heard so much about.
As a whole, the LEGO community’s original works of 2023 were absolutely astounding! Over those 52 weeks, we covered so many beautiful works of art, trying to highlight the very best created by builders all over the world. And with our shortlist in hand, we’re ready to identify our favorite of the bunch. The days of 2023 were marked with massive collaborative work, giant themes and creations that brought us together after pandemic isolation over the prior two years. And in that vein, we selected the excellent collaboration between Joshua Morris, Rod Fiford, Gavin Rich, and Handoko Setyawan. The Brothers Brick LEGO Creation of the Year 2023 is Cerulean Straits.
Made as a part of a collaboration with Colorado LUGs (LEGO User Groups) CoWLUG and DENLUG, this Imperial fortress by Evan Crouch is just one piece of a massive LEGO Pirates layout. The cliffside citadel has a beautifully-textured outer wall, and is capped with quite the military unit. The large cannon, shown mid-discharge, is an excellent touch! And the motorized windmill is well done, sporting a roof similar to the LEGO Ideas Medieval Blacksmith. But my favorite part has got to be the perfect coastline at the base of the cliffs. Trimmed in lime green vegetation, the two tones of tan are a great remnant of the waves coming in off the coast. Add to it some of the white-capped waves off the shore, and the setting feels almost alive, even in this still photo.
Can you tell which of these LEGO buildings belongs to the now-retired Captain Redbeard? Naturally, it’s the tallest one in the this colorful scene from builder Sleepless Night. The build is full of so many incredible textures and colors, allowing each building to stand out on its own. They each have their own design too! Shapes, in general, are obviously reused (like archways), but they’re each done with different elements across the whole. Take a close look at everything present and you’ll see so many cool things. For me, the best parts usage is definitely the croissants making up the billowing sails on the ship at the top of Redbeard’s house. It’s unexpected, but the food elements translate wonderfully for the purpose.
The Pirates line was a seminal theme for LEGO, introducing hoards of new elements and many things we take for granted now, such as unique faces beyond the classic smiley head. One of the largest and most sought-after sets from the original theme was 6276 Eldorado Fortress, a colonial-style base of operations for the blue-coated Imperial Guards. 10320 Eldorado Fortress is a remake of that iconic set taking advantage of 34 years of advancement in parts and techniques since the original. LEGO has avoided straight re-releases in recent years (with some notable exceptions), opting instead to tribute classics for the company’s 90th anniversary in 2022, with 10497 Galaxy Explorer as a modern upgrade to the original set, while 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle pays homage to a whole generation of Castle. Although the anniversary has passed, I am excited that LEGO has continued that nostalgia trend, turning its eye now to my personal favorite theme, Pirates. With 2,509 pieces, the new Eldorado Fortress nearly quintuples the original set’s 506 parts, though thankfully the price increases by a lesser margin, as the original was $66 in 1989 (about $161 in today’s dollars). The new set will retail for US $214.99 | CAN $279.99 | UK £189.99 when it’s available starting July 4 for VIP members (general availability will follow on July 7).
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Following massive hits of 10497 Galaxy Explorer and 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle, this summer LEGO revives yet another classic, spoiling fans with the new 10320 Eldorado Fortress set. A 2,509-piece diorama, fusing two iconic Pirates set together, will go on sale on July 4th (for LEGO VIP members) / July 7th for everyone else for US $214.99 | CAN $279.99 | UK £189.99.
As wild and fanciful as they were, there is some truth to all those Pirates of the Caribbean movies. On Stranger Tides featured Blackbeard the Pirate as the main antagonist and, as famed LEGO builder Oliver Becker already knows, that menacing portrayal played by Ian McShane was based on a real person. Edward Teach was an English pirate known for carrying seven muskets and would light fuses in his hair before battle, surrounding him in smoke and thus giving him an otherworldly, ghostly appearance. Oliver had portrayed that nicely with this bust. With his bug eyes and jagged teeth he also looks like a particularly ravenous deep-sea angler. He’s a fiendish fellow indeed! His flagship was called “Queen Anne’s Revenge”, also showcased nicely here in miniature form.
I’ve had a soft spot for white-washed buildings guarded by red- or blue-coated troops in tricorns and shakos ever since I got LEGO Pirates 6267 Lagoon Lock-Up for Christmas around 1991. This supply depot by Ayrlego tickles that nostalgia, while bringing it up to date with much more detailed building. My favorite part of this build, though, is that Ayrlego has figured out the perfect use for all those yellowed and dirty white bricks that are probably floating around in your collection. While they’re normally unsightly and probably relegated to the filler-brick bin (or worse), they’re on prominent display here and couldn’t look better as the weathered stucco on this colonial-inspired structure.
Revealed today, 40504 A Minifigure Tribute becomes the fourth LEGO House exclusive set. Fans will be able to get the latest addition to the limited series only at the LEGO branded store in Billund, Denmark starting March 1, for 599DKK (which is about US $85 or €80).
At first glance, this creation looks more like a toddler’s thick plastic sandbox toy than a LEGO creation, but looks can be deceiving. Dylan Mievis made good use of plates and tiles to build the bottom jaw that would take a bite out of the competition, and those sturdy legs look just right for hoisting the boat’s substantial mass out of the water. The boat’s googly eyes add a touch of whimsey to the model.
The LEGO Imperials are totally overwhelmed in this Pirate battle scene by Faëbricks. The design of the black and brown sloop is exquisite, lean and ready for a fight. And yet, it still doesn’t steal attention away from the scene as a whole. The same can be said of the port structure: beautifully textured and colored, it looks as if it’s seen its fair share of weathering. But it’s clear that the current cannon fire is creating a bit more damage than years of wind and water. Gaping holes in the gate and foundation show that the pirates are clearing winning this fight, with one more cannonball about to make contact in this frozen slice of the action. Good luck, Imperials! You’re going to need it….