One of the beloved classics from LEGO is the Pirates theme. It first saw its debut in 1989 and made waves through the mid-90s capturing the imagination of young ones all over the planet. These days, fans who grew up during the early days of LEGO’s early success pine for a return of the three golden classic themes: Space, Castle, and Pirates. LEGO is well aware of this and instead of an outright re-issue, the inspiration never died, but only revived and modernised to steal the hearts and minds of the newer generation today. One such example is the latest Ideas set, 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay. Now, I believe there’s a good chance the LEGO Creator Pirate Ship will be remembered decades later repeating the very same cycle of nostalgia, albeit in its own special and unique way. The LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31109 Pirate Ship has 1,264 pieces and comes with four minifigures. The set is slated for a June 1 release, but the final price has yet to be revealed, but we will update this review as soon as we can confirm it. Let’s up anchor and set sail for a journey of discovery on how the LEGO Creator Pirate ship fares in today’s context.
LEGO’s Summer 2020 wave of sets is starting to take shape with new product reveals on their way. First up, we are getting a look at the LEGO Creator 3-in-1 sets that feature a huge pirate ship with brick-built sails (following even more pirates from Barracuda Bay), a lunar explorer and a family camper van.
The sets were revealed by Portuguese retailer JB Net, and though we do not know their exact release date, they should start becoming available starting aroundJune. Pricing and piece counts remain unknown at this time, though we will update this article when more information becomes available.
Where I sit, the government has issued a stay at home order, and non-essential in-person businesses are closed. Grocery stores are an exception, of course, as we all still need to eat, and so are liquor stores, as folks still need to drink. I mean really, what else do you do when socially isolated? It puts me in mind of Captain Jack Sparrow, getting through his time marooned on an island alone. He, too, drank away his sorrows. So when I (Benjamin Stenlund) decided to enter the Style it Up contest to pass the time during my days at home, it wasn’t long before I hit on the idea of building a ship. And since I have a lot of black fabric elements, I decided to build a black ship. And if I was going to make a black ship, why not make Captain Jack’s ship, the Black Pearl?
At first, I tried building the sides with slope bricks and tiles, but it looked too chunky at this small scale, so I hit upon the idea of using the quarter dome elements for the prow, and the rest of the ship filled in from there. The 1×1 round plate with bar makes for some nice cannons, even if I did not add enough to equal the real ship; there are concessions one must make at this scale, after all. The sails are cloaks wrapped in rubber bands, and the crows nests are Black Panther ears and ninja cowls. The soft sails, combined with the rigging, make this unique among small-scale LEGO ships that I have seen, but what really sets it apart (if I may toot my own horn a bit) is the atmospheric quality of the photo. Since the contest required that only one color be used, the water is black, too, and the backdrop is also black; in fact, the photo is unedited except for cropping, so this is full-color. Perfect for the ship of a drunken pirate.
We love Classic Space. We also love Pirates. So captainsmog has pulled a brilliant maneuver by combining the two beloved LEGO genres and the end result is just as charming as you’d think. I like how it is shaped like a seagoing vessel but functions as a space rover. Those beefy tires can handle any terrain outer space may throw at it. And the skeleton/spaceman as a masthead figure; that’s just cool. It conjures childhood memories of exploring outer space with my Classic Space sets…and also pillaging seaport towns. Captainsmog just might be a builder to watch out for. It seems we were equally smitten by this.
Ahoy, ye mateys and join the hearty crew of Barracuda Bay! The most recently revealed LEGO Ideas set, 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay, was officially revealed last week and we’ve already published our hands-on review and an interview with the design team. Today, LEGO designers Sam Johnson and Austin Carlson give us a tour of the massive shipwrecked island and show off some of the hidden secrets of the set.
The 2,545-piece set features a shipwreck island teeming with eight minifigures and can be re-built into a fully working pirate ship. 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay will retail for US $199.99 | CAN $259.99 | UK £179.99 starting April 1st.
A few days ago LEGO took the wraps off the newest Ideas set, 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay, a massive shipwreck island that contains the wreckage of the infamous Black Seas Barracuda. And not only that, but the set can also be transformed to create the full, seaworthy sailing ship too, and it will be available April 1, 2020, for US $199.99 | CAN $259.99 | UK £179.99. We got our hands on an early copy to bring you a full review, but we also had a chance to sit down (virtually) with the two LEGO designers behind the set, set Designer Milan Madge and minifigure Designer Austin William Carlson, to ask them a few more things we wanted to know about the set. You’ll definitely want to read our full review first, though.
Read the TBB review of 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay here.
First of all, let me say that I just finished building the set, and I absolutely love it. For people like me who grew up with the original Pirates theme, this set is loaded with nostalgia and is so much fun, plus it’s a great build. Have either of you worked on any pirates sets previously? And if so, which ones?
Milan: Thanks for the kind words! I think I speak for the whole team when I say that we are so pleased you like it. We worked really hard to try and deliver something that would take you back to your childhood, just as the theme does for Pablo, the fan designer, so I’m so glad it did. I’ve never had the pleasure to work on LEGO Pirates before, so this is new ground for me, but I spent an awful lot of time making huge pirate and castle dioramas as a kid.
LEGO Ideas has revealed its latest fan-inspired set, 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay. The impressive 2,545-piece set features a shipwreck island teeming with eight minifigure pirates. As an added bonus, the set can be re-built into a fully working pirate ship. It will sell for US $199.99 | CAN $259.99 | UK £179.99 starting April 1st.
We’ve already gotten a hands-on look in our review of Pirates of Barracuda Bay. Continue reading this article for all the official product images and press release.
What makes a LEGO set great for adults? Is it the subject matter, something that makes a cool display piece for your den or office? Is it the model’s complexity, a building experience that introduces you to new techniques and cool connections? Or is it simply the size, a build with thousands of parts that will take you a weekend to complete and leaves you with satisfaction when you’re done? All of these can play a role in how much we adults love a LEGO set, but there’s no surer way to capture the hearts and minds of older builders than to make them feel like a kid again. The latest model to come out of LEGO’s crowdsourcing Ideas platform is 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay, which we’re revealing for the first time today. It’s an island refuge made of the remains of a shipwreck, and more than any other LEGO set I’ve built in recent years, building it took me back to being a kid and getting my first LEGO sets. Unlike the tiny Pirate sets I had back then, though, the set’s 2,545 pieces ring it in as the biggest Pirate set to date, besting the relatively recent runner-up Imperial Flagship by a wide margin. It will retail for US $199.99 | CAN $259.99 | UK £179.99 and is slated to be available April 1. Here is an article with all the official product images, but we just couldn’t wait to bring you a detailed, hands-on look at the real set.
You may remember the last few Pirates themes from 2007 and 2015. They were largely solid sets; a modern take on what LEGO Pirates sets can be. But beyond some broad thematic strokes (guards vs pirates, etc) they had little tie-in to the classic theme that ran from 1989-1995, much the same as Space Police III had almost no connection with I and II. This set, however, is determined to get straight back to where it all started.
If you grew up in the 1990s, you’re probably already getting excited just from seeing the name of this set and the box with the yellow stripe. The name hearkens back to the classic Black Seas Barracuda, released in 1989, which was the very first LEGO Pirate ship and by far the most famous (and it sells for commensurately high prices, with sealed copies ranging well over $1,500). The set was so popular that it was among the first sets for LEGO to ever re-release, with a nearly unaltered version briefly gracing store shelves again in 2002. The Barracuda name here isn’t just an homage plastered on a new version of Pirates to cash in on that nostalgia. Pirates of Barracuda Bay is a continuation of the original theme. The ship that’s been wrecked is the Black Seas Barracuda (BSB), sporting a more detailed design that utilizes the last 30 years of development in LEGO elements. The pirate crew are modern takes on the original set’s crew, headed by the infamous Captain Redbeard, and weathered by 30 years of island living. But perhaps best yet, the set can build either the shipwrecked BSB or the fully rigged, ready-to-sail version.
So now that we know the set is packed with nostalgia, let’s see if the build holds up.
If you haven’t seen Treasure Planet, you must. It’s one of Disney’s most underrated films. And if you have watched it, you can probably pick this guy out from a mile away. John Silver is a partially cyborg version of the classic Long John Silver character from the famous Treasure Island stories, and this LEGO version by Jayfa is an excellent recreation. Using balloon elements to create a rum belly is top-notch parts usage. He also wouldn’t be the same without his little space-goo buddy, Morph.
We’ve featured Jayfa many times on TBB. If you’d like to see more of his exceptional work, check out our archives.
LEGO builder Paul Hetherington’s creations continue to amaze me. His latest masterpiece, Tiki Madness, draws on one of Paul’s interests outside of LEGO – tiki bars! Whether he’s at home in Vancouver or visiting a new city for a LEGO convention, Mr. Hetherington is always willing to sample a new tiki menu. And you know what, all that – ahem – research, has really paid off here. Tiki Madness would fit into any tiki bar, lounge or room, and tells a fun story too.
The main part of the model is a giant tiki mug, and if I’m not mistaken, the minifigures have tried to drown a giant pirate in it! But little do they know that pirates are especially talented at emptying mugs. Our pirate has clearly found his own mug, and started to drink his way out of there! Storytelling aside, there are some amazing parts usages on display here. For one, he’s incorporated so many different colours. And aside from the colours, a couple parts really stand out. Constractable Obi-Wan’s breastplate has been expertly turned upside down to be a nose, and a handful of white inner Bionicle masks make the perfect teeth.
The nature of our favourite modelling medium sees many creations which sit on a “grid” of perpendicular lines. Sometimes all a great LEGO model needs to do is break free of those right-angled rules. That’s exactly what Kai/Geneva has done with this neat little Imperial Fort. It’s a small model, but it’s packed with good technique and interesting lines. Check out the angled bastion walls of the fort’s base and its rounded turret. When you combine that shaping with the weathering effects on the main building, the subtle waves breaking up the expanse of water, and the smart use of brick separators for the roof, you’ve got a lovely little seaside scene.
This gorgeous LEGO diorama by Stephan Gofers shows us the ocean’s full depth, from the vivid coral reefs below the waves, to the sleek 3-master sailing on its surface. The pirate crew has captured a hapless guard, forcing him to walk the plank. In no short order, he’ll be admiring the fantastic marine life from a much closer vantage point, and since he’s not wearing handcuffs, we can assume he’ll swim safely to shore to become a new castaway.
While the colorful reef draws the eye first, the ship itself is a lovely model, eschewing LEGO’s pre-made ship hull elements and instead opting for a planked-look made of brown tiles and curved slopes. The furled sails made of curved white slopes also look excellent. Continue reading