Review: Lego Pirates 70411 Treasure Island

Pieces: 181  Minifigures: 3  Retail Price: $19.99  Price I Paid: Retail plus Double VIP

70411 box f

It’s called Treasure Island but as you can see from the box, Lego aren’t giving us the whole island.

70411 box b

70411 box top

It’s only a $20 set so of course you’re not getting a whole island. You’re getting 3 minifigures though, including a female Pirate which wouldn’t have been around in the classic Pirates line.

70411 minifigs

I wonder how many other female minifigure heads with eyepatches there are in the Lego universe?

The island is reminiscent of Peter Pan with a large skull…

70411 island

And behind the skull, a hidden treasure chest!

70411 set

And equally as impressive as a female pirate with an eyepatch is the included alligator – also a bit reminiscent of Peter Pan although that was a crocodile and here we appear to have an alligator.
Overall, it’s a decent set, mostly because of the clever use of the tree to raise and lower the skull, but it still feels like these recent Pirates sets were designed and built and then half the pieces were taken away. I’ll give it a 5. If it goes to $15 or less it would be a good value. Check the price on Amazon.

Lego Classic Thursday: 6276 Eldorado Fortress

This is one of my favorite, if not overall favorite Lego set ever. It is also one of the first sets I ever got.

6276 set

As you can see, it’s amazing. And it’s completely three dimensional! This set is why I think so many newer Lego sets are lacking, if you get the front of the building you don’t get the back of it, unless you’re buying a Creator set.

6276 side1

In a modern Lego set the whole back side would be cut off and unenclosed. Of course, we do lack the little issue of ladders, so that the figures could actually get from one level to the next. Maybe they could take the hoist, when it’s not being used to lift treasure chests.

6276 side2

6276 doors

Over the years I lost a few pieces apparently – the I can’t seem to find the correct Governor’s face anywhere.

6276 Gov wrongface

With as few masted ships there were in the Lego Pirates world, there were certainly plenty of rowboats. I’m not sure how the Pirates expect to steal any treasure in a rowboat against a fort. Of course nobody thought an X-Wing could blow up the Death Star either…

6276 Redbeard

6276 main

6276 treasure hold

The “hold” for the treasure is a great play feature – I must have opened thousands of times as a kid.

6276 upside

It looks great from any angle. There you have it. What a great set. Even though they crack, bring back the molded baseplates Lego!

Lego Pirates and Inflation

As you know Lego used to make some really awesome Pirates sets. Now they are releasing some again after 5 years of no Pirates sets. I was wondering how the new sets compare price and piece wise to the classic sets and the 2009 era sets. All inflation calculations were made with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Inflation Calculator and the prices listed on Brickset.

I thought I’d start with a ship and an entry level set from each era to compare.

From 2015’s new collection we have:
70409 Shipwreck Defense 84 pieces and $12.99
70413 The Brick Bounty 745 pieces and $99.99

From 2009:
6240 Kraken Attackin’ 78 pieces and $9.99 [$11.02 in 2014]
6243 Brickbeard’s Bounty 592 pieces and $99.99 [$110.34 in 2014}

From 1989:
6260 Shipwreck Island 71 pieces and $12 [$22.91 in 2014]
6285 Black Seas Barracuda 909 pieces and $110 [$210.01 in 2014]

The piece counts vary but all three of these ships are your standard double masted schooners.

As we can see, compared to 1989, Lego Pirates has become a lot cheaper. I believe this is true for all Lego from the early days. More recently though, the price inflation has been turned on for the little sets. I think everyone who collects Lego will not be surprised by this. With the bigger sets it seems it could depend. A 745 piece ship for $100 beats a 592 piece ship for $100 in 2009 (or $110 in todays dollars). In 1989 none of the pieces were Made in China though and I would assume worldwide distribution was not even close to what it is today.

I think the next question to be asked, at a later time, is whether it’s worth buying basically the same set over and over…

Review: Lego Pirates 70412 Soldiers Fort

Pieces: 473  Minifigures: 5  Retail Price: $29.99  Price I Paid: Retail from Amazon

70412 box f

I’m trying something new with the box images – more 2D than 3D.

70412 box b

70412 box marching

I like the method of showing the minifigues on the top of the box, it’s a little parade!

70412 minifigures

Five minifigures included, the Admiral/Governor, Soldier, Governess (this appears to be an Elizabeth Swann character), two pirates, one with eyepatch. This set does include Lego bricks/pieces Made in China but it does not seem to be any of the figures.

70412 pirates

The pirates get the standard brown rowboat with Pirate flag. The flag is at the front of the boat, though in Classic Pirates it was at the back. Now on the back is one of the new gun-cannons that fire 1×1 rounds. I could do without them, if I wanted to lose 1×1 round pieces I could do it quicker than 1 at a time.

70412 fort

Then there’s the fort. The Soldiers Fort (notice no possessive apostrophe – this is the official spelling) comes with just one soldier. But it’s not really much of a fort so maybe they’ll be ok with a light armament.

70412 fort 1

You’ve got the cannon and some frogs. Tree frogs if I had to guess.

70412 fort 2

The treasure chest (that the Pirates are no doubt interested in stealing) can be hoisted up from the bottom level which could be a boat.

70412 fort 3

70412 fort 4

The prison cell, which coincidentally is the largest room in the “fort” has a false wall so prisoners can escape easily.

70412 set

All in all, it’s an ok set and may sate your appetite for a Lego Pirates set. But there are a lot of problems if you choose to look at it with a critical eye. There are less than 250 pieces in this $30 set. This is the second most expensive set to the Brick Bounty and so it should be the base. But you don’t get much base, it’s more like a fort washed up on some rocks. There’s hardly a place to have a good sword fight. There are quite a few pieces in colors I haven’t seen before. If not for that and the fact that it is a Pirates set, this would be a total dud. I’m not sure what Lego is playing at with the Pirates line, if they will ever release a big base set again is hard to tell. But as soon as the newly released Brick Bounty shows up, this “fort” doesn’t stand a chance. I’ll give this a 5 of 10. I’d wait for it to go on sale before you buy it unless you really want it now.

New Pirates (and other) Lego Sets Available on Amazon

Click the picture above to see the listing on Amazon.

Scheduled for March 1st release, some of the new sets are already available on Amazon.
Along with the newest Lego Pirate sets are the Elves sets which could be cool, but because they are based on the Friends line and have “minidolls” are automatically not cool.

These are the first Pirate Lego sets in five years, so welcome back Lego Pirates (and Imperials).

Lego Talk Like A Pirate Day

As you may know – today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day – so what better than a trip down memory lane to the good old “classic” Lego Pirates sets of yore.

The origin story of Lego Pirates apparently.

As you can see the Legend of the Lego System Pirates was written on the inside flap (weren’t the sets with flaps so cool?) of set 6267 Lagoon Lock-Up. It reads as follows:

The Adventures of the Lego System™ Pirates of the Sea
Lagoon Lock-Up

During the 18th century, a peaceful colony of settlers enjoying the island treasures they discovered, suddenly had their serenity interrupted. The invaders were those who called themselves the LEGO SYSTEM™ Pirates of the Sea! For years, the Pirates had been searching for the same buried treasures that the settlers were now claiming as their own. This, of course, disturbed the Pirates, as they knew the doubloons (Spanish gold coins) the settlers found had belonged to their ancestors.

Gold seeking Pirates had become such a problem for Governor Broadside and the other settlers that they were forced to strengthen many of their existing settlements. One such fortified settlement was the Lagoon Lock-Up. Prior to the invading Pirates, this peaceful establishment was an inn of sorts for the settlers to grab a bite to eat and relax. It has now been fortified to protect the lagoon and to hold captured Pirates for questioning.

Governor Broadside is determined to protect the gold which he and the settlers have hidden at the Eldorado Fortress and Sabre Island. The Pirates, however, have their own plans for the gold and they don’t include sharing it with the settlers!

Use your imagination to continue the adventures of the LEGO SYSTEM Pirates of the Sea!

Now if only I could get Rob Brydon or the guy from Warcraft II to read that. I find it most impressive that even in the 18th century, the Pirates were very careful to use Trademark symbol.

Smuggler’s Shanty – Lego Set 6258

Notice that both of the Pirates in Smuggler’s Shanty have unfortunately lost the use of their left eyes, which probably explains the lack of intimidation of the Imperial officer even though he’s got a revolver trained upon him. He seems much more concerned with the shark. If you want to view the images in all their glory or read from the box yourself, head over to Flickr – the link is always on the sidebar as well.