Lego Pirates

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Lego Pirates
LEGO Pirates logo 2010.png
Sub‑themes Imperial Soldiers
Imperial Guards
Imperial Armada
Islanders
Subject Pirates
Availability 1989–2010
Total sets 71
Characters Captain Brickbeard
Captain Redbeard
Admiral Broadside
Blackjack Hawkins
Islander
Imperial Soldier
Custom LEGO Pirate

Pirates is a Lego theme launched in 1989 featuring pirates, soldiers, islanders and sailing ships. The theme has been seen in minifigure scale, Duplo and the 4+ theme.

The original Pirates sets included the first Lego minifigures without the traditional head with simply two eyes and a smile; they had a variety of different printed features including hair, eyepatches and facial hair.

Alongside the Pirates released for 1989 were Governor Broadside's blue-coated troops who were to fight the Pirates. These forces were based upon the French navy and marines of the colonial era, being known as "Imperial Soldiers" by fans, though explicitly identified as "Governors" on page 16 of the 1990 American catalog. A comic book entitled "The Gold Medallion" was also released in that year, as well as a Ladybird Book series. From 1992-93, the Governors were gradually replaced by the red-coated Imperial Guards, while existing Governors sets that continued in production were considered part of the Guards. Both the Governors and the Imperial Guards used two crossed cannons under a crown as their emblem.

A sub-theme loosely based on a Polynesian concept, the Islanders, was released for 1994. For 1996 Lego changed the entire "feel" of the Pirates line and made it Spanish-influenced. This meant the Imperial Guards were replaced by the Imperial Armada, heavily based on the Spanish Armada. Along with this change, the pirates were also given new faces. For 1997 Lego discontinued the Pirates theme; the theme's end at this time came as a shock to fans, because the Pirates line had always been a big seller.[citation needed]

Two 1996 Pirate sets, "Red Beard Runner" and "Armada Flagship", and one 1994 Islanders set, "Enchanted Island", were re-released for 2001. The 1989 Pirates set "Black Seas Barracuda" was updated and re-released for 2002 for the Lego Legends series. The Pirates theme was brought to 4+ for 2004 and Duplo for 2006. Lego reintroduced Pirates in minifigure scale for 2009, just in time for the theme's 20th anniversary. However, the series was only continued with a single set the following year to make room for a series of licensed products, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, based on the series of films of the same name.

Set list[edit]

Set names from UK, Australia & New Zealand given in brackets.

Image from a 1989 LEGO catalog depicting a Pirate Battle

Pirates (1989-1997, 2001-2002)[edit]

  • 1989
Reference Name Minifigures Notes
6235 Buried Treasure (Bo'sun Will) Pirate, Monkey
6251 Pirate Mini Figures Pirate, Captain, 2 Imperial Soldiers, Parrot
6255 Pirate Comic 2 Pirates
6257 Castaway's Raft (Pirate's Raft) 3 Pirates, Shark
6270 Forbidden Island (Pirate's Nest) 2 Pirates, Captain, 1 Imperial Soldier, Monkey, Parrot, Shark
6285 Black Seas Barracuda (Pirate Ship "Dark Shark") 6 Pirates, Female Pirate, Captain, Monkey, Parrot Re-released 2002
  • 1990
Reference Name Minifigures Notes
6260 Shipwreck Island (Pirate's Treasure Island) 2 Pirates, Monkey, Parrot
  • 1991
Reference Name Minifigures Notes
1481 Pirates Desert Island Pirate, Shark
6234 Renegade's Raft (Pirate Castaway) Pirate, Shark
6273 Rock Island Refuge (Port Jamaica) 3 Pirates, Female Pirate, Captain, 2 Imperial Soldiers
  • 1992
Reference Name Minifigures Notes
1464 Pirate Lookout Pirate
1492 Battle Cove Pirate, Shark
1696 Pirate Lookout Pirate
1889 Pirates Treasure Hold Pirate, Monkey
6258 Smuggler's Shanty (Pirate's Palm Hideout) 2 Pirates, 1 Imperial Guard, Shark
6261 Raft Raiders (Ironhook's Escape Craft) 2 Pirates, Captain, Shark
  • 1993
Reference Name Minifigures Notes
1970 Pirates Gun Cart 2 Pirates
6237 Pirates' Plunder (Treasure Hunt) Pirate, Imperial Guard, Parrot
6252 Sea Mates Pirate, Captain, 2 Imperial Guards, Monkey, Parrot
6268 Renegade Runner (Sea Vulture) 3 Pirates, Captain
6286 Skull's Eye Schooner (The Black Skull) 7 Pirates, Female Pirate, Captain, Monkey, Parrot, Shark
  • 1994
Reference Name Minifigures Notes
1713 Shipwrecked Pirate Pirate
1733 Shipwrecked Pirate Pirate
1871 Pirates Cannon Pirate
1873 Pirates Treasure Pirate
  • 1995
Reference Name Minifigures Notes
1788 Treasure Chest Pirate, Captain, 2 Islanders, Crocodile
6254 Rocky Reef 2 Pirates, Skeleton, Parrot
6279 Skull Island 3 Pirates, Captain, 2 Imperial Guards, Monkey, Parrot
  • 1996
Reference Name Minifigures Notes
1747 Treasure Surprise Pirate
1802 Tidy Treasure Pirate
6232 Skeleton Crew Pirate, Skeleton
6248 Volcano Island Pirate, Skeleton
6289 Red Beard Runner (The Marauder) 6 Pirates, Captain, Monkey, Parrot, Shark Re-released 2001
6296 Shipwreck Island 2 Pirates, Armada Soldier, Skeleton, Crocodile
  • 1997
Reference Name Minifigures Notes
6249 Pirates Ambush 2 Pirates, Armada Soldier, Crocodile
6204 Buccaneers Pirate, Captain, 2 Armada Soldiers, Skeleton
6250 Cross Bone Clipper Pirate, Female Pirate, Captain
6281 Pirates Perilous Pitfall 3 Pirates, 2 Armada Soldiers, Skeleton, Parrot, Crocodile
  • 2001-2002
Reference Name Minifigures Notes
6290 Red Beard Runner 6 Pirates, Captain, Monkey, Parrot, Shark Re-release of 6289
10040 Black Seas Barracuda 6 Pirates, Female Pirate, Captain, Monkey, Parrot Re-release of 6285

Pirates (2009-2010)[edit]

Reference Name Minifigures Notes
6239 Cannon Battle Pirate, Soldier
6240 Kraken Attackin' 2 Pirates, Parrot, Octopus
6241 Loot Island Pirate, Castaway, Soldier, Crocodile
6242 Soldiers' Fort 3 Soldiers, Admiral, Pirate, Captain, Monkey, Crocodile
6243 Brickbeard’s Bounty 3 Pirates, Captain, 2 Soldiers, Admiral's Daughter, Mermaid, Monkey, Parrot, Shark
6253 Shipwreck Hideout Pirate, Female Pirate, Captain, 2 Soldiers, Skeleton, Parrot Limited Edition
8396 Soldier's Arsenal Soldier
8397 Pirate Survival Pirate
10210 Imperial Flagship Admiral, Captain, 4 Soldiers, Admiral's Daughter, Pirate, Cook, Saw Shark, Rat Largest ship ever released by Lego

Imperial Soldiers (1989-1993)[edit]

Reference Name Released Minifigures Notes
6245 Harbor Sentry (Governor Broadside's Boat) 1990 Imperial Soldier
6259 Broadside's Brig (Governor Broadsides Prison) 1991 2 Imperial Soldiers, Pirate, Parrot
6265 Sabre Island (Governors Bastion) 1990 3 Imperial Soldiers
6267 Lagoon Lock-Up (Soldiers Tavern) 1991 3 Imperial Soldiers, Pirate, Captain, Parrot
6274 Caribbean Clipper (Governor's Ship "Sea Hawk") 1989 3 Imperial Soldiers, Admiral
6276 Eldorado Fortress (Governor's Fort Sabre) 1989 5 Imperial Soldiers, Admiral, Pirate, Captain

Imperial Guards (1992-1995)[edit]

Reference Name Released Minifigures Notes
1795 Imperial Cannon 1994 Imperial Guard
1872 Soldiers Forge 1994 2 Imperial Guards
6247 Bounty Boat (Admirals Launch) 1992 2 Imperial Guards, Pirate
6263 Imperial Outpost (Bastion) 1995 2 Imperial Guards, Admiral, Pirate
6266 Cannon Cove (The Black Reef Bastion) 1993 2 Imperial Guards, Pirate
6271 Imperial Flagship (HMS Sea Lion) 1992 2 Imperial Guards, Admiral, Pirate
6277 Imperial Trading Post (Port Royal) 1992 3 Imperial Guards, Admiral, 5 Pirates

Imperial Armada (1996-1997, 2001)[edit]

Reference Name Released Minifigures Notes
6244 Armada Sentry (Water Outpost) 1996 Armada Soldier
6280 Armada Flagship (Armada Galleon/Santa Cruz) 1996 2 Armada Soldiers, Admiral Re-released 2001
6291 Spaniard Ship (Armada Galleon) 2001 2 Armada Soldiers, Admiral Re-release of 6280

Islanders (1994, 2001)[edit]

Reference Name Minifigures Notes
6236 King Kahuka (Indigo Chief's Throne) Chief
6246 Crocodile Cage (Crocodile Prison) Islander, Pirate, Parrot, Crocodile
6256 Islander Catamaran (Indigo Chief's Canoe) Chief, Female Islander, Crocodile
6262 King Kahuka's Throne (Indigo Throne Cave) Chief, 2 Islanders, 2 Pirates, Crocodile
6264 Forbidden Cove (Indigo Treasure Cave) 2 Islanders, Pirate, Captain, Parrot, Crocodile
6278 Enchanted Island (Indigo Island) 3 Islanders, Female Islander, Chief, Pirate, Captain, Monkey, Parrot, Crocodile Re-released 2001
6292 Enchanted Island 3 Islanders, Female Islander, Chief, Pirate, Captain, Monkey, Parrot, Crocodile Re-release of 6278

Official merchandise[edit]

Lego Group has also released a variety of official Pirate Lego merchandise ranging from clothing to stick-on tattoos to board games.

Characters[edit]

Pirates[edit]

Captain Roger / Captain Redbeard Captain Roger, also known as Captain Redbeard, is a fictional character created by the Lego Company for the Pirates theme of the Lego System. The Pirate theme, along with the captain, was first introduced in 1989. As the theme's chief antagonist, the leader of the pirates fights continuously against Governor Broadside’s soldiers. Captain Roger/Redbeard is in command of two pirate ships: the Black Sea Barracuda and the Skull’s Eye Schooner. During the years of fighting, he suffered three major injuries, which caused him to wear an eye patch over his left eye, an iron hook where his left hand used to be and a wooden right leg. Additional trademarks of the captain are the skull and crossed bones on his bicorne, his distinctive gold-trimmed black frock coat and green scarf, and a colorful tropical parrot. Together with his friend Will and his first mate Rummy, Captain Roger/Redbeard encounters countless adventures of swash-buckling, sailing, treasure hunting and piracy.

In later sets, the appearance of Captain Roger/Redbeard was redesigned to look more intimidating, with him now wearing a shredded red shirt and sporting a massive knife slung through his belt. This character is identified as "Captain Ironhook" on the Classic Pirates website, making him a character separate from Captain Roger/Redbeard.

Despite the introduction of Captain Brickbeard in Lego's newest 2009 lineup of pirate-themed sets, many people still feel that the original pirate commander, Captain Roger/Redbeard, is unquestionably THE Lego pirate captain. The fan website www.classic-pirates.com calls Captain Redbeard "the true king of the Lego Pirates line", and "he will always remain the main icon of the Lego Pirates line". Others feel that Brickbeard is just a new release of Roger/Redbeard, due to the close resemblance between the two figures.

  • Captain Brickbeard

Captain Brickbeard is a fictional character created by the Lego Company for their 2009-line of Pirates sets; he is an updated version of the Roger/Redbeard character.

Of all the Lego Pirate Captains, none of them are female. Only Lego fans have made female pirate captains.

  • Rummy

Identified as Captain Roger's/Redbeard's first mate.

  • Governor Broadside

Governor Broadside is Captain Roger's/Redbeard's chief enemy and (mostly) chief victim as well, as Redbeard seems to always get the better of him. In the 2009 Pirates Line, Broadside is now Capt. Brickbeard's chief enemy and chief victim.

  • Lieutenant de Martinet

Lt. de Martinet is identified on the website Classic Pirates as Governor Broadside's second-in-command.

  • Admiral Woodhouse

Adm. Woodhouse is identified as the leader of the red-coated Imperial Guards.

  • King Kahuka

Kahuka is the leader of the Islanders, a Polynesian-based sub-theme of the Pirates theme and he cannot be mistaken for anyone else that Lego has ever conjured up. He wears a massive, carved red face mask topped with white feathers, a face painted white and blue, a necklace made out of teeth and a large round medallion, a red sash around his waist (which was probably a present given to him by a passing ship's captain) and a grass skirt. His center of power is located on "Enchanted Island", a fictitious island invented by Lego.

Ladybird Books series[edit]

An official series of children's books based on the Pirate Lego theme was published by Ladybird Books in 1990.

Titles[edit]

  1. Will and the Gold Chase
  2. Captain Roger's Birthday
  3. Adventure on Shark Island
  4. The Royal Visit

The stories revolved around the misadventures of the crew of Dark Shark and their run-ins with Broadside's Imperial Guards. The stories developed a stronger characterisation for key characters and expanded the Pirate Lego universe. They also introduced a character known as Captain Foul who commanded the ship “The Barracuda”, however the captain did not appear in any of the official Pirate Lego sets.

Like the comic Governor Broadside was given a family which included his Aunt Prudence and niece Camilla. The entire crew of the Dark Shark (6285/10050 Blacks Seas Barracuda) were given names, including the monkey and the parrot.

A short biographical description and illustrated portrait of each of the Dark Shark’s characters was presented on the first and second pages of each book.

Characters[edit]

Broadside's Family

  • Aunt Prudence
  • Camilla
  • Governor Broadside

Dark Shark Crew

  • Anne
  • Bo'Sun Will
  • Captain Roger (known as Captain Redbeard in Northern America)
  • Flashfork
  • First Mate Rummy
  • Jimbo
  • Popsy (the parrot)
  • Spinoza (the monkey)

On the final two pages of each book is a map of the fictional archipelago named “The Treasure Islands” in which the Ladybird Pirate Lego universe is set.

Islands[edit]

  • Black Reef Island
  • Emerald Island
  • Hook Nose Island
  • Island of Fogs
  • Island of Ruins
  • Island of Skulls
  • John Silver Island
  • Pirate Hat Island
  • Pirate’s Nest
  • Sabatina
  • Shark Island
  • Skeleton Island

1993 World Lego Expo – Pirates Ahoy[edit]

For its 1993 World Expo, the Lego Group chose “Pirates Ahoy” as the theme. The exhibition contained various exhibits mostly depicting three-dimensional sculptures of pirates made entirely from Lego, although the Pirate Galleon containing 13,280 pieces was built at System minifigure scale and was crewed by standard Pirate Lego minifigures.

Souvenir guide[edit]

A souvenir guide accompanied the exhibition and its main feature was a story which loosely tied the exhibits together in a first person narrative. The souvenir guide also provided information about each exhibit including its name, how many pieces it contained and the number of hours it took to construct.

The top-left corner of odd pages contained information and an illustrated portrait of infamous pirates from history including Blackbeard and Bartholomew Roberts. While top-right hand cornered of the even pages included a picture of that pirate’s flag.

Exhibits[edit]

Name No. of Bricks Building Time
Pirate Galleon 13,280 101 hours
Galley 103,688 955 hours
Captain’s Cabin 31,773 876 Hours
L’ollonois 46,075 298 hours
Pirate Musicians 29,274 1,432 hours
Pirate Training Camp 103,436 613 hours
Paradise Canyon 22,322 1,115 hours
Treasure Cave 31,445 921 hours
Anne Bonny 38,180 254 hours
Henry Morgan 49,875 330 hours
Black Beard Unspecified Unspecified

References[edit]

External links[edit]