Monday, 4 April 2011

Lego Pirate Wave 2 1992 -1993


The Pirate Sets of Wave 2

In 1992 Lego Pirates underwent a change, new pirates where added to the crew (a total of three) and the foes (which our beloved pirates had to face) changed completely. The Bluecoats sadly left us (never to return) and where replaced with a new (though strangly similar) warrior, below is a picture of the two, take a look and see if you can spot the differences.


At this point you could argue that Lego has been rather lazy because it is obvious that the only change made was to switch blue for red and vice versa, but if you consider it logically, during this period in time all European military organisations they had a similar uniform, the only real change between armies would be the colour not the style. Lego adopted this idea and created a whole new faction, my only real gripe with the Redcoats is the fact that Lego did not make any effort to give anyone a new face design, the simply inverted the colours again swapping black for brown and vice versa.

The new faction is often seen as the British (with the blue being French) this decision is only due to the fact that in the 18th and 19th century the British where famous for their Redcoats (that even being their nickname at the time).

So 1992 saw the British military take to the seas and challenge the pirates for dominance over the waves (and our hearts).

Sets from 1992

Impulse

Set Name = Pirate Lookout (Polly Bag 1464) (1696 Boxed Set)

Piece Count = 17

This set was released as both a polly bag and a boxed set, the idea behind this set is a lone pirate looking out for any Imperials so that his crew mates can get an early warning (hence the title lookout). The highlight of the set includes a blue pirate (the favourite at the time) and a barrel (storing his supplies, maybe). Overall it’s a simple little set and I like the leaves but the one thing I don’t get is why the flag, surly the pirate would not want to advertise his presence to others. The set is ok but lacks the forethought of its predecessor Buried Treasure 6235.


Set Name = Battle Cove 1494 (US and Canada Only)

Piece Count = 26

Why Lego? Why? Another US only set, how can I buy this set if it’s not released in my country, and look at it, so much better than the set above. This set comes with great building possibilities, if you owned one of the large pirate bases from 1991 or 1989 then this set could be used at add to the structure and make it bigger. The large black corner wall is very rare now and to also include a cannon and shark, pure brilliance. This set lives up to the Lego expectation, my only minor gripe is the cannon looks locked into its place, meaning it can’t turn, how can you fight a ship if you cannot turn your cannon, a tad foolish I feel (if I am wrong about this please correct me and I will take this complain off )
Set Name = Pirate Treasure Hold 1889 (US and Canada Only)
Piece Count = 34

What US only again, this is getting silly. Still nice set, small, cheep, include a monkey and palm tree, great landscape and wildlife builder. It is part of a multipack but that just means you get good value for money, If only I could have bought some.

Set Name = Pirate Plunder 6237
Piece Count = 21
Ahhh, a set I recognise. I remember being very excited by this small set, it was the type you could buy with your pocket money and then open up on the car ride home. This was one of the intended army builder for this period, my question is why include an officer, don’t get me wrong I love the whole Imperial forced labour idea (possibly seen later in the flagship set), with the officer holding the pistol forcing the pirate to uncover (or bury) his treasure. Another stange element of this set is that it does not come with instructions, I know they are not really needed, but still all the other impulse sets came with instructions so why not this one?. The set is nice and intelligent it is a logical improvement on the original (Buried Treasure 6235) but why an officer why not a soldier, this is a problem throughout this whole wave, the Redcoats simply had far too many officers (promotion being more encouraged in the British Army/Navy). Also that pistol on the floor looks far too close to the pirate, what if he tried something? Still despite my musings it was one of the best car journeys home when I bought this set.
 
Small

Set Name = Bounty Boat 6247

Piece Count = 36

Another nice set from this wave, I love the idea of the Imperials forcing the pirate to row to his island hideout, uncover his treasure, and the row them all back to the mainland (all of this under gunpoint). The beauty of this set is that it includes a redcoat soldier not just an officer, the pickaxe, spade and flag are nice touch’s too, also the pirate though hard to see in this picture is also a new design. I feel that Lego sets work best when they have a logical story behind the bricks, in this set you can clearly see what is happening this is why it is so good, later on Lego lost this focus somewhat, which is a shame.

Set Name = Smuggler’s Shanty 6258

Piece Count = 70

An interesting idea with this set, here we see an actual pirate shanty. The idea is nice but sadly it misses the mark with relation to design, why for example is the set on a yellow base rather than the brilliant island baseplates from Sabre and Shipwreck Island 6265 and 6260. Also what is the officer doing in this set, he is outnumbered in a rowboat (where our his soldiers) did Lego simply have an abundance of officer minifigs and needed a reason to use them, so far if you owned the three small sets containing imperials released this year you would have owned Three Officers and only one Soldier, these number make no sense. Still if you were lucky enough to own the large island baseplate from Forbidden Island 6270 and about three of these sets, you could make a brilliant pirate village as the actual shanty in this set looks very nice. Still I say remove the Imperial, boat and shark and replace with a small island baseplate, an extra pirate and some landscape bricks (for stones and such) then you would have a much better set.

Set Name = Raft Raiders 6261

Piece Count = 81

Remember the raft from 1989 (Castaway’s Raft 6257) well here we have its replacement, now I prefer the original but this is probably due to the fact that I owned that one first. This set has a new pirate (the one with the hook known as Ironhook) and we see one of the regular pirates sporting a fashionable peg leg. I remember thinking at the time, wow I can swap the multiple captains legs with some of the regular crew and as such create variety. The raft itself doesn’t feel quite as solid as it predecessor but the inclusion of a sail and rigging makes it look much better, a nice improvement on the old style. I like to believe that the two pirates with moustaches where from the original set and have found themselves unlucky again (especially the one who lost a leg between 1989 and 1992).

Medium
Set Name = Imperial Flagship 6271

Piece Count = 317

Now we come on to the bigger sets of the year. Here we have the Imperial Flagship (the first one that is), something for the Redcoats to sail around in. This is the one place where I feel that the Redcoats have the edge over there blue counterparts, this ship looks much better than the Clipper, it features a better placement of sails with respect to the ship as a whole, the rigging for this ship is placed at the side (rather than in the middle like the clipper) and the small number of blue pieces varies well with the red sails. Where this set falls down is in the minifig department, whilst the old clipper had a perfect complement of three sailors and one commander, this ship features one pirate (or is it a sailor I can’t tell) one soldier (to shot pirates) one officer (to boss around the soldier) and one commander (to command).Why did Lego not just add three sailors like before, there cannot be much of a difference cost wise and it’s a shame because there is not actually anyone to sail the ship. Bad move Lego you where so close, still due to this fact the clipper has the edge.

Large

Set Name = Imperial Trading Post 6277

Piece Count = 608

Now we have the large set released this year, it comes on two (yes two) full sized (32 x32) baseplates, one of which is raised. The idea behind this set is very good; we finally get a set for the large pirate ships to actually attack, a trading post must contain worthy booty for a pirate to plunder. Many have compared this to the Eldorado Fortress and said that this set is found lacking, I have never understood this, why are people comparing a Fortress with a trading post, one fortifies and one trades, they are supposed to be different. The structures in this set are not the greatest, but the overall design of the set is, there is plenty of room for barrels and boxes, the set features a hidden storage compartment inside the base (which is very large), it includes a crane which feels like it has an important purpose being there, and best of all an actual trading vessel. The trading vessel in this set is the only one every released by Lego, before this set (and after) pirates had no one to plunder and steal from (possible Islander exceptions here, to be reviewed later), only soldier to fight against, this set adds some much needed realism to the series. The biggest problem with this set is one seen throughout the whole wave, too few redcoat soldiers, for the entire base we only get two, in the fortress we received double that, I like the pirates standing in as dock workers and normal sailors (the men on the right of the picture with axes are assumed to be dockworkers not pirates) and I like the commander of the base and brown vested sailor in the ship (known as Steve), but why another officer, change this to three soldiers instead. Overall though a great and original set from Lego, seen by many as one of its best.

Overview of the Year

This year saw the inclusion of a brand new faction, for that faction we received a ship and large base for them to operate out of, I view the pirate themed sets released this year as simply placeholder something to keep the public happy while you released the impressive sets later, but for the imperials this year saw a great couple of sets, ok the officer to soldier ration was way off, but still at this point in time we see three evenly strengthen factions squaring off against each other. If looked at alone this year is great (though for those pure pirate fans it is lacking somewhat) if compared with what came before it is even better.

Overview on 1992 = 8.0/10 (great for imperials, sad for the pirates)

Overview with Wave 1 included = 10/10 (own every set from these 3 years and you have most of the best sets released by Lego, evenly matched and varied enough to be exciting)

Sets from 1993
1993 saw fewer sets released than 1992, this was the style of Lego at the time, release lots of sets in the first year and then release a smaller number of sets the second year, to keep the theme alive but let them focus on other themes. For example in 1989, ten sets where released (and one comic) in 1991 four sets where released (and one US only set), in 1992 seven sets where released (and two US only sets), this year saw four new sets (and one US only set)

Impulse
Set Name = Pirate Gun Cart 1970 (US amd Canada Only)
Piece Count = 31
Another US only set, looking at it, it seems ok, a nice idea rather than all the cannons we see in every other set, but my question is, why is it here? It resembles a mini Gatling gun or WW1 gun cart, this type weapon was never used in the Caribbean so what is it used for, also this set came as part of a multipack so you could not buy this without buy some non pirate Lego (always a problem for me when I was younger). Overall one of the poorest sets so far.

Small
Set Name = Sea Mates 6252
Piece Count = 32
Another battle pack, the type of set you buy to build up your collection, this set is not as good as the original from the previous year, why are there only four minifigs that just seems silly, like an obvious downgrade from the previous year and this time no Wench (NOOOOO) and another boring Officer for the Redcoats, and another boring Captain for the Pirates, there are less weapons in this set as well. On the Plus side you do receive another precious Redcoat Soldier to add to your collection, and the basic pirate in the set is relatively interesting because his print was only released last year, ohh and you get another monkey (yay Monkey).


Set Name = Cannon Cove 6266
Piece Count = 106
The cannon cove seems to have passed a lot of collectors by, it never seems to be mentioned, everyone knows what Sabre Island is but few people know about the Cove. This is a shame because the set is very nice, it is presented on a green baseplate (which is hard to integrate into your collection) but the design is very solid and attractive, you cannot see it in the picture but there is also a jail behind the grey rock on the left, we also see the little green bush for the first time within the Pirate Line, which was exciting at the time as I recall. The downside of this set is the tiny flag (like the imperials are ashamed of being there) and the fact that again the ration of Officer to soldier is way off. Still I judge this just as good as it’s blue counterpart, it’s just different.

Medium
Set Name = Renegade Runner 6268
Piece Count = 178
The Renegade runner, seen by many as one of the worst ships, looking at the old ships they included important things, like a ships wheel and an anchor, the runner sadly misses these finer points in sailing (though they have a compass, so they will know if there going in the wrong direction they just cannot do anything about it). The mix of blue bricks on the bottom and red on the top also doesn’t quite work. But I remember this ship being a lot cheaper than its counterparts and also though small it is quite complete, there is space on deck and the cannon rotates fully which is a nice touch. It must be noted that the cost worked out as three of these ships compared to one Black Sea Barracuda or Skull Eye’s Schooner, and a fleet of three of these looks really nice (especially if you have a Schooner or Barracuda following behind). In honesty I hated it when I first got it, but it grew on me, it’s nice to have a smaller ship and it should be noted that this is the only pirate ship that was commanded by someone other the Redbeard, that someone was Ironhook(its a shame that the second attempt at this really failed).

Large
Set Name = Skull’s Eye Schooner 6286
Piece Count = 912
Now we see another reason why these years are looked back with such fondness, this ship has been argued by many as the better of the two pirate ships, It contains all that the previous ship contained, but also came with a nicer colour scheme (the red and white works really well) there is also the inclusion of an extra sail at the back and the pirate figure head at the front looks better (in my opinion). It has to noted that the set also contained a greater variety of minifigs (including the Wench and Brownshirt Steve). In honesty both the sets are of a very high-class, and it is nice to have the luxury of choice over a favourite rather than there being only one good set, more of this say’s I arrrg.


Overview of the Year
This year gave the pirates great variety on the waves, they now had the choice to sail in three ships, and at this point the balance of favour has tipped towards the pirates. Most collectors (kids with bricks) made the Bluecoats and Redcoats team up at this point due to the fact that most of them where greatly outnumbered. Still there is always the option of making the pirates fight amongst themselves (something I never thought about at the time). Now the theme is feeling slightly less thought-out, the sets are still nice but the theme itself feels like its losing focus, the love of the pirate is overtaking all. Still a very nice year but it would need a year balanced towards the imperial (or a new faction) to make the theme feel better.
Overview on 1993 = 7/10 (an ok placeholder year the two ships really save it)

Overview of Wave 2 = 8.5/10 (a good couple of years but not as good as the first two)

Overview of Wave 1 and 2 = 9.5/10 (three factions one with a few too many pirates in it, still very nice so far)

Click on the links below to view the past and future waves

Overview of Waves
Overiew of Waves

Wave 1 

Wave 3

Wave 4

Wave 5 

7 comments:

  1. Great analysis of the given Lego sets...thanks for all your work and keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice to read this, takes me back to my youth (though I only had the small sets).

    Another "proof" that the bluecoats are French is the lily flower in their flag:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleur-de-lis
    A typical French symbol.

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  3. again.. a pleasure to read your comments...

    on the fixed cannon complaint you make :)battle cove 1494.. I liked the fact that it was fixed.. used to think that.. well the pirates had to make do.. so perhaps they didn't have the revolving platforms the imperials had.. or that this one was found lacking wheels even...
    still.. "degustibus...."

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  4. Thanks for the feedback Tunafish

    I like your opinion I have never thought about that before, after all, all pirates are a little impoverished. Still from a purly practical point of view the cannon would be entierly usless it was guarding the narrowest of rivers.

    one question: "degustibus", did I mistype somewhere?

    Cheers again

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  5. Thanks for this site... It's impressive... However I go think the skull eye shcooner is miles ahead of and ship the built ... The baby is far too clean and fancy to be a pirate ship.however everyone is different and that's what makes the world go round ! Thanks again and i love your passion you have for this

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  6. Imperial Flagship 6271 or Sea Lion as it was in the UK Catalogue, this was my 7th birthday present in 1994, my only ship and a nice one as well. Thanks for uploading all your information to this site, it has brought back floods of memories. Im nearly 26 and never forget my time with Lego. I wish I spent more time on it than other toys at the time lol

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  7. Man this brought back great memories! Thanks for sharing!

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