Friday, 8 April 2011

Lego Pirate Wave 3 1994 -1995

The Pirate Sets of Wave 3
1994 saw the introduction of another new faction to our beloved Pirates theme, this year saw the inclusion of an island tribe lead by King Kahuka. Sadly for those outside of the US there was to be no new Redcoats released this year, but everyone around the world received the opportunity to collect some beautiful new island minifigs and a crocodile to add to the wildlife of Pirate Lego. Without further procrastination let’s look at the sets.
Sets from 1994
Impulse
Set Name = Shipwreck Pirate 1713 Polly Bag and 1733 Boxed Set
Piece Count = 23
This set was released in both a polly bag and boxed set. I have to say I am a little disappointed with this one; it is simply the Renegade’s Raft from 1991 without the shark, pistol and a second oar, ohh and some nice extra bricks to make the raft better. This set also includes a bandana pirate rather than a tricorn pirate. Why didn’t Lego take this opportunity to create a whole new impulse set? Did they realise that they had loads of the old rafts not selling, why Lego? Tell me.

Set Name = King Kahuka 6236
Piece Count = 45
Now here we see innovation within the world of Lego, this set is very good, we see the king of the tribe (Kahuka) and a rather interesting throne for him to sit on. What I like most about this set is the fact that it comes with two very attractive shields, one on either side of his chair, they make the set feel complete. They best thing about this set is the fact that it fits so well with the Enchanted Island set (reviewed further down the page), not too sure about the staff the king carried though, looks a little weird.

Small
Set Name = Crocodile Cage 6246
Piece Count = 59
This is my favourite Islander set, it just feels so contained and perfect; this set was the first opportunity for many of us Pirate fans to add a crocodile to our collections (and the green bush which was only released in Cannon Cove previously). We also see the minifigs need for warmth for the first time ever with the little fire just to the left of the islander (lots of island sets have fire, I guess it was something to do with the skimpy clothing), the set also comes with a nice (and huge) selection of weapons (a Bow, Quiver, Musket, Cutlass, Staff, Shield and five Spears) so even a couple of these sets would be very welcome in anyone’s collection. The final crowning glory is the fact that the pirate even comes with a tricorn hat despite the fact that he doesn’t have a blue shirt, fantastic.


Set Name = Islander Catamaran
Piece Count = 63
This is an interesting set, with some good and bad parts, here we have a lovely boat (known as a catamaran), the design of the canoe is a beautiful as is the sail, but the printing on the side of the canoe is sadly made with stickers (a first for our pirate sets, sadly not the last). My favourite part of the set has got to be the drum, the island girl ranks a close second, but again we are let down with another King (I have too many in my collection), and this set only comes with a single shield. An ok set but it could have been better, not bad but not great.

Medium
Set Name = Barnacle Bay Value Pack 1729 (US and Canada only)
Piece Count = 89
All you lucky US citizens had the opportunity to purchase this set, for the rest of us we have to make do with pictures only, it was designed as a value pack with three small sets included in it. The three sets where named, Pirates Cannon (the set with the Cannon) Pirates Treasure (the set with the Treasure) and Soldiers Forge (the set with the Soldiers). At first glance the set looks exciting and It is nice to see that the Redcoats have not been completely abandoned, but it’s sad that they only appear in such a small set, the forge looks more like a small fire next to an old wall (not very good) and the cannon set makes no real sense either (it doesn’t even have wheels to move it, useless), the only set that looks ok is the pirate treasure, like a small cave or shack. Overall though the sets look like something you design when your about ten year old, with a few spare parts.


Set Name = King Kahuka’s Throne 6262
Piece Count = 146
Yay, another drum, and yay, more shields, and biggest YAY of all, a new pirate sail, here we have a set that gives you another rowing boat for your pirate hoard, but this boat comes with a sail as well, which is brilliant, variety offers enjoyment. As for the design of the set, sadly we see that most of the structure is made from a BURP but still the figurehead on top is interesting. Extras in the set include a throne that can be carried around by the islanders, but also placed ontop of a small table in the middle of the space, this is so that the King can hold court when he needs to, ohh and another camp fire. I understand why we have the king in this set so I don’t mind his inclusion and I like the way both the pirates have a problem with depth perception (they must struggle to sail the seas) , but I would have liked to change the crocodile to another Islander because the croc appears in every Island set except King Kahuka 6236, and in this set it feel unnecessary .

Set Name = Forbidden Cove 6264
Piece Count = 214

The statue face on the forbidden cove is one of the quaintest and most well thought out designs I have seen from Lego, it’s just so interesting to build and look at. The structure in this set looks nice but sadly offers little else, the roof is brilliant but then the top floor contains nothing and the bottom floor is simply a watery cave (shed/garage) to park the canoe (which only half fits in, terrible). We get another drum and canoe plus an extra palm tree is always nice (as are the vines) but the set contains less minifigs than King Kahuka’s Throne 6262 and the most minimal of weapon selections (a cutlass, musket, pistol, bow and arrow, spear, and two shields).Lego I just want to tell you, that new things (LIKE THE CROC) becomes less exciting when you put them in every set. Please don’t misunderstand me I like the set and the structure looks great next to the Enchanted Island (which has an even worse structure) I just feel the set could have achieved more, get rid of the croc and add a camp fire and a pot, place a barrel here and there rather than the obligatory treasure chest, make things more interesting. 

It should be mentioned that the islander figure with the all white face is exclusive to this set and has been seen by many as the Kings own son (due to having the same body and face as the King but no mask), he is exculsive to this set so he can be seen as something special.

Large
Set Name = Enchanted Island
Piece Count = 428
Here we have the flagship for the Islander theme, the Enchanted Island. This set is somewhat reminiscent of The Imperial Trading post, as they both come on two 32 x 32 stud Baseplates, they both contain two boats, they both have a number of structures rather than one and they are both the main sets of that faction. I am lucky enough to have both here in front of me whilst I write, and I have to say I love them both. The problem I have is that I can see the flaws with this set far easier than I can with its counterpart, for example, the bridge is placement. We have a beautiful printed river but the design of the set is such that the bridge just goes next to it rather than over (that’s just stupid). Another problem I have is with the structure that the bridge is connected to, it seems to be there for no reason, it’s not a hut, or a storehouse or a lookout post, or anything, it’s just a building that’s sole purpose is to have the bridge connected to it. Despite these flaws I still love the set, we see a beautiful fireplace and pot (for the island girl to use obviously) I nice statue (which also doubles as a jail) a cool small canoe and a brilliant pirate jolly boat with two sails (the one at the front is exclusive to this set). The set is interesting and original and just like the trading post is somewhere for a pirate ships to attack and loot (though the islanders armed spears and bows would probably struggle against cannons and muskets), though I feel that the pirates would attack this place for the croc meat and Island girl (that’s where the Wenches come from) rather than the gold.


Overview of the Year

A lot of people dislike the islanders, but for me that has never been the case, they are a nice original faction included within the Pirate theme and they had a great number of uses over my childhood. When I was young I used them as mercenaries, they would sell themselves to the highest bidder (usually my outnumbered imperials), or I used them as innocent civilians for my otherwise non civilian collection, they would trawl the trading post and trade with my imperials. The islander also featured the second (and last) female from the original Pirate theme (1989 -1997), I had two of the figures and they always needed rescuing. Overall the sets are quite nice, but they needed a bigger ship or a fortress to really compete against the other factions (not sure if that could have been created) but they miss the structural logic of the original year (1989), plus they repeat the Croc and King way too much but that is not the worst thing that has ever happened to Lego Pirates.

Captain Rodger (a member of Eurobricks) made such a good point as to why the Islanders are not as well recieved, so I had to quote him.

" The problem, in my opinion was the story that The Lego Company told us was incoherent: they said pirates were interested in steal islanders treasure. Islanders treasure is a coffer full of golden coins like you may notice in some sets (for example: enchanted island). It's an absurd story because an island tribe doesn't use money, so why they have a coffer with gold coins? adding an island tribe to pirate theme wasn't a mistake...the mistake was the official lego story about that. That's the reason i don't like islander sub-theme"

It should also be noted that this year saw the pirate captian Ironhook as the main protagonist which is a nice change (this year contained no Red Beard Captains in any sets). Sadly this year saw no new sets for any other faction (excluding that stupid raft and the US only set) which was a shame, but not as bad as one would think. This is due to the fact that when these sets where released, the pervious few years sets were still mostly available, so variety was an option.

Overview on 1994 = 7.5/10 (not everyone cup of tea, but still very nice)

Sets from 1995

1995 saw only three sets released (four in the US), despite only including three (four) sets this year, I am experiencing trouble explaining the theme, if I was pushed I would say it was a vanilla return to 1992 or 1993, this year focused on the Imperials and Pirates once again, we where sadly to see no new Islanders (except in the US).

Medium

Set Name = Treasure Chest 1788 (US and Canada only)
Piece Count = 159

This set is not one I posses; in fact I was never aware of its existence until I started researching (building my old sets) for this guide. Looking at the picture the set feels a little bit of a mess, but that is mostly due to the chest sticking out of the side of the building. Good news, that little part of the set actually slides inside the structure, once this is done the set looks much nicer. We have a small outpost, with a camp fire, pot and cup, and a very nice old style lantern, the raft looks weird but I appreciate Lego’s attempt at making a different one from the many that have come before. The pirate captain has even attempted to change by stealing a Redcoats shoulder braiding. Their opposition in this set comes from the Islanders (with the return of the canoe and drum) the islanders get some nice items but why give the regular warrior a black spear, silly. Overall an interesting set, but not great.


Set Name = Rocky Reef 6254
Piece Count = 103

Hooray an island made of Lego bricks, I love this set because the pirates actually get to bury their treasure. For once we have somewhere to put the treasure chests, the island is not great but I love the idea behind the set, we also see a skeleton for the first time, I used to take him out of his rock and place him over the sand (this way I could put more chests into the rock making the island even richer). The problem with the set is the tiny supply of yellow bricks received, I was lucky as I had plenty of spare yellow bricks to build up the island some more but for most people the set is just lacking, why is there no spade to dig with, why is the palm tree in on one 2x2 stud yellow brick surrounded by water, it looks terrible.  I like this set because of the changes I made to it, not because of the set itself, shame.

Set Name = Imperial Outpost 6263
Piece Count = 216

I loved this set, back in 1995 I received this set along with the Enchanted Island and the Renegade’s Runner for Christmas (All I ever asked for was Lego so I got a lot of it). As I got older I began to compare it to the Bluecoats version (Lagoon Lock Up 6267) sadly it’s not quite as good. The base of the set is the best part as it contains a dock for the boat a beautiful little kitchen space (with a table, two cups and a small oven), a trapdoor to hide loot (sadly going into water) and a jail. But the set is let down by its flaws with the general layout, the jail door is at the back and cannot be reach without a boat (the jail floor itself is also in the water) and the middle and top floors contain nothing other than a cannon. I love the set but it’s not as well designed, we do receive a good minifig number in the form of another admiral for our Redcoats, two soldiers (a very large number for the Redcoat faction) and a pirate, which is a bonus, it’s a good basic set, but not faultless.


Large

Set Name = Skull Island 6279
Piece Count =378

The flagship of 1995 came in the form of another pirate base, at this point in the theme we have seen a total of three pirate bases, but because the other two were released in 1989 and 1991 respectively we can forgive Lego for the repetition, (we get the old Captain back as well which is great). This set is nice in the way that the structure relies less on being an island and more on being a base in its own right, the skull at the front looks good and I like the way it can be moved to store the boat but I am reminded of the Forbidden Cove 6264, because the idea is exactly the same. The crane and top floor of this set is probably the nicest part (I love the railings), the whole structure of the set looks good because it is well thought out. The set is interesting, but I am not sure which pirate base is my favourite, this set doesn’t have the beautiful classic vibe of the original set, and Redcoats are not quite as good as the Bluecoats (and we don’t get a sail this time), but the structure is more interesting and its nice to have a strong pirate structure for the Imperials to attack rather than the other way round.


Overview of the Year
This year is really just a review of three sets; of those three we only really get some very nice sets. A new pirate base to rival the old, a new smaller base for the Imperials (yay imperials are back) and a rather odd island for the pirates to hide their gold in. The year is ok and reminds me of 1993 again with a few new filler sets to keep the collectors happy, I can't really fault the sets I just wish there was more. Ohh and we have now been two years without a ship, which is a little sad.

Overview on 1995= 6/10 (nice sets but very few)
Overview on Wave 3 = 7.5/10 (Islander's are great, and 1995 offered variety but we needed more sets.)

Click on the Links below to see past and future atricles on LEGO Pirates

The History of LEGO Pirates 

Wave 1

Wave 2 

Wave 4 

Wave 5 

8 comments:

  1. Yummy - thanks for doing this :) - It's something that I've wanted to do for ages, but hadn't taken the time to do. You've done a great job, and it's nice to see that you add corrections as they come up, from for example eurobricks.com

    Keep up the good job
    Blackbeard

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  2. nice one steve. I like that you're bringing humor into it more often (skimpy cloathing, hehe)keep it up!

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  3. You should be aware that all the US only sets were also available in Canada. I have all of them except the one from the last year here. I also was completely unaware of that set.

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  4. Thanks for the info crossmr, I will change that in my posts

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  5. First of all, congratulations for this blog. It's simply amazing. In addition, we always agree!

    Let me add something: There's an interesting minifigure you don't mention nor here neither the overview of the waves. I'm talking about an Islander minifig, that appears in the set Forbidden Cove 6264, wich probably represents King Kahuka's son. If you look at his face, is the same of Kahuka's son, and the same plumes.

    This minifig is exclusive of this set, and I think that's something interesting to mention.

    That's all.

    Thank you very much Steve!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for the wonderful comment

      I have now added the info about the Kings son, thank you for that. I will mention it in the overview at some point but I need to get a picture and all that so it will be a while (as I'm a little busy).

      But i really apericate the help (anything to make my blog better).

      Thank you again and feel free to become a follower (the more the merrier)

      Cheers

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    2. Thank you Steve, as I see you added the information! :)

      You like the Islanders as I do, so I guess that we'll be agree: note how interesting is analyzing the sets, and extract the information, and the "story" that Lego lets us to explore. For instance, that King Kahuka's son. Or the Islander Girl, who seems Kahuka's daughter too as Classic-Pirates.com say.

      Lego doesn't explain very much about the story, but lets some little details wich are very nice to discover.

      I find very interesting another thing about the Islanders, wich we could call the "diplomacy". I would like to know your opinion about that:

      It should be noted that the Islanders have never been seen fighting against the Imperials. They only fight the Pirates. Look at that, if you take de 1994 catalog and sets, there are no images showing any hostility between the Imperials (who lost importance that year) and the Islanders, and sets either.

      We could think that the Islanders were hostile to the Captain Roger, and neutral to the Imperial Guards.

      But here is the most interesting thing. In 1995, we see a double attack to the Pirates: the Imperials recover importance, the Islanders continue their fight against Pirates but, this time, it seems that Soldiers and Polynesians have some kind of alliance.

      If you look at the catalog, we see a surprinsing attack against the Skull Island, but there is no situations or sets of hostility AT ALL between Islanders and Imperials. If you don't remember it now, go and check it, they are making a coordinated attack! :P

      It seems that the Islanders are intelligent people who know the importance of having strong friends. They follow the famous saying "The enemies of my enemies, are my friends". :D

      Have a nice day and sorry of my english.

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    3. Thanks for replying again, I am sorry its taken me so long but I have been on an internet hiatus (but I'm back now).

      I see your point on diplomacy the picture you discribed is on this site...

      http://brickfanatics.co.uk/featurette-1-pirates-pt-16/

      Your right not one islander figure is attacking the redcoats. I think it is partly to tell a story but also partly as a marketing scheme, if LEGO links the islanders with the redcoats (who were absent in 1994) then parents who bought the islanders a year earlier will be happy to buy these as well, wereas if they are portrayed as a new faction some people might be put off.

      In bussiness it is always best to algermate you product line, you want it to link so that more people will purchase.

      That being said the people at LEGO were not so money orienated so it is possible they never made the islanders attack the redcoats because both factions were portrayed as the good guys in the previous years (1993 and 1994) so that being said by 1995 it would be natural for the two factions to join forces. 'The enemy, of my enemy, is my friend indeed'

      I would like to believe they are friends.

      Cheers again

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