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Pirates (Faction)

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Pirates
Pirates
Release years:

1989 - 1997, 2009

Main theme:

Pirates

Concurrent faction(s):

Imperial Soldiers
Imperial Guards
Islanders
Imperial Armada

The Pirates were one of the first two factions of the Pirates theme. They were the only faction not to change over time, but they expanded with more and more sets added with each change of the good faction. Their symbol was the Jolly Roger, a black flag with a skull and crossbones.

The Pirates boasted four of the largest ship sets, Black Seas Barracuda, Red Beard's Runner, Skull's Eye Schooner and Brickbeard's Bounty. They operated out of the Forbidden Island, Rock Island Refuge, Skull Island, Pirates Perilous Pitfall and Shipwreck Hideout sets.

History

Pirates-1990-2

Pirates vs Imperial Soldiers in a catalog from 1990.

The intial release of the Pirates was hugely popular. The sets released in this era were some of the largest in the theme, including 6285 Black Seas Barracuda, 6270 Forbidden Island, and 6273 Rock Island Refuge. The Pirates were initially pitted against the Imperial Soldiers.

In 1992 the blue Imperial Soldiers were phased out and the Pirates' main adversaries were now the red Imperial Guards who resembled Redcoats of the British Army of the colonial era. The Black Seas Barracuda was replaced by the Skull's Eye Schooner, and the Rock Island Refuge was replaced by the Skull Island.

Pirates skull 2009

The new Jolly Roger featured from 2009 onwards.

Around late 1993 to early 1994, there was a minor split in the Pirate faction. Another captain emerged as the leader of the new Renegade Pirates faction. The two sides were not enemies, nor were they friends.

1996 brought a radical change to Hispanic themed Pirates, and much of the Pirate sets were redone to match the new Imperial Armada. The theme only ran for 1 year before it was ended.

2009

After more than ten years without any new Pirates releases, the theme was relaunched with visually upgraded minifigs. This time the pirates were pitted against a faction that resembled the Imperial Guards from 1992.

The pirates were given a new ship, Brickbeard's Bounty, as well as a new hideout. Their only other seagoing vessel is a raft.

Characters

3983

Captain Redbeard minifigure on a keychain from 2002.

  • Captain Redbeard: Famous pirate leader, distinguished from all the others by his bright red beard and a patch over his left eye. His right leg was a wooden peg-leg and he had a hook on his left hand. He often carried a pistol and a sword, and was hardly seen without his pet parrot, Popsy.
  • Captain Brickbeard: The captain of pirates after the theme's relaunch in 2009. He largely resembles his predecessor, but consists entirely of newly printed pieces and wears golden epaulettes and a golden hook.
  • Bo'Sun Will: The youngest pirate and crush of Camille, the Governor's daughter. He is friend to Capt. Redbeard, and has some skill with a sword and pistol. He wears a red bandana around his head, a red and white striped shirt, and red pants. He has no distinguishing features.
  • First Mate Rummey: First mate of the pirates, Rummey was a cut-throat pirate through and through. He wore a blue jacket over a red and white striped undershirt, gray pants, and a brown tri-corner hat. He also had a patch over his left eye.
  • Jimbo:
  • Anne: Also known as the Wench.
  • Flashfork: He's a crewmember of Captain Redbeard and sometimes served as second mate. He's a very poor sailor because he always shipwrecked.
  • Spinoza: the monkey.
  • Popsy: the pet parrot of Capt. Redbeard.

Ships and buildings

6285006

The Black Seas Barracuda is often considered the best LEGO pirate ship to date.

In total, the pirates had six ships that made use of the new large boat pieces. the first one was 6285 Black Seas Barracuda, which is still one of the most popular LEGO sets ever. It was replaced in 1993 by the 6286 Skull's Eye Schooner, which was, until January 2010, the only ship of the Pirates theme that had three masts and was also the biggest to that date. 1993 also brought a smaller one-masted ship, 6268 Renegade Runner. In 1996 the second two-masted ship was released, the 6289 Red Beard Runner, followed by another small one-masted ship in 1997, 6250 Cross Bone Clipper, which was the smallest of the six bigger ships and would also be the last ship for the next years. The newest ship is 6243 Brickbeard's Bounty from 2009.

6286 Skull's Eye Schooner

With 892 pieces, 6286 Skull's Eye Schooner is the biggest LEGO Pirates set.

The first pirate base was 6270 Forbidden Island, a simple outpost on a flat baseplate. It was replaced in 1991 by 6273 Rock Island Refuge which was considerably bigger and constructed on a raised baseplate. The next one was 6279 Skull Island, released in 1995. Smaller installations include 6296 Shipwreck Island from 1996 and 6249 Pirates Ambushfrom 1997. The biggest fortification of the pirates, considering the number of pieces, was 6281 Pirates Perilous Pitfall from 1997. The latest pirate base is 6253 Shipwreck Hideout from 2009.

There were also numerous smaller islands, boats or rafts.

Sets

Initial release

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Image # Set Pieces Figures Price Released
Disland 1481  Pirates Desert Island  20  1     1991 
6234 6234  Renegade's Raft  37  1   $3.25  1991 
6235 6235  Buried Treasure  27  SpinozaPirate   $3.00 / DM 5.99 (= €3.06)  1989 
6251 Pirate Mini Figures 6251  Pirate Mini Figures  33  Captain RedBeard

Lt. de Martinet Imperial Soldier

Pirate (2)  
$6.00  1989 
6257 Castaway's Raft 6257  Castaway's Raft  50  Pirate (3)     1989 
6260-1-1 6260  Shipwreck Island  69  Pirate (2)     1989 
6270-1 6270  Forbidden Island  176  Captain Redbeard

Bo'Sun WillFirst Mate Rummey

Imperial Soldier  
$31.95  1989 
6273 Rock Island Refuge 6273  Rock Island Refuge  372  7     1991 
6285006 6285  Black Seas Barracuda  865  Pirate (7),  Captain Redbeard   $109.99  1989 
10040 10040  Black Seas Barracuda  896  8     2002 

1992 release

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Image # Set Pieces Figures Price Released
Plookout 1464  Pirate Lookout  16  1     1992 
Bcove 1492  Battle Cove  25  1     1992 
Plookout 1696  Pirate Lookout  16  1     1992 
Swpirate 1713  Shipwrecked Pirate  22  1     1994 
1729 Barnacle Bay 1729  Barnacle Bay  89  4     1994 
1733 - Shipwrecked Pirate 1733  Shipwrecked Pirate  22  1     1994 
1788-1 1788  Treasure Chest  154  Male Islander

King Kahuka

, 2 Pirates  
  1995 
Pcannon 1871  Pirates Cannon  15  1     1994 
1873 1873  Pirates Treasure  45  1     1994 
1889 1889  Pirates Treasure Hold  34  1     1992 
1970 1970  Pirates Gun Cart  29  2     1993 
6237 6237  Pirates Plunder  21  2   $3,00  1992 
6254 Rocky Reef 6254  Rocky Reef  101  3     1995 
6258 Smuggler's Shanty 6258  Smuggler's Shanty  69  3     1992 
6261 Raft Raiders 6261  Raft Raiders  78  3     1992 
6268 Renegade Runner 6268  Renegade Runner  171  4   $40.00  1993 
6279 Skull Island 6279  Skull Island  366  6     1995 
6286-1-1 6286  Skull's Eye Schooner  892  9     1993 

1996 release

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Image # Set Pieces Figures Price Released
Ptsurprise 1747  Treasure Surprise  21  1     1996 
1802-Tidy Treasure 1802  Tidy Treasure  21  1   $1.99  1996 
6232 Box 6232  Skeleton Crew  27  PirateConquistador Skeleton     1996 
6248 6248  Volcano Island  119  PirateConquistador Skeleton     1996 
6249 Pirates Ambush 6249  Pirates Ambush  159  2 Pirates and 1 Conquistador   $21.99  1997 
6250 Cross Bone Clipper 6250  Cross Bone Clipper  151  3     1997 
6281- Pirates Perilous Pitfall 6281  Pirates Perilous Pitfall  395  Pirate (Three different versions)

Captain ValiantConquistador

Conquistador Skeleton  
  1997 
6290-1.ImageL.thumb2 6289  Red Beard Runner  698  7     1996 
6290-1-1 6290  Red Beard Runner  698  7   $99.99 / €99.99  2001 
6296 6296  Shipwreck Island  216  3   $29.75  1996 

2009 release

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Image # Set Pieces Figures Price Released
6240-1 6240  Kraken Attackin'  78  2 Pirates   $9.99 / €9.99  2009 
6241-0000-xx-23-1 6241  Loot Island  142  PirateCastawayImperial Guard   $19.99 / €19.99  2009 
6243-1 6243  Brickbeard's Bounty  592  Pirates (3), 

Imperial Soldiers (2),  Captain BrickbeardAdmiral's Daughter

Mermaid  
$99.99 / €79.99  2009 (First sold in late 2008) 
Shipwreck2 6253  Shipwreck Hideout  310  Captain Brickbeard

Pirate (2),  Imperial Soldier (2), 

Skeleton  
$39.99 / €39.99  2009 
PirateSurvival1 8397  Pirate Survival  16  Pirate   $3.49 / €2.99  2009 

Other appearances

  • 6204 Buccaneers (1996), contained two pirates, including Captain Redbeard

Other products

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