Thursday, 18 September 2014

Minifigure Week! Day 6: Pirate Captain (Series 8, 2012)

Minifigures are one of my favourite things about Lego – and series 12 is on the way (possibly even out in your country by the time you read this). So to celebrate this upcoming release, every day this week, we’ll be looking at a different minifigure from the series that have come before. This is by no means a comprehensive overview – nor even necessarily a look at my favourites – but it’s an example of some of the unusual figures the line has produced since it debuted back in 2010.  Today, we look at the Pirate Captain from series 8.

“Yarr! Don’t ye know who I be? And if not, do ye have any suggestions?”

A real pirate is a merciless, rotten son of a sea dog, and that’s exactly what the Pirate Captain aspires to be. He certainly looks the part with his rugged eye-patch, hook-hand and peg-leg, but he has to admit that he’s had a few hiccups along the way.
First of all, his ships keep sinking. No matter whether it’s a man o’ war or a dinghy, any vessel capsizes within five minutes of him coming aboard. Also, he gets seasick really easily – sometimes just a picture of the ocean is enough to set him off. Worst of all, he’s having real trouble coming up with a piratey name. All the good ones – from Ironhook to Brickbeard – seem to already be taken. If he can just come up with a name to strike fear into the hearts of landlubbers everywhere, the Pirate Captain figures the rest of his problems will solve themselves! biography

Pirates. One of the expansive and popular themes the company has ever released, Pirates dominated a good chunk of my pre- and primary school years. It is still something of a matter of sadness for me that I never owned the incredible Pirate Ship – though I did own two different versions of the pirate hideout, both of which were incredible.  

But since the late 1990s, there’s been precious little Pirates stuff released. There were lots of Pirates of the Caribbean sets in recent years, which some might argue filled that niche, but it just wasn’t the same.  A Brickmaster book, a few sets here and there, a handful of figures and the subject of today’s review, the Pirate Captain has been all that Pirate fans have been able to get their hands on for years now. 
Still, 2015 looks like it will have something exciting happening on the Pirates front, and one can only hope that means we’re going to see more in future too. In the meantime, let’s look at the Pirate Captain from 2012.

Series 8 was one that I almost completely missed. I wasn’t in a very good way at the time of release and Lego was low on my list of priorities. By the time I snapped back a little, series 8 and 9 had all but disappeared from the shelves and the (mostly disappointing) series 10 was about to drop. This doesn’t bother me too much, but I want that Diver! If anyone’s keen to help out, let me know.
The Pirate Captain is just an all-round great figure. He looks something like my mental image of Captain Hook – he’s a gentleman’s pirate, in contrast to the more stubbly Captain Redbeard. His moustache has been neatly waxed, his red coat looks dapper and his neck ruff is impeccable.  He's got a leather belt, and a matching strap slung across his chest -- presuably this could be used to hold a blunderbuss or two, Blackbeard style.

The Pirate Captain with some of my old early 1990s Pirates

Gold is a recurring theme here -- the skull and crossbones on his hat is emblazoned in gold and he even has a little gold tooth in his mouth too. I like to imagine that this is kind of his ceremonial dress, rather than just his everyday getup -- it's for when he needs to intimidate the enemy and inspire his men, pre-batttle, rather than when he's actually fighting.  

The Pirate Captain comes with one accessory – a golden cutlass – but he also features a golden hook hand and a brown peg leg., so that kind of balances the accessory count a little. You don’t really need anything else, but if he was going to have another, one of the old parrots would have been cool. Sadly I couldn't find any of my old ones.

Captain Red Beard with Skull
photo from Brickipedia
The old Pirates minifigures had amazing paint work for the time, so even with all the time past, there was still a lot to live up to -- and given my childhood attachment to the Pirates franchise, my expectations were exceptionally high. But he definitely delivers. Though he’s not likely to become as iconic as Captain Redbeard (see left) from ye olden days of the Pirates line, he's fantastic. Roll on 2015 and more Pirates 

1 comment:

  1. It's hard to tell because of his pirate hat, but I'm assuming the Captain didn't come with any buccaneers? -- Seymour Knutts