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6253-1: Shipwreck Hideout
Published 5 months ago
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The build is 99% exact. I had to make minor variations to substitute the cabin's door and replaced a missing flag with 6x4 plastic Jolly Roger. Lady Pirate's torso and head, as well as an upgraded "evil" skull, are absent.

=MISSING PARTS=
1. https://rebrickable.com/parts/40241/door-1-x-4-x-6-round-top-with-window
2. https://rebrickable.com/parts/84622/flag-7-x-4-with-pirate-skull-and-crossbones-print

=MISSING DECALS=
1. https://rebrickable.com/parts/973c01h01pr1449/torso-corset-dark-green-with-belt
2. https://rebrickable.com/parts/3626bpr0568/minifig-head-female-with-eyepatch-and-large-red-lips-print-blocked-open-stud/
3. https://rebrickable.com/parts/3626bpr0190/minifig-head-skeleton-evil-skull-print/

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This set no. 6253 "Shipwreck Hideout" came out in 2009 as part of the Pirates theme's long-awaited relaunch. The decision to discontinue Pirates in 1997 always seemed illogical and puzzling, as it was not only one of the most iconic "classic Lego" themes and fans favorites—seemingly, it's always was a bestseller, too.

Twelve years later, The Lego Group somewhat compensated for this awkward hiatus with a well-designed, comprehensive relaunch. Nicely enough, Lego designers thoroughly paid homage to the mid-90s lineup, with most sets revitalizing familiar elements, motives, and scenes. (A somewhat "unnecessary" fan service intended more for an adult audience, as the target children's audience wasn't even born when original Pirates came out).

The 'Shipwreck Hideout,' clocking at 310 parts and six minifigs, was the third-largest in the 2009 collection. The build follows two of the '90s models, no. 6296 'Shipwreck Island' ('96) and no. 6281 'Pirates Perilous Pitfall' ('97). The striking difference is that most structures are "free-standing," and there aren't any baseplates included. All core elements are instantly recognizable: the mast (even though there's no torn sail), rope bridge, two Imperial Guards in a rowboat, and a wooden fort made from the remnants of the wrecked ship's cabin. There's even a treasure map and a goblet on the table, just like in the Perilous Pitfall's bungalow!

The shipwreck is modular, with stern and bow remnants attached on double pegs. The central module, what used to be a captain's cabin, is three-storied. All the traps and guarding weapons (except for the cannon) got wholly reimagined. A menacing rotating blade protects the treasure. The bridge itself is rigged, only held in place by a tiny lever. Finally, the table inside the cabin rotates, revealing a hidden hatch in the floor for bombarding enemy boats with heavy objects (skulls). The scene is very scant as far as the plants and greens, omitting not only the palm tree but almost every little bush. Instead of a crocodile, there's a crab and two red water snakes.

All minifigs got excellent restyling! The 'Shipwreck Hideout' came with six figures, including a skeleton (with upgraded arms and skull) and a regular pirate crewmate with redesigned torso print. Others are:

☠ Captain Brickbeard
A new commander who succeeded the original Captain Redbeard (1989–'97). Notable changes are the golden epaulets and arm hook, plus upgraded decals on the torso and his bicorne hat.

☠ "Lady Pirate"
This character only appeared briefly—as a matter of fact, the Shipwreck Hideout was the only "proper" set with Lady Pirate; others were seasonal or addendum products. Frankly, it looks slightly out of whack: a 100% contemporary haircut, bright lipstick that dissonates so much with an eyepatch. The design has a bit of an "afterthought" vibe, as if Lady Pirate was so crudely incorporated to match a proverbial "female" quota. Both lady pirates that came afterward overall had a more "period-accurate" design. They all have the same decal on the torso, a green corset with a brown belt. (Lego designers subsequently reused it several times in Castle and Western minifigures).

♛ "New" Imperial Guards
Curiously, LEGO chose the 2nd-generation 'Imperial Guards' in red uniforms for the 2009 relaunch: not the original Imperial Soldiers (1989–'91) in blue or the Imperial Armada that were "on duty" as the Pirates got discontinued in '97.

The uniforms are very similar, with white belts crossed over on the chest. The upgraded version added blue accents to their jackets, though, matching their epaulets. (In the '92-95 rendition, Imperial Guards had blue epaulets for soldiers and yellow for higher-ranking officers; the latest version, I believe, eliminated this distinction). The soldier's shako hat now has a decal.

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=SEE ALSO=

6281: Pirates Perilous Pitfall (1997)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/VzvMywxRvJp

1788: Treasure Chest ('95)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/eDvVXGB82BR

6278: Enchanted Island ('94) >> Islanders
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/qxv41Z9ladJ

6251: Pirate Minifigures (1989)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/LyjWYNZpaJr

6204: Buccaneers ('97)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/KbjQrBGgvdG
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