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Brickbeard's Bounty
Published 6 months ago
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My build, I think, is the most complete and correct on Mecabricks so far; perhaps, it'll constitute to get approved! The inventory is ~97% exact, with a few construction changes:

⊡ different sails
⊡ slight rebuild in the cabin's wall to accommodate for alternative 4x6 roundtop doors
⊡ few white-colored peg connection in the ship's main hull (instead of bricks, for #95227 part that subs the missing #2560)
⊡ regular shark, different mermaid's tail
⊡ omitted 10x10 net

01. https://rebrickable.com/parts/62605pr0001/animal-body-part-shark-body/
02. https://rebrickable.com/parts/62604pat0001/animal-body-part-shark-head/
03. https://rebrickable.com/parts/51345pr0001/tail-merman-mermaid-with-white-scales-print/
04. https://rebrickable.com/parts/40241/door-1-x-4-x-6-round-top-with-window/
05. https://rebrickable.com/parts/2560/boat-hull-section-large-middle-8-x-16-x-2-13-with-9-holes/
06. https://rebrickable.com/parts/71155/net-10-x-10-square/
07. https://rebrickable.com/parts/84622/flag-7-x-4-with-pirate-skull-and-crossbones-print/
08. https://rebrickable.com/parts/64991pr0002/sail-rectangle-27-x-17
09. https://rebrickable.com/parts/64991pr0001/sail-rectangle-27-x-17
10. https://rebrickable.com/parts/85651pr0001/sail-triangular-17-x-20

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Set no. 6243 'Brickbeard's Bounty' was the largest out of eight "Pirates" models in 2009, reviving the iconic theme after a lengthy, twelve-year hiatus. Colloquially known as 'Pirates II,' the relaunched series only lasted for one season; after the colossal 'Imperial Flagship' next year, LEGO canceled "classic" Pirates again, this time for six years.

I always felt 'Pirates II' was primarily aimed at AFOLs. That's why every model closely followed one of the "original" sets—from the era long before the intended 6-12 target audience was born! So, after grown-ups got it out of their system, LEGO immediately launched the licensed 'Pirates of the Caribbean' theme, as early-2010s kids, obviously, cared more about Captain Jack Sparrow than Redbeard! In a way, this "adult fan service" aspect links 'Pirates II' to a short-lived LEGO Legends series (2001-'04), which featured exact replicas of three Pirates sailships and the 'Enchanted Island.' By 2009, however, the original builds became far too obsolete to re-release "as is," so LEGO designers meticulously re-constructed them.

The Brickbeard's Bounty is done after the theme's true "holy grail," Niels Milan Pedersen's set no. 6285 'Black Seas Barracuda' (1989), so it's also a brig with two square-rigged masts, similarly constructed hull and raised captain's cabin, red-and-white sails, decorative figure underneath a bowsprit, etc. Even though two boats almost match in size, Brickbeard's Bounty is 270 bricks lighter. That difference is due mainly to an absent "cargo hold"—the new ship doesn't have anything underneath the main deck, and the cannon 'seats' are mounted directly on top of the hull pieces. The Bounty also streamlined sails and rigging: there are flexible "hoses" (or "cables") used for yards, and gone is Barracuda's long string (that rigged through the flying jib, then around both masts, and tied at the stern).

Indeed, the actual sailship became far less realistic with such revisions, but it's still more than a delightful build. I'm pretty conservative myself, but it seems that "modern" LEGO building techniques evolved enough by 2009 not only to adequately replicate Barracuda but even improve and "optimize" the build. As far as playable and decorative elements, again, the Brickbeard's Bounty certainly is an hommage: the crane, the treasure chest, three cannons, two doors leading to the captain's cabin; everything is there. I only spotted one obvious mistake—the new boat doesn't include an anchor.

The Brickbeard's Bounty even had the same minifig count (strictly speaking, Mermaid is part of the ship). There's way more variety, though, compared to 'Black Seas Barracuda.' Instead of an "identical twin" crewmates gang, the new model features two Imperial Guards on the rowboat as antagonists. Maiden sports a decorated "sloped brick" dress instead of the regular leg assembly.

What really makes me curious is how well Brickbeard's Bounty, and the rest of the 'Pirates II' lineup, were actually selling back in 2009. In other words, if LEGO always planned to do a "one-off" special edition, so to speak, and already secured Walt Disney contract for the "Carribean" franchise, or if we could've seen several 'Pirates II' seasons with better sales? After all, I'm convinced that economics was one of the main factors behind the original theme's "abrupt" discontinuation back in 1997. Most brickipedias (and even the actual Wikipedia article) quote the proverbial "shock" and "disdain" among fans, concluding that Pirates were not only dearly beloved but also one of the bestsellers.

Personally, I think it's inaccurate. Once renowned as the most advanced and sophisticated LEGO System theme, Pirates struggled to adapt to the late-90s "juniorized" trend for more playability. The 1996 season, with a Spaniard-influenced '96 restyling and Imperial Armada, got pretty mixed reviews. And "Pirates," obviously, was a low-margin theme—not as notorious as 9V Trains or Futuron/Unitron monorails, perhaps, but still way "above average" in production costs. If Pirates were such bestsellers, why would LEGO release the '97 lineup only in North America instead of a global launch?

The Lego Group might've prospered altogether, but it was also spending like crazy around that time. On top of various LEGO System themes with loads of new parts and fancy technology like fiber optics, LEGO just launched the Lego.com website and published the first videogame, for instance. In retrospect, it's actually admirable that LEGO preferred an "honorable discharge" for Pirates and finished the series on a high note, so to speak, instead of bastardizing it like Classic Town or slowly dissolving into the oblivion of barely retouched budget mid-size boxes.

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LEGO.com description
Sail the seas for plunder and adventure! Avast, me hearties! With firing cannons and a mermaid on the prow, the famous pirate ship Brickbeard's Bounty is sailing the Seven Seas in search of adventure and gold. Will the pirates make the Admiral's daughter walk the plank into shark-filled waters, or will the soldiers rescue her and capture the pirates' treasure?

The action never stops with 3 pull-action cannons, removable captains quarters, walk the plank feature and more! Includes 4 pirates, 2 soldier's, Admiral's daughter, monkey, shark and mermaid! Ship measures 22" (56cm) long and over 17" (44cm) tall!
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6253: Shipwreck Hideout (2009)

6248: Volcano Island (1996)

6249: Pirates Ambush ('97)

6281: Pirates Perilous Pitfall ('97)

1788: Treasure Chest ('95)

6278: Enchanted Island ('94)

6251: Pirate Minifigures (1989)

6204: Buccaneers ('97)
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