WhiteFang

REVIEW: 4181 Isla De Muerta

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Hello everyone,

I am very pleased to share with you the latest second "smallest" upcoming new LEGO Pirates theme review set from the exciting Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) LEGO sets. When I first saw the actual set in real life, I was indeed very thrilled excited and so looking forward to this whole new LEGO Walt Disney theme that will ultimately deliver a fresh new perspective of LEGO Pirates with lots of new charm and beauty. :pir-grin:

Name: 4181 Isla De Muerta

Theme: LEGO System / Pirates of the Caribbean

Year: 2011

Pieces: NA

Minifigs: 4 minifigures

Price: USD$19.99, GBP NA, SGD$50.90

Resources: Brickset, BrickLink

An original box image of the 4181 Isla De Muerta

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Back view of the original box image of 4181 Isla De Muerta

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I am loving those new detailed POTC minifigures

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Who dares to steal and loot my precious treasure!! Grrrr....

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The Isla De Muerta is a mysterious isle where it was part of the first Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC), The Curse of the Black Pearl blockbuster movie which was screened back in 2003. I can't really recall of the movie content and had to watch the movie again to recollect myself of the different main characters and story plot once more.

In summary, the LEGO playset for the Isla De Muerta is to portray the mysterious isle which cannot be found so easily due to the everlasting fog and sunken ships, so the isle was used by the Black Pearl crew to hide their looted treasure. The Isla De Muerta is also illiterately meant the Island of Death from Spanish. I am not sure how accurate this translation is, but I think there is some truth to it.

The second smallest LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean set actually featured a small set up of the Isla De Muerta's action scene where main characters like Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swan and Hector Barbossa was cast in this action scene.

The content of the sealed POTC LEGO box

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In this box, there are a total of 3 sealed LEGO bags, rowing boat and a packet of instruction manual.

Instruction Manual Package

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What really surprises me is the most ideal package of the instruction manual content. I can't really imagine why TLG and Disney could actually resort to place the LEGO instruction manual with a cardboard at the back. Initially, I thought this was used to support the manual and sticker sheet for this set. However, there wasn't any stickers required for this, so the next section actually explain the mystery.

Front view of the POTC Poster No. 1

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Believe it or not! This packaging is very much likely between the arrangement of TLG and Disney where they wish to reward the consumers with this lovely POTC LEGO poster that is exclusive to this set. Note the familiar faces in this LEGO action scene which also includes Will Turner. To be honest, I am really very surprised of the inclusion of the cardboard in the content.

Back view of the POTC Poster No. 1

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On the other side of the POTC LEGO poster, there is a cryptic code which I am not sure what it is meant for. I supposed it could relate with the new upcoming LEGO POTC video games or for those mini savager hunt in LEGO website.

The rest of the advertised POTC LEGO posters

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I supposed this is another reason for one to collect all of the POTC LEGO sets to keep a complete neat collection of these unique exclusive posters above that can be found in the instruction manual.

Another wonderful new Sci-Fiction LEGO theme is coming soon

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I hope you are also looking forward to the upcoming LEGO Sci-Fiction, Alien Conquest too. This can be found at the last page of the instruction manual.

Let's begin to build

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The cast of the Isla de Muerta scene

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First of all, in this infamous set, from left to right, you are able to own a series of these marvelous characters which includes Hector Barbossa, Elizabeth Swan, Jack Sparrow and Skeleton Barbossa.

You have to admit the amount of details entail to these characters' designs, right from the top to the bottom. Every single little bit of printing are taken into detailed consideration for their outfits. If you are a LEGO minifigure collector like myself, you will not want to miss any of these iconic characters that will expand your imagination. Including the "unique" Jack Sparrow, every single LEGO minifigure in this set is exclusive and I love that approach very much. :wub:

The Skeleton Barbossa is not the usual same old clumsy skeleton or the recent white skeleton from the Crown Castle. Whereas, this new design is actually part of the popular LEGO Ninjago theme.

These are the minifigures back printing made available in this set

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These are the minifigures back printing, and among them, only Jack Sparrow's skeletal appearance and Elizabeth Swan's angry feature are part of the dual facial expression.

Useful parts and accessories that can be found in this LEGO set

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Whenever I buy a LEGO set, I enjoyed grouping those useful parts and accessories which is of huge interest to me. In this set, you actually obtained quite a decent amount of useful LEGO elements as followed.

The new fiery blue and red flames come in the amount of 3 and 2. It also comes with 4 cutlass and 2 new cutlass sword holders which we all have been waiting for a very long time. I am very certain that will be a very popular piece of accessory. You also get 2 pieces of printed compass which is of exclusive use to Jack Sparrow. Instead of pointing North, it actually points to what its holder wants most. A compass that points to your greatest desire.

You also get 2 stacks of new gold coins, pearl gold round studs, gold ore, gem, golden cup, green apples, and the new pearl golden bars which I am not really excited after seeing it which will be explained below.

This is not what I have expected to see in the content

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Obviously, there was some sort of raise of expectations along the line. Before I opened, I thought I will get some golden shiny gold bars from POTC sets instead of getting merely pearl artificial gold bars. In my context, I find that very disappointing. I don't think my eyes are playing tricks with me or perhaps I was expecting a little too much.

One shall prevail and emerged as victor

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Jack Sparrow's rowing boat

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Now, let's see this simplistic rowing boat which Jack Sparrow actually used it to locate the Isla De Muerta through the unique compass. It comes with 2 oars and a lantern.

I wonder if he truly knows how to use a compass?

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I wonder what does it contain?

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Opening the treasure chest?

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So, did Elizabeth Swan manage to find the cursed Aztec treasure chest that is doomed to curse one to transform into skeletal beings under moonlight? This is a simple depiction of the place where the cursed Aztec gold is placed. I really like the usage of the delicious tan LEGO pieces that are used as the cover.

Glittering gold indeed!

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Building of the Isla De Muerta

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Above 4 images are the simple illustration to show the building process of the Isla De Muerta. It doesn't really exactly represent an isle in my mind, but merely an extraction of the key entrance of the isle and the transformation process of Barbossa into his skeleton form.

There are actually 2 playing features that can be found in this set. It includes the transformation process of Barbossa into the skeleton form and the pushing of the ship mast to block the isle's entrance. These playing features will be shown in a video demostration below.

The overall building does not look very impressive but it brings a point across that this place is definitely filled with lots of treasure with the good use of pearl golden round studs.

Back view of the Isla De Muerta

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This is the back view where the wrecked ship mast is placed at the side and is likely to sabotage any intruders that seek to find the entrance of the Isla De Muerta.

When the wreckage falls

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Video demonstration of the Isla De Muerta playability

Please pardon the poor lightnings. I never expect to come out so badly on the computer.

Completed built

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Now, you have it. This is the completed built of the entire Isla De Muerta that was placed altogether which includes the rowing boat, cursed Aztec treasure, a section of the isle. Although the set up is messy, but I am glad the designers brought the epic duel across in the best possible manner.

This is a poorly taken pictures of the remaining spare parts. Good to know that it comes with a spare printed compass.

Reaching my destination soon...

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And I hope I don't have to swim in there with those lurking hammerhead sharks

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To conclude, this is a very good set for starters who are unsure of this whole POTC theme. I purposely selected this set to give myself a chance to see if I could like the whole POTC LEGO theme and to my expectations, after writing this review, I must admit that the whole POTC LEGO theme is just sheer brilliance.

The epic detailed minifigures are just amazingly beautiful and exclusive to one another. The Jack Sparrow minifigure facial expression is unique from one set to another, and that brought a new selling point. Furthermore, the POTC sets which includes this brought many new exciting elements that will transform the whole LEGO Classic Pirates community in new dimensions despite the liking of fleshies for some.

The biggest downfall for this set, is likely the expensive price tag that will be given to this set and it is no surprise to anyone that any LEGO Licensed sets is not coming any cheaper and LEGO POTC is no exceptions.

Summary review

Playability: 8/10 (Basic and interesting playing features of the transformation and the broken ship mast.)

Design: 8/10 (POTC minifigures are brilliant but the Isle will need some work and efforts.)

Price: 5/10 (A very expensive set especially when piece counts is taken into consideration.)

Overall: 7/10 (Bought this for the exclusive minifigures and some of the useful LEGO elements.)

I gave it a "4" based on my Review Score Card. :pir-wink: What about yours?

I hope every one of you enjoyed reading this simple review of mine. Comments and Criticisms are strongly welcomed.

Pictures can be found in My Flickr and My Brickshelf (When moderated)

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Thanks for the great review, Whitefang!

The overall design of the set is not very good, but the minifigures and the new parts are fantastic. I especially like Elizabeth Swann; her new hairpiece, face print and outfit are all lovely. The gold bars are a great new mould, but I too was disappointed that they were pearl gold. I found it quite funny how you said "fake gold" for the pearl gold - I completely agree, they look like a cheap fake gold compared to the chrome gold on the box art. I don't know how much you payed for the set, but the USA price on toysrus.com is $19.99, which I think is quite fair. I'm hoping that the UK price is less than that or around the same. If it's a decent price, I'll definetely pick this one up.

Thanks again for the excellent review!

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Nice review Whitefang! I agree at the gold bars are little disappointing, but atleast we get 8 or was it 10 gold coins in this set, plus some very nice new parts. So i actually dont mind if the gold bars arent Chromed like the coins are. I am getting this set if its on the shelfes tomorrow on my local shops, havent looked them yet so waiting forward to that. great review and i would give this set overall 7/10 or 8/10, it depens a bit. :pir-blush:

Captain Becker

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Thank you so much for another wonderful review , White Fang... :pir_laugh2:

I am wondering :hmpf_bad: that this Lego theme is not available on the market now so how did you manage to get this little cute set???? :pir-grin:

However, these pictures are so nice and clear, thanks for your hard work..... :thumbup:

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Great review. This set is just okay. The figs are great, but just like you, I'm disappointed in the gold bars and the price.

BTW, it's duel, not dual (or by dual, do you mean two Barbossas?) :pir-grin:

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I don't know how much you payed for the set, but the USA price on toysrus.com is $19.99, which I think is quite fair. I'm hoping that the UK price is less than that or around the same. If it's a decent price, I'll definetely pick this one up.

Ah, thanks for providing the USD price. I also include the SGD price. What I have paid for this set, is definitely way much higher than the SRP.

Nice review Whitefang! I agree at the gold bars are little disappointing, but at least we get 8 or was it 10 gold coins in this set, plus some very nice new parts.

Thanks Captain Becker. It was a total of 8 gold coins without including the center supporting golden element that hold those coins together.

I am wondering :hmpf_bad: that this Lego theme is not available on the market now so how did you manage to get this little cute set???? :pir-grin:

Thanks Belun. How I get it? Err.. :blush::pir-grin:

BTW, it's duel, not dual (or by dual, do you mean two Barbossas?) :pir-grin:

Opps! Thanks prateek. Updated the wording.

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Nice review WhiteFang. This set was already on my want list for PotC, and your review just emphasized that.

Only two things: Do you have any word on new coins? On the box, some of the coins are not the old LEGO standard but instead have different, weird numbers, but you never mention it. Also, this set isn't the smallest - Captain's Cabin is the smallest, and there is another of the exact same price range (Fountain of Youth).

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Ah, thanks for providing the USD price. I also include the SGD price. What I have paid for this set, is definitely way much higher than the SRP.

Thanks Captain Becker. It was a total of 8 gold coins without including the center supporting golden element that hold those coins together.

Yes the US price was a lot more fair.

Also, I believe the "8 or 10 gold coins" was meant to refer to the fact that what you get in the sets actually seems to vary from batch to batch. I had 10 gold coins in a bag with my gold bars, unconnected, new mold, and not chromed: same gold as the gold bars.

Furthermore, none of my instructions/posters were on a cardboard backing :pir-cry_sad:

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Nice review WhiteFang. This set was already on my want list for PotC, and your review just emphasized that.

Only two things: Do you have any word on new coins? On the box, some of the coins are not the old LEGO standard but instead have different, weird numbers, but you never mention it. Also, this set isn't the smallest - Captain's Cabin is the smallest, and there is another of the exact same price range (Fountain of Youth).

the coins I received have the aesthetic of the coins on the box, but only come in the 10 denomination. they are the same gold as the gold bars whitefang shows, and they have two circle holes in the back from the mold; since they are molded individually, no sprue takes up the compromises that the molding process requires. The "LEGO" print on the back is much like that on top of the gold bars. Not proudly displayed as a design element, as on the old gold coins, but matter-of-factly, by requirement.

In short, they are effectively one-sided, non-chrome coins, but the "10" on the top (only number due to a single mold that makes single coins) is styled as seen on the box.

Edited by SpiderSpaceman

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Only two things: Do you have any word on new coins? On the box, some of the coins are not the old LEGO standard but instead have different, weird numbers, but you never mention it.

Huh??? My set don't have any of those mentioned wierd stuff. It is just those regular typical normal golden Pirates coins in the correct denomination of 10, 20, 30 and 40 with LEGO wordings on the other side. I don't know any of those new coins.

Also, this set isn't the smallest - Captain's Cabin is the smallest, and there is another of the exact same price range (Fountain of Youth).

Opps!!! You are right. I have amended and updated the content accordingly. Hopefully I have changed it correctly.

Also, I believe the "8 or 10 gold coins" was meant to refer to the fact that what you get in the sets actually seems to vary from batch to batch. I had 10 gold coins in a bag with my gold bars, unconnected, new mold, and not chromed: same gold as the gold bars.

I find this point very new. I haven't been reading a lot of the recent discussions or revelations on any of those coins. Can someone enlighten me a little on what I have missing so far?

Furthermore, none of my instructions/posters were on a cardboard backing :pir-cry_sad:

You meant POTC LEGO sets???

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This looks like a marvelous little set to me. I order mine last week (along with all the others sets of the line), but it I'll get it the first week of May the earliest. When I first heard that Isla de Muerta was one of the new sets, I really hoped that it would be a large set with lots of interaction, treasures and interesting parts. When I saw the first pictures of this set, I was somewhat disappointed for it being a small set and it really didn't meet any of my expectations towards this set. I ordered it nonetheless and due to your great review, I can now say that I really look forward to obtain this set and add it to my collection.

The prices here in The Netherlands range between €21,95 and €26,99 I think (I ordered it for €23,79 due to discount I got by buying lots at the same time :pir-blush: ) so yes, I agree it's pretty expensive for the second smallest set. (Though 'Fountain of Youth' costs exactly the same as this one... :pir-hmpf: )

Anyway, great review! Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

Edited by Dream Team

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Yay, thanks for the first PotC review, Fangy! This is my most-wanted of the new sets, mainly because it has the best figures and is one of the least expensive.

The new pieces are great, I especially like the gold bullion bars and the sword sheaths. And of course, the minifigs are great. Should be useful for some Victorian-style minifigs, don't you think? :pir-wink:

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Great review Fangy!

I like this set a lot, although I am quite disappointed that the gold bars are pearl gold and not chrome. The box is very misleading, and TLG has really let me down in that regard.

That being said, the minifigs in the set are excellent, and I will certainly still try to pick one up.

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Great review, WhiteFang! :thumbup:

This set is indeed one of the most appealing ones in the whole line, with some nice accesories, let of inferior quality. Can we expect more revies of PotC theme from you? )

Good day, ladies and gentlemen! ) :classic:

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Brilliant White Fang, despite the displeasure regarding the gold bars, I'm actually really surprised at the set. Nice Job

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Nice review! Fake gold is absolute epic fail :pirate_sad2: but what troubles me the most is price.. .seems overpriced even considering SW... :jollyroger:

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Especially because of the price I didn't give it 5 points. But I gave four because the minifigs and the parts are really awesome!

There's some great accesory in the set. I'd rather have shiny gold bars too, but still the bars are quite nice.

The compass is also a great part IMO.

One other thing that I don't really like is that all the torso's contain a bit of the flesh minifig colour.

The torso's are great but unfortunately they can't be used on yellow minifigs very well.

Anyway, it's [bloggedcp][/bloggedcp] -Thanks for the review!

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Great review. I think the minifig accessories are great. I love the sword sheaths, printed compass, and hats.

My set also came with the new pearl gold coins that were not attached and all have 10 printed on them. At the very least the new design should have mimicked the cursed Aztec gold design from the movie. Disappointing as I like the classic pirate gold much better.

The selling point for the set is the minifigures.

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I find this point very new. I haven't been reading a lot of the recent discussions or revelations on any of those coins. Can someone enlighten me a little on what I have missing so far?

You meant POTC LEGO sets???

On the first point, I detailed it a post above your post. I figure you juuuust missed it while typing. :pir-wink:Here.

on the second, yes, sadly.

Edited by SpiderSpaceman

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Seriously disappointed with this set now! Not only do we have more of those hidious Ninjago style skeleton arms & legs (Seriously, what was wrong with the original ones? The new ones suck!!) but the shiny gold has turned into a load of crap too! Hopefully there was a glitch & they mistakenly packed uncoated ones in your box! They showed shiny ones in the pre release pics & even show them on the box! TLG need to be careful if they've changed to the uncoated versions (Fools gold) for the actual release & left the shiny ones in the picture on the packaging, they could possibly be in breach of false advertising as it's not as shown in the picture on the cover :pir-sceptic:

Edited by escortmad79

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Thanks for the review, Whitefang!

This is one PotC set that I am really looking forward to; the minifigs (and their accessories) are great! :pir-cry_happy:

However, I must say that I am quite disappointed by the non-chrome gold bars. :thumbdown: Seeing chrome gold bars on the front and receiving pearl gold inside reeks of false advertising; I wonder if this is a first run issue, as I didn't think Lego would intentionally put the wrong coloured bars on the front. (This reminds me of 7325 Cursed Cobra Statue's Helena Tova/Skvalling, who on the box had yellow hands but actually had brown hands [which is nowhere as bad]. Anybody else recall any other mistakes Lego has made on their boxes?)

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However, I must say that I am quite disappointed by the non-chrome gold bars. :thumbdown: Seeing chrome gold bars on the front and receiving pearl gold inside reeks of false advertising; I wonder if this is a first run issue, as I didn't think Lego would intentionally put the wrong coloured bars on the front. (This reminds me of 7325 Cursed Cobra Statue's Helena Tova/Skvalling, who on the box had yellow hands but actually had brown hands [which is nowhere as bad]. Anybody else recall any other mistakes Lego has made on their boxes?)

Actually, Lego has always fooled whit box pictures just becasue: At the set would sell more.

And of course TLC cant provide everything we would want to get. But lets hope at we get those chromed gold bars at some point in City and Pirates line in the future. But in a other hand, i would also have liked if they would have even coloured them as we see in 2011 Bank and money Transfer Set. So in this case, they did it on purpose.

Captain Becker

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thank you for the review! I'm really looking forward to see all the new POTC sets.

I gave only 3 because I think only the minifigs and some pieces are worth in this sets.

have a nice lego day

mrBlue

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