Boomchil

REVIEW: 6245 - Harbor Sentry

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Introduction

Welcome to my third review on Eurobricks! On my way to review every old Pirates set that I buy new (full story on my 6247 - Bounty Boat review), this time I've chosen another bluecoat set, the smallest one available when the Lego Pirates theme appeared in 1989. Was this impulse set a good choice back in those days? Let's take a look at it.

Product Details

Set No: 6245

Set Name: Harbor Sentry (USA) - Governor Broadside's boat (UK) - Le canonnier dans sa chaloupe (France) - Ruderboot (Germany) - De Watersoldaat (Netherlands) - Barca con cannone di difesa (Italia)

Theme: Pirates

Released: 1989-1991

Minifigures: 1

Pieces: 20

RRP: $3,99

Purchase Price: $18 new on eBay

~Box~

Front

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A nice picture with a beautiful background. Everything is set so we can see what we get, even the pistol and cutlass. Please note that unlike Lagoon Lock-Up, the cannon shown here is the shooting version, despite my set being sold in America. Maybe TLG got many questions about that and then decided to make two covers for future sets?

Back

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Here we have three alternate models, without many variation due to the limited part count. I'll cover them in the next chapter.

Side

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An alternate setup of the main model.

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It was a really cheap way to get cannons, don't you think?

~Alternate models~

Alternate model 1

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The cannon has been put on the front of the rowboat and therefore cannot turn anymore.

Alternate model 2

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A little defending scene. The rowboat isn't used here, and we have a little stand for cannonballs.

Alternate model 3

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It's pretty much the main model with separated rowboat and cannon.

As you can see, like Bounty Boat, it's hard to make alternate models out of such a small amount of parts (only 11 generic parts, including the six cannonballs). However I like both the second and third ones since they look good. Isn't that what we want?

~Box opening~

Yo-ho-ho! Every remaining MISB Harbor Sentry now has gone up in value! :jollyroger:

Inside the box

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One loose rowboat, one bag, two flyers (one promoting our beloved Pirates, and one to subscribe to Lego Club) and the folded instructions.

Promotional flyer

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The same fantastic diorama I've got in Lagoon Lock-Up, promoting the new sets coming this year, which mean my set has been produced in 1991.

Lego Club flyer

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One free set every birthday, free magazines, it sure sounds good! I really wonder what answer would I have if I ever sent this to TLG today... Maybe I'll try, stay tuned!

Instructions

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A single two-face sheet, with only four steps. There was still some place to put the third alternate model picture.

~Parts and minifigure~

Part layout

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You can see why making good alternate models out of this set can be troublesome. For Pirates lovers though we get a very nice selection : rowboat, oars, cannon *, flag, one additional yellow epaulette, and a unique bicorne that will stay exclusive to this set for 12 years (we'll see it again in set 1411 Pirate's Treasure Hunt -Quaker Oats promo-). It's the black alternative to Governor Broadside's black and white one.

* Non-shooting version. As far as I know, TLG did produce 3 versions for the cannon between 1989 and 1997 :

- The very first model is the shooting one, for all markets : it's not decorated and full dark gray. The handle can be pulled and when released it can shoot a round 1x1 brick at a very good distance (about 2-3 meters). This model can be found in every European sets and in very (very) early North America sets (sold in 1989). The two other models can only be found in North America though :

- The second model uses the same mold, but has a black handle and cannot shoot. This is the rarest version, since it was used in North America as a transition before the third version which came with a new mold.

- The third model (which I have in this set) is a single mold cannon which is nicely decorated. As I said in my Lagoon Lock-Up review, as an AFOL these are my favorite since I don't play with my sets. They look fantastic and very realistic.

My guess is that TLG planned to make shooting cannon for everyone at first. Shortly after they hit the market, maybe they have been warned to be sued in North America for shooting cannon not being suitable as a child toy. Then they quickly disabled the shooting cannon and put a black handle on it to avoid confusion, while designing a non-shooting version with some decoration for the same reason.

Minifigure

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An exclusive minifigure. Some may think he is the officer that we get in a few other sets with a tricorne hat, I prefer consider it to be a unique member of the bluecoats. Fun fact : in the United Kingdom, the set is named "Governor Broadside's boat", which is a mistake since he only appears in Eldorado Fortress and Caribbean Clipper sets.

~The build~

Between step 2 and 3

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We have built from left to right : the cannonball stand, the seat and the turntable. It's a really fast build which shoudn't give trouble to any Lego veteran :pir-tongue:

~The finished models~

Main model

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I think the cannon is really too big for the rowboat, add those cannonballs and in real life it would sink in a blink of an eye.

Alternate model 1

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The cannon cannot turn anymore, making this one even worst than the main model.

Alternate model 2

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Finally a good looking one! Typically the little scene that we can place anywhere on a Pirates diorama

Alternate model 3

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Here we have a much better setup of the main model. In my opinion this is what the Lego designers first wanted to do, but prefered to have the main model as only one structure.

~Final thoughts~

Design: 4/10 - The cannon is way too big, making the set looking weird. Fortunately alternate models show much better setups.

Parts: 9/10 - This impulse set does its job quite well, it only lacks a musket which would have make it perfect.

Minifigs: 9/10 - An exclusive one, and a bluecoat on top of that. Maybe as an impulse set it should have been a soldier with backpack to help us build huge armies, but still it's a great one.

Build: -/10 - Built under one minute, so there is nothing much to say.

Playability: 3/10 - With only this set there isn't much we can play with. However you can add 2 points for european version with shooting cannon.

Alternate models: 9/10 - Let's forget the first one and look at the others which really demonstrate how the set should be displayed.

Price: 10/10 - It's difficult to rate the price back then, seeing how much it costs today. But $3,99 for all those parts was a pretty good deal. Today it can be found for ~$5, so you should really go for it if you like Pirates and don't have it yet.

Conclusion: 7/10 - A good impulse set, providing nice and useful parts, but lacking some enemies to battle with. For those only searching for parts, I give it a shiny 10/10.

Edited by Boomchil

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Excellent review! It's a tiny set, but you covered it well, and your pictures are brilliantly clear.

Also this was a set we did not have a review for so an extra thank you for adding another review to our index!!

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Wow... another great review Boomchil!

I guess I would give this set a better note but... maybe I am just too much in love with those classics :wink:

My childhood friend had this one. Was kind of unique cause this was like the only figure that heve never appeared in any other pirate set again...

And it was called the way they've called it in UK for sure.

"Lodz gubernatora Broadside'a"... - that's the proper way in polish. I think they've never polonized characters' names, leaving the original ones... Different thing with ships - those were translated.

Alternate model 3

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Here we have a much better setup of the main model. In my opinion this is what the Lego designers first wanted to do, but prefered to have the main model as only one structure.

I like your idea! But it would be much better with another soldier/pirate standing by the cannon and it being attached to a small island perhaps. Would look great if mixed with this set: http://lego.wikia.co...492_Battle_Cove

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Design: 4/10 - The cannon is way too big, making the set looking weird. Fortunately alternate models show much better setups.

Nah... I wouldn't complain about that... there's been a lot more lego sets with things too big or too small making it look more weird :sweet: ... but still playble :wink:

My guess is that TLG planned to make shooting cannon for everyone at first. Shortly after they hit the market, maybe they have been warned to be sued in North America for shooting cannon not being suitable as a child toy. Then they quickly disabled the shooting cannon and put a black handle on it to avoid confusion, while designing a non-shooting version with some decoration for the same reason.

That's bery probable. Guess they were forced by some government child-care issues. America can be very restrictive in some weird matters... like maximum time of animation in commercials and stuff... Still, it's kind of crazy that the cannon thing worked perfectly well in Europe. I actually had one american pirate set "once upon..." but never knew that the cannon was a non-shooting one until I've read about it on Eurobricks :laugh:

One free set every birthday, free magazines, it sure sounds good! I really wonder what answer would I have if I ever sent this to TLG today... Maybe I'll try, stay tuned!

You sure about this "every birthday" thing? It doesn't say it on the flyer. It would be A LOT of toys to give away... Were the club members required to buy a toy every 3-6 months or something like that?

Edited by Mazin

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This set kicked off my Lego Pirates obsession! I got it as a gift (can't remember who gave it to me, parents probably), and it came with that flyer that showed the other sets. Mine must have been earlier because it featured the Black Seas Barracuda and Forbidden Island. I loved this set, it was small but very different at the time, especially the minifigure. I begged for the Barracuda and got it that Christmas! Let's just say that battles between it and the harbor sentry were anticlimactic :grin:

You sure about this "every birthday" thing? It doesn't say it on the flyer. It would be A LOT of toys to give away... Were the club members required to buy a toy every 3-6 months or something like that?

This is true, I was in the Lego club and you did get a free set for your birthday. Granted, it was a very small set around the size of the harbor sentry, but hey it's free Lego!

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I love this set because you get so much for so little. Mine came with saber island and together they cost £16 including P&P, so you can get it for cheap.

Oh by the way, I spotted the treasure on the flyer!

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I agree with the reviewer, the designer probably wanted to have this be 2 separate models, the land based cannon and a row boat for the officer, but Lego made them incorporate it into one model. Having cannons on rowboats just looks silly, one shot and that tiny dinghy would be blown to bits!

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This was my very first Pirates set. Mine came with the shooting cannon and I remember how I thought that was just the coolest thing ever. My grandma got it for me when I had come to visit, and she may have remarked how I looked kind of like the kid on the flyer. :tongue:

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This was my first Pirate set too! Well,techcically one of the first 3,but I got all of them at the same time which makes all of them the first ones. The design is not that good,but it was a perfect army builder.

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Loved those blue coats :D well done review!

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Excellent review! I almost bought one of these about two years back. I kick myself now for not going through with it. Maybe someday haha.

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Recently, i started to Like this set....:)....Especially it has a nice alternative building models.....

i bought 2 of these sets to go along with my Lego 6274 - Caribbean Clipper sets, and did a Pirate Version of the this Set! pirate_satisfied.gif : ( Alternative Build # 1 )

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I think i will add this one to Lego 6250 as i believe it will give a great combo!

Cheers!

Edited by VintageLegoEra

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Since this was brought back to life I voted "above average." The concept of placing a full-size cannon in a rowboat is absolutely, positively, absurdly ridiculous - but it's an excellent parts pack and the minifigure (with the unique plain black bicorne) was my childhood second-favorite behind Broadsides himself. Of course anyone could remake this with the new wave of sets but it will always be a classic depite its flaws. I'm guessing the weight of the cannon by itself would nearly sink the boat; add cannonballs, powder, and wadding and I see it going straight to the bottom even without the soldier. He'd be a busy man trying to maneuver the boat and fire the cannon by himself. Even if it would float the recoil on the swivel would surely swamp the boat. But it was great fun to play with!

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The whole set is like, "Don't laugh, the boat's firepower is comparable to the Renegade Runner!"

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I actually am quite the fan of these smaller sets under $5 that Lego used to make. It seems like a great way to get a bunch of boats to fill with pirates on their way to pillage an island!

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I actually am quite the fan of these smaller sets under $5 that Lego used to make. It seems like a great way to get a bunch of boats to fill with pirates on their way to pillage an island!

Indeed. Pirates theme needs a lot of these small sets with boats and Minifigures so they can fit into any sets perfectly.

I did a lot of such addition and they look amazing.

I am going to post photos when i am completly done!

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