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Black Seas Barracuda's little secrets you might not know


31 replies to this topic  – Started by Boomchil , Nov 07 2012 10:20 PM

#1 Boomchil

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:20 PM

~Black Seas Barracuda's little secrets~


Hello everyone! Welcome to my first article. As a new Classic-Pirates blogger, I'll try to focus on bringing you some things you may not know about classic pirates sets. And what better set to start with than the best set ever, aka 6285 - Black Seas Barracuda?

First, we'll see what are the differences between European and US package, then I'll show you some little secrets that lie behind this legendary set. Now let's go, I hope you'll enjoy :)!


~US/European differences~


US Box
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European Box
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At first glance, they look quite identical. However, the US version has some additional text on it : "Pirate system" under the Legoland logo, and "Ages 9-12" next to the Lego logo. Nothing too mind blowing, let's open the lid!

US lid
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European lid
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We have the same close-ups of the set, organized differently though. But there is one big difference : the US version has got a nice text which explain the Pirate theme context :

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The reason why only the US version has it is simple : it's for english speaking countries, whereas European version is distributed to many countries with many different languages. It only has a small text in several languages which says "The ship does not float". It may sound trivial now, but remember this was one of the first Lego ship ever.


Boxes sides
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I'll let you guess which box is the US version (tip : in Europe, it is named "Dark Shark" :pir-sweet:). Another notable difference between classic US and European boxes is that US versions always have shown parts count (under the name). This time I can't explain it (maybe another translation problem? Today they use "pcs/Stck/pzs/db"). European box has safety instructions.


Box content
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For those wondering how it looks inside. It's the US version. (I didn't shoot the european version, but it has some very small differences in the plastic molds : the red oars are placed differently. I'll update this thread soon with a picture). The white boxes are quite unusual, don't they? Also, my US version has shooting cannons, which came only in very early versions of BSB.


Okay, now it's time to move onto interesting stuff. How many of you know that BSB and CC sails came uncut? Here's a proof :

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Yes, you had to cut them yourself. I didn't mention it, but my US set is technically new (all bags have been opened and mixed, but it was never built), this is why my sails still are new. There was also a clue of it being never built in the "box content" picture, but only a few with very good eyes and Lego knowledge will see it :). If any of you think to have found what I mean, feel free to say it :), otherwise you'll understand when I review it.


Okay, you knew all that? Let's dig some more to uncover dark secrets!


Did you know that the very first European batch had some issues? It was by chance that I found it and so far I'm the only one to have came by it. I bought my european BSB second hand, but mint in box (this is the box shot for comparisons). At first, when I started to build it, everything looked fine. However, at step 6, a loose page fell from instructions. I first thought that they were damaged, but no, it was a single face printed page, with another step 6 :

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It took me a few seconds to understand : the original step 6 had an error, can you spot it?

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Loose page is on the left, original instructions on the right.

The first printed instructions came with an error, and TLG had to add a loose correction page. But wait, there is more!


When I had to attach the rigging, something felt strange. I had previously owned a BSB and something struck me as odd with this one. The rigging looked way too much bent :

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I've checked everything to see where I made an error, but everything was fine. I thought there was another instructions error, not corrected this time, but didn't find anything. Then I tried with another rigging from my Rock Island Refuge set : it fitted perfectly.

That's right, first BSB batches riggings were different. I've made a small investigation, and found why they looked bent :

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On the top, two of my BSB riggings, on the bottom, two of my Rock Island Refuge riggings. Yes, they're one stud longer. Looking closer, I found this :

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The left one is the "normal" one, the middle one is the one which came with my BSB. Can you see the little numbers? I've checked all my other pirates sets with these riggings, they all have the 02 model. TLG first made them one stud too long (28 studs), then they made a "02" 27 studs long version to fit better.


Want more? Okay, I have one last little secret : a few days ago, a fantastic official stop-motion video has been posted, showing the first wave of Pirates sets. By looking at it, I've seen something on the Black Seas Barracuda which do not appear on the final model :

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Obviously, the BSB should have come with a ship's bell. I've always wondered why did they put an arch there, now I know. I think they removed it because at this time it probably was seen as an illegal build, or maybe the round brick fell easily? However I'll add one to my model, as it looks fantastic!


Well, I think it's over. I hope you've had a good time reading this, see you in a next article for more classic-piratey things! And if you know something I don't, please comment it so I can add this to my article, you'll get credit :).

Go to Classic-Pirates.com


Edited by Boomchil, 08 November 2012 - 01:06 AM.

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#2 MstrOfPppts

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:07 PM

This is some really interesting reading. Looking at all these pictures makes me want to buy this set, but it's so damn expensive these days ... I hope I'll convince my cousin to sell me his some day.

Keep up the good work with blogging, seems they chose the right person :D

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#3 moschino

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:34 PM

First of all I want to congratulate you for creating this thread.
I think we are here to share our knowledge and you do your part as not many does.

A thread like this interests me since long time ago and finally this thread exists.
To me, Lego 6285 is maybe the most inovative set of all time because implemented lots of features and stays at the fundation when differences between US and Europe were created.

Discovering this set more and more, I actually start having many more questions and this is something extremely interesting because in facts it's only a Lego set, but somehow seems not be just a Lego set.

If these informations about batches riggings will get known, those riggings will probably become 3x expensive than the 02 version of today, even if they were a mistake.

Also, I don't really understand why the plastic trays are different.
It was a lot easier to simply use the same fabrication mold.

About number of pieces written on the box, this reminds me of a very weird conversation between me (living in Europe) and a friend who lived in US but spending his summer vacations in Europe.
When we've been talking about Lego, he was always proud of himself but telling "I'm having the set #bla,bla with 500 pieces", and so on.
And at that time, being a child, I thought he doesn't even has real Lego, but he has fake cheap imitations and he likes to think that this is the same thing with Lego.
I thought this, because I knew you can't see the number of pieces of a set and at that time, in early 90', we couldn't see on the internet by checking Peeron or Brickset.
But later I found that he indeed could see the number of the pieces on the box.

I honestly don't think this is a language issue as it was with the text on the lid.
European Lego made in Denmark could simply show the number and instead of putting a word as "pcs", they could simply add an image with a brick Posted Image and it was done. But I think they simply didn't want to.

About the whole difference in names, boxes, etc... I think the US Lego had a different marketing manager who wanted to promote Lego at a higher level when in Europe this was simply ignored because here Lego already had its own reputation and they didn't care about such insignificant details.

I really wonder why the sails were not cutted, and I wait for the day when it will be shown the differences between Europe and US of Lego 6286.

Edited by moschino, 07 November 2012 - 11:40 PM.


#4 Martin_B

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:46 PM

Thinking back, my Caribbean Clipper (which was called Sea Hawk in the UK, and the BSB was also known as Dark Shark over here...I remember that clearly too!) had sails that needed to be separated too. These two really were classics against which all the later Pirates ships were judged!

I bought my BSB off Ebay years later (I wanted to reunite the CC with its adversary!) without a box before it got reissued so can't say what the packaging looked like, but the instructions I have don't include the error and its corrected extra pages so it's definitely not present in every batch or production run.

#5 Sebeus I

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:49 PM

Very interesting, you are like a pirate set investigator :thumbup:

View Postmoschino, on 07 November 2012 - 11:34 PM, said:

European Lego made in Denmark could simply show the number and instead of putting a word as "pcs", they could simply add an image with a brick Posted Image and it was done. But I think they simply didn't want to.


Maybe Americans like to know how much pieces there are in the lego set they buy, I don't care about the quantity of pieces in a lego box, I never did, it doesn't mean anything to me, there are big pieces and small pieces so what's the point, maybe Europeans are smarter than have a different mentallity :grin:  and would rather not have the number of pieces on their boxes?

#6 Boomchil

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:09 AM

Thank you for all your comments :)

Thanks to Big Cam, I've realised that the end of my article has been cut-off, there was one more secret that really didn't want to be discovered! :)

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#7 Big Cam

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:24 AM

You're most welcome.  I loved the idea of this thread when you first told me about it. I got the BSB when I was only 8 or 9. It's the pride of my entire collection since it's the rarest set I have plus it's from my childhood so it's what I consider old. :laugh:

I love all my new stuff too, but this is the type of set I'd never sell, simply since it's always been mine.

Being in the US I never knew all the differences and it's a very entertaining read, you also photograph LEGO very nicely.

#8 yogurt

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:41 PM

The size error in the rigging pieces doesn't have anything to do with the 01 or 02 numbers. I've got a couple of 01 pieces and mine are the same size as the 02 pieces.

I didn't know the Jib sail was attached like that. I'm pretty sure it wasn't in my version, although that was a long time ago now.

#9 Hive

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:32 PM

Interesting thread. What fascinates me most of all, though, is that you got both the European and US versions brand new. :oh:

#10 Miles

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:30 AM

Okay, I loved this post but my first thought was "He has a MISB Black Seas Barracuda, and he has it sitting on the floor?!" Dear God, the horror! At least put it on carpet - you might scratch the box on those tiles!"

(I mean really, just how clean is most people's linoleum?)

:laugh:

#11 Boomchil

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:04 AM

:laugh:

Well, first this is not exactly a MISB BSB, since its bags have already been opened, it only never has been built. Also the box is far from being in perfect condition, although it's still nice. Secondly, it is sitting on the floor of a brand new room added to my house, with new and clean tiling :). I'd of course never put dirt on my boxes.

-> Hive : only the US one is new, the other one (with riggings "problem" and instruction error) is used but in fantastic "never played with" condition. The only default being one clip broken on a big flag.

By the way I'd like to sell it, PM me if any of you is interested. I also have for selling almost every classic Pirates set (since I intend to buy them all new)


Here is a photo of the full model :

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As you can see, apart from the flag's broken clip, it's in perfect condition, with sails like new :). In my opinion, I quite like the "bent effect" of the riggings, don't you?

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#12 tomdobs55

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:07 AM

I've always wondered why we (The USA) didn't get the shooting cannons?  Was Lego afraid we would shoot our eyes out while Europeans wouldn't?
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#13 MstrOfPppts

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:49 AM

I guess not LEGO, but your gouvernment was :)

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#14 Hive

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:12 AM

View Posttomdobs55, on 09 November 2012 - 07:07 AM, said:

I've always wondered why we (The USA) didn't get the shooting cannons?  Was Lego afraid we would shoot our eyes out while Europeans wouldn't?

I assumed it was due to safety regulations being different.

#15 Sebeus I

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:46 AM

View Posttomdobs55, on 09 November 2012 - 07:07 AM, said:

I've always wondered why we (The USA) didn't get the shooting cannons?  Was Lego afraid we would shoot our eyes out while Europeans wouldn't?
One of the most absurd things ever IMO,
USA, the land of guns, but a lego cannon is a thread ?  :ugh:

#16 Bob De Quatre

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:10 PM

View PostSebeus I, on 09 November 2012 - 11:46 AM, said:

*snip*  :ugh:

You mean :hmpf: :cannon:


Seriously that's something I don't understand either... European kids aren't smarter than US kids, and they don't aim better I think... But I remember as a kid that shooting with the cannons was really fun. Poor US kids..

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#17 PsyKater

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 01:37 PM

European don't have that easy access to guns like American kids maybe. It would be weird either way. Perhaps some US manager (marketing or sth else) was pacifist. :grin:
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#18 moschino

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:51 PM

Well, the story with cannons will remain a mistery.

For example, the Lego set 6098 (King Leo's Castle) has it's own different release in US, under the number of 6091.
Link to the 6091 version HERE.

Knowing about the cannon differences, I initially thought that 6091 version had disabled the Technic Competition Cannon which is used on balista.
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But as far as I know, this Competition Cannon wasn't disabled and it could shot as it could in Europe.
This is something very weird, because I always thought and I still think that this cannon is far more dangerous than the normal cannon.
With this one against someones eye, it really can do a bruise.

So what's the point of interdicting the normal shooting cannon if you let this one available?

I'm not having 6091, but I'm having 6098 (the EU version).
Maybe someone who has the 6091 can tell us if the Technic Competition Cannon was shooting.
So far, I know that these Cannons were both the same in US and EU.

#19 Morthen

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:49 PM

I have one aswell.
Bought it some years ago, secondhand ofcourse, else it would had been to expensive,

What im saying is, i never seen the box/boxes before.
But today its like LEGO has a greater focus at the marketing in US, insted of Euro, and Denmark for that matter.
(as i am Danish)  
Im looking forward to see if you make a comperison, of the re-released versions and the classic and the re-released version, which came along in 2001.
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#20 Zeya

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

View Postmoschino, on 07 November 2012 - 11:34 PM, said:

But later I found that he indeed could see the number of the pieces on the box.

I honestly don't think this is a language issue as it was with the text on the lid.
European Lego made in Denmark could simply show the number and instead of putting a word as "pcs", they could simply add an image with a brick Posted Image and it was done. But I think they simply didn't want to.

I've heard people say that in the US, there is a law mandating packaging to list the number of pieces for puzzles and building sets such as Lego. I'm fairly certain that is true; all those types of product here have a piece count here.

Edited by Zeya, 09 November 2012 - 07:16 PM.


#21 TheLegoDr

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:57 PM

Thanks for the read! It was very interesting. I remember getting this set when I was a kid, probably around 7 or 8. I was very excited. When I came out of my Dark Ages, it was one of the first old sets I built. I still have it displayed in my basement. I guess I didn't notice the cannons didn't shoot in the US version since almost all of my cannons shoot, so I still got to enjoy that. But I must have 4 cannons that are non-shooting then with this set. I know I have over 16 shooting cannons, at least, according to bricklink.

It was nice seeing the original boxes again. I haven't seen them in a long time. I miss the old big sets with the flap that you could look into and seeing those crisp sails :wub: .

I hope to read some more fun facts about older Pirate sets. I miss those days.
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#22 RedBeardDan

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

Were you aware of the difference between 6285 and the remake 10040 on page 21 (step 19) of the instructions?
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#23 Martin_B

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:39 PM

View PostRedBeardDan, on 22 November 2012 - 08:35 PM, said:

Were you aware of the difference between 6285 and the remake 10040 on page 21 (step 19) of the instructions?
http://lego.brickins... Seas Barracuda

Wow...how do you guys notice these things?!

You're absolutely right: the remake has two 2x4 bricks at the base of the rear main mast instead of four L-shaped 2x2 bricks in a square. The length of the anchor rope (35cm) isn't mentioned in the remake's instructions either.

Even so, I had to type this with the original's instructions open on that page!

Edited by Martin_B, 22 November 2012 - 08:40 PM.


#24 ironmansbighead

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

I still have this set from when I was a kid. I will have to check this information on the riggings when i get home, and compare to some of the other old priate ships I still have. I can't believe I have had that set for 23 years now.

I do have to say, of all the lego sets I have owned; it has and will most likely always be in the top 5 sets. It's just such a great set and I spent hundreds of hours playing with it and its companion ships in my youth. Now the pirate ships sit on a shelf like trophies from my childhood.

#25 Lord Insanity

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:47 PM

There seems to be some confusion with this set and the shooting cannons' availability in the U.S.  The first (and possibly second) batch of sets sold in the U.S. did have the shooting cannons.  It was afterward that they were switched to the transitional cannons.  I got the Barracuda for christmas right after it was released and my set had the shooting cannons.  The Eldorado fortress I got for my birhday in the summer had the transitional non-firing cannons.

Keep in mind back in 1989 Lego put those yearly full line up product booklets in sets.  Early January and all the sets had the new books showing the new pirates sets listed as coming September 1st.  We had knowledge of those sets for nine months before they were released.  That was quite a lot of christmas hype lead time to my 10 year old self.  It is kind of wacky that it took 20 years to get another ship worthy of going against the Barracuda. :pir-grin:



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