Original price: $66
This 1994 set marked the beginning of a new era for Lego Pirates - it became a theme more centralised around playability and not so much grand ol' ships. 6278 Enchanted Island was the flagship set of the Islanders subtheme, heavily based around Polynesian and Native American concepts (In fact, TLC was successfully sued by a number of tribes for using bastardised Maori names, such as Kahuka). It was released as a Legend set in 2001, but due to poor sales was discontinued again.
The largest of the Islander sets, Enchanted Island is a portion of an island with a river running through. The left hand side features some sturdy buildings built into a tree-like structure on a rocky outcrop, whilst the left hand side features a tower built out of "wooden" posts and a large tribal statue.
The box cover shows all the details; it does, however, differ from the instructions' finished product in that it has been more aesthetically arranged - bushes e.t.c. have been moved to fill in gaps and to not obscure other things. The sides of the box show nothing particularly special, although in one scene it depicts the Islander Canoe chasing the Pirate boat with the treasure; just one way to play with the set. The back of the box, however, is superb, featuring a large number of alternative models: a toothy statue, a Pirate tree (think Wolfpack) with an Islander base, Kahuka's throne, a fire-breathing statue and a souped-up boat for the pirates. These, and many more, can be easily made because of the large diversity of pieces.
The set has a huge number of minifigures for its size, the third highest number in the Pirate range (The SES and the BSB being first and second, respectively) - a whopping 7! 5 Islanders, including the all-too-common King Kahuka, the elusive Islander babe and 3 standard warriors - this set alone will never leave you short of enemies! 2 pirates, Ironhook in his standard attire with a scurvy dog at his side attack the island, although they are only moderately armed - 2 cutlasses and a pistol between them; a musket would've been nice. The Islanders, on the other hand, have 4 shields, a bow and quiver and 6 spears, not to mention the big pokey thing with horns on top (Weapon? Idol? Staff?). A monkey, parrot and crocodile provide the obvious creature features, with a fair amount of gold to finish off. In the instructions, the goblet does not have the lid, although it does on the box; it's a nice touch anyway - adding a little more diversity to the monotonous treasure stashes.
The pirates' boat is a nice 2 sail vessel, with oars for when the wind stops and a treasure map. The sails are similar to those in Lagoon Lockup, but with an extra front sail. It's an awesome little boat, better for raids than a rowing boat, but not too big that it can't sail up rivers. It can comfortably fit 2 men and, at a squeeze, 5. The sails are expensive if you buy them seperately; normally this won't be a problem, but they can cost aroun $5 each.
The Islanders' boat is a canoe with a sail and an outrigger to stabilise it. The sail is beautifully done, with 2 spars taughtening it. There is a clip for the rower to leave his weapon when at se and the mast can turn to get as much wind as possible. It's quite a top-heavy boat, but it doesn't look hideous and without the mast/sail it looks great. 3 Islanders can fit in it, and more if they sit on the outrigger. The markings on the canoe are stickers, but they look fine and are probably more robust than markings for their job. Furthermore, they're waterproof! *sing*
Kahuka's throne can be carried by 2 loyal subjects...
...Or strapped to his pet crocodile! The clips on the side can be used to rest his weaponry, or hold spears for battle. The throne looks nice, although I'm not too sure about the blue against the red - I'd have prefered white as it would clash less...
An overview of the island; it is built in 2 halves - left then right and then joined together loosley, so it can be seperated for transporting. Around the back to the left and right, there are large open spaces that are great for battles - this set isn't so much about a large solid build, but creating a "village" - smaller structures linked by bridges.
And the back...
To the far left is a platform built onto the rock, with access from the river via a ladder. There's the standard Islander drum with the lovely zebra-skin part (Where did they get that?!). I've never understood the white flag - I was under the impression it was used for surrender...
Further along the rocky bank, there are some hinged palm leaves that swing upwards to reveal...
...The treasure! It's an OK hiding place; not the best place to hide it, right where the pirates sail past, but it feels fabulous; it fits right in.
Above it on the rocky bank is the main structure. It looks very disjointed when you build it (bricks all over the place), but once it's done it looks nice and rural, with leaves everywhere and the "balcony" where Kahuka is standing. You get a nice roof made from 2 large palm leaves tilting down.
Around the back there's a slight shelter, a table for picnics and a ladder to access the upstairs. I was rather annoyed that it is so open, but the set is designed from just one perspective... To the left is the bridge to the other building...
A nice, one piece bridge made of the softer plastic used for muskets and the post-1991 cutlasses. It looks good, but be warned!
It tilts when you pull a pin, sending the pirates flying! This contraption is a good idea, but it is very stiff and so doesn't swing, even when burdened by a minifigure - you'll want to modify this bit if you get it.
The other building looks like it is made out of posts and beams. They are all red; brown would have been better, but it would have added too many colours to the range, just like the use of black for trees in some forestmen sets. There are 3 clips for spare weapons; only 2 of these will ever be used when all the Islanders are armed, but it gives the pirates scope once they've been disarmed...There's another nice palm tree roof on top.
2 ladders give access...there's a total of 4 in this set - worth getting, eh? Although they're 5p on Bricklink, for a KABOB, they're like gold!
At the top there's another hidey hole; the palm leaves lift up on hinges to show the treasure or hiding Islander. It can be seen from behind, but this set is designed from one perspective only. Nice cattlehorns too...alongside the slats you can see in the floor - 5 years later and it would've been a solid plate...
The big statue is one of the main selling point of this set, alongside the tilting bridge - they're the action features shown in every catalogue at the time, but it is not really special, just original. The statue fits in with the theme perfectly - Kahuka's mask, his shield and this statue all depict the same deity, which is a nice "collectible" idea.
The back is rather plain, except the angled 1x1 bricks - a good touch. I'm not sure why there's a black brick in the back of the head, but this is easily remedied; it could even be done with a brick from this same set, just swapping the two over...
Aside from the head turning, the back can open to store sacred objects, or, in my opinion, prisoners, hence the gaps for breathing. Either way, it's a lovely piece of architecture and deservedly a flagship element of the set.
There's your standard cooking pot floating around, although a 1x1 yellow stud as human flesh (remember, minifigs are yellow, no matter what the licensed themes say!) is a superb finish.
This set is a stunning set for both kids and AFOLs who are just getting back into Lego/Pirates - it is a great army builder and, due to its release as a Legend, is extremely cheap on eBay - you should be able to pick one up for £18, or £15 if you're lucky. For that you get a lifetime's supply of Islanders, 4 ladders, some wall panels, 2 baseplates (one raised and both with rivers and printed vegetation around the edge), a ton of weapons, a fair quantity of standard bricks, but most of all, a heap of vegetation:
This is an easy to buy set, with normally around 5 on eBay at any time, and is well worth it, for the parts, the play and the nostalgia! It can be easily modified; when used in conjunction with any other outpost, a much larger fortress can be made, especially if more rope bridges are used. if you pick 2 of this fine set off eBay (It'll still be less than the original price!), a huge complex can be constructed, giving you an instantaneous village for around £35.
Lugnet rating: 79/100
Brickset rating: 4.3/5
Bricklink price: New - $100
Used - $54
Edited by SlyOwl, 13 April 2008 - 09:10 PM.