6264 Forbidden Cove (1994)
It must have been around 1993 when I started to branch out from Lego Town into different areas. I really got into space for a while, collecting a whole bunch of Ice Planet, along with some Blacktron, M-Tron and Space Police II stuff.
In 1994, Lego released the Islanders sub theme. I remember it being a pretty big launch. There were lots of promos everywhere and I remembering visiting an Islander-themed Lego display in a large Amsterdam store. It was there that my mum bought me my first Islander set. Of course, I was hoping to talk her into getting me the biggest of the bunch, but I had to make do with this one.
And I must say, this second biggest isn't too shabby either.
Featuring multiple entranceways, this enchanted Islander rock holds treasure and secrets at every corner. Will the pirate captain and his trusty sidekick ever succeed in obtaining the treasure, or will the two rugged outpost Islanders stop their attempts at every turn? It's all up to you...
The box, courtesy of BrickLink
Item #: 6264
Name: Forbidden Cove
Theme: LEGO System / Pirates / Islanders
Sadly, no part of the box remains in my possession.
As usual, I went rummaging around the attic, looking for cutouts of the original box. Nothing was found.
I did stumble upon the 1995 catalogue though, which lists all the Islander sets on this page:
See that yellow oval saying "Poster in de doos"?
It means the set actually came with a poster. Suddenly I remembered I did in fact have an Islander poster on my wall at one point. However, yet again, my searches were in vain. I can't find the original poster. I think it was basically a version of this image, only four times larger:
Remember those catalogue sheets that used to come with sets? This is one of them
This was quite cool to have on my wall and I'm actually a bit disappointed I seem to have chucked this in the bin at some point. Shame.
Parts & Pieces
Let's look at the part selection this set offers. At just over 200 pieces, I guess this is still a medium-sized set, but anything with a baseplate grabs my attention as a buyer. We get a nice blue 16x32 baseplate, along with a selection of pieces in red, yellow, grey and black. There's even plenty of brown and green in here.
Most annoyingly, one of my red oars has gone missing. I was hoping to pick one up at Lego World yesterday, only to completely forget looking for it. Woe is me!
Being an Islanders set, there's some nifty Islandery stuff (Is 'Islandery' a word? It is now!). The set comes with some bones and one of those freaky red masks. Also included is some pirate stuff: a treasure map and a cool jolly roger flag.
Apart from the map and the jolly roger, there are only a few extra printed parts: two Islander shields and the top of the drum. I couldn't find that drum part at first, because I had converted my passenger plane from 6396 into a private jet by simply taking out the middle seat and replacing it with this part on a round 1x1 brick: a perfectly kitschy tabletop. :P
The set comes with a whole bunch of green as well, mostly found in the leaves. It also includes two smaller leaves, which are pictured below. I've included one of the larger ones for scale. Also shown are the vines, which are basically unfolded minifig whips.
For other geographical features, two large rock pieces are included.
There's also a great amount of minifig accessories included. Plenty of weaponry, a fair bit of treasure, and four oars.
I could have PhotoShopped a second oar into this picture, but there's really no point denying it: I'm guilty of misplacing a Lego piece. For shame.
Other pieces of interest include the two boats, a black minifig head and a single Technic brick.
Coming in one of those lovely A4-sized booklets, the instructions manual is perfectly shaped for storage in my binders. The front duplicates the image from the box, while the back shows some scenes around the model. No alternates are found here, and I can't remember if there were any on the box. The pictures are nice though.
The instructions themselves are nice and clearly printed on an exotic-looking color background (nothing distracting though). There are only 16 main steps to the largest model and it's all you need. Once again, we get a floor plan at step 1, but this time there's also a 3D view of the first step.
Minifigs and small models are all on the first two pages - notice the scale indication for the palm leaves
The main model gets a very detailed first step
A look at the biggest sub model: the moving cave entrance
No less than 4 minifigs are included in this set: 2 Islanders and 2 pirates.
I always saw the Islanders as the good guys, but my favorite figs are the pirates. Especially the pirate captain with his over the top pirateness: he sports a pirate hat, an eye patch, a hook and a wooden leg. His bumbling sidekick gets a cool blue bandana and a striped shirt, but is stuck rowing their small dinghy... with one oar. Poor bastard.
The two Islanders themselves are very nice looking as well. I always liked that leave printing on their legs. It works quite well. One of the Islanders (the guy with the white face and red cheek lines) is actually the King Kahuka fig, but with a black hat instead of a red mask. Is this just a coincidence brought on by the designers trying to inject some diversity into this set, or is it Kahuka's brother? Or even Kahuka himself undercover? The plot thickens....
There's no printing on the backs.
Wait... They're all bareback?
Also included are two animals: an alligator and a colorful printed parrot.
Didn't I take this picture already? Oh yeah... (shameless plug)
We start off building our palm tree. Building the palm tree is pretty straightforward stuff. Still, there's no harm in playing while you're building, even if you're only on page 1...
"Yarr, get up, ye lazy scallywag!"
I like the little green round 1x1 brick on the top of the tree. I have one other palm and it didn't come with this, so it's nice to have it here.
The next two models are the alligator and the Islander canoe. Both get a whopping two steps. The canoe features the only stickers included in this set (which is probably why it gets two steps in the first place).
The pirate dinghy is the most shockingly complicated of all. There's two raised benches and a nice jolly roger flag clipped to a 4H antenna at the rear end of the boat.
The raised seats inside the pirate dinghy
Chuck in two pirates, a treasure map and a whole bunch of weapons, and you're ready to play.
The only reason Figgy McSmee kept rowing with his single oar was because Captain Brickbeard was armed to the teeth and in a particularly foul mood
Oh yes, and that
Up next, we get to build the actual Forbidden Cove.
Anything that's built on a baseplate and has an instructions manual this size (featuring a genuine floor plan as the first step no less) feels like a big set. Still, at only 16 steps, you'll manage to build this in about half an hour.
The floor plan as shown in step 1
By step 2, you'll have used all your yellow pieces for the two small beaches at the sides. This is the last good view you'll get at the inside of the cave from this angle.
The cave's magical entrance will rest on the two 2x1 tiles
I really enjoy building the cove every time, despite the two large rock pieces. Actually, the rock pieces add to the model, because they are hollow. If the rock faces were brick built, there'd be a lot less actual cavern on the inside.
The next few steps are spent adding bits and pieces to the rock pieces to form the actual cavern. The Technic brick will provide the hinge point for the entrance.
When we reach the Islander-built additions to the rock, we can see the cavern has found its shape. The two arches work wonders.
By the time we reach the platform the lookout will be built on, we also get to start putting in features: the drum is the first to be built.
I don't know what animal they used for this drum top, but it sure looks classy
The vines add some lovely green to the proceedings and the treasure chest gets a nice high hide-out.
A back view of all the ways to the treasure - to keep things interesting, the two vines are added at different levels
It's shortly after this point we get to build the largest sub model: the spiffy-looking hidden cave entrance.
The face that hides the cave entrance in the front of the rock has always been my favorite part of the model. There's some building techniques in there I really enjoyed when I was a kid and still do. The face has a nice hewn but creepy look about it.
A back view of the first few steps reveals this pin, which will end up in our single Technic brick and form the hinge point for the whole façade
Thanks to some strategically placed 1x2 plates with a single centered stud, there face gets a nice symmetric look. There's some fun offset building in here. This is also where we get to use our smaller palm leaves. The finished façade looks appropriately mystical for Islanders and spooky to pirates. Cool.
The forbidden entrance revealed...
...and hidden again
From this point on, it's straight to the finish. You'll notice most of the bricks you had left have gone into the big face and all that's left is the lookout's canopy and putting everything in place.
There's no big chief in this set, but we do get an Islander chief mask to put on a pole at the very top. Nothing like a black-eyed mask to scare off treasure hunters!
After a quick build that's made a lot more fun thanks to that cool looking cave entrance, you're ready to play.
And it's a great set for playtime.
The many different paths to the treasure will keep your pirates occupied for quite some time. Whether it's stumbling around rock faces, climbing vines or palm trees or evading an angry alligator, it sure will take them quite a while to get their grubby hands on the Islander gold. Come to think of it, I don't think these two ever succeeded when I played with this set.
The Islanders can hide their canoe inside the cave...
...or unleash sudden attacks upon their attackers.
Sound the Islander drums! The Pirates are coming!
"Keep climbing Figgy, we're almost there!"
"Ack, another quick getaway ruins my plans for treasure!"
So the design is quite nice and adds a lot to the set's playability. The colors are also very nice. The primary colors really pop, even though there's a hefty chunk of black and grey in there as well. It's a really appealing color design.
More pictures here (go to the Thumbs folder for the more browser-friendly sized images).
The Final Tally
Design: 9/10 Great color coordination and carefully placed features add a lot to the playability of this set. The design of the face that hides the cave is really cool as well.
Parts: 8/10 Not a huge set, but enough accessories to fill each hand, some nice boats and a sassy red parrot.
Minifigs: 8/10 Two rugged Islanders and the greatest pair of bumbling stereotype pirates ever to roam the seas in a tiny wooden boat. Good times.
Playability: 9/10 The simple idea of including conflict within a single set (the pirates want the treasure that the Islanders have to defend) lends itself to all sorts of great scenarios. Thanks to the great design of the main model, there's a million ways the pirates can try to achieve their goals. You can have hours of fun with this set and you won't even need to buy any of the other Islander or pirate sets to get the full benefit (although I'm sure you'll eventually want to anyway ;) ).
Price: 8/10 At 30 bucks, the price matches the set's size, but the hours spent playing with this make this a bargain.
Overall: 8.8/10 (average) I really like this set. Its playability is huge and I've spent many hours playing with it myself. Even though I didn't have much pirate or Islander stuff, I kept returning to this and having massive fun with it. It's always great when a set is able to stand on its own, without the need to integrate it into a larger setup. So this set gets a big, big thumbs up from me and even though I never got the chance to play with the biggest Islander set of the bunch, I'd still heartily recommend this one to any Islander fan.