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.
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)
Purchase Price: $18 new on eBay
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?
Here we have three alternate models, without many variation due to the limited part count. I'll cover them in the next chapter.
An alternate setup of the main model.
It was a really cheap way to get cannons, don't you think?
Alternate model 1
The cannon has been put on the front of the rowboat and therefore cannot turn anymore.
Alternate model 2
A little defending scene. The rowboat isn't used here, and we have a little stand for cannonballs.
Alternate model 3
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?
Yo-ho-ho! Every remaining MISB Harbor Sentry now has gone up in value!
Inside the box
One loose rowboat, one bag, two flyers (one promoting our beloved Pirates, and one to subscribe to Lego Club) and the folded instructions.
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
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!
A single two-face sheet, with only four steps. There was still some place to put the third alternate model picture.
~Parts and minifigure~
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.
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.
Between step 2 and 3
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
~The finished models~
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
The cannon cannot turn anymore, making this one even worst than the main model.
Alternate model 2
Finally a good looking one! Typically the little scene that we can place anywhere on a Pirates diorama
Alternate model 3
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.
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, 30 August 2012 - 02:08 AM.