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REVIEW: 6249 - Pirates Ambush

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15 replies to this topic  – Started by Boomchil , Sep 27 2012 12:12 AM

Poll: On a scale 1 to 5 (31 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. 1 – Poor (1 votes [3.23%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.23%

  2. 2 – Below Average (1 votes [3.23%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.23%

  3. 3 – Average (8 votes [25.81%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.81%

  4. 4 – Above Average (16 votes [51.61%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 51.61%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (5 votes [16.13%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.13%

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#1 Boomchil

  • Pirate Reviewer Extraordinaire

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:12 AM

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Welcome to my fifth review on Eurobricks! On my way to review every old Pirates set that I buy new (full story on my 6247 - Bounty Boat review), it's time now to make a leap in time to the last Classic Pirates wave that came in 1997. With only 4 sets, only released in the American market, it was clearly the end for our beloved theme. Today I'll present you the medium-sized one, a small Pirates base. Last Pirates waves are often overlooked for several reasons, let's see if it's justified : was the Pirates Ambush a buyer trap?

Product Details

Set No: 6249
Set Name: Pirates Ambush (USA - Not released elsewhere)
Theme: Pirates
Released: 1997
Minifigures: 3
Pieces: 155
RRP: $22
Purchase Price: $115 new on Bricklink


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Great picture, although it's cropped here and there. No doubt here : it really is a Pirates Ambush! The unlucky Armada soldier really should look behind from time to time if he doesn't want to get so easily caught!

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Two nice alternate models (there are one more on the box side) on a map-like background. However, unlike older sets, some elements are cutout (the crocodile, the flag and the net) and the three minifigs are also pictured. For close-ups of the alternate models, see next section.

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Although it was only released in American Market, there are translated names in French and Spanish.

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Two another views of the alternate models.

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A new alternate model.

~Alternate models~

Alternate model 1
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A close-up of the Armada soldier capturing the crocodile.

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The whole model. It seems the Armada soldier finally teamed up with the two pirates :classic: . Overall it's a nice fort, which looks great.

Alternate model 2
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Again, a close-up of the boat. Looks like a real war machine!

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The whole model. Due to the high amount of parts used for the boat, the pirates fort looks too simple, with a weird cannon design.

Alternate model 3
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Another boat, another fort, but this time it looks good. However I don't quite get what the net is supposed to be.

~Box opening~

Yo-ho-ho! Every remaining MISB Pirates Ambush now has gone up in value!  :jollyroger:

Inside the box
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As you can see, the box is quite full. Let's see its content!

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As usual, the baseplate comes apart, alongside four bags full of Lego goodness.

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Under all those bags, we find the holy paper trinity of classic sets : instructions, catalog, and Lego Direct flyer. Let's have a closer look :

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Strangely, the artwork is really trimmed here.

Back of instructions
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Exactly the same artwork as the back of the box.

Random instructions page
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In my opinion it's the best compromise between old "40 Bricks added per step" instructions and new "40 pages per brick added" instructions. No part callout, but it's hard to miss one. The colors are perfect.

1997 Catalog
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A space diorama that doesn't move me : Lego was slowly getting into its dark years with models far from their ancestors in terms of look and design, but...

Random catalog page
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...there were still very good themes like those beautiful Western ones!

Random flyer page
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These are really fair prices don't you think? $6,75 for five minifigures (including the rare shiny armor) is quite a good deal. I wish I had bought tons of these...

~Parts and minifigure~

Part layout
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Lovely colors here, with lots of these "new" (at that time) brown log bricks. Parts of interest are the cloth Jolly Roger flag wich really looks fantastic compared to old clipped ones, the small palm leaf, the net, and the crocodile, even though it has been in too much Pirates sets in my opinion.

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How refreshing to see new faces! The new pirates (left and right ones) are perfect, and the only downside of the Armada soldier (or conquistador) is its torso printing which lacks some details and/or colors in my opinion. However it's still a very great alternative to our beloved (blue/red)coats.

~The build~

Building the boat
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Your classic rowboat, with yellow seats though.

After step 3
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Foundations are very small as you can see. The back of the prison is made by superposing two fences.

After step 8
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It's starting to take shape. Note the red/yellow hinge brick that will be used to set the trap.

Building the trap
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This structure will be covered by another 1x10 black plate and will act as a weight for the net.

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Here one side of the net is enclosed by the lance.

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At the other side we have a hinge bar which will not be movable.

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We have positioned the trap, let's see how it works.

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The weighted side of the net is enclosed between two 1x1 bricks with hole, and if we pull the red handle...

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The net falls, there's no way out! It's actually a very clever design, and it works very well.

~The finished model~

Overall view
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A very nice model, isn't it? The structure is good, the play feature isn't too apparent (Lego had a bad habit at this time, favoring play features over design, as we'll see in some of my next reviews). However something strikes me as odd in this setup (same as the box cover) : how will the pirate activate the trap if he's standing on it? Is it supposed to be a rope bridge?

Back view
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Again, nothing bad here. The only downside is the weird color choice : red bricks seem out of place, it would have been better in light gray.

Side view
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I don't really get what the red brick is supposed to represent. A table? Then why would it stand in the water?

Prison view
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Simple yet effective. It would have been better with a plate on the floor, actually any prisoner could swim under the door and escape...

Tower view
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I really LOVE that flag. The cannon is put on a small turntable, but with those cannonballs and flag its movement is rather limited. It also lacks a ladder to access it. I could forgive it for older sets like Lagoon Lock-Up or Broadside's Brig since ladders didn't exist, but there's no excuse here.

~Final thoughts~

Design: 7/10 - Good but not outstanding. With better color choices and ladders it would have scored a 8. However, considering the period it came out it was still a good looking model.

Parts: 6/10 - The cloth flag really stands above all here, since it's pretty rare. Other than that, there's nothing interesting, just common parts.

Minifigs: 9/10 - I love them. With a better torso for the Armada soldier I would have given it a 10.

Build: 7/10 - The trap building is clever, the rest is quite simple.

Playability: 10/10 - Two pirates, one soldier, a cannon, a trap, a crocodile... Nothing to add, it's just great!

Alternate models: 7/10 - They are nice overall, but it's always the same scheme sadly (boat + fort)...

Price: 6/10 - $22 was okay for this set back then. Today it can be found at about $55, which is too much in my opinion for a set like this. It would have been much cheaper if it was released worldwide.

Conclusion: 7/10 - A nice little set, considering it was the end for the Pirates theme, but it cannot stands comparison with older Pirates forts like 6270 Forbidden Island which almost have the same parts count.

Now I'll introduce a little game I want to put at the end of every upcoming review : can you guess what will be the next Pirates set I'll review from this picture? There's nothing to win, just have fun guessing!

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Edited by Boomchil, 27 September 2012 - 12:42 AM.

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#2 Weil


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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:49 AM

Hmm, I like the Armada soldier's torso for the time it was made. I would have scored the build lower personally but I agree with you that the flag is nice. You must have been in a rare position to have that set still sealed.

Nice review, even if I have a different opinion about a few things.

Edited by Weil, 27 September 2012 - 02:49 AM.

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#3 Ferrik


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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:03 AM

Excellent review, Boomchill. :wink: This set looks great as do the minifigures. The net is creates a nice playfeature.
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#4 Grimmbeard

  • Oh me, oh my! Love that Redcoat Pie!

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:03 PM

I really wish I had been born a little earlier to experience all these sets for the price they were at back then. 100 dollars on bricklink just isnt the same. :pir-sceptic: Any ways, great review and pictures, I look forward to the next one!  :pir-sweet:

Edited by Grimmbeard, 28 September 2012 - 09:03 PM.

You've fallen for one of the classic Blunders! the most famous of which is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this, Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!!!

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#5 Lordofdragonss


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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:47 AM

Great to see you are still going to make that amazing reviews! I like your style. :)
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#6 CA Magon

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 12:52 PM

Good review ! That bring back memories...
Even if, as you say, there are many strange things such as this red brick and th prison without floor.

#7 Mister Phes

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:21 PM

Boomchil, you have wonderfully presented Set Reviews - keep up the good work!  :thumbup:

View PostCA Magon, on 25 October 2012 - 12:52 PM, said:

Even if, as you say, there are many strange things such as this red brick and th prison without floor.
I've noticed the sets circa 1996-1997 were really economical with their parts.  It was like the designers were to trying to achieve their design concept in a few pieces as possible and in many instance it made the set design look a bit watered down.

#8 CA Magon

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 12:01 AM

View PostMister Phes, on 25 October 2012 - 08:21 PM, said:

I've noticed the sets circa 1996-1997 were really economical with their parts.  It was like the designers were to trying to achieve their design concept in a few pieces as possible and in many instance it made the set design look a bit watered down.
Indeed... Fortunately, sets of the following years were more detailed. But in fact, as a child and a Lego builder, we had to put some more details by ourselves !

#9 Walter

  • Back, but still drowning!

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

Great review! Very professional.

Go to Classic-Pirates.com
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#10 -obelix-


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:30 AM

Another great review of a very nice pirate set.Thank you! :thumbup:

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#11 Pavel


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:22 PM

Thank you for this review! I am pretty sure I haven't seen this set during my childhood, despite the fact my dark ages started the year after this. First look at the picture tells me: hmmm, this looks like some spare Western blocks mixed with something piratey, almost a mess. But at second look, I start to like it. And it took me only little longer before I went to check ebay and bricklink, how much it'd cost :D

It's overpriced nowadays, but easily to be built ordering some missing bricks, so I am considering doing that.

#12 Sir Walter Maugham

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:45 PM

Ah, that brought back some memories. I had this set when I was quite young. Thanks for the review!
I do remember wondering how they kept prisoners in that prison. :laugh:

#13 RedBrick1


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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:45 PM

Fantastic review! This set was never one of my favorites, but I always kind of liked it.
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#14 Pedro Antunes

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:25 AM

I love these old sets :wub_drool:

Great reviews you've been providing :thumbup:

#15 JeffCopp


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:41 PM

This is one of the sets I acquired recently in an Ebay auction.  It is a really nifty set if you can get past the things like the jail and the room on the left being in the water.  From the front it is really a nice looking set.  I got quite a deal on it, however.  The set came with Imperial Outpost, Shipwreck Island, and Rocky Reef for a total of $56.  I saw on here sometimes this set goes for $55.  Wow!

#16 Captain Fortune

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 01:39 AM

Good review. Totally agree.

The set is good, but not excellent. This classical sets touch my heart, but I try to be objective ( :laugh: ) and it has some mistakes. The worst, the lack of floors: absurd.

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