I've been lurking for a bit now, but I've been gone for awhile so I apologize if some of this has been posted already. The site miniland.nl has been posting scans of LEGO Club magazines from around the world, some of which I've been meaning to scan and some I've never seen before! Here are the Pirate highlights:
Bricks 'n Pieces Autumn 1989
This is the magazine of the UK LEGO Club. This issue has pictures of a touring LEGO World show with a Pirate theme. Does anyone remember going to see this?! There's a massive island fortress with some Caribbean Clipper variants docked, and a secret Pirate cave that can hide the Black Seas Barracuda. If I'd been taken there as a kid I never would have left. ;)
Bricks 'n Pieces Summer 1990
News of a national (British) Pirate competition called Escape from Shark Island. The brick-built pirate figure from this commercial makes an appearance. Shark Island was the subject of one of the Ladybird books. It would be nice to see if the competition forms from the shops had more story details; the magazine story is pretty vague. There's also a Governor Broadside keychain I hadn't seen before; he's wearing a tricorn in place of his usual bicorne.
Bricks 'n Pieces Summer 1992
There's a brief piece on Pirates here, but it has some interesting details. I think this may be the first time I've seen Admiral Woodhouse named in a contemporary official source. Backstory here: Woodhouse built the stronghold at Port Royal (Imperial Trading Post), and Ironhook is an "old friend" of Roger (Red Beard) called in to fight the Imperial Guards. This is interesting as Red Beard and Ironhook are fighting against each other in this commercial, but they are pirates, after all. ;)
The image used of the pirate in the red barrel is aparently an old prototype picture, since the ones used in the sets were always brown. We saw this picture before in a 1989 issue.
There's also a cartoon "spot the difference" game featuring the Imperial flagship, a schedule for the Pirate tour, and a Pirate poem competition...
Bricks 'n Pieces Autumn 1992
This one features a Pirate cover, with a brick-built scene, apparently from the aforementioned tour, showing De Martinent and Broadside stranded on a raft. (The characters are in blue and red coats respectively--I keep telling you people they're on the same side, but the feud continues... ;) ) It's interesting that the characters from the 1989 launch are still around at this point. There are more pictures of the tour displays inside--I wish we had more! Apparently they were interactive--visitors could animate the scenes with push buttons.
Also in this issue are the two winners of the Pirate poem competition. Michael Porter's Aboard Darkshark [Black Seas Barracuda] gives a surprisingly accurate summary of the characters introduced in the comic and book series. Adam Robert's contribution tells of Jake the Peg, a slightly more interesting character whose replacement limb is made of LEGO rather than wood.
,Bricks 'n Pieces Spring 1994
This issue has a lot of information about the Indigo Islanders, with more background than I'd seen before. Here the Islander leader is called Chief Quextil, which is probably an alternate name for King Kahuka. The story in the first couple of pages also mentions his cousins, who've had encounters with the Pirates before, though, so I prefer to think of Kahuka and Quextil as cousins--it gives me an excuse for all the Islander chiefs I have running around! ;) The story has a cliffhanger ending, inviting yet another competition to finish it.
There's a nifty Islanders shirt on the back page--I'd love one in my size!
Bricks 'n Pieces Summer 1994
Here we have a continuation of the Islander story, but it's one written by the magazine staff as opposed to one of the competition winners. The conflict between the Pirates and the Islanders is settled quite anti-climactically--it turns out Red Beard isn't so bad after all; he just has to act tough to keep up the piratical image. (Quite a complex character, Red Beard.) As it turns out, Chief Quextil shares a birthday with Red Beard...this is interesting as Red Beard sharing a birthday with Governor Broadside was a plot point in the Ladybird book series. What can be made of the fact that three faction leaders share the same birthday?
There's also a cute MOC of a giant Imperial Guard minifig, a nifty Islander patch, and a "Beano Competition"...which apparently means something different to UK readers than it does to US residents...
Bricks 'n Pieces Autumn 1994
This issue has a few pictures of a "Treasure Hunt" exhibition in Dublin, which promises all kinds of information about the Islanders...if only someone had visited the exhibit to document it! :( Interestingly enough, the exhibition has little to do with Pirates, and instead focuses on Professor Stanley and his assistant George, 20th century treasure hunters. Apparently island life changed little in 200-odd years.
Bricks 'n Pieces Issue 2 1995
Not much for Pirate fans in the next couple of issues, but this one has a bit about the new (tiny) wave of Pirate sets. No new info here, but it's interesting to see the UK names of these sets, which have since faded into obscurity.
Bricks 'n Pieces May/June 1996
This is a full-on Pirate issue, and supplies some much-needed names for the Armada characters. Captain Valiant is the green shirted figure, while Sergeant Speedy (oh dear) is the red shirted soldier.
Bricks 'n Pieces August 1996
Mostly a Western issue, but it reprints the Pirate comic from the September-October 1995 Mania Magazine. Apparently Bricks 'n Pieces was a few issues behind here.
Bricks 'n Pieces October/November 1996
Features the winners of a Pirate flag contest and a small pirate section with short but astonishingly accurate descriptions of Captain Hook and Long John Silver. (Looks like someone actually read the books!) Also has a rediculous segue into the Robin Williams character from Jumanji, as a video of that film was the Pirates-related prize. (No one wanted Cutthroat Island, I'm guessing.)
LEGO Mania Magazine Winter 1994
The first issue of the relaunched US LEGO Club magazine was Pirate themed (as it should be) but focused mostly on the Islanders. The short comic is worth checking out--Red Beard is after the Islanders treasure. (Apparently he got on better with Kahuka's cousin Quextil than with Kahuka himself!) Unfortunately the comic is the only thing from that issue on the site.
LEGO Mania Magazine September-October 1995
Fortunately this issue is presented in its entirety, as it has a short story about the Pirates and a Pirate comic!
LEGO Mania Magazine November-December 1995
This issue has a brief bio on Red Beard and an expose on missing Islander Christmas gifts. (Which Red Beard had absolutely nothing to do with...) Red Beard also shows up in the comic.
LEGO Mania Magazine March-April 1996
This is one is all about Pirates! There's a bio on the mysterious Armada Admiral, a comic, and names for every figure from the Red Beard Runner.
LEGO Mania Magazine July-August 1996
Red Beard makes a brief appearance as a victim of Rob N Hood's time-thefts. The following issue would state that Red Beard is the great uncle of Flatfoot Thompson from the Western theme.
LEGO Mania Magazine November-December 1996
There's a brief reader-submitted story about the Pirates and the Armada.
That's pretty much it for the Mania Magazines. The divers in the May-June 1997 comic are exploring the wreck of the Cross Bone Clipper, which Red Beard apparently sunk himself for unknown reasons. Non-Pirate related but amusing is the cover blurb from the March-April 1997 issue: "Twist off to Roboforce!" That sounds...inappropriate.
The Netherland's LEGO Club magazine has lots of features that don't appear in other countries, as far as I can tell. The issues are tough to navigate, but there are some nice black-and-white pictures of the 1989 Pirate line that I don't recall seeing anywhere else. Each issue also appears to feature a prose story of some length, at least one of which features Pirates. I can't tell if these are reprinted non-LEGO stories or if they are about the LEGO themes and characters...perhaps someone who reads Dutch can translate?
Edited by TalonCard, 27 November 2012 - 10:49 PM.