David Thomsen

Future Pirates Speculation

Recommended Posts

15 hours ago, Jevil said:

Reminds me so much of the unreleased Europa theme.

Europa.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/1/2019 at 7:10 PM, Aanchir said:

I think if anything they simply concentrate the same amount of effort in different areas of the build. When you compare, say, https://brickset.com/sets/60204-1/City-Hospital with https://brickset.com/sets/41318-1/Heartlake-Hospital, their weights, piece counts, price tags, and target age are fairly similar, yet the City version has:

  • cool, dynamic shapes with bold colors
  • more figures
  • a more complex architectural layout (in terms of its right-angle arrangement)
  • less interior space and detail

Whereas the Friends version has:

  • cute, bubbly shapes with gentle colors
  • fewer figures
  • a pretty straightforward dollhouse-style modular structure
  • more interior space and detail

Of course you do see areas where sets of the same subject are much more different, but that's often because these areas of emphasis are suited to different price points. For example, with regard to cabin cruisers/motor yachts, City ones like https://brickset.com/sets/4642-1/Fishing-Boat and https://brickset.com/sets/60221-1/Diving-Yacht are usually at a $20 price point because they don't bother with much interior detail besides, at most, a bed or desk. Whereas Friends cabin cruisers/motor yachts like https://brickset.com/sets/41015-1/Dolphin-Cruiser and https://brickset.com/sets/41317-1/Sunshine-Catamaran tend towards a $70 price point (same as most LEGO Friends houses) because they want to pack in enough interior detail for a reasonably comfortable overnight outing: twin beds, a toilet, a shower, a kitchenette, a living room/lounge, etc.

If LEGO were to make a Pirates-equivalent theme for girls, I suspect some changes they might make from traditional Pirates sets besides colors/aesthetics would include:

  • More animals… and not strictly of the might-kill-you variety like sharks and alligators.
  • More places to cook/eat besides over a campfire. I know that Imperial Flagship had a galley kitchen, but most non-D2C Pirates sets do not.
  • Places to sleep, particularly since LEGO has now already had hammock pieces in other themes. Nowadays even in LEGO City most jail/prison sets include beds, if uncomfortable looking ones, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to do so in a Pirates theme
  • More female characters, including a female pirate captain. There were several famous ones in real life, so this wouldn't be a difficult or unbelievable change.
  • More emphasis on natural scenery. Not that Pirates doesn't have any of this already, but it's usually been pretty sparse compared to man-made structures like shacks and forts, and rarely included stuff like detailed animal habitats.
  • More interior play features in forts/outposts so they seem like a place where people live and work, not just structures to defend
  • Possibly more civilian port towns rather than just naval fortifications.
  • More fantasy stuff like mermaids, sea monsters and magical treasures.
  • Fewer figures per set, but with more detailed characterization, some of which will be apparent not just in story media but in the figure designs and the sets that contextualize them.

That said, I don't mean to imply this as an immediate possibility/likelihood. Not sure how trendy pirates are with preteen girls at this point in time.

I would add that the Friends version would also have more decoration overall. Not just more nature, but also more ornaments and knick-knack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/14/2019 at 3:07 PM, Mister Phes said:

Europa.png

Why am I just learning about this? Where can I find more info? The info is spartan on Brickipedia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@leafan, the information is Spartan pretty much everywhere.  I think Brickpedia probably has the most information available anyway - although, someone pleasantly prove me wrong and provide a better source...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, leafan said:

Why am I just learning about this? Where can I find more info? The info is spartan on Brickipedia.

Just now, Mister Phes said:

@leafan, the information is Spartan pretty much everywhere.  I think Brickpedia probably has the most information available anyway - although, someone pleasantly prove me wrong and provide a better source...

I don't know where it can be found, but I believe it may have been first brought to light by Brick Journal way back when. :shrug_confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, leafan said:

Why am I just learning about this? Where can I find more info? The info is spartan on Brickipedia.

Brickipedia does list BrickJournal magazine as a source for what little info it has, though it doesn't specify what issue. I suspect that the info and image in question were originally revealed in a designer interview from one of their back issues.

That would be the main place I'd suggest trying to find more detail, but to be honest this is about all the info I've ever seen out there, and if there were a whole lot more detail in the BrickJournal article in question I'd suspect that somebody who owns that issue would have shared additional details by now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Brickipedia does list BrickJournal magazine as a source for what little info it has, though it doesn't specify what issue.

Someone from Classic-Castle said it was BrickJournal #8 but after quickly skimming through the pages I didn't happen to notice any images of those prototypes.

So maybe it's another issue of BrickJournal...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mister Phes said:

Someone from Classic-Castle said it was BrickJournal #8 but after quickly skimming through the pages I didn't happen to notice any images of those prototypes.

So maybe it's another issue of BrickJournal...

Do you have the full magazine (physical/digital)? I just checked the preview pages on the listing you linked, and I feel like the interview with Niels Milan Pedersen and Daniel Krentz is the most likely place that info and the accompanying images could have come from, but the preview pages only include the first couple pages of the interview in question, then skips ahead four pages to the following article.

I might go ahead and purchase the digital edition myself, since whether or not it has the info y'all are looking for, interviews with LEGO designers like that are some of my favorite things to read in LEGO fan publications and my main motivation when I have ended up buying them in the past. If/when I do so I'll let you know what it says about the Europa theme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Do you have the full magazine (physical/digital)?

Until I performed a quick Google search that was the first time I've ever seen BrickJournal #8.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

OK, I went ahead and purchased a digital copy of that (and some other issues that seemed like they had interviews I might be interested in, which I'll read through in more detail later).

The Europa image actually isn't from the Daniel Krentz/Niels Milan Pedersen interview on pages 32–36 (though that does have some other neat details about Castle, Pirates, and Space sets and prototypes those two created, as well as their general experiences as LEGO designers in those early years), but rather a single-page "From the Designers' Desk" feature by Mark Stafford on page 78.

Here is the text that accompanies the photo:

Quote

Theme Name: Europa 1700

Archives file date: 1994

Description: Europe in the 18th Century, featuring can- non-forts, towns, bridges and transportation. Possibility of including Witches, Bridge Trolls and also it is the time of Dracula. Alternatively the theme could include historically correct soldiers of the Scotch, Russian, Dutch armies etc. with ships, hot-air balloons and the like. This is also the colonial era...

Cancellation reason: Unknown, presumed to be too close to the castle and pirate themes at the time?

So there's a little bit more info there, such as a more complete theme name ("Europa 1700", not just "Europa"), and a more detailed description of ideas proposed for inclusion in this theme that aren't obviously apparent in the photo.

It's neat to see that even if a theme with this particular setting was not pursued further, some of the ideas brainstormed did make their way into other sets — like vampires and witches, which first made their "official" LEGO debut via Willa the Witch/Hubble Bubble and Basil the Bat Lord/Count Batlord in the 1997 Fright Knights sets, or hot air balloons, which would eventually appear in the 1998 Adventurers sets.

The other content on this page is not prototype content, just photos and descriptions of some small MOCs some of Mark's coworkers (William Thorogood and Luis Castaneda) had built and displayed in their work space. But I do encourage others interested in LEGO history and behind-the-scenes info about the work of LEGO designers to think about getting a digital copy of this issue as well as some other favorite issues of mine:

  • BrickJournal Issue 6: Has an interview with minifigure inventor Jens Nygaard Knudstorp and designer Niels Milan Pedersen about their experiences designing LEGO Space sets from the 70s onward, an interview with several designers about their more recent work developing Space Police 3, and an interview with LEGO technology product manager Gaute Munch about the development of LEGO Power Functions, with a particular emphasis on the process of collaborating with AFOLs to ensure the new system would meet the needs of long-time LEGO Trains fans and builders.
  • BrickJournal Issue 7: Has an interview with Jamie Berard about developing the Cafe Corner (including photos of sketch models considered for if the model ended up with a higher or lower price point) and another interview with the development team behind the LEGO Factory Hobby Train.
  • BrickJournal Issue 10: Has an interview with several of the LEGO Atlantis designers. This one is actually free!
  • BrickJournal Issue 17: Has an interview with Mark Stafford about the development of LEGO Alien Conquest, as well as a cool interview with Henk Holsheimer who designed the "LEGO shape system" — the system of curved slope, wedge, windscreen, and cockpit elements that debuted in the early 2000s.
  • BrickJournal Issue 28: Has an interview with VP of design Matthew Ashton about coming up with character and model designs for The LEGO Movie.

Sorry if that sounds like a sales pitch; I have no affiliation with BrickJournal aside from occasionally chatting with its editor-in-chief on Facebook or when I see him at conventions. But really, there's some really enlightening and often surprising info in some of these interviews.

Edited by Aanchir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of the info, people. Sorry for derailing this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Aanchir said:

Cancellation reason: Unknown, presumed to be too close to the castle and pirate themes at the time?

Dang it, they should've cancelled Castle and Pirates instead. :wall: :damn:

I'm kidding. I'M KIDDING! :tongue:

But still... just imagine what could've been. :cry2:

Edit: Thanks for the info!

Edited by Captain Dee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Aanchir said:

Cancellation reason: Unknown, presumed to be too close to the castle and pirate themes at the time?

My assumption was Europa evolved into pirates...  Europa on its own wasn't distinct enough from Castle to warrant it becoming a new theme, nor were the Soldiers were in the right era for Europa to be a sub-theme of Castle.

Somewhere along the line the LEGO Group decided keep the soldiers but use them in a setting which differentiated them Castle, so pirates were the most suitable choice.

But that's entirely my speculation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Mister Phes said:

My assumption was Europa evolved into pirates...  Europa on its own wasn't distinct enough from Castle to warrant it becoming a new theme, nor were the Soldiers were in the right era for Europa to be a sub-theme of Castle.

Since the concept is dated to 1994 it would have come several years after the Pirates theme launched. So a lot of the similarities to Pirates in terms of the Bluecoat figure designs were probably just because the prototypes in this photo hadn't yet been developed to a point that entirely new printed graphics would have been created for them.

But as mentioned, some of the ideas that the designers were apparently exploring worked their way into subsequent themes, and while the majority of the builds shown here don't have any obvious parallels with post-1994 sets (at least, none that they didn't have with earlier Castle and Pirates sets), I strongly suspect that the carriage on the far left was eventually modified to become the stagecoach that appears in 6765. Not only the build of the model but also the colors (aside from the brown wheels) seem largely identical, with the main changes being the addition of a dollar sign graphic to the side and a rifle being attached in place of the lantern from the Europa 1700 prototype image.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the choice not to develop Europa further might have stemmed from an internal decision between pursuing further development on either it or the Western theme, since the latter was less similar to the existing Castle and Pirates themes than Europa 1700, but likewise expanded the LEGO portfolio to a setting perhaps a bit slightly closer to the modern day than either of those themes.

There are also some molds that show up in the Europa 1700 photo that would make their eventual debut in post-1994 sets, albeit in different contexts: for example, 30100, which made its official debut in the 1997 Fright Knights sets as an expansion to the existing system of castle wall and window panels. I definitely feel like its use in the castle in the Europa 1700 picture is more impressive than its eventual appearance ended up being.

Another example is 30156 (introduced officially to sets in the Adventurers and Ninja themes of 1998), which interestingly shows up here both with equivalent inside and outside corner slope panels (never released), but also used in conjunction with 6121 (introduced in 1993). Those two parts were never used together in actual sets or even released in matching colors, so it never occurred to me that those two elements had the same angle and were probably intended to complement one another!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Since the concept is dated to 1994 it would have come several years after the Pirates theme launched.

From my understanding these prototypes were from the late 80's... or am I experiencing the Mandela effect and mis-remembering because I can't remember where I obtained that information.

So I assumed the archive file date referred to when the file was created, not the prototypes.

That said if we look at the castle prototype we can observe BURPs which weren't available until 1993, thus proving I may be crazy!

 

Loch_Ness_Proto.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/1/2019 at 12:55 PM, Aanchir said:

Sorry if that sounds like a sales pitch; I have no affiliation with BrickJournal aside from occasionally chatting with its editor-in-chief on Facebook or when I see him at conventions. But really, there's some really enlightening and often surprising info in some of these interviews.

No need to apologize, that was a great guide! I like the behind-the-scenes pieces Brick Journal runs, but it's hard to tell which issues actually have them, so I really appreciated all the information.

On 7/2/2019 at 10:49 AM, Aanchir said:

But as mentioned, some of the ideas that the designers were apparently exploring worked their way into subsequent themes, and while the majority of the builds shown here don't have any obvious parallels with post-1994 sets (at least, none that they didn't have with earlier Castle and Pirates sets), I strongly suspect that the carriage on the far left was eventually modified to become the stagecoach that appears in 6765. Not only the build of the model but also the colors (aside from the brown wheels) seem largely identical, with the main changes being the addition of a dollar sign graphic to the side and a rifle being attached in place of the lantern from the Europa 1700 prototype image.

There are also some molds that show up in the Europa 1700 photo that would make their eventual debut in post-1994 sets, albeit in different contexts: for example, 30100, which made its official debut in the 1997 Fright Knights sets as an expansion to the existing system of castle wall and window panels. I definitely feel like its use in the castle in the Europa 1700 picture is more impressive than its eventual appearance ended up being.

Another example is 30156 (introduced officially to sets in the Adventurers and Ninja themes of 1998), which interestingly shows up here both with equivalent inside and outside corner slope panels (never released), but also used in conjunction with 6121 (introduced in 1993). Those two parts were never used together in actual sets or even released in matching colors, so it never occurred to me that those two elements had the same angle and were probably intended to complement one another!

 

Wow, great catch on the carriage and other parts! I never picked up on those details even though I've seen the pictures many times.

 

On 7/2/2019 at 11:07 AM, Mister Phes said:

From my understanding these prototypes were from the late 80's... or am I experiencing the Mandela effect and mis-remembering because I can't remember where I obtained that information.

So I assumed the archive file date referred to when the file was created, not the prototypes.

That said if we look at the castle prototype we can observe BURPs which weren't available until 1993, thus proving I may be crazy!

Earlier in the issues there's a Castle mine prototype that's said to be from the 80s; I could see someone assuming all the prototypes were from the same time. But 1994 makes a lot more sense for most of them, given that there's prints on figures released in 1992 and the big half baseplate underneath the BURP castle you posted appears to be a version of the one from Enchanted Island and other sets from 1994 on. The towers even seem to have the round 6222 part that came out in 1995 for Launch Command and later saw a lot of use in the Star Wars sets.

Still, we do know that a lot of these prototypes sat around for years before they were included in sets--the same magazine mentions the skeleton horse dating from 1996 and the skeleton from around 1984!

TC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the original source of Europa was an 90s Idea Book, #671 to be exact

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's interesting, the only 90s idea books I'm aware of are #260 from 1990 and 697 from 1997. Where did you come across this idea book, and why do you believe it's the original source for Europa?

TC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You mean there are LEGO Ideas books which have been forgotten in the sands of time? :pir-oh3:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen the LEGO Catalog 2019 (June-December) and at the minifigure section it said something like coming soon, you will be suprised.Look it up.Probably Pirates Minifigures.Maybe some new sets for 30th anniversary? It would be a shame if they dont do anything at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Balkcuga said:

Probably Pirates Minifigures

What evidence indicates Pirates mini-figures?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Balkcuga said:

I've seen the LEGO Catalog 2019 (June-December) and at the minifigure section it said something like coming soon, you will be suprised.Look it up.Probably Pirates Minifigures.Maybe some new sets for 30th anniversary? It would be a shame if they dont do anything at all.

All that the official catalog says  new Collectable Minifigures are coming in September, which is Series 19.

I don't expect any Pirates (in LEGO brick-form) for 2019, aside from the pirates that were put in the Legacy Heroes Unboxed video game that's coming.

http://www.legolegacy.com/en/coming-soon

 

Edited by TeriXeri

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Balkcuga said:

Probably Pirates Minifigures.Maybe some new sets for 30th anniversary? It would be a shame if they dont do anything at all.

There is only hope left for anything pirates 30th anniversary this year and that hope is getting smaller every day :cry_sad:
There was one pirates looking head that leaked, but probably from ninjago, CMF 19 or similar I guess :def_shrug:

We can cross our jolly roger:jollyroger: and hope "The Pirate Bay" gets approved on Lego ideas :pir_laugh2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Roebuck said:

There is only hope left for anything pirates 30th anniversary this year and that hope is getting smaller every day :cry_sad:
There was one pirates looking head that leaked, but probably from ninjago, CMF 19 or similar I guess :def_shrug:

We can cross our jolly roger:jollyroger: and hope "The Pirate Bay" gets approved on Lego ideas :pir_laugh2:

Approving PIrate Bay for 30 years of pirates would be a good move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.