David Thomsen

Future Pirates Speculation

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, x105Black said:

That's what I'm imagining.  These are still City themed, despite their callbacks to Pirates.  Could still be useful for Pirates fans, though.

Although the main build is obviously a modern city setting, I think the 2 alternate builds are supposed to be historically based pirate sets. That's how it looks from the leaked picture. We will just have to wait and see.

I know they will only be very small and simple Pirate builds, but as far as this ongoing drought of Pirate and Castle sets is concerned, I'm starting to feel like the last man on the dance floor at the end of the night... at this point I'll take whatever I can get. :head_back:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/6/2018 at 6:09 PM, Aanchir said:

I disagree about the idea that having a fictional story/world "forces" children to just recreate the stories that other people have told in that world. After all, a fictional world is hardly spelled out in more detail than the real world that a generic Pirate theme is ostensibly inspired by. Furthermore, telling kids stories supplies them with the tools and techniques to tell better stories of their own, the same way giving kids building instructions supplies them with the tools and techniques that they can use to make better creations of their own. This idea that kids' creativity is best encouraged by depriving them of outside influences doesn't in any way reflect how the creative process actually works. New ideas aren't generated from a vacuum, they are created by putting together the various ideas you've picked up from different sources.

Furthermore, over the years I've seen WAY more fan art and fan fiction of themes like LEGO Bionicle and LEGO Ninjago than I've ever seen of more open-ended themes like City, Pirates, and Castle. Rather than stifling creativity, themes with more engaging stories have demonstrated great capacity for inspiring creative works — even outside MOCs, the category that traditional LEGO fans community seem to rather narrowly focus their creative energy toward. As far as MOCs go, I haven't seen kids limit themselves by what they'd seen either, at least not any more than LEGO fans have always recreated things they recognize from other people's stories and media.

Last year there was a LEGO exhibition at a museum near my college, mostly featuring kids' creations (I submitted a creation, but I was the only adult to enter on his own and the exhibition was broken down by age so nobody's entries were competing against much older or younger builders). One thing I observed on opening night was that the kids building things for this contest usually weren't just recreating scenes from stories they liked. Many kids mixed Minecraft parts with Nexo Knights parts with Star Wars parts to create their own original stories, universes, and characters. Some kids, however, DID build creations meant to fit in an existing universe like the Ninjago or Friends or Star Wars universes, and even those kids were creating new subjects, stories, and scenarios, not just ones they had seen before.

I was quite impressed with a kid who created new vehicles for the Ninjago ninja and typed out out an entire backstory for them about how when Cole was a ghost he used his ghost powers to transform ordinary vehicles into these new ninja vehicles. The Ninjago story had obviously inspired these creations — we'd seen Cole become a ghost, and seen other ghosts demonstrate the power to transform things into enhanced ghostly versions, and of COURSE seen the ninja get new vehicles each season through one plot device or another — but those ideas had never been put together in that exact way, and for this kid the synthesis of those ideas served as inspiration for his own wholly original creations! Even after watching the same Ninjago episodes he did, I'd never had the idea to take those ideas and put them together in quite that way. Even if I had, it never would have resulted in those same creations, because we'd also each be bringing in our other influences and experiences as individuals.

I'm not sure I entirely see how the 2009 and 2015 waves were considerably different from past waves in this regard. The figures had more detailed facial expressions but not in a way that made either the pirates or the soldiers seem more or less competent than in 80s and 90s sets.

I also think it's… quite interesting to read this perspective, since it differs greatly from what I'm used to hearing from fans of the older classic themes like Castle and Space. This kind of directed conflict is itself often presented by fans of those themes as a corruption of a more open-ended play pattern. LEGO shouldn't be setting up specific factions as adversaries, they should be creating those factions without any specific relationship or motivations to each other and let kids have the freedom to choose whether their stories are conflict-based or non-conflict-based.

I think this illustrates how even the sets LEGO fans consider "classics" span a wide range of years and design philosophies. Consider that the launch of LEGO Pirates was actually just as close to the launch of the "proto-Bionicle" theme Slizers/Throwbots ten years later as to the launch of Castle and Space ten years earlier. To a Pirates fan, firing projectiles and sets spelling out an adversarial relationship between factions are not viewed cynically as a way of pandering to kids with violent imaginations and low attention spans, they are a familiar part of the theme that adds to the play value of individual sets and the theme as a whole. A Pirates theme without these conflict elements would probably seem sub-par. But Castle and Space fans might feel differently since those themes did NOT always have those attributes.

EDIT: this is unrelated to the preceding post, but the thought occurs to me… do you think LEGO would ever try a fantasy seafaring theme taking inspiration from (though not necessarily directly based on) the voyages of Sinbad? How well it’d gel with a classic Pirates collection would depend on when exactly you set it, but besides the novelty a fantasy seafaring theme would bring, it’d be neat to see one inspired by non-Western cultures.

It's worth noting that Pirates was really the first theme or Lego line to have in the rudimentary pieces of a story backing it. There were those little storybooks (comics?) That gave names and struggles to the characters. That set Pirates apart a bit from Castle and Space, each of which had their own hooks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/24/2018 at 2:27 AM, Faefrost said:

It's worth noting that Pirates was really the first theme or Lego line to have in the rudimentary pieces of a story backing it. There were those little storybooks (comics?) That gave names and struggles to the characters. That set Pirates apart a bit from Castle and Space, each of which had their own hooks. 

Technically didn't the Jim Spaceborn books (loosely based on the classic space theme) precede those Pirates comics?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Lyichir said:

Technically didn't the Jim Spaceborn books (loosely based on the classic space theme) precede those Pirates comics?

I'm honestly not sure. Either way I think the Pirates ones were the first that got any widespread traction to the point they are still remembered today. Whereas the Spaceborn stuff is fairly obscure even among Lego fans. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The upcoming sets with the classic Pirates look make me think we won't get a real Pirates theme for a while. These seem to lean heavily on invoking nostalgia, particularly the rollercoaster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/1/2018 at 6:34 AM, gedren_y said:

The upcoming sets with the classic Pirates look make me think we won't get a real Pirates theme for a while. These seem to lean heavily on invoking nostalgia, particularly the rollercoaster.

Sadly, I believe the same

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/28/2018 at 9:52 AM, Lyichir said:

Technically didn't the Jim Spaceborn books (loosely based on the classic space theme) precede those Pirates comics?

Technically, yes, and there was also a comic called Castle Kids that was released based on the Castle theme. Interestingly, all three comics were actually developed by the same publishing initiative within LEGO in the 1980s for developing LEGO stories and characters for themes, books, comic books, TV shows, movies, and video games--essentially what we have today, though I believe the original publishing program was shut down. Fellow Eurobrickster @Sadie Meowsalot did a lot of work to research the development of early LEGO comics, to give full credit.


@Faefrost is correct, I think, in that the Pirate comic is better remembered today than the Castle and Space comics (although I expect there are plenty of Jim Spaceborn fans that will argue that point), and there are a couple of reasons why that might be. Most of this is speculation on my part, but I do know that one problem at the time was confusion over where LEGO comic books would be sold: toy stores, book stores, comic book stores, who knew? The Castle and Space comics were oversized books sold by themselves, and don't seem to have been published in many countries. By contrast, the Pirate comic was published in a bunch of languages and sold as a set with minifigures alongside the initial Pirate releases.

It's certainly true that the storyline as seen in the comic was more influential to the Pirate theme than either of its two counterparts were to Castle and Space. Castle and Space were older themes, and their comics reflected a look and style that was soon to be be phased out. There weren't yet many original characters created for either theme for the books to use. By contrast, the Pirate storyline was developed right alongside the comic, and the two fed into each other, with the characters eventually appearing in sets, books, audio dramas, touring exhibitions, and theme park attractions.

TC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/10/2018 at 11:51 AM, Boettner Builds said:

When(ever) we get a new pirates theme, i’d Love to see either the islanders or the imperial armada come back.

As much as I loved Islanders growing up, I don't know how willing Lego would be to revisit it. The kid-friendly nature of the Pirates theme is maintained largely by keeping the story largely a sort of order-vs-chaos abstraction, and bringing in Islanders risks inaccurate representation of actual cultures (there's very little accuracy or specificity to the classic Islanders, who are composed of a mish-mash of cultural stereotypes with their tiki-like masks, Olmec-esque stone sculptures, zebra-skin drums and cow bone accessories), and/or TOO much accuracy (the unpleasant truths of colonialism in the age of exploration are not necessarily well-suited to a kids toy). For what it's worth, licensed themes like Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones aren't much better about cultural sensitivity, but there at least Lego not being in charge of the story gives them a veil of plausible deniability with which to defend against charges of racism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/10/2018 at 10:51 AM, Boettner Builds said:

When(ever) we get a new pirates theme, i’d Love to see either the islanders or the imperial armada come back.

Next time around, I'd perhaps like to see the next Pirates theme's central characters pitted against either rival pirates or undead pirates, rather than the Imperial Navy once again. For new adversaries, that'd probably be a better approach than Islanders, for all the reasons @Lyichir had brought up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Digger of Bricks said:

Next time around, I'd perhaps like to see the next Pirates theme's central characters pitted against either rival pirates or undead pirates, rather than the Imperial Navy once again. For new adversaries, that'd probably be a better approach than Islanders, for all the reasons @Lyichir had brought up.

I'd like to second the notion for undead pirates! I'd love to see the theme come back in a way similar to the Fantasy Era of Castle, with things like krakens and undead pirates, and so on. (Though really I'd be happy if it came back in any capacity. :blush:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/10/2018 at 11:51 AM, Boettner Builds said:

When(ever) we get a new pirates theme, i’d Love to see either the islanders or the imperial armada come back.

I'm all in on some Islanders sets.  Those were fantastic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Lyichir said:

As much as I loved Islanders growing up, I don't know how willing Lego would be to revisit it. The kid-friendly nature of the Pirates theme is maintained largely by keeping the story largely a sort of order-vs-chaos abstraction, and bringing in Islanders risks inaccurate representation of actual cultures (there's very little accuracy or specificity to the classic Islanders, who are composed of a mish-mash of cultural stereotypes with their tiki-like masks, Olmec-esque stone sculptures, zebra-skin drums and cow bone accessories), and/or TOO much accuracy (the unpleasant truths of colonialism in the age of exploration are not necessarily well-suited to a kids toy). For what it's worth, licensed themes like Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones aren't much better about cultural sensitivity, but there at least Lego not being in charge of the story gives them a veil of plausible deniability with which to defend against charges of racism.

I'd love Islanders sets too, but LEGO won't touch that with a ten foot pole if they know what's good for them. Indiana Jones they had the veil of plausible deniability, and they also removed any icons/symbols that would have been offensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, KotZ said:

I'd love Islanders sets too, but LEGO won't touch that with a ten foot pole if they know what's good for them. Indiana Jones they had the veil of plausible deniability, and they also removed any icons/symbols that would have been offensive.

Well, what if Lego did a Pirates themed Action/Adventure line where Islanders were the story's protagonists and Pirates were the antagonists? If so, what could that look like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the Islanders sets and have still got most of the sets from that theme. I would love to see it resurrected in some form but not sure Lego would ever do that again. With the notions of native tribes people being oppressed by European Pirates, I can just imagine the PC brigade would have a field day, if it wasn't handled right. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Bricked1980 said:

With the notions of native tribes people being oppressed by European Pirates, I can just imagine the PC brigade would have a field day, if it wasn't handled right. 

Flip it on its head, create a theme where Native Islanders defend themselves against Imperial Colonists. It would be like James Cameron's Avatar, only that it would be set in the Pacific Ocean in the eighteenth century instead. I don't know where Pirates would come into it, but at least it would be a nautical action/adventure theme set within the same time period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's cool how TLG has redone a few of the classic Pirates factions, and it would be great if they'd do some more. Islanders would be cool again.

I just don't understand why a remake of that faction automatically has to be offensive. If people go around looking for ways to be offended, they're almost always successful.

Did people / do people have problems with the original Islanders? I always thought it looked harmless - after all, it was an intentional mashup of cultures, which surely can't be taken as a mis-representation of a real culture, can it? Granted, there aren't a lot of real-world cultures in that mashup, but still... I don't see any glaring problem here. They weren't being subjected to slavery or other forms of cruelty in official depictions. I thought it looked very respectful, and I think it could be done again.

I think TLG introduced them for children to have fun. It seems a bit overbearing to dissect a child's toy into political correctness when there is no glaring problem - the real problem, to me, is adult hypersensitivity. After all, no one complains that TLG dared create a theme based, even loosely, on real-life pirates who were bloodthirsty murderous thieves who lived violence.

I'm not saying Islanders (or any other faction, in any theme) needs to be done again. I just don't see why it couldn't be respectfully done.

I won't be surprised to see a radical shift in the Pirates theme, if it ever comes back in any recognizable form. So much stuff has gone all action/sci-fi, on the basis that it's what kids want. The last wave (2015) was thoroughly lampooned around these parts. Some good, some bad, some half-hearted (the Soldier's "Fort" to name one), nothing special, here and gone in less than a year (where I live anyway.) I think they can do better than a 5-set wave with such a short life span (considering Pirates as a theme has only appeared a few times in the last decade, not counting PoTC, which is a different animal altogether), provided it doesn't stretch the company or the total product line too far. They're chasing a lot of markets after all.

But I don't want to gripe. As an adult, I probably won't particularly care for any new Pirates sets, and will mostly be interested in minifigs and accessories - provided they aren't all action/sci-fi/zombie and can be reasonably used in a historic setting. :classic:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the more historical folks would hate this. But I would love to see Lego take some of the more distinct pieces and molds they developed for themes like Chima and Ninjago etc and create a Fantasy Pirate in house property. Something with a bit of a One Piece type feel. A main cast and crew vs a number of distinct wacky opponents. Skeletal Pirates. Spider Pirates. etc the skies the limit. Even throw in a big fig or two for the enemies. Just give me some cool new ships Please. Lot's and lots of ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Faefrost said:

I know the more historical folks would hate this. But I would love to see Lego take some of the more distinct pieces and molds they developed for themes like Chima and Ninjago etc and create a Fantasy Pirate in house property. Something with a bit of a One Piece type feel. A main cast and crew vs a number of distinct wacky opponents. Skeletal Pirates. Spider Pirates. etc the skies the limit. Even throw in a big fig or two for the enemies. Just give me some cool new ships Please. Lot's and lots of ships.

To be honest this is sort of what I was recently thinking a franchise based around Metalbeard could be like. He already juxtaposes pirates with steampunk—imagine if he were part of some sort of pirate council made up of all sorts of other wacky pirate captains.

One advantage of this sort of theme, I feel, would be that it might be able to more easily justify a larger number of ships at a range of scales (compared to recent pirate themes that only really have one or two ship sets).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

More than anything I would just love to see lego release a new large ship. Whether or not it's part of a new pirate theme or a one off creator expert set, I don't really mind although a creator set along the lines of imperial flagship would be really great.

Ships have been sorely lacking in lego over the past few years. The closest thing we've got is the ninjago movie ship but just imagine a pirate ship designed with the same attention to detail as destiny's bounty. :pir-classic:

Edited by Bricked1980

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Faefrost said:

I know the more historical folks would hate this. But I would love to see Lego take some of the more distinct pieces and molds they developed for themes like Chima and Ninjago etc and create a Fantasy Pirate in house property. Something with a bit of a One Piece type feel. A main cast and crew vs a number of distinct wacky opponents. Skeletal Pirates. Spider Pirates. etc the skies the limit. Even throw in a big fig or two for the enemies. Just give me some cool new ships Please. Lot's and lots of ships.

I like the classical Pirates line(s), and would still love this. :thumbup:

3 hours ago, Lyichir said:

To be honest this is sort of what I was recently thinking a franchise based around Metalbeard could be like. He already juxtaposes pirates with steampunk—imagine if he were part of some sort of pirate council made up of all sorts of other wacky pirate captains.

One advantage of this sort of theme, I feel, would be that it might be able to more easily justify a larger number of ships at a range of scales (compared to recent pirate themes that only really have one or two ship sets).

Agreed. It would give room for a lot of things other than "random pirate ship vs. soldiers in red or blue".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it was not 100% pirates, but the Ninjago had some pirate-ish subtheme 2 years ago. For me as Pirate fan, that already did a lot. The new Destiny Bounty is something very cool as well and we have  the Silent Mary as big vessel (spooky with skeletons).

I really hope to see the Armada returning as those minifigs were really great (and it would be logical considering they already did Red & Blue).

I would be really surprised to see the islanders returning. Considering there is a lot of political correctness going on (stupid hippies), doing something with stereotypes won't be the best move. It is a shame that things that weren't a problem 30 years ago, are now not possible anymore. But we can't blame TLG for not taking the risk. These days only one stupid person is needed to make a whole bunch of other stupid people go crazy under the flag of "political correctness" (but in fact, they are just a bunch of hypocrites).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Maxim I said:

Well, it was not 100% pirates, but the Ninjago had some pirate-ish subtheme 2 years ago. For me as Pirate fan, that already did a lot. The new Destiny Bounty is something very cool as well and we have  the Silent Mary as big vessel (spooky with skeletons).

I really hope to see the Armada returning as those minifigs were really great (and it would be logical considering they already did Red & Blue).

I would be really surprised to see the islanders returning. Considering there is a lot of political correctness going on (stupid hippies), doing something with stereotypes won't be the best move. It is a shame that things that weren't a problem 30 years ago, are now not possible anymore. But we can't blame TLG for not taking the risk. These days only one stupid person is needed to make a whole bunch of other stupid people go crazy under the flag of "political correctness" (but in fact, they are just a bunch of hypocrites).

I don't like this kind of stereotyping of people who care about political correctness (which is itself a pretty loaded term for the simple, uncontroversial concept of actually caring about other people). I loved the Islanders theme growing up yet I absolutely accept and understand the idea that in hindsight, it relied largely on a set of dated stereotypes of underrepresented cultures and as such probably shouldn't be revisited. People who loved that theme can still enjoy the sets that came out back then and play with them how they choose, but there's so many other ideas that can be explored by Lego without offending entire people groups—nostalgia is a pretty poor excuse for revisiting concepts that can now be recognized for how problematic they are.

Share this post


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

I don't like this kind of stereotyping of people who care about political correctness (which is itself a pretty loaded term for the simple, uncontroversial concept of actually caring about other people). I loved the Islanders theme growing up yet I absolutely accept and understand the idea that in hindsight, it relied largely on a set of dated stereotypes of underrepresented cultures and as such probably shouldn't be revisited. People who loved that theme can still enjoy the sets that came out back then and play with them how they choose, but there's so many other ideas that can be explored by Lego without offending entire people groups—nostalgia is a pretty poor excuse for revisiting concepts that can now be recognized for how problematic they are.

So what you are saying: I enjoyed those sets as kid and I grew up perfectly fine, but the kids nowadays they should not be allowed to do so, because I as an adult find it offensive? Adults tend to forget that the kids mind is innocent and not as troubled of an adults one. And that kids see those islanders as something complete different then how we see them in real (based on our historical knowledge). 

What we also tend to forget as adults, most of those elements were a real aspect of some of those native societies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Islanders weren't referencing any particular community in the real world, as far as I know.  They were just the Islanders of the Pirates world.

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.