FreeJawson

Islanders Lore

Recommended Posts

4 posts

I’ve been interested in the Islanders lore lately but I haven’t been able to find much on Brickipedia. I know the basics like Kahukas sons, and the theory that the Islanders raised Redbeard. but Brickipedia doesn’t have much so I was wondering if there was anymore Islanders lore that someone could tell me about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

798 posts

Will be back with some links later, but as far as I know the Islanders raised the Armada Admiral according to Mania Magazine, not Redbeard. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 posts

46 minutes ago, TalonCard said:

Will be back with some links later, but as far as I know the Islanders raised the Armada Admiral according to Mania Magazine, not Redbeard. 

Great thank you! Honestly I was kind of just going off memory with what i already knew so I guess it makes sense it was the armada admiral and not Redbeard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

798 posts

Just a general disclaimer here, not looking to get into any debates: The creation of the Islanders theme was almost 30 years ago and a lot of these sources have some dated and stereotyped material. Islanders is undeniably a significant part of the Pirate lore though, so here's a summary of the major sources:

-The earliest bit of lore is in a cancelled follow-up to the 6255 Golden Medallion comic. Titled "The Island of Mist", Captain Roger [Redbeard] and his pirates are led by a young boy named Kothu to his home, a mysterious fog-shrouded island. Kothu's father is the leader of a lost group of Aztecs living on the island; descendants of people fleeing the destruction of their empire. A key plot element is that the Aztecs themselves have discovered a method to shroud the island in a perpetual fog to keep their group safe from the outside world, including Governor Broadside and his bluecoats. 

One set piece in the comic is a stepped pyramid topped with a sphere; which of course ends up being toppled and rolling off to cause much destruction in a scene undoubtedly inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark. Redbeard of course tries to take the Aztec's treasure and is imprisoned, but the two parties come to an understanding after Bo'sun Will saves the Aztec city from an invading Broadside.

This comic was cancelled before colors could be added and was never published. (You can read a translation (originally made by forum member @Runamuck and his brother) here.) However, specific elements from this story were retained and later incorporated into the Islanders backstory.

You can see the "Island of Fogs" in this map from the 1990s storybook Will and the Gold Chase, and its position relative to Sabatina (Broadside's island) and Shark Island matches the references from the cancelled comic book exactly. Will and the Gold Chase also mentions a group of people called "islanders" (lower case) living separately from the settlement on Sabatina. This reference is probably a coincidence, but it's worth noting.

When the Islander theme finally came around, the Aztec influence was not incorporated, and the sets released instead feature an entirely fictional group of people whose visual elements seem to be more Polynesian inspired. They are sometimes referred to as living in the "South Seas", as in this Shop at Home Catalog. The UK material calls them the Indigo Islanders. Their leader was named Chief Quextil, who was called King Kahuka in the US.

What was retained from the comic version was the concept of their island home being deliberately hidden from outside influences by clever means, including the same artificial fog. This wasn't used consistently but it did appear several sources, most notably the 1995 German audio drama LEGO #2: Die Insel der schaurigen Masken. The location of their home in the audio drama also matches the map from Will and the Gold Chase, though oddly the set 6278 was called Emerald Island in some regions, which is the name of an entirely different island on the Gold Chase map.

While Captain Roger [Redbeard] doesn't appear in any of the Islander sets, a lot of the US and UK story material shows him to be after the Islanders gold. This was shown in the 1994 commercial produced by the Advance advertising agency that appeared in multiple languages. The Winter 1994 Mania Magazine shows Redbeard attacking the Islander's home in search of treasure, and the September-October 1995 story A Kidd's Cool Treasure has the captain angry at the Islanders for stealing a buried cargo on Skull Island and steals their Christmas presents in retaliation in the November-December 1995 issue.

In contrast, a good deal of the European content imagines Roger as a friend of the Islanders. The Spring 1994 issue of the UK Bricks 'n Pieces Magazine sets up a confrontation between Roger and the islanders and invited readers to submit a conclusion of the story. After receiving a number of particularly bloodthirsty stories from readers, the editors opted to publish a conclusion in the Summer 1994 issue in which Redbeard and Quextil bonded over their shared birthday instead.

Taking a cue from the sets themselves, which feature the rival pirate captain Ironhook rather than Redbeard, many of the stories have Redbeard aiding the Islanders against the evil intentions of Ironhook's pirates. These include the aforementioned German audio drama LEGO #2: Die Insel der schaurigen Masken (which reimagined Kothu as the grown son of Chief Quextil, and added his brother Thu and his mother Amaritza to the royal family) and its follow-up Piratensegel am Horizont (translations also by Runamuck available right here on the forum!), the 1995 installment of the Tim Timebuster comic (which also alluded to the Islander's hidden island of mist) and the short story “Der Kampf Um Die Totenkopfinsel” (no scans online anymore of this one, sadly), both from the Austrian/German Klick Magazine. In these stories, Roger becomes close friends with Quextil. 

While 1994 was the only year with Islander centric sets, because of the long period before sets were retired in the 1990s, the subtheme was still on the shelves when the 1996 redesign of Pirates rolled around. Thus, they were incorporated into the conflict between Redbeard's pirates and the Imperial Armada, as shown in this commercial. At this point Roger/Redbeard is presented as the outright villain once again. The March-April 1996 Mania magazine explains that the Armada's nameless leader the Admiral was raised by the Islanders after being found by them as a baby. Redbeard uses this connection to lure the Admiral in a trap in that issue's comic, where he disguises two of his pirates as Islanders.

The Islanders were also carried forward into several video games. This included LEGO Racers, which used King Kahuka and introduced an islander named Uhu, retaining the naming convention of names ending in "u" from the audio drama. Kahuka was also an important part of 2009's LEGO Battles, where his Islanders ended up as allies with Captain Brickbeard against an Imperial Guard/Ninja alliance.

The Islanders have also been associated many times with the Adventurers theme. Even before Adventurers came out, the 1994 touring show Treasure Hunt imagined a 20th century visit to the Islanders home through a pair of explorers who landed their plane here. Here we learn that the Islanders eventually captured and imprisoned Redbeard, putting an end to their conflict. This exhibit borrowed the idea of the island being hidden by fog and the step pyramid from the Island of Mist comic, though here the pyramid is said to be of Myan, not Aztec origin. Johnny Thunder later encountered the Islanders and a pyramid in a cutscene from the video game LEGOLAND, which like the comic also features a giant sphere rolling off of said pyramid in a Raiders-inspired scene. The Islanders also appeared alongside the Adventurers in LEGO Island 2 and in the LEGOLAND Malaysia attraction Dino Island which suggests they have settled on Dino Island as well.

Outside of LEGOLAND, the Islanders haven't been forgotten in modern sets. The collectable minifigure Island Warrior has many similar design elements to Islanders, and his LEGO.com biography makes the connection explicit, including references to the pirates, Forbidden Cove, Enchanted Island and the Imperial navy. An Islander statue head appears in 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay. The design featured on the Islander canoes was referenced in the Ninjago set 70604 Tiger Widow Island. And, completing the circle of Raiders references, a version of King Kahuka's mask is among the dart-spitting faces in the 77015 Temple of the Lost Idol Indiana Jones set.

Hope that helps. :)

Edited by TalonCard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 posts

15 hours ago, TalonCard said:

Just a general disclaimer here, not looking to get into any debates: The creation of the Islanders theme was almost 30 years ago and a lot of these sources have some dated and stereotyped material. Islanders is undeniably a significant part of the Pirate lore though, so here's a summary of the major sources:

-The earliest bit of lore is in a cancelled follow-up to the 6255 Golden Medallion comic. Titled "The Island of Mist", Captain Roger [Redbeard] and his pirates are led by a young boy named Kothu to his home, a mysterious fog-shrouded island. Kothu's father is the leader of a lost group of Aztecs living on the island; descendants of people fleeing the destruction of their empire. A key plot element is that the Aztecs themselves have discovered a method to shroud the island in a perpetual fog to keep their group safe from the outside world, including Governor Broadside and his bluecoats. 

One set piece in the comic is a stepped pyramid topped with a sphere; which of course ends up being toppled and rolling off to cause much destruction in a scene undoubtedly inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark. Redbeard of course tries to take the Aztec's treasure and is imprisoned, but the two parties come to an understanding after Bo'sun Will saves the Aztec city from an invading Broadside.

This comic was cancelled before colors could be added and was never published. (You can read a translation (originally made by forum member @Runamuck and his brother) here.) However, specific elements from this story were retained and later incorporated into the Islanders backstory.

You can see the "Island of Fogs" in this map from the 1990s storybook Will and the Gold Chase, and its position relative to Sabatina (Broadside's island) and Shark Island matches the references from the cancelled comic book exactly. Will and the Gold Chase also mentions a group of people called "islanders" (lower case) living separately from the settlement on Sabatina. This reference is probably a coincidence, but it's worth noting.

When the Islander theme finally came around, the Aztec influence was not incorporated, and the sets released instead feature an entirely fictional group of people whose visual elements seem to be more Polynesian inspired. They are sometimes referred to as living in the "South Seas", as in this Shop at Home Catalog. The UK material calls them the Indigo Islanders. Their leader was named Chief Quextil, who was called King Kahuka in the US.

What was retained from the comic version was the concept of their island home being deliberately hidden from outside influences by clever means, including the same artificial fog. This wasn't used consistently but it did appear several sources, most notably the 1995 German audio drama LEGO #2: Die Insel der schaurigen Masken. The location of their home in the audio drama also matches the map from Will and the Gold Chase, though oddly the set 6278 was called Emerald Island in some regions, which is the name of an entirely different island on the Gold Chase map.

While Captain Roger [Redbeard] doesn't appear in any of the Islander sets, a lot of the US and UK story material shows him to be after the Islanders gold. This was shown in the 1994 commercial produced by the Advance advertising agency that appeared in multiple languages. The Winter 1994 Mania Magazine shows Redbeard attacking the Islander's home in search of treasure, and the September-October 1995 story A Kidd's Cool Treasure has the captain angry at the Islanders for stealing a buried cargo on Skull Island and steals their Christmas presents in retaliation in the November-December 1995 issue.

In contrast, a good deal of the European content imagines Roger as a friend of the Islanders. The Spring 1994 issue of the UK Bricks 'n Pieces Magazine sets up a confrontation between Roger and the islanders and invited readers to submit a conclusion of the story. After receiving a number of particularly bloodthirsty stories from readers, the editors opted to publish a conclusion in the Summer 1994 issue in which Redbeard and Quextil bonded over their shared birthday instead.

Taking a cue from the sets themselves, which feature the rival pirate captain Ironhook rather than Redbeard, many of the stories have Redbeard aiding the Islanders against the evil intentions of Ironhook's pirates. These include the aforementioned German audio drama LEGO #2: Die Insel der schaurigen Masken (which reimagined Kothu as the grown son of Chief Quextil, and added his brother Thu and his mother Amaritza to the royal family) and its follow-up Piratensegel am Horizont (translations also by Runamuck available right here on the forum!), the 1995 installment of the Tim Timebuster comic (which also alluded to the Islander's hidden island of mist) and the short story “Der Kampf Um Die Totenkopfinsel” (no scans online anymore of this one, sadly), both from the Austrian/German Klick Magazine. In these stories, Roger becomes close friends with Quextil. 

While 1994 was the only year with Islander centric sets, because of the long period before sets were retired in the 1990s, the subtheme was still on the shelves when the 1996 redesign of Pirates rolled around. Thus, they were incorporated into the conflict between Redbeard's pirates and the Imperial Armada, as shown in this commercial. At this point Roger/Redbeard is presented as the outright villain once again. The March-April 1996 Mania magazine explains that the Armada's nameless leader the Admiral was raised by the Islanders after being found by them as a baby. Redbeard uses this connection to lure the Admiral in a trap in that issue's comic, where he disguises two of his pirates as Islanders.

The Islanders were also carried forward into several video games. This included LEGO Racers, which used King Kahuka and introduced an islander named Uhu, retaining the naming convention of names ending in "u" from the audio drama. Kahuka was also an important part of 2009's LEGO Battles, where his Islanders ended up as allies with Captain Brickbeard against an Imperial Guard/Ninja alliance.

The Islanders have also been associated many times with the Adventurers theme. Even before Adventurers came out, the 1994 touring show Treasure Hunt imagined a 20th century visit to the Islanders home through a pair of explorers who landed their plane here. Here we learn that the Islanders eventually captured and imprisoned Redbeard, putting an end to their conflict. This exhibit borrowed the idea of the island being hidden by fog and the step pyramid from the Island of Mist comic, though here the pyramid is said to be of Myan, not Aztec origin. Johnny Thunder later encountered the Islanders and a pyramid in a cutscene from the video game LEGOLAND, which like the comic also features a giant sphere rolling off of said pyramid in a Raiders-inspired scene. The Islanders also appeared alongside the Adventurers in LEGO Island 2 and in the LEGOLAND Malaysia attraction Dino Island which suggests they have settled on Dino Island as well.

Outside of LEGOLAND, the Islanders haven't been forgotten in modern sets. The collectable minifigure Island Warrior has many similar design elements to Islanders, and his LEGO.com biography makes the connection explicit, including references to the pirates, Forbidden Cove, Enchanted Island and the Imperial navy. An Islander statue head appears in 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay. The design featured on the Islander canoes was referenced in the Ninjago set 70604 Tiger Widow Island. And, completing the circle of Raiders references, a version of King Kahuka's mask is among the dart-spitting faces in the 77015 Temple of the Lost Idol Indiana Jones set.

Hope that helps. :)

That does help a lot thank you so much! Yeah, as much as I love the Islanders they can definitely be a bit problematic, I’m definitely gonna cherry pick a little with the lore I use for the project I’m using The Islanders for. I think I’m just gonna ignore the Fog Island comic because wow… Broadsides interest in enslaving the Islanders, Redbeards language choices (this one may have been a translation thing), and all the stereotypes on the Islanders. It may be for the best that this one was never published. Not to mention it just doesn’t really seem to fit with the rest of the lore. The rest is great though and mostly inoffensive. I love the idea that the island itself is some level of magic and I like how Kahuka has connections to Redbeard and The Armada Admiral.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

450 posts

I don’t know how this is “problematic” the islanders were always seen as sympathetic and in control.

 I love the islanders subtheme and modern over politicisation of everything has to sweep in and ruin things again. 

How dare islander nations have representation 🙄 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4484 posts

6 hours ago, thewatchman said:

I don’t know how this is “problematic” the islanders were always seen as sympathetic and in control.

 I love the islanders subtheme and modern over politicisation of everything has to sweep in and ruin things again. 

How dare islander nations have representation 🙄 

This, I mean, Maori culture and others still are celebrated this day, and are basicly some of the known ancestors of the real-world Islanders that traveled from Asia to eventually spread across the Pacific. (a process that happened over more then a 1000 years (origins from the China/Taiwan region even going 3000-4000 years back), long before European nations sailed their ships there. 

Of course the actual LEGO sets show them together with Pirates with guns, but still none of those Islanders are depicted to be enslaved/imprisoned, rather the other way around with the islanders locations sets having prisons, some even pictures with a Pirate in it (6246: Crocodile Cage)

Last time LEGO had an Islanders-Esque wave of sets was under Ninjago (Season named "The Island" in 2021, and the islander figures were fictional purple skinned people, some even with 2 heads), not sure if that's an indication of how LEGO thinks about things currently.

Edited by TeriXeri

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2643 posts

The Hovitos warrior from the Temple of the Golden Idol showed that it is still possible to portray indigenious people of the Americas in a sensible way. But on the other hand, when i look at the upcomming CMF 25, all the minifigs are straight from western culture. The Harpy from Roman and Greek mythology for example. Barbarian also from the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Bat Lord comes from (East) European vampire folklore. The rest are basically city minfigs.

Vikings are ok, but not Polynesians? If the Caribbean Islands would be a bigger market for Lego, would they get New Year's set too, like China? (These are rhetorical questions.)

It's so sad :pir-sceptic:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

109 posts

On 12/20/2023 at 11:43 AM, TalonCard said:

Just a general disclaimer here, not looking to get into any debates: The creation of the Islanders theme was almost 30 years ago and a lot of these sources have some dated and stereotyped material. Islanders is undeniably a significant part of the Pirate lore though, so here's a summary of the major sources:
[...]
Hope that helps. :)

Really interesting post, thank you! You should write a brickipedia article!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

22 posts

On 12/21/2023 at 1:54 AM, thewatchman said:

I don’t know how this is “problematic” the islanders were always seen as sympathetic and in control.

 I love the islanders subtheme and modern over politicisation of everything has to sweep in and ruin things again. 

How dare islander nations have representation 🙄 

While the sets them selfs and the characters are rather inoffensive, when you look into Polynesians history the islanders are an amalgamation of numerous cultures and were significantly dumbed down and generalized.

(disclaimer I love Islanders too and there my second favorite pirates faction right behind the armada.).

On 12/21/2023 at 8:47 AM, Yperio_Bricks said:
On 12/21/2023 at 8:47 AM, Yperio_Bricks said:

The Hovitos warrior from the Temple of the Golden Idol showed that it is still possible to portray indigenious people of the Americas in a sensible way. But on the other hand, when i look at the upcomming CMF 25, all the minifigs are straight from western culture. The Harpy from Roman and Greek mythology for example. Barbarian also from the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Bat Lord comes from (East) European vampire folklore. The rest are basically city minfigs.

Vikings are ok, but not Polynesians? If the Caribbean Islands would be a bigger market for Lego, would they get New Year's set too, like China? (These are rhetorical questions.)

It's so sad :pir-sceptic:

 

 
 

I wholeheartedly agree with you and I really wish Lego explored more cultures history, lego used to do this in the 90s with things like the Islanders or Ninja, but those themes haven’t aged very well. Unfortunately due to Legos rocky history with the Māori, I’m not optimistic about getting more sets based of Polynesian cultures

Edited by iluvspacepolice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

68 posts

Posted (edited)


This website (German) gives an nice overview of all the Islander-sets and a little bit of background info.

Edited by CvS

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.