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  1. TalonCard

    Classic treasure map - vector image

    It's not a vector file, but I've found Ninjatoe's papercraft map files to be extremely useful for higher quality map graphics. As for other backgrounds, the back of the Skull's Eye Schooner instructions has been a godsend because it has the parchment map design used for classic Pirates, but it is otherwise devoid of graphics save for a corner image that can easily be photoshopped out. Canva also has a number of great design elements that can be used to emulate historical designs.
  2. I picked up a couple of these--love having an excuse to do the BAM; it's super fun and a great deal these days!
  3. TalonCard

    Pirates - Early Character and Comic Designs

    There is a bit! Obviously the Robin Hood influence is heavy here; in the UK the leader of the Forestmen was even Robin Hood himself! (Other regions named the character Leo Lawless.) The character Little John was also used for another forestman in an advertisement. In Captain Indigo we learn Robin Hood lives in "Sherbert Forest", still near Nottingham, and that the evil sheriff is actually Captain Indigo's old galactic adversary Garth Raider. The American Brick Buildmore comics also visit the Forestmen a few times, (now in Sheerbrick Forest) again fighting the expected sheriff ("Naughty-Ham"). The Forestmen are one of the factions in the giveaway game "The Quest for Power", and are reimagined as the Forest Guardians in the recent Lion Knights Castle.
  4. TalonCard

    [OFFICIAL] 40710 LEGOLAND Pirate Splash Battle

    I'd like to see them! :)
  5. TalonCard

    Pirates - Early Character and Comic Designs

    That's correct! The third pirate comic was outlined and possibly scripted, but it didn't make it to the illustration phase. Per Sanderhage didn't have his notes or script (if there was one) for this anymore; but I would imagine it had one or both of the story ideas he mentioned: a giant crocodile controlled by a flute playing castaway and Will and Redbeard encountering a similar duo of prate women. I'm not sure why Pirates in particular has so many examples of this that actually made it into publication. I think part of it probably was that Pirates was the first new LEGO theme in close to a decade years, and they wanted to publicize it as much as possible, which probably made getting approval for publishing projects easier. Most of the other themes at the time had similar efforts though. Space had the Jim Spaceborn comics and Castle had the aforementioned Castle Kids comic, both of which were conceived and produced by LEGO publishing around the same time as the Pirate comics were commissioned under what I understand was the same initiative. It's interesting that you mention that, because Sadie's conversation with Per also yielded some concepts for another Castle comic as well. This would have incorporated the major Castle players still active around 1992, including the Black Knights, Wolfpack, and the yet-to-be-released Dragon Masters. The majority of these characters and situations actually made it into the two Castle episodes of the German LEGO audio drama series in 1995. By the time these were produced, the Royal Knights had been released and that faction and its King Richard were integrated into the existing backstory very smoothly. Maybe! It's entirely possible. Christian Faber in particular is full of surprises; he casually drops things on his Instagram like revealing his original model for the time machine car that inspired all of Time Cruisers, and a 1996 map that, among other curiosities, appears to reference the Castle world of Avalon which as far as I know had previously only been mentioned in the 1983 Captain Indigo magazine comics.
  6. Ahoy! Some background on this first: nearly nine years ago, LEGO Researcher extraordinaire @Sadie Meowsalot took the initiative to contact the author of the Golden Medallion pirate comic Per Sanderhage and learned a number of interesting things about the early story development for the Pirates theme, including the existence of an entire unreleased sequel comic, the Island of Mist. One of the other interesting things that came out of these conversations was, essentially, the origin of the pirate characters we know and love, many if not most of which seem to have been the creations of Sanderhage himself. Sadie has since rediscovered some material that was sent on to her that she forgot to include in the initial discussions of the material and asked that I share it here on Eurobricks. Given that a lot of time has passed and that the original forum discussions occurred many years ago, I'm going to summarize and link to the material originally posted by Sadie (Brickshelf) in addition to the newer material (Flickr) to give context to the material. The brief to create characters for the Pirate theme was dated 1987 from LEGO Publishing's Preben Dewald and asked for the following elements [translated from Danish]: As of 8/26/1987, the known character types LEGO Publishing requested names and descriptions for were: -Pirate Captain -1st Mate -2nd Mate -Sailors (Possibly including a female figure) -Parrot -Monkey -Governor -Governor's second-in-command -Soldiers -Civilians, including one female figure Sanderhage recollects that several artists connected to the Norma agency were given the opportunity to try out for this assignment, and was even able to provide some of these samples. Unfortunately, he did not recall the name of the other artists involved. One important fact at this early stage was that while the Pirate sets had been designed and were ready to go by 1986, photographs were still in the process of being released to the agency. Thus, not all of the character designs resemble the minifigures and sets. As we'll see, those involved were unsure what style would ultimately be used, so the try-out illustrations cover a wide range of styles from cartoonish to amazingly realistic. At some point, names began to be assigned to the proposed cast of characters, which had grown to accommodate a band of nastier pirates as well. Per Sanderhage himself wrote the story "bible" for the theme, so it is likely that these were his creations. Some of these were eventually used in the final stories: Governor Broadside Martinet, the governor's second-in-command Camilla, the Governor's Daughter Spinoza the Monkey Popsy the Parrot Culverin, the nasty pirate henchman Bessie (landlady of the pirate's inn) Rummy, the first mate Will appears here as well, though he is unnamed. Some names appear to have been changed later in development: Badrich, the nasty pirate captain (Later changed to Captain Foul in English, though the German translations use "Baddog" instead) Trigger, the cabin boy (later changed to "Jimbo" in English) Quickladle (later changed to "Flashfork" in English) Sanderhage has sketch pages of these proposed characters from a Spanish artist, which have been newly provided by Sadie: Character page one Character page two The biggest revelation here is that one of the original names considered for the character we know as Captain Roger/Redbeard was...Captain Ironhook! This name was re-used when a pirate very similar to Redbeard was introduced in the 1992 sets, so it's very interesting to see it used this early in development. The artists were also given a comic scene to illustrate as part of the process. It appears that the storyline for the comic book had likely been written at this point, as these included scenes with very specific story beats that would ultimately appear in The Golden Medallion. These included the taking of Governor Broadside's cargo vessel: Incredibly realistic version, featuring Redbeard, Will, Spinoza, and Camilla Final version for comparison (via @jodawill) Page 1, Page 2 Foul and Culverin forcing Will and Redbeard to walk the plank: Version from the same Spanish artist who provided the character sketch pages, new image via Sadie (note the half medallion here) Final version for comparison Another comic scene is completely original to this pitch, as far as I'm aware. In this scene, a young boy with a treasure map for Redbeard is being chased by an angry pirate. He ends up meeting Redbeard and Will outside the Keg & Cutlass inn, one of the major locations in the comic. It's tempting to read this as an early introduction for Captain Foul and the cabin boy character Jimbo, but Spinoza the monkey (introduced in the Golden Medallion and seen in the other pitches) is already here. This may be an early idea for a sequel comic, or a different take on the story's opening before the golden medallion element came into play. Some of the characters have design elements seen on the minifigures, so the artists have probably had a chance to see photographs of the toys here. This cartoonish example brings to mind the approach to the earlier Jim Spaceborn comics This sample dials Redbeard's size up to an amusing degree This page presents Redbeard as an older pirate, and seems to briefly flash to another pirate (who may just be an imagined version of Redbeard.) There's also a funny gag involving a stand that sells treasure maps, which I've also seen done a few times in videos and MOCs. Per Sanderhage wasn't just looking to write the comic story, he made sure to throw his hat in the ring to be the artist as well: Sanderhage didn't end up getting the artist job, which instead went to the Spanish artist Vincente Vano Ibarra. But his tryout pages seem to have influenced the look of the characters in the final comic more than any other artist. He seems to have been more informed about the design of the minifigures and accessories compared to the other artists; having already worked with LEGO Publishing on the Castle Kids: Robber Baron comic may have given him a leg up here. (Scans via @jamesster, give that a look if you haven't already, it's every bit as good as the Golden Medallion and possibly funnier!) New from Sadie: Sanderhage's first attempt at a cover image for the comic. This includes Will appearing basically the same as his final version, along with a map very similar to the printed element from the sets. There are characters that appear to be a mashup of Redbeard, Foul, and Culverin. Sanderhage explains: I think Sanderhage may be selling himself short here; I think this and all of his illustrations are pretty fun and dynamic. There's another early version of the comic cover here, in which Redbeard is closer to Sanderhage's other designs. Here's his version of a slightly more dashing Redbeard, and another page that illustrates Governor Broadside, also very close to the final design but with a neat version of the hat. (Redbeard himself only has crossed cutlasses on his hat in many of these illustrations; LEGO was initially reluctant to feature a skull-and-crossbones design on the Pirate sets until set designer Niels Milan Pedersen pressed the issue.) One more with Redbeard making off with quite a treasure haul. Redbeard and Will, here in a slightly different variation with striped pants and a vest. Finally, here's Sanderhage's take on the unique comic scene we saw earlier; it is quite detailed, complete with dialogue and the closest thing to a "final" version of this lost story that we're likely to get. I also spoke to Per Sanderhage after Sadie's initial communication, and he was nice enough to provide some insight as to his thoughts on developing the characters, the Golden Medallion story, whether he was involved in the audio dramas (he doesn't remember) and the cancelled follow-ups (one of which was the Island of Mist.) I think that covers just about everything to date. Thanks so much to Per Sanderhage for taking the time to share all this material and his memories, and enormous thanks to Sadie for having the initiative to find all of this out in the first place, and encouraging me to share the rediscovered material with you all.
  7. TalonCard

    [OFFICIAL] 40710 LEGOLAND Pirate Splash Battle

    I'm hoping these will be available in LEGOLAND Discovery centers too; I have one near me. Shame about the torso, though I do think it's pretty cool that there's a unique LEGOLAND employee print for this set. I like the hairstyle on the minifigure too; is that new?
  8. TalonCard

    [OFFICIAL] 40710 LEGOLAND Pirate Splash Battle

    Unexpected, but it looks like this set has a new pirate torso print! This might bode well for future pirate releases this year; I don't think they'd do a whole new print just for a LEGOLAND set...
  9. TalonCard

    "LEGO Timelines" Book to be Released in September 2024

    It's great to see Pirates recognized as being one of the first themes with a storyline, named characters, and a multimedia narrative, with the storybooks and audio dramas getting a mention. That full acknowledgement doesn't happen often in these books. Very excited to read this. As a side note, I kinda suspect that it's the discussion about the pirate storyline here on this forum (probably other places too) over the years that has kept some of these stories from falling back into obscurity and led to their inclusion in this book. A win for everyone here!
  10. TalonCard

    Useful Pirate Pieces from other Themes?

    Ooh, I wasn't expecting the matching legs, that's awesome.
  11. @sinister5988, your message encouraged me to get a pretty-much complete copy of the World Club board game myself! (I think I'm only missing a couple of life chip tokens and maybe one card.) I've made a video about it here; I've also put a link to full scans of the game materials in the description. :)
  12. TalonCard

    Islanders Lore

    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. :)
  13. TalonCard

    Islanders Lore

    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.
  14. TalonCard

    Future LEGO Pirates Set Speculation

    I want to see a full on Friends prequel pirate line--early Friends books and the TV show established that before Heartlake City, a pirate named Dark Eyed Kate sailed the seas nearby, so it only makes sense to feature that character.
  15. I've heard this as well, and similar statements about Back to the Future and Time Cruisers. I think it's a misunderstanding and an oversimplification of the way LEGO themes were designed and released in the 1980s and 1990s, but it may not be entirely untrue. It's probably borne out of speculation since for a long time there wasn't a lot of information available about the internal development of these themes. It's true that LEGO themes were inspired by all kinds of pop culture elements, and films are no exception, but releasing a theme to capitalize on a very recent successful movie or specifically because a licensing deal couldn't be reached wasn't typical of LEGO in the 80s and 90s. More recently the Secret Life of LEGO Bricks and Blocks Magazine #104 have shed some light on the development of early LEGO themes in general and Adventurers specifically. If LEGO hadn't been concerned with being confused with Indiana Jones, we might have seen Adventurers sets sooner. "Concurrently [with Western], designers pitched another idea that had been kicking around in various forms since the early 1980s, when Daniel August Krentz, Jens Nygaard Knudsen, and Niels Milan Pedersen developed some prototype themes based on Tarzan and King Solomon's Mines. Those earlier forays had ben shut down when the Indiana Jones films began to be released, as with Asterix it was thought that children might mistakenly believe the sets were based on the movies. By the mid 1990s Indiana Jones was far enough in the rearview mirror that a LEGO theme based on archaeology and tomb raiding would not be considered derivative." -The Secret Life of LEGO Bricks, page 110 While the description of the earliest stages of the theme seems to downplay Indiana Jones's role in inspiring the theme as released, a later passage makes the connection clearer: "Special parts...all of which would help LEGO Adventurers endure for four distinct waves between 1998 and 2003, when it took its final bow just before the launch of the very franchise that had inspired it: a licensed Indiana Jones theme." -Page 113 An interview with LEGO designer Niels Milan Pedersen in Blocks Magazine #104 expands on this further, and does give some credence to the notion that no Indiana Jones license=Adventurers, though it seems to be presented more as a theoretical consideration in retrospect than something that was actually considered. "Early discussions around the theme took place in the 1980s. 'The Indiana Jones movies were out, but we didn't have any IPs [intellectual properties] yet,' Niels says. 'We hadn't tried that and the company was not big enough at that point to actually get the license. The LEGO Group was cautious back then; not only was the company not acquiring licenses, but the company was actively avoiding themes that could look as if they were copying existing material. There was concern that children might buy a set based on Ancient Rome, thinking it was tied to the popular Asterix comic books and animated films, so such themes were avoided altogether. Given the era Niels had grown up in, his influences went back much further than Raiders of the Lost Ark, to old films, serials and pulp novels--the same stories that had inspired George Lucas and Steven Spielberg when they came up with their new film franchise 'My boss, Jens Nygaard Knudsen, was this amazing guy with the greatest imagination of any person I have ever met. As a kid, he was into the Tarzan books and all those stories with the explorers As a kid, I too was always very much into these explorers."