Mister Phes wants to know...
Unsurprisingly, TalonCard and Mister Phes concentrate on the Islanders in the latest installment of the Guide to the Pirate Mini-figures.
Part IV delves back in time, to the original owners of the Pirates' gold, the Islanders, who, quite reasonably, want it back!
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The Stripey Bandana Boys - Pirates
This troublesome lot were possibly the most common of all the LEGO® Pirate minifigures, yet they are some of the most respected. They always seemed to be around, whether it was working as an imperial sailor on 6271 Imperial Flagship, or a pirate on 6285 Black Seas Barracuda, 6286 Skull's Eye Schooner, 66290 Redbeard Runner, 257 Castatway's Raft, 6267 Lagoon Lock-up, 6276 Eldorado Fortress, 6279 Skull Island, 6277 Imperial Trading Post, 6273 Rock Island Refuge, 1729 Barnacle Bay, 6259 Broadside's Brig, 6261 Raft Raiders, 6268 Renegade Runner, 6235 Buried Treasure, 6260 Shipwreck Island, 1871 Pirate Cannon, 1733 Shipwrecked Pirate, 6252 Sea Mates, 6247 Bounty Boat, 6258 Smuggler's Shanty, 1788 Pirate's Chest, 6262 King Kahuka's Throne, 6264 Forbidden Cove, 6266 Cannon Cove, 6261 Raft Raiders, 6254 Rocky Reef, 1970 Pirate's Gun Cart, 1481 Desert Island and 6251 Pirate Minifigures.
They weren't really rebellious pirates - they always did what they were told and never tried mutiny. Which is strange, because they worked for two captains, Captain Redbeard and Captain Ironhook both of whom were bloodthirsty, crew-hating minifigs. But no, they went along with their commanders' practices of fighting off the Imperial Soldiers and their leader Governor Broadside and the Imperial Guards and their leader Admiral Woodhouse as well as attempting to steal the treasure of King Kahuka and his Islanders. But that last one was often a failure. These minifigs ran right from the start of the pirate line up to the very end, and they will be remembered by all who they served and all who didn't serve them.
The Imperial Soldier was the backbone of the imperial forces before the Imperial Guards led by Governor Broadside came into the picture. Like their red counterparts, the Imperial Soldiers wore shakos, some of the most rare LEGO® pieces currently on the Bricklink market.
They appeared in the sets 6271 Eldorado Fortress, 6267 Lagoon Lock-up, 6265 Sabre Island, 6273 Rock Island Refuge, 6259 Broadside's Brig, 6270 Forbidden Island and 6251 Pirate Minifigures.
They constantly fought battles with Captain Redbeard, but by the time Ironhook came into the picture, the Imperial Guards had already taken control of the seas. Or so they thought. Captain Redbeard had come back in the last few years of the Classic Pirate line and the Imperial Armada was left to repel him and his pirates. Perhaps the Imperial Soldiers should have returned to tame the pirates...
In early 1992, a new face of authority appeared. It was time for the Imperial Guards. And at their lead was Admiral Woodhouse. Apart from sporting a lovely red uniform and his different colour hair, he differed very little to his predecessor, Governor Broadside.
He appeared in a few sets including 6263 Imperial Outpost, 6277 Imperial Trading Post and 6271 Imperial Flagship. So he was somewhat less rare than his blue counterpart, but seems to be more favoured amongst the AFOL community.
Although he lasted longer, 1992 - 1995, he still had just as many troubles with the pirate Captain Redbeard, and later, Captain Ironhook. After 1995, the Imperial Armada took over toward the end of the Classic Pirates era. Woodhouse has captured the attention of many a pirate collector, and it was somewhat a dissapointment to see him go at the end of 1995, but the epic battles between the Imperial Guards and the pirates under his watch will be remembered forever.
Lt. de Martinet
Lt. de Marinet seemed to be a very adventurous minifig, appearing in many sets including 6258 Broadside's Brig, 6265 Sabre Island, 6267 Lagoon Lockup and 6276 Eldorado Fortress. He was quite a successful leader too, serving under Governor Broadside from 1989 to 1991 when the Soldiers were finally driven out of power by the Imperial Guards led by Admiral Woodhouse.
He was always destined for adventure, and when he was given the flick by the Imperial Guards, he allegedly became a merchant captain of a small trading ship in 6277 Imperial Trading Post as Steve before joining the crew of 6286 Skull's Eye Schooner.
Also known to the pirates in some countries as Captain Roger, Captain Redbeard is certainly in control of these waters! Being the only pirate to appear in almost every set, he was quite regular in everyone's collection.
He commanded his flagship, the 6285 Black Seas Barracuda, but has also been seen to sail in comand of ships like 6285 Skulls Eye Schooner, 6289 Red Beard Runner and 6250 Crossbone Clipper. He also appeared in many of the land based sets as either a master, or an enemy.
His main rival in the earlier sets, 1989 - 1991, was Governor Broadside, although was later replaced by his red counterpart, Admiral Woodhouse, 1992 - 1995. These two chaps chased Redbeard around for many years, but never seemed to catch him on his ventures. He also had many attempts to steal King Kahuka and the Islander's treasure, but a later pirate, Ironhook seemed to have more success at that.
Although he is quite simple, he was quite an experiment by LEGO®, as he and his crew were the first minifigs to leave the classic LEGO minifig head: two dots and a curved mouth. So you could say that Captain Redbeard was a leader and pioneer in more than one field. But he will always remain the main icon of the LEGO Pirates line.
A leader in his own way, King Kahuka was the big boss of another LEGO® pirate line faction - the Islanders.
The Islanders were released in the year of 1994, and were apparently second rivals to the pirates and Captain Redbeard, although Broadside and Woodhouse didn't appear to have that much to do with them. King Kahuka was much more active in the world than the two military men, and about equal to Redbeard as far as how regular they were. The Islander king appeared in 6236 King Kahuka's Throne, 6256 Islander Catamaran and 6278 Enchanted Island.
A great addition to the Classic Pirate line was the Islander faction, and they were led by a more than suitable king all the way until they were discontinued in 2001.