LEGO History

Official Pirate Articles
LEGO History

Official LEGO Pirate Articles on

Most LEGO Pirate fans probably be aware that* has official product webpages for sets like 10320 Eldorado Fortress* and 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay*…

But did yer know The LEGO Group has published a couple of official articles covering the history of LEGO Pirates?

Since the emergence of AFOL communities during the early 2000s, fans have been scrounging up official information from past catalogues, box stories, magazines, third-party books and tie-in media like the Ladybird Book series. While official LEGO Pirate information was available on during the 2009 and 2015 pirate set waves, it was squarely focused upon the incumbent product releases.

What bestows these articles with grandeur is their offering of recent official information… information not previously available in marketing material or media bundled with classic sets.

Extended box art imagery for 6271 Imperial Flagship

Beautiful photos like this await you! But this aint the version on, however

But what makes them even more special is the adornment of crisp, clean photos plucked straight from the classic box art. Yer may observe a few of these images sprinkled throughout this blog post, although they’ve been modified to avoid blatant plagiarism…  but expect mild plagiarism to entice you to read the articles… so that you may marvel upon the gorgeous photography in its pristine glory!

Ok, so what be these official articles?

LEGO® History | LEGO® Pirates

The first article was published during 2020 around of the time of the release of 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay.  It provides a comprehensive overview of the LEGO Pirate theme’s history from it’s maiden voyage in 1989 all the way to 2015.

6251 LEGO Pirate Minifigures

6251 Pirate Minifigures: Another modified version of the photography used in the official article

Along the way, it fires interesting tidbits of knowledge your way; like the fact that 6285 Black Seas Barracuda was named “Dark Shark” in most LEGO catalogues of the day, and the LEGO Skeleton had existed long before its 1995 debut.

The article also addresses an age old question often posed by AFOLs;
What nationality are the blue coat Soldiers?

This webpage states:

Alongside the Pirates are Governor Broadside’s blue-coated troops whose task it is to fight the Pirates. These forces are based upon the French navy and marines of the colonial era.

Granted that doesn’t imply the Soldiers are actually French; all LEGO Pirate sub-themes are fictional, but they draw influence from the naval powers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. For example; the Imperial Guards are unmistakably British, while the Imperial Armada are Spanish, albeit a depiction of conquistadors from a century earlier.

Nonetheless, other sources claim the Soldiers were inspired by the historic Danish navy… so if anyone be in possession of inside knowledge, don’t hesitate to enlighten the Classic Pirates further.

Why is classic LEGO® Pirates so iconic?

The second article was published circa 2022-23 to coincide with launch of LEGO Insiders* , or maybe it was the release of 10320 Eldorado Fortress. We’re not 100% certain, for one day it just surfaced in our Search Engine results, but unlike the first article, number 2 is exclusively available to LEGO Insider* members – more on Insiders later.

Captain Redbeard and Governor Broadside

There’s even family photos of yer favourite minifigures!

Since this is an exclusive Insiders article the Classic Pirates won’t divulge too much of the knowledge within; instead we’ll make some observations…

The Observations

The Classic Pirates, being the pedantic passionate fans we are, scrutinize every single detail of our beloved LEGO theme, so naturally we may have observed minor discrepancies in this article.

First, we be wondering about the grammar in the title… Because “LEGO Pirates” is a collective noun, should that be phrased “Why are LEGO Pirates so iconic?

The word “is” would be used in singular, for example;
Broadside is the original governor.”

But us grammatically challenged pirates perhaps require a cunning linguist to educate us. Oh, and don’t hesitate to inform us of any grammatical shortcomings in our own webpages and posts.

The next observation is a chronological discrepancy:

“If the Pirates had a bigger fortress in 1989, then the Imperials got a bigger base in 1992.”

Wait a minute!

The largest pirate “fortress” released in 1989 was 6270 Forbidden Island at 182 pieces. Meanwhile, that same year, the Soldiers had 6276 Eldorado Fortress which was substantially larger at 506 pieces. A couple of years later, 6276 Rock Island Refuge was released with 381 pieces, still almost 130 pieces less than Eldorado Fortress.

Then in 1992, 6277 The Imperial Trading Post upped the ante with 608 pieces. So from the outset, the Imperials have always had the bigger base with the Pirates trailing behind… well, until Barracuda Bay was released in 2020, decades later.

So perhaps a more accurate statement be:

If the Pirates had a bigger ship in 1989, then the Imperials got an even bigger base in 1992.

Well, until 2010 when 10210 Imperial Flagship was released…

But don’t get us wrong, these observations are made with love… deep loving admiration – the Classic Pirates not so secretly hope these observations pave way for a third official LEGO Pirate article in the future!


The article concludes with a “Did you know?” section, so let’s test yer knowledge:

  1. What be the name of the first minifigure to wear lipstick?
  2. Governor Broadside has officially appeared in more of these than he has LEGO sets?
  3. What was Steve’s position onboard the Skulls Eye Schooner?
    (Don’t know Steve? we’ll explore his history in immaculate detail in the future)

If yer don’t know the answers to those questions yer best get readin’ the article!

Do you remember these vintage LEGO® sets from your childhood?

This is more of an honourable mention, granted the information is a brief chapter in a lengthier article exploring classic LEGO themes in general. So among them words yer will receive a goodly dose of LEGO Castle and LEGO Space knowledge… but one vitally important Classic LEGO theme be absent!  Which theme could that be?

LEGO Castle and Space sets

Name these classic sets…

Nonetheless, this article is definitely worth reading if you’re a fan of classic LEGO themes – plenty more tantalising set photography awaits you!

What be LEGO Insiders?

Right, so what’s this Insiders thing the Classic Pirates were going on about earlier?

It’s LEGO’s official VIP rewards program that awards points for yer purchases and grants yer access to exclusive media… just like the articles mentioned above, but even more articles beyond those. It’s a Pandora’s box you definitely want to open!

Join LEGO Insiders today

Join LEGO Insiders* to receive great benefits and magical purchasing powers!

Points can be redeemed for discounts on purchases, while membership grants you access to Gift with Purchase sets like 40597 Scary Pirate Island and 40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei,  member-only sweepstakes, such as the opportunity to win a 40504 LEGO Minifigure Tribute.

From the official Insiders points webpage* on

LEGO® Insiders is a loyalty program that welcomes everyone to join the LEGO community. As an Insider, you’ll get access to exciting rewards, discounts, communities and more.

Once you’ve signed up, you get points by participating in activities, purchasing sets on and in participating LEGO Stores, and by registering your LEGO sets.

So to take advantage of these benefits and register as a LEGO Insider* right now so yer don’t miss a thing! Or miss a lucrative that discount saves yer hundreds of doubloons!

* official affiliate links provided for your convenience 

What Do Yer Think?

Do yer find these official articles helpful?  Or could yer not give a flying fig about LEGO history and prefer to leave the storytelling to the fans?

Could the articles be improved upon?  Could this blog post be improved upon?

6235 Buried Treasure extended box art

The curious case of Bo’Sun Will’s mustache and alternate wardrobe still hasn’t been addressed…

Or should different LEGO Pirate information be available on If so, what would yer like to know?

This be the part where yer sail over to the LEGO Pirates Forum then let your suggestions and opinions fly like a barrage of cannon balls!


In Forum
6432434 Pirate Adventure Ride

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