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Steve with Cutter in background
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Who IS Steve?

The minifigure known as “Steve” is one of the rarest and most enigmatic figures of the original classic LEGO Pirates theme.

This is a biographical article, see the Infamous Steve Contest for prize winning opportunities.

Tied with Governor Broadside for appearing in just two sets, the Steve minifigure was only available in 6276 Imperial Trading Post and 6286 Skulls Eye Schooner.

Steve and Governor Broadside

The two rarest LEGO Pirates minifigures of the original Pirate theme

But unlike Broadside, Steve’s name was never mentioned canonically within LEGO catalogues and box stories, or extended media like the Golden Medallion comic, the Ladybird book series, audio dramas, officially endorsed LEGO magazines.

Leaving us sorely lacking official information regarding his identity and backstory…

Photos of Steve at the Imperial Trading Post

Some photos of Steve at the Imperial Trading Post

For many a year this minifigure was simply known as “The Merchant” who came sailing into the Imperial Trading Post onboard “The Cutter”, and then later, mysteriously appeared among Captain Redbeard’s crew onboard the Skulls Eye Schooner, without a shred of explanation.

Steve with crew members of the Skulls Eye Schooner

Steve with crew members of the Skulls Eye Schooner during a Dark Shark drill

Consequentially, LEGO Pirate fans have longed asked; who is this minifigure?  Where does he come from?  Are there more merchants who use the same insignia on their flags and sails? Do these merchants also have ships like Steve?

Discussions about Steve continue to this very day…

And to them who be new in these waters; yer probably wondering how the name Steve was bestowed upon this minfig?


Origin of the Name

The first known instance of “Steve”, occurred in the LEGO Pirates Forum hosted by Eurobricks during a brief exchange on 20 October, 2005, when DoubleT replied to a topic titled “Who IS this guy?“, conceived by Sting.

Sting asked:

Sorry if this has been discussed, but I just want to know who exactly THIS guy is…

He is on the Skulls Eye Schooner and in the Imperial Trading Post(as a merchant?)(he has blue pants in the trading post)

Just wondering.

To which DoubleT replied:

He is Steve…

When asked how he obtained this information…

DoubleT replied:

😀 It is a mini fig based on a true story 😉

And thus the legend of Steve was born…

DoubleT then continued to provide an elaborate backstory for the minifigure’s escapades. While highly entertaining, this unfortunate tale only delves into Steve’s origins, and employment by Captain Redbeard as a member of the Skulls Eye Schooner crew.

Merchant Steve and Roger Redbeard strike an accord

Steve and Roger strike an accord

Yet, DoubleT’s biographic account omits Steve’s mercantile pursuits aboard The Cutter, leaving gaping-wide holes in the merchant’s canon.

We must rectify this!


What If The LEGO Group has Named this Minifig?

It is possible the creators of the Steve minfigure employed an internal name which never wormed its way into the public’s conscious. But unless someone from The LEGO Group steps forward and decrees;

Nay, he not be Steve, his actual name be…” we shall remain none the wiser.

Still, such a name would be more akin to a working title than an official designation by likes of Captain Redbeard and Bo’Sun Will, who were frequently name-dropped in media and advertising.

Steve promotes LEGO Insiders

Steve invites you to join LEGO’s VIP program to access exclusive content

Nonetheless, The LEGO Group has acknowledged Steve in one of their official LEGO Pirate articles; so if you’re a LEGO Insider, be sure read the exclusive members-only article titled “Why is classic LEGO® Pirates so iconic?

The LEGO Group be aware of Steve’s infamy!


Steve’s Journey

Setting aside DoubleT’s biographic account, here’s what the Classic Pirates have cobbled together from the flotsam of information that’s been drifting cyberspace for eons.

Imperial Trading Post

Steve debuted along with the Imperial Guards in their centerpiece set, 6277 Imperial Trading Post, released during 1992.  The set included 9 minifigures; 4 Imperial Guards, 4 pirates and 1 Steve.

Steve talks to Commodore Woodhous by Pirates016

Steve meets Woodhouse for the first time… when Woodhouse was a Commodore

Steve’s attire differentiated him from his run-of-the-mill shipmates, a stripey bunch, who all shared the same torso design; albeit in various palette swaps. Meanwhile, Steve demonstrated exquisite fashion sense, sporting a stylish leather vest garnished by a frilly cravat… or maybe it’s supposed to be ascot… or a jabot… some historic fashion piece along those lines.

Portrait of Steve the merchant

Steve’s threads were the height of fashion

But what really set Steve apart be his ship! Dubbed “The Cutter” by LEGO Pirate fans, this was the first official (and unfortunately the last during the Pirate theme’s original run) small ship based upon a brick-built hull, complete with fabric sails.

The Merchant's Cutter without the merchant

Smallest official ship of the LEGO Pirates theme… fans wish more had been released as sets

What made this ship truly special was the insignia printed upon its mainsail. Each of the LEGO Pirate sub themes proudly display insignias on their flags and/or sails, so it’s rather curious why such effort was poured into the sail of this one particular ship, given it wasn’t a set in its own right, nor was the insignia used anywhere else.

Sails from the "The Cutter" found in 6277 Imperial Trading Post

Is The Cutter all that remains of a fifth LEGO Pirates sub theme that was never fully developed?

Perhaps this alludes to a fifth LEGO Pirates faction that was never fully realised, yet a few elements escaped the cutting room floor and crept into the Imperial Trading Post.

Skulls Eye Schooner

During the following year of 93, Steve was press ganged into the 6286 Skulls Eye Schooner’s crew. Official media lacked any explanation whatsoever to account for Steve’s new roguish affiliation, or what became of The CutterSteve just appeared on deck one day!

Steve on the deck of the Skulls Eye Schooner

Steve has embraced the pirate lifestyle, complete with eye patch!

Aside from Steve trading his blue tights for a pair of sliver long johns, there be some mighty strange things happening to his appearance throughout the 6286 Skulls Eye Schooner’s box art… it noticeably changes from photo to photo!

Steve at Waterloo Station

Steve wore his blue tights when they docked at Waterloo Station… he also sported a new hat…

Could we be witnessing Steve transform from a humble merchant into a nefarious scoundrel, right before our very eyes?

Let’s dig deeper…

AFOLs have often wondered how Ironhook perplexingly regrew his leg during shore leave at Barnacle Bay.

Steve watches Ironhook's leg get eaten crocodile

After becoming a pirate, Steve admired Ironhook’s fashion sense

Earlier that year, Ironhook’s limb became a tasty treat to a ravenous crocodile after it escaped from its cage at Forbidden Cove.

Given his monopodial status was firmly established in the Islander sets, the pirate peering into the treasure chest at Barnacle Bay was perhaps intended to be someone other than Ironhook.

Steve at Barnacle Bay

Don’t let that red singlet fool you… lots of pirates wore them back in 1694

So, is that really Ironhook we’re looking at?  Or is this who Steve evolved into? The hook be the next logical progression in his piratical transformation…

But what happened to Steve next? Does he appear among the crew of Redbeard’s third ship, the Red Beard Runner?

Front box art of 6290 Red Beard Runner

Fans previously assumed Ironhook joined Redbeard’s crew during the later years

Because the minifig who resembles Ironhook also has two legs, so maybe it’s not him after all…  from a continuity perspective, this make sense, given Ironhook’s escapades were last witnessed in the Indigo Islands, while Steve’s career became intertwined with Redbeard.

We also haven’t addressed another pivotal question: where did Steve hail from before he arrived at The Imperial Trading Post?

Europa

Ah yes, one of the mythical, lost LEGO themes of 80s…  Legend has it, numerous themes were in development alongside LEGO Pirates during the 1980s, these include; Western, Adventurers, Vikings, Scottish Highlands, some guys from the Mediterranean, and Europa.

Yer not familiar with that legend?  Well, the Classic Pirates sure do have a story to tell you… but another time! Back to Steve

Steve highlighted in the LEGO Europa Theme

Spot the Steve! Oh, and the white coats too.

In this rather European setting we observe Steve across the river from a legion of blue coat Soldiers led by Governor Broadside…s on horse…

This begs the question; is Steve’s tranquil village moments from impending doom?  Or are these soldiers in fact, defenders of Steve’s village?

What do you suspect is occurring in the above scene? And did Steve simply travel from this European village, directly to the Imperial Trading Post in the Caribbean?  Or perhaps he was thrust into a few captivating adventures in-between!

Eldorado Fortress

Just as mysteriously as Steve appeared onboard the Skulls Eye Schooner, decades later his trusty Cutter materialised near the newly renovated 10320 Eldorado Fortress.

Naturally this prompted LEGO Pirate fans to ask; “Where’s Steve?

Steve's cutter stationed at 10320_Eldorado Output by Prates016

Loading the Cutter with cargo at Eldorado Outpost en route to Eldorato Fortress

This modern incarnation of The Cutter has undergone a few enhancements, and sports new sails baring a slightly revised version of the merchant’s insignia. Perhaps indicating the three-decade affiliation between the Soldiers, and whoever these Traders may be, is still alive and kicking.

Tying Everything Together

Let’s speculate…

Just imagine: during his merchant affairs at the Imperial Trading Post, Steve was colluding with Governor Broadside and the Soldiers all along! So perhaps Steve wasn’t just a simple merchant, he was an informant, unbeknownst to that fool Admiral Woodhouse!

And this longstanding collusion extended back to Steve’s home port on the opposite side of the world!

Admiral Woodhouse and Steve at the Imperial Trading Post

The very best of friends… or maybe just a reconnaissance mission

However, Steve’s mission abruptly came to a screeching halt when he as apprehended for espionage, prompting him to abscond to a life of piracy onboard the Skulls Eye Schooner… Not wishing a good ship to wreck, the Soldiers repossessed Steve’s cutter and stationed it at Eldorado Fortress.

The Cutter at Eldorado Fortress

The Cutter has undergone a few upgrades over the years but Steve is nowhere in sight!

Concluding Contemplation

Was Steve a spy or an ally to the Imperial Guards? What do you suspect was actually happening at the Imperial Trading Post?

Has Steve only traveled between his home port in Europa to the Caribbean? Or has he made a few stops along the way?

And what became of Steve after he joined the Skulls Eye Schooner crew? Why have the Soldiers commandeered The Cutter?

There be a good many questions needin’ answering! But are yer bold enough to tackle those answers?


Photography Credit

Once again the Classic Pirates would like to send a shipload of gratitude to the extraordinarily talented Pirates016 for such gorgeous photography.

Photography by Pirates016

This is a small sample of the beautiful photos which await you

Follow Pirates016 on Instagram for some of the finest LEGO Pirate photography to sail social media!


What Do Yer Think?

Who do yer think Steve really is?

Be him a simple merchant that just happened to arrive at Imperial Trading Post on photo shoot day? Or be him so much more?

The Infamous Steve announcement

Coming to a LEGO Pirates Forum near you

Was he a snitch for Governor Broadside? The toilet scrubbing janitor of the Skulls Eye Schooner? The pirate who looks similar to Ironhook at Barnacle Bay?

Or is your Steve story entirely different?

Let’s dive into the LEGO Pirates Forum so we can discuss Steve’s rollicking adventures and the upcoming contest in greater detail…

 

Discuss

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