Ever since the debut of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in 2003, the Black Pearl has become one of the most iconic pirate ships in popular culture and an inspiration for ship builders and pirates fans worldwide.
Whether you’re a fan of the series or not, one glimpse at her pitch-black sails and ebony hull is enough to make your knees wobble and blood run cold! For you know when you see a ghost ship, a trouble is on the horizon… in other words, Undead Pirates!
LEGO 4184: The ‘Official’ Black Pearl
In 2011, The LEGO Group licensed and launched the LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean theme and, as expected, one set was dedicated to this infamous ship. When it was finally released, instead of unbridled glee, the reception within the AFOL community was met with an echoing thud! Something was amiss!
While enthusiasts and collectors frantically praised its notable features, no matter how small and insignificant, a generous number of fans remained undazzled by a LEGO set with a mere 804 piece count and two clunky masts, lacking any further similarity to the vessel Black Pearl of the same name.
To make matters worse, the Pearl was released just a year after the 10210 Imperial Flagship, a formidable vessel which capture hearts with a fantastic design and a whopping 1664 piece count – a record for its time, and in contrast more than double of the Pearl.
In short, The LEGO Group knows how to achieve impressive design, but in the case of the Pearl they simply choose not to, and this prompted a call to action for builders worldwide to build a design which would grant the legendary ship justice.
Today, the accumulated number of the Pearl MOCs worldwide is staggering, and in this review we will investigate a notable design by the builder BrickMOCBay, which is available for everyone to purchase at MedievalBrick.com.
- Price: $249,99
- Parts: 2808 parts
- Dimensions: Width: 22cm (8.6″) | Length: 79cm (31.1″) | Height: 55cm (21.6″)
- Weight: 2.8kg (6.2lb)
- Available at: MedievalBrick.com
Box and Content
Other notes regarding the parts:
Due to trademark, the minifigure torso which serves as the figurehead on the bow, is not included, even though it is listed on the part-list, instructions, and clearly visible on the product image on the MedivalBrick’s website.
Printed parts were not included, so no T-Bone steak or treasure map for us… ARRRRGGGGGHHHH!
The crab is listed as tan but arrived in yellow. Later we received information that it’s not available in other colours.
Sails are not included, which could be forgiven if there was a graphic template inside the building instructions with diagrams and dimensions to make your own sails out. But alas, there were none!
One bag of 35x black 1×6 tiles was missing. After reporting the problem it was promptly sent and delivered 8 days later, free of charge with a sincere apology.
All other parts came in the right quantity, or even an extra piece or two. (Plus)
1. The Lower Section
2. The Main Deck
3. The Captain Cabin
4. The Poop Deck
The Finished Model
The Score: Giving a final score is never an easy job. Sets and MOCs can be judged on so many different levels; how good is the build, does it have hidden features, is the box nice, is it overpriced, what about playability etc.
Despite its gaps and issues in several areas, overall this is a GOOD set.
Can it be improved? YES! But have you ever built a LEGO set and thought “oh my… this is perfect just the way it is?” C’mon, even Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl could be improved (perfect as it is).
The Issues? All the structural issues are really not that huge and unfixable, even an 8-year old could find a way to add several plates here and there to improve support. And the sails? One playful afternoon with paper and scissors could yield fantastic results in this area. Some of us ‘ship-lovers’ could go a step further and use those paper templates to produce a set of real nice cotton sails. No torso for figurehead? Are you really saying that this is the deal-breaker, and you don’t have somewhere a spare black torso?
The Price: At $250 the price per part is 9c, and anything under 10c is good value. The parts are not original LEGO, that’s true, but they are compatible with them and of surprisingly good quality.
The Honest Question: Imagine you were a kid again, and your dad asks you:
“Would you rather have this cool pirate ship which is not LEGO, but sure looks like one and is compatible with other sets you have, or would you rather have nothing this year, as LEGO does not release pirate ships anymore (let alone big ones like this)?”
I would say YES! What about you?
If you’re on the search for interesting, affordable Classc Pirate themed designs, visit MedievalBrick.com – each design is licenced from AFOL builders who receive a commission from the sale of sets based on their designs.
So purchase your very own Black Pearl today!
And if you’re one of those Facebook pirates, you can join their MedievalBrick Facebook group.
About the Builder…
With a background in engineering and passion for large scale models, BrickMOCBay is an expert digital builder who found his home in Pirate waters where he has made several impressive big ship MOC designs. He is also a member of the Playwell-Bricks designer team, a group of highly talented individuals who design and produce incredible projects of all shapes and sizes at the clients request.
What Do YOU Think?
Now that you’ve read a review on a set produced by a third-party manufacturer, what are your thoughts? Are the Classic Pirates CRAZY for reviewing non-authentic LEGO? Or does the Black Pearl and AFOL designed sets have potential? Should MOCs only be built from authentic LEGO? Or do non-authentic brands have a place?
Sail by the LEGO Pirates Forum and let us know!
Disclaimer: This is a licensed MOC design, built from third-party bricks and elements kindly provided by Medievalbrick.com. THIS IS NOT a counterfeit product. Classic Pirates have conducted the necessary due diligence regarding the LEGO Group’s current patents, trademarks and copyrights, and can confirm no intellectual property rights have been infringed upon at the time of authoring this review. This however, may be subject to change as a result of future legal proceedings. Anything written inside the post is solely expression of the author’s feelings. Parts and build photographs by Marooned Marin (© 2022 Classic-Pirates.com)