While Lego has a more expensive, elaborately detailed Pirates of Barracuda Bay set aimed at teenagers, we’d argue this $100 Pirate Ship is a better bet, especially for younger kids — and the parents who want to build with them. Aimed at ages nine and up, most of the 1,264 pieces in this set pull double duty. They go into building the main ship at an impressive 14-inches tall and 18-inches long. This main assembly does not disappoint. There is so much detail that parents will get a kick of helping with, from the skull baring sail to intimate captain’s quarters complete with desk, map, and swing open sides, to a working anchor, rutter, and cannons. The detail even extends down to the shark, which has ball joints for movable tail, fins, and jaw.
For about $100, this Lego kit delivers three satisfying builds to keep kids busy and engaged. Build the Pirate Ship first, where the numbered bags will help move things along, then take on the two alternative builds — where you’ll spend extra time hunting for parts. But that’s half the fun right?
But once that build is over, the Skull Island set is even more exciting. The white parts of the sail get repurposed into a creepy and detailed skull, set on a small island where it protects a treasure chest and a cache of gold studs. Kids will build in a wheel that opens and closes the jaw with a satisfying thwack. And the three mini-figures will keep busy patrolling Skull Island in two small crafts, including a boat and a raft.
Bored of the skull? The last build is the Pirate Inn, which is hinged to swing open and make playing inside easier. Out front, there’s a working chain winch to carry goods and treasure hauled in by a primate horse build and a classic sign. Plenty of windows up front, along with steeply pitched roof panels, give the inn an old house vibe. A water wheel on the end of the building spins.
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