Official Announcement & Review of 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay

Oh boy. This is huge. LEGO has officially announced the release the next LEGO Ideas set – 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay! Growing from Pablo Sanchez’s outstanding LEGO Ideas submission of The Pirate Bay, this absolute monster of a set is definitely going to get people talking (and drooling) and wishing for the official return of LEGO Pirates.

21322 Full

It’s awesome that there hasn’t been a leak in sight for this – it only makes this so much more exciting! I was certainly excited out of my brain when this arrived on my doorstep a week ago. A massive, enormous thank you to LEGO for sending me an early release copy for review. I’ve built it and you can read my thoughts on it below. Grab a cuppa – this is a big article.

Before that though, let’s take a look at the official details. Look at that glorious box! The yellow border – man that makes me happy.

21322 Box
21322 Box

Weighing in at 2,545 pieces, and costing US $199.99 / DE €199.99 / UK £179.99 / AUD $299.99 and available from April 1 this is a set to behold.

21322 Ship

It’s not just a shipwreck island – it can be rebuilt back into a stunning ship. Not just any ship though – a redesigned Black Seas Barracuda inspired by the 1989 version, captained by Redbeard himself. Redbeard and his band of pirates reappears in this set. There’s eight minifigures all up.

Redbeard, Lady Anchor, Robin Loot, the twins Port and Starboard, three other pirates, plus two skeletons, as well as a shark, a pink pig, two parrots, three crabs and two frogs. I love the tattooed pirate! His torso is fantastic.

21322 Size

The island is massive. It’s 64cm wide and over 59cm tall. This one will get noticed in your house! It’ll take a while to build, so I’d settle in with a drink (a rum maybe?) and get stuck into it. It can also be split in half and rearranged.

The fact that the ship can be rebuilt is super exciting – it’s an amazing vessel. With Redbeard’s cabin, a kitchen, tavern, bedroom and a removable jail cell, it’ll look fantastic lined up against other ships.

There is so much to look at! The press release is below, as well as some more images and a video, before we move on to the full set review.

21322 LEGO® Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay
Ages 16+.

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2,545 pieces
US $199.99– CA $259.99– DE €199.99– UK £179.99– FR €199.99– DK 1599.0DKK – $299.99 AUD
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit LEGO.com for regional pricing.

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Pirate shipwreck island building set for play and display

Rekindle nostalgic memories of childhood LEGO® construction projects with this LEGO Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay (21322) shipwreck island model for display and play. Enjoy some calm, quality time alone building – or share the fun with others.

Rebuild into a classic
Discover the captain’s cabin, food store, kitchen, bedrooms, supply dock, farm, toilet, jail cell, tavern and hidden treasure, plus lots of fun accessories, 8 pirate minifigures, assorted animal figures and 2 skeleton figures to inspire action-packed stories. This set includes an island that can be split in half and rearranged. The shipwreck can also be dismantled and reassembled to make a ship inspired by the Black Seas Barracuda pirate ship LEGO model from 1989.

Fan-tastic ideas!
LEGO Ideas offers a diverse array of sets, all created by LEGO fans and voted for by LEGO fans. Inspired by real life, action heroes, iconic movies, popular TV series or totally original concepts, there are cool model kits for people of all ages.

• Build and play with or display this LEGO® Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay (21322) shipwreck island model. The island can also be split in half and rearranged, revealing buried pirate treasure.
• The set has 8 minifigures including Captain Redbeard, Lady Anchor, Robin Loot and twins Port and Starboard for pirate role-play action, plus a shark, pig, 2 parrots, 3 crabs, 2 frogs and 2 skeleton figures.
• Rooms including a captain’s cabin, kitchen, tavern, bedroom and jail cell are filled with accessories. The shipwreck also rebuilds into a ship inspired by the 1989 LEGO® model, Captain Redbeard’s Black Seas Barracuda.
• This 2,545-piece pirate building set makes a great birthday or holiday gift for pirate and LEGO® enthusiasts. It will give you a stress-relieving break from the daily grind – and hours of refreshing, creative fun.
• This cool pirate shipwreck island model measures over 23” (59cm) high, 25” (64cm) wide and 12” (32cm) deep. It’s sure to make a big impression whether displayed at home or as an office desk toy.
• No batteries required – this pirate ship playset offers an immersive build with LEGO® bricks only. So forget your worries, find your building zen and create a beautiful display model!
• Thinking of buying this pirate building set for someone new to LEGO® model kits? No worries. It comes with step-by-step, illustrated instructions so they can take on this challenging build with swashbuckling confidence.
• LEGO® Ideas sets are created by LEGO fans and voted for by LEGO fans. The theme offers an infinitely diverse array of collectible construction sets for display and creative play. There’s something to delight all ages!
• LEGO® building bricks meet the highest industry standards, which ensures they are consistent, compatible, connect strongly and pull apart easily every time – it’s been that way since 1958.
• LEGO® bricks are tested in just about every way you can imagine, ensuring that each model kit meets the highest safety standards and that this pirate island is as robust as it is impressive to look at.

Become a pirate with this brand-new LEGO Ideas set, inspired by the 1989 Black Seas Barracuda pirate ship model. Adventurers can now explore the island and the wreckage of Captain Redbeard’s famous ship, which was lost at sea over 30 years ago.

The new LEGO© Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay set has been created based on a submission to the LEGO Ideas platform by fan designer Pablo Sánchez Jiménez, who has a passion for all things pirate and was inspired after building LEGO brick models with his dad when he was young. The concept behind the LEGO® IDEAS Pirates of Barracuda Bay set reached the 10,000-supporter milestone in just 25 days – making it one of the quickest sets to hit the target.

With 2,545-pieces in total, the model contains everything a pirate or LEGO fan needs to create the ultimate shipwreck – including a captain’s quarters, food store and supply dock. LEGO builders can even uncover buried treasure on the island by removing parts of the ship to explore new areas and create new stories.

This set also contains 8 Minifigures all based on pirate characters from the classic pirate lines, including the iconic Captain Redbeard, Lady Anchor, Robin Loot and the twins, Port and Starboard, as well as 3 other pirates and 2 skeleton figures and various animals to discover on the island.

When builders tire of being stranded at sea, the island can also be reassembled to create Captain Redbeard’s legendary ship, the Black Seas Barracuda. Rebuild the ship to launch a rescue mission to take the ship’s crew back to safety and find the buried treasure.

The LEGO® Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay set measures over 23” (59cm) high, 25” (64cm) wide and 12” (32cm) deep and is sure to catch the eye whether proudly displayed or placed amongst other LEGO Pirate sets.

LEGO Ideas offers fans the opportunity to submit their own brick creations with the chance to have their concept brought to life with the help of LEGO master designers and a share of the net sales.

Fans can submit their own LEGO set ideas at ideas.LEGO.com.

21322 LEGO Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay will be available directly via LEGO.com and LEGO Stores from 1st April 2020.

Review

Theme: LEGO Ideas
No: 21322
Release Year: 2020
Cost: AU $299.99
Pieces: 2545 (with eight minifigures)

Let’s dive in properly and take a look at this amazing new set. Inside there are a whopping 27 numbered bags across 15 stages, three bags of larger parts, two massive axles, the sails all flat and wrapped up, and an instruction manual over a centimetre thick. We’re in for a good day!

I’ll be throwing in a few extra photos from LEGO in this – the set is so massive I found it hard to get a decent photo!

The instruction manual has some articles at the front that are well worth the read – one in particular sets the scene for this set. It tells the story of Redbeard setting sail for Eldorado Fortress. They sailed through a storm and went missing (a nod to the lack of Pirates sets in recent years). This set is apparently the answer to where they were. I think that’s great! Linking the old sets together with this is fantastic. There’s also an interview with Pablo Sanchez, some words from Milan Madge and Austin William Carlson about the development of this set, followed by an introduction to the crew themselves.

Ok, the minifigures first – there’s eight pirates all up.

Minifigures

First up, Captain Redbeard. It’s absolutely fantastic that they’ve purposely aged Redbeard – his beard has gone a little grey! He still looks amazing after all these years. The prints for all the minifigures are high quality. Redbeard comes with a cutlass.

Lady Anchor is the dark haired second in command. With a white shirt, brown corset (I think), red vest and a blue sash around her waist, she comes with a flintlock pistol and a machete – a first for me!

Quartermaster Riggings is the bloke with the map and tricorne hat. He’s got a patch over his right eye. According to the manual, he’s the only one that can see eye to eye with Redbeard because their patches are on opposite sides! Love it.

Up next is Robin Loot (great name). With some dirt smears on her face and a white shirt and green vest, the most exciting element is a dual moulded blonde ponytail and tricorne hat! A new and welcome element. She’s also got a bit of a back-story. She’s apparently the former gunner of the Cross-Bone Clipper, another old LEGO set! I’m loving this tie in with the old sets. Imagine if they did more like this! Where is the Cross-Bone Clipper now? Robin wields dual flintlocks.

The Broadside Brothers, Port & Starboard are the mustachioed twins. They’re the more standard looking pirates, with Port having a rifle, and Starboard with a cutlass and a flintlock.

Tattooga is my favourite of the lot. His torso is brilliant! With chest and back tattoos galore, it’s a brilliant addition.

Lastly, there’s Jack “Dark Shark” Doubloons. Armed with a satchel and telescope (which could be mistaken for a torch in the wrong era), he’s happy in the crow’s nest keeping an eye out. With little legs he’s probably a pirate kid.

The build itself is split into two distinct halves – two base halves, with the three ship segments on top. The base sections have a small island each, plus a palm tree or two, and some decking to hold the ship sections. The bases by themselves are excellent. There are a few jetties and walkways, a couple of rocks here and there, and the palm trees are beautifully done. The highlight of the base for me, though, sits in the Islander statue buried in the sand.

Seen originally in both 6262 King Kahuka’s Throne (a set I owned as a kid), and 6278 Enchanted Island from 1994, the head of the statue has been buried for a while. The detail in this is excellent – sitting at an angle and even seeing a tan cheese slope in the mouth to match looks awesome. It’s another excellent nod to the history of this incredible theme.

It’s the little details that make this set, like the crooked planks on the edges of the walkways, the piles of food supplies, the skeleton of a former Imperial officer underneath. There’s so much to see! In addition to the base, you also get a loose shark to torment the pirates, and a rowboat.

I can’t tell if the flowers in the water are meant to be coral, but I’m guessing they are. It’s also great to see white ‘dog poo‘. It’s a recolour of the reddish brown element from the recent CMFs. I’m guessing these are shells.

Another excellent detail is the crooked window – it’s just so neat! It looks like it’s been cobbled together from a shipwreck. Perfect.

On to the ship. It’s big and absolutely marvellous. Let’s take it section by section – middle, bow and stern. Then I’ll look at the transformation process, followed by the whole thing together, and how I’ve tweaked it.

The middle contains the sleeping quarters and the ship’s tavern. The outside of the ship is reddish brown with a black trim and white sides, finished with gold lattice windows. I’m super impressed with the ladders down the side – made of stacked 1×2 and modified 1×2 plates with bars, it’s seamless in how it fits.

Inside the centre of the ship, there’s plenty of room. Having a full deck below is exciting – it’s a massive drawcard. There’s a couple of simple beds, a desk on the opposite wall, and next door is the tavern.

The barrel used as a keg is fantastic. Up top it’s much simpler – a massive mast with two rolled up sails, and couple of smaller (one broken) masts as well. Rigging down one side, all capped off with a flag up top. The front of the middle section contains a door and an awning of sorts. It tends to fall of easily, but there’s a nice cut out for a cannon. All cannons can also shoot! Brilliant additions.

One of the details my wife loved (she helped a bit) was the sign off the side, for Jose’s Inn. I’m not sure who Jose is – a crew member lost at sea maybe?

Up the back are some stairs either side of the narrowest jail cell I’ve ever seen! No wonder the skelly is standing up – there’s not enough room to sit!

I don’t mind that the sails are rolled up. It’s not too hard to flatten then, but the way they’re attached means if you unfurl them, they’ll be backwards. I’ve since tweaked my version, and I’ve realised why – explanations coming soon!

On to the bow of the ship. The shaping is beautiful. The sweeping yellow lines to the figurehead, the figurehead itself, as well as the triple masts and jib at the very front – it’s the simple things like the line running from the top to the end of the jib. I love it! Easily, the best part has to be anchor mechanism.

It’s so smooth how it rotates around the fore mast. I’m not sure what’s inside, but there seems to be a desk in the hull, as well as a little bucket. It’s not really all that visible when it’s placed on the set, so I think it’s pretty inconsequential.

The pops of yellow around the top are stunning. It’s the unmistakable Black Seas Barracuda colour scheme, and I couldn’t be more excited.

That leaves us with the stern. Inside the lower deck there’s the kitchen. It’s simple and perfect. Also the way the side walls have been built is very clever, and deceivingly simple. To achieve the sweeping back of the ship, the walls are built, and then flipped upside down and clipped in place.

The rear wall holds the rudder, which doubles as a door in the wrecked island mode. It’s extremely clever. As we move up to the top floor – the captain’s quarters, the detailed external walls are added in place with hinges.

Inside Redbeard’s quarters is a treasure chest, a large table with a very simple candelabra, and a grand sitting chair. There’s also a marble bust that uses the window arch jumper brick in white, as the shoulders of the bust. It’s spot on! There’s also a fold up bed on the other side.

The stairs continue on the outside at the front. The back wall is created separately, then slotted in place using Technic t-bars to hold and hinge it. It’s very clever, and rather sturdy. There’s also a broken board hoarding on the outside that’s clipped over a window. Another awning is clipped in place – add the flag, and it’s on to the simple floor. I’m very happy this is able to be lifted with ease – it’s one section of the build that will be good to show people. Not having to wrestle with the floor will be good.

It’s important to note that without a crucial part, this section of ship doesn’t stand up by itself. I made that mistake and had to catch it as it launched itself over the edge of the table! Add the extra bottom of the rudder and it’s fine. You may give yourself a heart attack though.

Now that the set is complete, take a moment to admire it in all it’s piratey glory. You’ll find that the instruction manual is far from finished though. Ok, have you thoroughly admired it? Good. Time to take a good chunk of it apart.

Yep, in order to restore the glory of the Black Seas Barracuda, a lot of modification and even extra building needs to take place.

First, all three ship sections are taken off – here’s the reason for the big split in the base. There’s a small 1 stud wide section that slots nicely into the side details of the middle of the ship. You can’t just pull the ship section back without pulling that section down too. Split the bases apart, and you’re good to go. The main reason is that it’s just massive! Moving this in two separate parts is much easier.

The instructions say to remove all of the details like the boxes and barrels from the base, but I didn’t bother (as I couldn’t be bothered having to replace them!). The leaf elements come off, including the awnings, vines, extra walkways, wooden boards, Jose’s sign, the jail cell and of course, the sails, as they’re technically on backwards.

There’s also the forward rudder that gets removed, as it gets in the way of the ship standing straight. The ship’s wheel is taken off the awning and replaced, a rear section of the back of the ship is built and clipped in (to patch the hole by the rudder), some rails are added, the missing rigging points added, masts rebuilt, rigging clipped on and sails re-hung flat. While the set only uses three all up, the ship needs six. The rigging along the top of the masts is adjusted, before it’s all clipped together and some plates added on to the sides for good measure.

Honestly, the ship itself is glorious. Unfortunately I didn’t get an accurate measurement of the ship when it was set up, so these are estimates based off photos. This is a big ship. The first thing I thought was is it the biggest ship we’ve ever had? The stunning Imperial Flagship measures in at 75cm long and 60cm tall. That’s big.

This version of the Black Seas Barracuda measures at roughly 68cm long and 55cm tall. That’s still big! They’re going to look fantastic side by side.

Once I had taken some photos of the full ship (it’s tricky when neither the ship or the set fit in my light tent – hence the weird setting), it was time to put it all back together again.

I took the liberty of keeping the rest of the sails in, but rolling them up. I realised that the reason the sails were on backwards is because they don’t sit nicely rolled up – they tend to crumple and bend a little. It’s not too bad, but understandable that this wasn’t the instructed method.

I also added a few lights in the lanterns and in a couple of the rooms, to give it a bit more wow factor (not that it needed it).

I think it looks phenomenal – this is a must have set, and I honestly think this will be the best set of 2020. It’s a great price for Australians and if you grew up with LEGO Pirates, this may even answer some questions, like where did Redbeard go? Seriously, get this set. It’s out April 1st. It is not a joke, get this set.

It’s not easy to move around or change into a ship, but to be honest, I don’t care. It’s not something I’m going to be sailing around the carpet. There’s still a lot of play options with it – incorporate some bluecoats or redcoats and there will be lots of fun to be had. I’m planning on making it a big display in my house, but more on that later.

SCORES

Elements & Minifigures – 19/20
Swooshability – 17/20
Build – 20/20
Design/Appearance – 20/20
Value for Money – 10/10
Collectibility – 10/10

OVERALL: 96/100

A special thank you to LEGO for sending me an early copy to review. All thoughts on this set are my own and are not influenced in any way, shape or form. The provision of sets for review does not guarantee a favourable review.

1 thought on “Official Announcement & Review of 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay

  1. Pingback: LEGO 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay is an epic love letter to classic LEGO Pirates – Jay's Brick Blog

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