The reveal of the LEGO Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay (21322) had an overwhelmingly positive response and we’ve had the set for a few days to do an early review of it. The 2,545 piece set will retail for $199.99 and will be available starting on April 1. The contents of the box include bags numbered to 15, unnumbered bags of various pieces, the thick instruction booklet, and a package for the sails.
As you can see, the box art pays homage to the LEGO Pirates theme with its design. The set name is in the top right corner which has the similar style as the LEGOLAND naming from the classic Pirates sets. The back of the box shows some of the details including the shipwreck being taken apart to build its own ship.
Like with other LEGO Ideas sets, the beginning of the instructions gives background of the LEGO Pirates theme as well as an interview with the fan designer Pablo Sanchez. LEGO designers Milan Madge and Austin William Carlson also gives their input on the design of Pirates of Barracuda Bay. Lastly, there’s a two-page spread biography of the minifigures included in the set.
There are eight minifigures in the set: Captain Redbeard, Lady Anchor, Starboard, Quartermaster Riggings, Jack “Dark Shark” Doubloons, Tattooga, Port, and Robin Loot.
Captain Redbeard has been released before in some of the classic LEGO Pirates sets from 1989, most recently in The Brick Bounty (70413), but this new version has some updated printing. The torso now has some metallic gold on the front as well as some on the back. Like previously, he has a peg leg on his right leg. The facial printing has been updated with a more modern look, especially for his red beard. His accessory is a cutlass.
Lady Anchor has a red outfit with some metallic gold detailing for her beads and belt. She also has a blue and white sash going around her waist. Her facial expression shows her with a cocky smile. Her accessories include a knife and a Flintlock pistol.
Starboard has a white and blue tanktop with a brown belt and red pants. His evil smile is covered up by his long moustache. Covering his head is a red bandana. His accessories include a cutlass and a long rifle.
Quartermaster Riggings has a red and white tanktop with a blue vest. His head shows him with an evil grin and a patch over his eye. His accessories include a cutlass and a printed 2×2 map tile.
Tattooga certainly lives up to his name with tattoos covering both sides of the torso. The front has some anchors and parrots while the back shows one with a pirate ship, possibly the Black Seas Barracuda. His head reminds me of Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean with his facial hair and ponytail. His accessories include two cutlass swords.
Jack “Dark Shark” Doubloons has the same white and blue tanktop as Starboard and he has short blue legs. His freckled face shows him with a smirk and he wears a blue bandana. His accessories include a tan shoulder bag and a telescope.
Robin Loot wears a green vest with brown pants. She has a double-sided head with a smirk on one side and smile on the other with her face all dirty. Her accessories include two Flintlock pistols.
Lastly, we have Port who is Starboard’s brother and he has on a red and white tanktop with a rope wrapped around the waist. This is the opposite of what Starboard is wearing and he has a smile behind the moustache. His accessories are also the cutlass and rifle.
The first bag of the build is for the first section of the island. I will say that I really do like the light blue plates used for the water. Most of the parts are the tan plates and curved bricks for the sand. On one side of the sand, there’s a stone statue of King Kahuka from the Islanders subtheme. Near it are a couple of coconut trees.
Bag 2 allows you to add more to the island. A lot of the dock areas are made out of brown plates stacked on top of the gray bricks and slopes. There are also some stair that lead up to the side of the Barracuda when it is connected. The rest of the parts for bag 2 are for the beginning build of the Barracuda. I know LEGO says the ship is inspired by the Black Seas Barracuda but I’m just going to call it that anyways.
The next sets of bags are used to build the inside of the Barracuda. Bag 3 is mainly used for the bar and bedroom areas. The bar has a couple of tables and it also includes a barrel of alcohol.
The bedroom side has two beds along with a table that has a candle and a hat on top. Next to the wall is another table with an envelope.
Bag 4 lets you build the rest of the outer and upper areas of the bar and bedroom. At the end, there is a door along with a sticker sign that indicates that this is Jose’s Inn. The upper deck area is made of tan plates. Above the door is a panel that has some plants and vines on it.
Next up, we have a very small jail cell that only fits one person and in this case, a dead one as there is only a skeleton inside.
The main mast is extremely tall and it uses a dedicated mast piece at the top with a lot of 2×2 round bricks in the middle and at the bottom. These are secured using a cross axle 32M. At the bottom is a 8×8 grid plate followed with some more 2×2 round bricks to attach to the bottom of the ship.
The sails at this point are just rolled up and tied used some ropes and the attaches on to the cross axles at the ends and secured using cone pieces.
At the very top, you have your usual pirate skull flag that is a printed piece and not a sticker. At the upper back, there’s a rope that hangs up a barrel.
After the main part of the ship is completed, it can attach to the island area using some pins. This by itself can be a small set by itself but we’re not done yet!
Bag 6 lets you build another part of the island, similar to the first. On one side you have a mostly sandy area while the other side is another section of the dock. Right in the middle is feeding area for a pig.
Continuing on, you build more of the dock and in between the dock and the sandy area, there is a skeleton of a fallen Imperial Guard which is signified by the shako hat. The dock itself has some more stairs going up and the bottom area has some crates filled with fruits.
For bag 8, we build the bow of the Barracuda which uses a dedicated boat piece. The back side of it has more 2×2 round bricks to support the foremast that will be put on later.
As we move on to bag 9, the 8×8 grid piece is put on top of the column of bricks and there’s a 4×4 round plate with hole for more column stacking. Here we have the capstan which allows you to raise and lower the anchor on the side.
The rest of the parts in the bag are used to build the bowsprit and the figurehead. The bowsprit pretty much uses another one of the mast pieces that is attached to a ball joint in the front. The figurehead has an updated and cleaner look from before and it features a yellow female minifigure head.
Bag 10 is dedicated to building the foremast which is almost the same as the main mast. Like before, it uses the mast piece and under that are a slew of 2×2 round bricks that are stabilized by the cross axle 32M. On each side are a couple of long lattice pieces used for the shrouds. The sail on the foremast is again rolled up with a rope. After the front of the Barracuda is finished, it can attach to the island segment using some ball joints.
As we head to bag 11, we will be building the stern areas of the Barracuda. The base is a boat piece and inside of it is the kitchen area. Here we have a stove filled with a hot and pan. There’s also tables on each side filled with jars and a fish.
The outer parts of the ship are connected to some hinges which allows it to be at a slight angle. At the very back, there is the rudder that uses some clips to attach it to. Nothing too complicated about that.
For bag 12, we get to the quarterdeck where we start building Captain Redbeard’s cabin. There is one side of the wall where there’s a window with a compass and a fountain pen sitting nearby. There’s also a treasure chest with a pearl-gold trophy and some gems.
Next up we fill up more of the captain’s cabin with more detailing such as his desk filled with maps and candles. There’s also a bust on the other side of the room. Lastly, there’s a bed that clips on next to the window and folds up which gets it out of the way if not used.
For the next to last bag, we complete the look of the back side of the Barracuda. This includes some more of the exterior such as the door that goes into the captain’s cabin and the steps that goes up to it. The back enclosure has a couple more windows and the section attaches on using some pins. The outside of this panel has some leaves on it as well the steering wheel wrapped in chains.
This part of the ship can line up with the dock area and to complete Barracuda Bay, you can push the two halves of the island with the separated ship together. Unfortunately, they don’t connect together with pins or ball joints but just sit side by side.
As you probably saw from the press release and official images of the set, you can also recreate the Black Seas Barracuda into its own build as well. To do that, you’ll have to remove the ship sections and a lot of the excess items like the leafy parts, boxes, and barrels.
In addition, there is bag 15 for some of the parts to complete the ship. The sails that are wrapped can now be attached to the yardarms using the Technic axles and cone pieces. I will note that the sails that are wrapped up may be wrinkly since they are made up of the harder fabric. I would have preferred the softer ones but that may have bumped up the price even more. The smaller foresail has extra holes and slits to make it easier to put the rope through.
The front of the ship is connected to the middle section using ball joints while the back is connected from the sides using some 1×4 plates. For this part, it doesn’t seem too stable but the plates actually does its job pretty well. Lastly, you re-add some of the decorations like the boxes and barrels throughout the deck.
Overall, the LEGO Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay (21322) is absolutely a very fun set to build. It took me about a day and half to complete due to me taking lots of breaks in between. It definitely could be completed in one sitting.
I do like how LEGO split up the building between the islands and the ship to make it not monotonous and the way the shipwreck attaches to the island sections is great. The detailing of it matches up with what was proposed in the original LEGO Ideas project with some differences here and there. I really do like how LEGO incorporated their own Pirates characters into the set like Captain Redbeard.
The addition of having parts of the shipwreck turn into a ship itself is just icing on the cake because the project did not have that. Two thumbs up for LEGO to think of that idea. I have a feeling that some fans may want to get two copies of the set to have one completely intact and one with the ship itself with the islands separate.
While building it, I kept thinking this set was from the Pirates theme but I quickly realized that it’s actually a LEGO Ideas set. I know fans have been wanting the Pirates theme to return but this set will give them satisfaction in the meantime.
Thank you to LEGO for sending in this set for me to review. The content above represents my own opinion and not the company. Review sets sent in does not guarantee a positive review.