Pirates of the Caribbean is sailing back into a sea of LEGO studs, with 71042 The Silent Mary from upcoming movie Dead Men Tell No Tales. But what tales do these first images tell about this anticipated set?
Releasing a big, one-off, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean set was an opportunity to do one of two things, either of which would have pleased AFOLs and likely led to many wallets being a few hundred pounds lighter. In fact, they seemed the only two logical options when it became apparent that the LEGO Group were releasing one exclusive set instead of a theme.
The first way to go would have been to release a generic pirate ship, with a Pirates of the Caribbean logo slapped on the box, so that fans could snag a great, detailed vessel like 10210 Imperial Flagship, without resorting to the astronomical after-market prices that any LEGO pirate ship ends up going for. A few movie fans would have ended up picking one up too.
Of course one of the most expensive pirate ships on the secondary market is 4184 The Black Pearl, which highlights the second way that the LEGO Group could have gone. The ship that features most prominently throughout the Pirates of the Caribbean film series had an extremely short release window, ensuring than its price since being retired has shot up even more than it would have done anyway. By releasing a bigger, more detailed version of this iconic ship, both fans of the previous films and this new one would have something to pick up.
The third option, of course, was to release the new ship from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Silent Mary. Credit is certainly due to the LEGO Group for opting to do something new – this is the first time that a full-on ghost ship has been released. What is completely bizarre is that no matter how significant this vessel turns out to be in the movie, who is it supposed to appeal to? How many AFOLs have been sitting at home, looking at their shelves of LEGO sets, thinking, ‘what I really need is a ghost ship with ripped sails’.
Perhaps the images released of the set so far do not do it justice, which would certainly be a mistake on the part of the marketing team, as this concept needs all the presentational help it can get. The way the base has been constructed, as if wasted away, is rather effective. But overall it doesn’t look great. There is some nice detailing visible, for sure, but parts look somewhat mish-mashed – this, from what has been shown so far, does not look like a set begging to be displayed.
Last year, the LEGO Group demonstrated an impressive understanding of what adult LEGO fans were seeking in a one-off, large set – that fans got 75827 Firehouse Headquarters, 76052 Classic Batcave and 71040 Disney Castle at all, let alone all in one year, is amazing. But to go from such heights of understanding what fans want, to opting for 71042 The Silent Mary, is completely baffling. Hopefully in person, the set will look a lot better than in these images.
71042 The Silent Mary will be available to buy at shop.LEGO.com from April 1, with an early purchase opportunity for VIPs.