Class 4 article
Release years:

1989 - 1997, 2009, 2015

Main theme:


Concurrent faction(s):

Imperial Soldiers
Imperial Guards
Imperial Armada

The Pirates were one of the first two factions of the Pirates theme. They were the only faction not to change over time, but they expanded with more and more sets added with each change of the good faction. Their symbol was the Jolly Roger, a black flag with a skull and crossbones.

The Pirates boasted four of the largest ship sets, Black Seas Barracuda, Red Beard's Runner, Skull's Eye Schooner and Brickbeard's Bounty. They operated out of the Forbidden Island, Rock Island Refuge, Skull Island, Pirates Perilous Pitfall and Shipwreck Hideout sets.


Pirates vs Imperial Soldiers in a catalog from 1990.

The intial release of the Pirates was hugely popular. The sets released in this era were some of the largest in the theme, including 6285 Black Seas Barracuda, 6270 Forbidden Island, and 6273 Rock Island Refuge. The Pirates were initially pitted against the Imperial Soldiers.

In 1992 the blue Imperial Soldiers were phased out and the Pirates' main adversaries were now the red Imperial Guards who resembled Redcoats of the British Army of the colonial era. The Black Seas Barracuda was replaced by the Skull's Eye Schooner, and the Rock Island Refuge was replaced by the Skull Island.

The new Jolly Roger featured from 2009 onwards.

Around late 1993 to early 1994, there was a minor split in the Pirate faction. Another captain emerged as the leader of the new Renegade Pirates faction. The two sides were not enemies, nor were they friends.

1996 brought a radical change to Hispanic themed Pirates, and much of the Pirate sets were redone to match the new Imperial Armada. The theme only ran for 1 year before it was ended.


After more than ten years without any new Pirates releases, the theme was relaunched with visually upgraded minifigs. This time the pirates were pitted against a faction that resembled the Imperial Guards from 1992.

The pirates were given a new ship, Brickbeard's Bounty, as well as a new hideout. Their only other seagoing vessel is a raft.


6 years later pirates has returned with new sets and Captain Redbeard with refreshed look. They were pitted against a faction that resembled the Imperial Soldiers from 1989.


Captain Redbeard minifigure on a keychain from 2002.

  • Captain Redbeard: Famous pirate leader, distinguished from all the others by his bright red beard and a patch over his left eye. His right leg was a wooden peg-leg and he had a hook on his left hand. He often carried a pistol and a sword, and was hardly seen without his pet parrot, Popsy. He returns in 2015 with refreshed look.
  • Captain Brickbeard: The captain of pirates after the theme's relaunch in 2009. He largely resembles his predecessor, but consists entirely of newly printed pieces and wears golden epaulettes and a golden hook.
  • Captain Ironhook - Rival of Captain Redbeard. He looks very similar to him.
  • Black Jack Hawkins - Prominent member of Captain Redbeard's crew.
  • Bo'Sun Will: One of the youngest pirates and crush of Camilla, the Governor's niece. He is friend to Capt. Redbeard, and has some skill with a sword and pistol. He wears a red bandana around his head, a red and white striped shirt, and red pants. He has no distinguishing features.
  • First Mate Rummey: First mate of the pirates, Rummey was a cut-throat pirate through and through. He wore a blue jacket over a red and white striped undershirt, gray pants, and a brown tri-corner hat. He also had a patch over his left eye.
  • Jimbo: (according to a LEGO pirate book)He originally was a stowaway, but Captain Redbeard let him join the crew as ships boy
  • Anne: Also known as the Wench.
  • Flashfork: He's a crewmember of Captain Redbeard and sometimes served as second mate. He's a very poor sailor because he always shipwrecked.
  • Spinoza: the monkey.
  • Popsy: the pet parrot of Capt. Redbeard.

Ships and buildings

The Black Seas Barracuda is often considered the best LEGO pirate ship to date.

In total, the pirates had six ships that made use of the new large boat pieces. the first one was 6285 Black Seas Barracuda, which is still one of the most popular LEGO sets ever. It was replaced in 1993 by the 6286 Skull's Eye Schooner, which was, until January 2010, the only ship of the Pirates theme that had three masts and was also the biggest to that date. 1993 also brought a smaller one-masted ship, 6268 Renegade Runner. In 1996 the second two-masted ship was released, the 6289 Red Beard Runner, followed by another small one-masted ship in 1997, 6250 Cross Bone Clipper, which was the smallest of the six bigger ships and would also be the last ship for the next years. The newest ship is 6243 Brickbeard's Bounty from 2009.

With 892 pieces, 6286 Skull's Eye Schooner is the biggest LEGO Pirates set.

The first pirate base was 6270 Forbidden Island, a simple outpost on a flat baseplate. It was replaced in 1991 by 6273 Rock Island Refuge which was considerably bigger and constructed on a raised baseplate. The next one was 6279 Skull Island, released in 1995. Smaller installations include 6296 Shipwreck Island from 1996 and 6249 Pirates Ambushfrom 1997. The biggest fortification of the pirates, considering the number of pieces, was 6281 Pirates Perilous Pitfall from 1997. The latest pirate base is 6253 Shipwreck Hideout from 2009.

There were also numerous smaller islands, boats or rafts.


Initial release

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
Disland.jpg1481Pirates Desert Island201 1991
6234.jpg6234Renegade's Raft371$3.251991
6235.jpg6235Buried Treasure27Spinoza, Bo'sun Will$3.00 / DM 5.99 (= €3.06)1989
6251 Pirate Mini Figures.jpg6251Pirate Mini Figures33Captain RedBeard, Imperial Officer, Imperial Soldier, Pirate (2×)$6.001989
6257 Castaway's Raft.jpg6257Castaway's Raft50Darwin the Pirate, Pirate (2×) 1989
6260-1-1.jpg6260Shipwreck Island69Pirate (2×)$11.991989
6270-1.jpg6270Forbidden Island176Captain Redbeard,

Bo'Sun Will, First Mate Rummey,

Imperial Soldier
6273 Rock Island Refuge.jpg6273Rock Island Refuge3727 1991
6285006.jpg6285Black Seas Barracuda909Captain Redbeard, First Mate Rummy, Anne, Bo'sun Will, Pirate (4×)$109.991989
10040.jpg10040Black Seas Barracuda9068$89.992002

1992 release

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
Plookout.jpg1464Pirate Lookout16Pirate 1992
Bcove.jpg1492Battle Cove251 1992
Plookout.jpg1696Pirate Lookout161 1992
Swpirate.jpg1713Shipwrecked Pirate221 1994
1729 Barnacle Bay.jpeg1729Barnacle Bay894 1994
1733 - Shipwrecked Pirate.jpg1733Shipwrecked Pirate221 1994
1788-1.jpg1788Treasure Chest154Male Islander

, King Kahuka , Captain Ironhook

, Gonzo Goldbar
Pcannon.jpg1871Pirates Cannon151 1994
1873.jpg1873Pirates Treasure451 1994
1889.jpg1889Pirates Treasure Hold341 1992
1970.jpg1970Pirates Gun Cart29Darwin the Pirate, Pirate 1993
6237.jpg6237Pirates Plunder212$3,001992
6254 Rocky Reef.jpg6254Rocky Reef1013 1995
6258 Smuggler's Shanty.jpg6258Smuggler's Shanty693 1992
6261 Raft Raiders.jpg6261Raft Raiders78Captain Ironhook, Pirate, Lolbroek$13.251992
6268 Renegade Runner.jpg6268Renegade Runner1714$40.001993
6279 Skull Island.jpg6279Skull Island3666 1995
6286-1-1.jpg6286Skull's Eye Schooner8929 1993

1996 release

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
Ptsurprise.jpg1747Treasure Surprise211 1996
1802-Tidy Treasure.jpg1802Tidy Treasure211$1.991996
6232 Box.jpg6232Skeleton Crew27Pirate, Skully$2.991996
6248.jpg6248Volcano Island119Black Jack Hawkins, Skully 1996
6249 Pirates Ambush.jpg6249Pirates Ambush1592 Pirates and 1 Conquistador$21.991997
6250 Cross Bone Clipper.jpg6250Cross Bone Clipper151Captain Redbeard, Pirate (2) 1997
6281- Pirates Perilous Pitfall.jpg6281Pirates Perilous Pitfall395Black Jack Hawkins,

Parma Sean LaFeet, George, Captain Valiant, Conquistador,

6290-1.ImageL.thumb2.jpg6289Red Beard Runner6987 1996
6290-1-2.jpg6290Red Beard Runner6987$99.99 / €99.992001
6296.jpg6296Shipwreck Island2163$29.751996

2009 release

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
6240-1.jpg6240Kraken Attackin'782 Pirates$9.99 / €9.992009
6241-0000-xx-23-1.jpg6241Loot Island142Pirate, Hank the Castaway, Imperial Guard$19.99 / €19.992009
6243-1.png6243Brickbeard's Bounty592Pirate,

Builder, Gunman, Imperial Guards (2), Captain Brickbeard, Admiral's Daughter,

$99.99 / €79.992009 (First sold in late 2008)
Shipwreck2.jpg6253Shipwreck Hideout310Captain Brickbeard,

Pirate, Lady Pirate, Imperial Soldier (2),

$39.99 / €39.992009
PirateSurvival1.jpg8397Pirate Survival16Pirate$3.49 / €2.992009

2015 release

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
Sddefense.jpg70409Shipwreck Defense84Bluecoat Soldier, Old Pirate$12.99March 2015
Sooutpust.jpg70410Soldiers Outpost164Bluecoat Soldier, Bluecoat Sergant 1, Pirate$19.99March 2015
70411 boxart.jpg70411Treasure Island180Bluecoat Soldier, Pirate Princess Argenta, Pirate$19.99March 2015
Sffort.jpg70412Soldiers Fort234Governor Hacienda, Governor's Daughter, Bluecoat Soldier, Pirate Gunner, Pirate$29.99March 2015
70413 The Brick Bounty boxart.jpg70413The Brick Bounty745Captain Redbeard, Slinger, Pirate Boy, Pirate Cook Bart, Admiral Nonsuch, Bluecoat Sergeant 2, Bluecoat Soldier$99.99March 2015
40158 Chess Set.jpg40158Pirates Chess Set857Ms. Dagger, Cutlass (x2), Deckboy, Pirate (x6), Bluecoat (x10)$59.992015
No image5003082Classic Pirates Set   

Other appearances

Other products