#968 SET REVIEW: 21322 Ideas: Pirates of Barracuda Bay

Today we’re reviewing the latest set that’s part of the Ideas line: Pirates of Barracuda Bay! We were very grateful to be sent this by LEGO to review, but our view is unbiased and we aim to provide a unique review from the perspective of a MOC builder and fan of building techniques. We score sets we review out of 100, giving 20 points each for building techniques, part selection, creativity, value for money and minifigures.

So without further ado, let’s jump into the review! Overall, we’re huge fans of this set – in our opinion it’s the perfect set for Pirate fans with very few flaws, a beautiful colour scheme and the perfect balance of nostalgia and modern parts / techniques. Labelled as 16+ on the box, the build was medium difficulty but once built there are a lot of parts that can easily fall off so that why they probably went for that age range. Having said this, we think this would be a brilliant set for children to play with because of how much freedom you have for play – both in the island and pirate ship – but equally it makes an excellent display piece for AFOLs too.


But now let’s take a deeper dive into the building techniques – and they are some pretty clever ones!


First up, the construction of the pirate ship was particularly enjoyable, especially when you reach the back end of the ship which features some impressive shaping using very simple pieces. Modified plates with hinges are used to securely angle sections and create some great angles while ensuring no gaps are shown.

Another clever technique was that used for the ladder, which is angled alongside the slopes of the body of the ship. It’s hinged by using technic and then secured in place with clips.


Further up the back of the ship for the captain’s office, the walls are slightly angled with swivel bricks, and the back walls angled with a t-piece and 5L technic beam – the clever part however is how these are connected – ball joints, which provide a satisfying click that feels perfect even though I’m sure the designers took many prototypes to get it right!

Moving onto the island, the sandy beaches and coral reefs are a huge highlight, with large curved slopes and 1x1 quarter tiles and various flower pieces being used respectively.

The palm trees are also of interesting construction, with a twisting technic trunk and swordleaf pieces in various colours to create the leaves – not forgetting minifigures heads as coconuts!

The harbour itself was also fun to build, and the highlight for us was the angled window that fits perfectly between two slopes as shown by using modified plates and clips. The wooden panelling created with studs on the side bricks and 1 by brown tiles was another nice bit of detail that looks so much better than just using regular bricks.

Finally, the vibrant colours of the build may not be a technique in itself, but the contrasting blend of yellow, black and red for the nostalgia of classic Pirates and the subtle browns and tans, bright greens and blues of the island make for a highly aesthetically pleasing model. The only way Pirate fans will be disappointed is that this is an Ideas set and not a comeback for the fan favourite theme.

Before closing this review let’s go back to our scoring of the set – the techniques as mentioned are very interesting, the parts included are both useful and unique as well as featuring some awesome recolours of older pieces and creativity seems to spill out from all sides. The price, although not announced in the UK at the time of writing this review, seems very reasonable to us (we were unaware of the US and Europe prices while building and easily thought this could have been a $250 set!), and the minifigures are everything you could want with the perfect mix of simplicity and nostalgia.

Releasing 1st of April, we hope you enjoyed a review and technique analysis and we’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Tips&Bricks is not associated with the LEGO Group. LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site

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