With the fate of VIDIYO hanging in the balance and the future of the theme being rather uncertain I was reluctant on whether I should continue posting my reviews on the sets, but since they are still widely available regardless of what is going to happen next i decided there might still be some value to lay out my views and opinions, be it just to nudge undecided buyers one way or the other. So let’s see what the Punk Pirate Ship (43114) offers.
Pricing and Contents
I’ve laid out the many failures of LEGO VIDIYO in my first article when I was still a lot more hopeful for the series, but you can spin it how you will, the outrages prices stuck out like a sore thumb no matter how generous you wanted to be about the other shortcomings. This is the same here: The suggested retail price is 70 Euro and to that I say „No! Not in this life unless hell freezes over!“. It’s just ridiculous!
Lucky for me the mighty gods of Amazon once more came to the rescue and wanted to free up space in their warehouses after they noticed sales being slow, so they threw out this set for 36 Euro one day. That was impossible to resist, so I jumped the chance. Ever since similar prices have popped up multiple times not just on Amazon but also with other vendors, so you should definitely invest some time researching prices before committing. You may not always be able to get it as cheaply as I did, but generally anything around the 45 Euro mark is probably acceptable. Just be aware that over this kerfuffle with the long term prospects of the series some scalpers may try and take advantage.
Minifigures and BeatBits
Of course a major part of that whole VIDIYO thing are the inventive and slightly bonkers minifigures. This set in particular got me with the second version of the shark and a squid-headed drummer. The mermaid isn’t bad, either. I knew I would want to get them one day, but not necessarily buying the set. Would the figures even suffice making a purchase of the whole set worthwhile? Pretty much not, given that there are only three. The math just doesn’t add up and similar to the K-Pawp Concert (43113) I generally feel there should have been at least five characters in this set as well. The ones that are there are great, there are just not enough.
Another highly desirable and exclusive bit of content are the BeatBits that come with these sets and I have to say for me the ones here are probably the best ones of them all, especially the harmonica-playing octopus and the shark-surfing pirate. That’s real graphical art squeezed onto a 2 x 2 tile and the print quality is excellent as well!
I’m not the biggest fan of that whole pirate thing, but I enjoy a well done ship as much as anyone. However, well done this is not! The basic proportions and shape are recognizable enough, but of course the devil is in the details.
The biggest failure is easily that the stage design is oriented along the main axis of the ship, not to the sides. This would be a pretty terrible idea for any fans standing directly in front of the bow. They’d simply see nothing because the walls would obscure the view unless they stand several feet away. This is just not how you would do it. I’m not saying that such stage designs could not and have not existed, but in such a case you would have the sections be separable and the bow at least movable. A traditional walkway with rails sounds about right and would then cover the gap while the pieces are apart.
Another, and ultimately the better alternative would be a side view design similar to the rollercoaster facade in the Heartlake City Amusement Pier (41375), but this cannot be accommodated with this set. The silhouette would be way to flat, which I guess is the point, after all: The bow is way to shallow to really impress and in fact this flatness makes it appear as if the ship were sinking and tipping over forward. The low walls on the side would also easily be washed over by the tiniest of waves, which makes this even less credible.
As you can see in the images, this set also features the pivotable elements also found in other VIDIYO sets but they don’t really do much for me. the skull and shark head are nice, but the overall appearance of the ship doesn’t really change in a way that it would perceivably make much of a difference. For a more significant and dramatic change they would have to have included elements in alternate colors or do something like swap out the drum kit for a different set of instruments, ideally based on a modular system where this can be swapped out easily.
The rear end of the ship with the backstage area is designed like a traditional captain’s cabin and is in my opinion almost the best part of the whole affair. It’s not very plausible in its function with no doorways to the front stage and overall being rather crammed, but at least it looks the part. This would perfectly fit a “real” pirate ship as well.
The sideways outriggers are a strange affair and just like with the Robo HipHop Car (43112) feel flung on for the mere sake of the turnable loudspeakers.Of course they could be interpreted as extended planks or those little balconies some ships had to provide access to the mast rigging and such, but it really does not contribute much here. Even the fake “lantern” build from two 1 x 2 half cylinders and clearly providing some color interaction in the VIDIYO augmented reality app looks out of place.
A lower angle shot once more affirms my point about the shallowness of the boat hull and the “sinking” overall look. Arguably it is also somewhat reminiscent of an equally flattened, worn out basketball shoe or similar. In any case, something feels definitely off. This isn’t helped by LEGO having opted for the faceted, modern ship version of the bow pieces.
Finally, and this loops back to my point about the minifigures, the five turntables cannot all be occupied with what’s in the box. Technically there is also no extra pirate-ish character in the first Collectible Minifigure series, with another mermaid and pirate lady only coming out in the second iteration (if we ever actually get it). I’m also extremely bothered by all of the rings being in Coral. I didn’t expect the Olympic Rings, but clearly they could have used a different color on the one on the crow’s nest and perhaps golden ones on the bow. On that note I also think the various 1 x 1 pyramids (and by extension the hook graphic on the central “screen”) would have looked a lot more impressive in some version of gold or Metallic Silver.
As you may have gathered from my write-up, this is not a good model at all in my opinion. there are a few interesting details, I grant you that, but on the whole it is way too generic and poorly designed. It just doesn’t transport any of the wackiness I would expect from a VIDIYO set and due to it’s “We sawed off the waterline way too high!” look it also fails as a generic pirate ship.
Add to that the delusional original pricing and you can see why it might be extremely hard to even find an excuse to buy it. It was okay for me at the price I got it for and if it were even cheaper it might have been worth buying two packages to fix the mess with a major overhaul and redesign of the model, but overall I cannot recommend this. You can have a lot more fun with the Creator 3in1 Pirate Ship (31109) and I would dare to speculate even the new Bowser’s Airship (71391) from the Super Mario line of products…
That MRSP leaves a lot to be desired.
When I first saw the promo photos, I was pretty positive about this set. It wasn’t until your review that I got a proper look at it. Now it seems quite strange. The way the hull is constructed to allow for the stage pieces is quite confused in terms of design.
I know the coral adds to the ‘VIDIYO’ aspects, but the colors all clash. It’s not as pleasant or forgivable as it would seem at first glance.
The squid minifigure is nice, though.
Yeah, the excessive use of Coral just doesn’t fit here. Personally I’m still most irked by the lack of lateral height and profile, though.
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