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CC Set Review: 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:42 am
by Bruce N H
Hey all,

Join the Classic Castle set review discussion. Please post your opinions on the set play ability, piece selection, design, etc. Which sets stand up to our catapult of critique and which ones crumble in shame!

This week’s set is 79008, Corsairs of Umbar --- er, Pirate Ship Ambush


This may be the only official set we will see from the Battle of the Pelannor Fields (after I finish the last two reviews we'll do a thread on the whole line and what they missed). The set includes three sets of three figures - three heroes, three ghosts, and three baddies. Cool geeky detail is that the Corsair fig (I refuse to call him the pirate) is the Peter Jackson cameo from Return of the King. I don't know if it says so officially anywhere, but it's the same beard and most importantly the same odd tattoo on his forehead.

Re: CC Set Review: 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:15 pm
by Brickninja
I don't have this set but it looks pretty cool to me, although I've heard some people say they don't like it. For what it is, it looks good, but I think the slot could have been much better used on a Gondor set. Although I heard they were planning a 3rd wave with Gondor stuff but if got cancelled. :cry:

Re: CC Set Review: 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:53 pm
by Athos
I don't really like this set too much. Its not terrible and actually has the beginnings of a nice ship. But I can't get past that I'd much rather have had a structure. It was definitely not worth the initial MSRP, but I picked it up at Target for $69, so that felt like a better deal. Three dead soldiers was kind of a nice inclusion too. Though dumping Gimli (who seems to be in everything) and the Orc for another couple more dead guys would have been better. All those shields are cool too.


Re: CC Set Review: 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:58 pm
by Bruce N H

My two cents on this one. I don't own this set, so all of my opinions are based on looking at the completed set in pictures and at the store, and going through the instructions and brick lists online, so take this with a grain of salt.

I'm generally not a fan of molded boat hulls. You may have noticed that every time I comment on a MOC of a ship I always rave if they've come up with a good hull shape using normal bricks and plates. I'm much less likely to comment if someone uses the pre-made hull pieces. In addition on this ship I think the ramming projectile at the front looks odd.

I agree with Steve on the fig inclusion. If someone is buying one of the most expensive sets in the line, LEGO is reasonably safe in assuming that they have purchased several of the cheaper sets, so they're likely to accumulate multiples of the 'hero' figs. So maybe it would make more sense to include additional special figs. Of course the flip side of this logic is bad for me as someone who is more likely to buy a few of the cheaper sets and less likely to buy the big ticket set, so I'm less able to get the exclusive figs. Perhaps the answer is to include repeats of the hero figs, but with alternate torsos. So a completist collector would still want to get the versions in the larger, more expensive sets, but many of us would be happy having one version of Gimli and not need Gimli wearing chain mail, Gimli with a cloak over his chain mail, Gimli without mail, etc.

All of those shields make a great inclusion in this set. They make a nice detail piece on the boat, but can then be repurposed to create a custom faction.

Of course they included a catapult, but this one looks pretty nice.

Anchor made of an axe is a cool detail.

I love those sails, though there should be strings for rigging.

Biggest failing of the set, IMO, is the missing banner. I don't remember if this is in the movie, though, but the big moment in the book is when everyone is despairing because the black ships of the corsairs are coming up the river, and then the banner of King Elessar is unfurled, revealing the final turn in the battle. Even if this wasn't in the movie (I'd have to go back and check), they've included book details in sets before, like the portraits of the five wizards in Orthanc and the Palantir stand at Weathertop.


Re: CC Set Review: 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:08 pm
by RedBrick
I don't own the set either but as far I can say, it looks pretty good. Interesting details and the selection of minifigs makes sense too. I just would have replaced the catapult with an installation on the ship itself. Either a cannon, ballista or the classical crane.
The sails are not made of plastic I assume/hope - that would be quite a turnoff.

All in all: very decent set.

Re: CC Set Review: 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:52 pm
by Lil_Curt
Dont own this set, and probably wont. It has some good things going for it but not enough to justify me buying it. I wish Lego would have saved this set for the round 3 release of LOTR, I feel that the poor sales of this set caused the cancelation of wave 3. :(

Re: CC Set Review: 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:43 pm
by Bluesecrets
I actually own this set. I bought it because I was excited to build it, even though like Bruce I'm not a fan of those boat hulls. They take up too much space and have limited use for me. Anyway, I enjoyed building it. I"m glad I bought it. It was a solid good build with parts that I was excited to have. It's better than some ship sets I have built. For what it is, I say it represents that scene in the movie pretty well. It doesn't disappoint me like some other licensed sets do.