After years of being content to produce slightly modified copies of out-of-production Lego sets, Chinese building block brand Enlighten recently stepped forward to roll out its first original theme, Legendary Pirates. Unlike Lego’s more historically-based pirate themes. Enlighten’s Legendary Pirates takes place in a fantasy world of monsters and magic, closer to the Pirates of the Caribbean film series than say, Treasure Island. “The Shark Warship” set is representative of the fanciful nature of the rest of the theme.Parts come in two bags. A folded instruction sheet is also included, as is a small sticker sheet (which I just now noticed is upside-down in the photograph).
Sharks come unassembled.
The completed watercraft is a bit of a puzzler. Is it a miniature airboat? The aquatic version of a (shark-drawn) chariot? How does the pirate steer the warboat? Does he tug on the chains, or does he shout commands to the sharks? Still, there’s no denying that there’s a playful sensibility behind its design.
The shark on the left has markings on its snout which appear to be due to an error in production. Not the end of the world.
While Legendary Pirates marks Enlighten’s first original theme, I can’t help but notice that the Shark Warboat bears a slight resemblance to the miniature airboat found in Lego Monster Fighters set 9461, “The Swamp Creature.”
The included minifigure is quite good! The printing on the parts is crisp, and the joints are tight. The differences between the Enlighten and Lego minifigures are practically negligible. It is a vast improvement on Enlighten’s past efforts.
Overall, I found assembling the Shark Warship to be a satisfactory build. The parts are of decent quality. The only complaint that I would have about the parts is that the clutch power is slightly weaker than that of Lego parts. That in itself may be enough to dissuade potential buyers. However, the set’s whimsical – if unpolished – design makes the clutch issues much easier to overlook.
Since Enlighten is a brand based in China, the availability of these sets outside of Asia is mostly limited to online marketplaces where the price will be variable. Most sellers will not include the original packaging due to high international shipping costs, so prepare to pay more if you absolutely need the box.
Enlighten has won me over with Legendary Pirates. If they can improve the clutch power of their bricks, they would be a brand on par with Sluban or Star Diamond. I look forward to seeing what else they have in store for this year and beyond!