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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Pirates : Imperial Armada : Armada Flagship

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6280 - Armada Flagship

Rating: 3 Stars
Pros: Unique use of green elements; another medium size ship for your ocean adventures
Cons: This new ship design is nice but it seems kind of skimpy (it could use a few more bricks to flesh it out).
Contents: 280 pieces including 3 mini-figs
Price: $49.99 - Discontinued
Reviewed: 18-Jul-1997
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

6280 Vengeance Turns I
Stomping out of the commander's room, Admiral Dario Rodriguez has been severely chastened for his seeming inability to capture the marauding ships that have plagued Murcielago Bay for the past few months. Unwilling to allow the governor to issue a request for reinforcement ships, Dario is determined that he will capture the pirates himself or die trying.
A military coach follows Dario's own orders (rather than returning him to his barracks) and takes him to the docks where his ship and crew are waiting. Soon the ship is heading out to sea and barely rounds Dagger's Edge Point when they run full into the face of the pirate ship the Brawler. The pirates are ready for the encounter and quickly fire off two shots, one of which takes down the rear mast of Rodriguez's ship the Anna Victoria. Wood groans horribly and rivets snap and fly like bullets as the mast crashes onto the deck and topples into the water, tangling cables and dragging two crew members overboard. The Anna Victoria is then rocked violently as the Brawler rams into her side, breeching the forward hull which proceeds to take on water. Few shots are fired by the dazed armada crew and there is no time for offensive strategy with the Anna Victoria sinking rapidly as the Brawler swings around for another pass.

If you are a pirate collector and you've been keeping up with the ships that Lego releases, this set is going to be a must-have for your collection. Sadly, for its size it doesn't look to be an even match for either of the other medium ships (I'm betting the Imperial Flagship could stomp all over these guys), but the unique blend of colors and a great-looking main sail should still encourage you to pick one up (especially if you find it at a discount price).
The 6280 is a medium-size, single-cannon, two-sail ship with most notable features being the collapsible rear mast and hull pieces in white with blue trim (very cool and a great break from the regular brown hulls). While the quality of current ships is obviously failing and the structure here is nothing to get excited about, there are still enough unique elements putting the ship together to make it worth your collection.
The more-than-a-few worthwhile pieces include the chrome breastplate for the Spanish sailors, the new helmets, cargo net, new hull pieces (mentioned above) and green elements (1x4x2 curved rails, cannon base and a 1x2 arched window). Don't forget one of the best looking main sails of the Lego lineup.
Set includes three Spanish explorer mini-figs and while there are only two different mini-fig body prints, you can use the breastplate to cover one of the duplicates. Personally, I've taken to looking for suitable pirate torsos to alternate my explorers a bit.
I'm still not pleased with the direction the Pirate theme is taking, but the Armada Flagship is worth finding at a reasonable price. The multiple color combination (which I usually don't like) seems to work well here and it is nice to have a different faction out on the seas to keep the pirates on their toes.

72 readers have rated this set as 3.79 out of 5 stars.
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