Angry Birds is definitely one of the most bizarre licensed themes that LEGO have ever produced. When the partnership with Rovio was announced last year, LEGO fans were incredulous, for very good reason. Angry Birds was the biggest phenomenon in mobile gaming… in like 2010.
I was perplexed with LEGO’s move to produce an Angry Birds theme, namely because LEGO have always been pretty on-point with their licenses, typically aligning themselves with major pillars of pop culture like Minecraft, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Angry Birds was a little suss in my books.
Sure, it was all to tie in with the animated Angry Birds Movie (watch the trailer) which boasts quite a star-studded cast, but I don’t know. I still feel that the Angry Birds brand has lost its lustre, especially with mobile gamers who are now obsessed with the likes of Clash of Clans or Candy Crush.
Anyway, when the sets were announced… they didn’t seem that bad. The designs seemed kinda fun, and I really wanted to check the sets out myself, rather than just read opinions about it from online fans. I decided to go big with Angry Birds and grabbed the second largest set from the theme, 75825 Piggy Pirate Ship for my first Angry Birds review.
Name: Piggy Pirate Ship
Set Number: 75825
Price: AU$99.99 | US$59.99 (Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [Amazon])
Exclusive to: N/A
Theme: Angry Birds
Year of Release: 2016
Instructions: Book 1
It’s almost an unspoken rule, but LEGO produces at least 1 Pirate Ship each year. Last year, we had the Brick Bounty and in 2014, we got the magnificent Metalbeard’s Sea Cow. This year…we get the most unorthodox Pirate Ship that LEGO have ever produced, the Piggy Pirate Ship.
The Piggy Pirate Ship is a curious jumble of steel, wood, paddle wheels, oars and even a boulder anchor – not your typical Pirate Ship ingredients. It’s this exact concoction of strange assortments that drew me to this peculiar set.
But first… the LEGO Angry Birds minifigures. They are SO weird. I assembled the Piggy Pirate Ship over the week, and while I can find things I like about the ship, the minifigures just weird me out. You get four Angry Birds characters in this set – (L-R) Bomb, Red, Pirate Pig and Leonard.
In a license about anthropomorphic birds with anger issues and bipedal egg-stealing pigs, regular stock-standard minifigures don’t make much sense. Instead, we get these bizarre figures that have minifig qualities like feet that affix to LEGO studs and claw arms that are able to grip LEGO accessories.
The quality of these minifigures (can I even call them that?) are not a cause for concern – the overall look and feel is objectively good. It’s their strange forms that bother me. Let’s take a closer look at the minifigures in this set.
First up are the Angry Birds themselves, Bomb and Red. Bomb is a fat black bird, and Red is the protagonist of the movie (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), both of which are exclusive to this set.
Bomb is massively round. I haven’t played Angry Birds since like 2010 but I still remember the black bird being the giant wrecking ball-type bird, which exploded after impact – hence his name Bomb.
His body is a solid piece of plastic and a little fuse sticking out from his head. His arms can swivel around 360° like a regular LEGO minifig, but his clawed hands are fused with his arm.
The little fuse sticking out his head is made out of rubbery material, which feels quite strange since it’s stuck to the body which is made out of normal ABS plastic. I hate it when materials mix like that.
Red has a laid back, almost bored look to him. The printing on his face and body is quite decent, and like Bomb, his arms rotate an entire round as well.
Unfortunately, their design makes them quite rigid since their legs can’t move, which limits their posability and overall playability.
Here’s a look at the sides of Bomb and Red. From the side, you can see that their bodies are fused together out of two plastic halves where the lines that separate both halves are quite unsightly. The birds’ arms have a bit of feathery texture moulded on to them.
Both birds have tail feathers. Bomb’s tail feathers are made out of soft rubbery plastic, which is a little weird and out of place. Red’s tail is a lot better as it’s the same material as as his body.
On to the pigs, the mortal enemies of the birds and I’m guessing antagonists of The Angry Birds Movie. We get two pigs in this set – Leonard, the pig with the gross facial hair and a nameless Pirate Pig which I’m guessing is the Captain of the Pirate Piggy Ship, judging from his pirate hat.
Leonard has a name, so I’m guessing he’s kind of a big deal. Both pigs have the same mould for their bodies, a bright green lump form that’s a blend of both torso and head. The head/bodies are balanced on 2 stumpy legs. The legs have two hooves (I think pigs have hooves?) moulded to them which is a nice bit of detail.
Each pig has really sharp printing on their faces, which is really nice as it gives them a recognizable sense of identity. Leonard has an awful looking beard going on, with a goofy little smile, while the Pirate Pig is all sorts of excited, sporting an eyepatch and a big toothy grin.
Here’s how the pigs look from the side. Like the birds, you can see the faint line that splits their bodies apart as well. The Pirate Pig comes with a sword – one of those newish broadswords with the rounded pommels. I also also fascinated to discover that the pigs actually rock minifigure arms.
This is the back view of the pigs where you can see their little curly tails on their butts. You can also see the pig’s ears, which stick out on the left side of their heads.
I still can’t get over these bizarre Angry Birds minifigures. There’s just something uncanny about them, with their aesthetics veering very closely into Mega Bloks (can I say that?) territory.
They’re not badly designed, they just don’t seem to fit in very well with the overall LEGO aesthetic. When I buy sets, one of the things I look forward to the most are the minifigs. That sense of excitement and anticipation definitely did not occur with this set.
You may like angry Birds, which means these minifigs will be right up your alley, but I just can’t bring myself to like them.
On to the build, you first start by assembling a primitive catapult that’s nested on a small rocky island. Built upon a rocky formation, with a tiny palm tree for some greenery, the catapult is as basic as it comes. There’s a small basket that can fit an Angry Bird before it gets launched into oblivion
The play feature is as basic as it gets – slam the wooden plank down to fire Red at the pigs. Since it’s Angry Birds, the play feature emulates the overall mechanic of the games, although I wished that LEGO had given us a proper slingshot mechanic.
The centrepiece of this set is the Piggy Pirate Ship, the small but tall Pirate Ship piloted by two little piggies. Part steamboat and part galleon, the Piggy Pirate Ship is one peculiar looking ship. It’s totally unlike anything that LEGO have ever designed before – which I’m not sure is a good or bad thing.
The first thing that strikes you about the Piggy Pirate Ship is how tall it is. The sails extends the Pirate Ship’s height to 38 cm, making it quite a formidable model. The Piggy Pirate Ship’s body is absolutely fascinating. It’s entirely brick-built, so no chunky plastic hulls which was a pleasant surprise.
The rickety ship is fashioned out of a messy mix of steel and wood, giving off a very haphazard look to it. It has a duck-like shape to it, which I’m guessing was done on purpose.
The ship has a boulder dangling from the bow – I initially thought it was some sort of wrecking ball, but the set’s description calls it an anchor. You can raise or lower the boulder anchor by twisting the large Technic gear piece.
Here’s a look at the oval-shaped fabric sails of the Piggy Pirate Ship. Clearly, nothing is orthodox with this build. I quite like the crude stitches and patches.
Here’s a look at the ship’s bow. There’s a printed shield piece in the shape of a pig’s snout which was quite a nice surprise.
I immediately fell in love with this gorgeous new printed wooden 1 x 4 tiles. Printed tiles! It’s like an adult LEGO fan’s Christmas come early. There are ten included in this set, and they’re scattered across the ship’s exterior to make it look like it was built by an untalented carpenter. Printed tiles. What an absolute treat!
Despite being a seafaring vessel, the ship actually runs on wheels, allowing you to push it along. The pushing motion is one of the play features of the ship and is a pretty clever piece of engineering.
There are two oars that emerge out of a small square-shaped opening at each side. There’s also a cabinet that functions as storage. The other side has a stick of dynamite in it.
Here’s a look at the large paddle wheels that flank the ship’s back. I’m guessing in the movie the Piggy Pirate Ship is powered by a combination of oars, steam engine and wind.
I usually don’t pay too much attention to play features as they’re often a little kiddy but the Piggy Pirate ship’s play mechanism is really next level. As you push the Pirate Ship and roll it forwards, the wheels turn the paddle wheel, and also move the oars from side to side.
The play feature works exceptionally well and it is really satisfying pushing the ship along and seeing all the little parts move in unison.
There’s a little cockpit situated at the back of the ship where the Pirate Pig can comfortable sit to steer the ship. Check out the cute fabric flag with the Pig logo next to it.
Behind the cockpit is a small crane with a net to hold the eggs that the pigs are out to steal from the birds. Nothing too special, except that the crane can be twisted to haul up the net.
Speaking of eggs, the new egg accessories are one of the most interesting elements introduced in the Angry Birds theme. These perfectly shaped eggs have a hole at the bottom that fits a stud, which means that minifigs can comfortable grip them in their hands.
I’d hazard to say that these eggs are actually more interesting than the Angry Birds minifigures themselves.
The Piggy Pirate ship contains a small kitchen area, complete with a frying pan on a stove and a sink area to cook the aforementioned eggs. There’s a printed tile included in this set, with what seems to be instructions to cook/fry the eggs.
Situated next to the table with the printed tile is a small crate that’s filled with a random assortment of items. Ice cream cones, bananas, and even one of those new stud-firing crossbows.
The Piggy Pirate Ship is not without its secrets. Lifting up a panel near the kitchen reveals a hidden compartment containing Leonard’s crown.
It’s an accessory that you can affix to the Pig’s heads. In the original Angry Birds game, I distinctly remember the King Pig being a boss-type character at the end of each world.
What I liked:
- The Piggy Pirate Ship is a lot of fun
- Those new printed wooden tiles
- It’s a really unique LEGO model
What I didn’t like:
- Angry Birds and Pig minifigs
- Ship feels quite small and doesn’t look as good as it could be on display
- Not quite a LEGO Pirate Ship
Final thoughts: This was a pretty weird set to review, and the same could probably be said for the entire Angry Birds theme. Let’s start with the positives. I like that the Piggy Pirate Ship doesn’t take itself seriously. The unorthodox mishmash design is definitely unique and I had a lot of fun putting it together since it’s entirely brick-built.
The build process is enjoyable, as you’re building upwards, then sideways in many instances and there are plenty of interesting little flourishes to keep it from being a boring experience. As a whole, the ship is plenty of fun. The play feature is outstanding and really gives the ship a dynamic and interactive feel, thanks to all the moving parts. It’s definitely a build that kids will thoroughly enjoy.
Appearance-wise, it does look kind of neat, but I wish it were bigger. It’s not as commanding as what you’d expect from a regular Pirate Ship – in fact, I would hazard at calling this a real pirate ship since it lacks many of the defining qualities that its ancestors such as the Black Seas Barracuda or Imperial Flagship have.
The minifigures are just ugly and I can’t bring myself to like them, try as hard as I might. I even have half a mind to sell them, but I think I’ll just hold on to them purely because of the novelty factor.
Being a licensed product, you’re probably only going to enjoy it as much as you enjoy the source material. I’m not that big a fan of the entire franchise (even though I’m keen on watching the movie when it comes out on DVD) so this just doesn’t do it for me.
As a LEGO model, the best thing that the Piggy Pirate Ship has going for it is its novelty factor. It’s a truly unique and bizarre creation, unlike anything that LEGO have ever whipped together. If you do away with the Angry Birds references, it could function as a goofy looking paddle wheel boat or vessel.
As it is, I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you’re a huge Angry Birds fan, or you’re buying it for younger children who might not be as critical.
As a toy, the Piggy Pirate Ship has a lot to offer, and I’m confident that kids will enjoy all the interactive play features. They might even like the weird looking Angry Birds figures!
As an adult fan, I can only recommend this to the most adventurous of LEGO fans. The only upside is that you get plenty of brown elements, which I personally love.
At a AU$99.99 RRP, this set is also incredibly pricey for what you get, since the minifigures are a little lacklustre. Even at 20% off (which is how much I got it for), I still felt like I didn’t get my money’s worth.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this comprehensive look at the Angry Birds sets. I have another Angry Birds set sitting in my room, but I’m not sure if I feel like I’m in any hurry to review it.
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What do you think of the Angry Birds sets? Have you got the chance to build or see any of them in the flesh? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!